The beautiful stone figure depicts Patanjali as the Adishesha. Patanjali, apart from being the Yogacharya, is also known as the Adishesha, which can be understand as "the primordial snake" or the primordial form of Lord Vishnu.
In Hindu mythology Adishesha, sometimes also known as "Ananta" (The Endless One), is the thousand-headed ruler of the Nagas, the serpent race that is thought to guard the hidden treasures of the earth. Since yogic knowledge is the ultimate the secret treasure, many yogins still bow to Adishesha before beginning their daily yoga practice. "Salutation to the king of the Nagas, to the infinite, to the bearer of the mandala, who spreads out this universe with thousands of hooded heads, set with blazing, effulgent jewels."
Here the body of patanjali is shown as being coiled to form an expansive comfortable couch on which the god Vishnu rests and reclines during the intervals of creation. The serpent's thousand heads symbolize infinity or omnipresence. These heads reach up and out like a protective canopy or umbrella over Vishnu and on that "umbrella" rests our earth.
The snake's body is soft and gentle enough to serve as a couch for a god and at the same time, firm and steady enough to support the whole earth. We endeavor to bring both of these same qualities to our asana practice : softness, comfort and ease(sukha) must be balanced with firmness, strength and steadiness of effort (sthira).
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