If father of yoga, Maharishi Patanjali ji, would have been alive! He surely would have been crying seeing the status of Yoga. What he had accumulated and was so divine and spiritual is now being used for “Weight-loss” !
This post might hurt the feelings of below:-
- People who did random 10-15 day course on Yoga.
- People learning Yoga from some private academies.
- People learning it from The Great ‘Youtube baba Ji’.
- People who think Yoga=Asana & Pranayama.
- Moreover, People who say, “ Can you teach Yoga& Meditation”. (Meditation is a limb of Yoga given by Maharishi Patanjali Ji)
- People who take Yoga as ‘Status Symbol’.
- Random site from where I have picked some stuff on the go.
Yama niyama asana pranayama pratyahara dharana dhyana samadhi astau angani
|| Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.29||
Yoga given by Patanjali ji is also known as Ashtanga Yoga, as it is eight limbed yoga (Ashta is 8 in Samskritam) and the eight limbs are- Yama (Social Conduct) Niyama (Personal Conduct)Asana (Physical Posture) Pranayama (Breathing expansion)Pratyahara (withdrawal and total subjugation of senses) Dharna(constant contact of Chitta with the subject of meditation) Dhyaan (Total uniform experience of the subject of meditation) Samadhi (a state of chitta where subject of meditation is experienced devoid of its form and in its subtle essence)
Too gross to understand!! So to understand the later ones, Dharna is the state when we have multiple unrelated thoughts and when we get allinged to single persistant thought it becomes Dhyan and when even that single thought vanishes and there is a blank state, devoid of anything is Samaadhi.
Yoga circulating over Internet
Nobody can claim to be founder of Ashtanaga Yoga and even so anybody teaching same, should teach the same ‘eight limbs’ as given above. And here,Asana is the only limbs that demands more physical activity (little bit in Pranayamas).
Nowhere in our ancient texts have we seen the mention of 12 posture Surya Namsakar, not even in Swami Swatmaram’s Hatha Yoga Pradipika (which talks more of physical aspects of Yoga).
And NO! we do not call Ashtanga yoga as Power Yoga.
Definition of Power Yoga:- People were doing exercise ,then heard of Yoga benefits, they knew exercise but now wants to do Yoga so they end up doing Yogasana as exercise.
We writers either should learn about what we write or meet the teachers who are teaching that very subject. Blogging and misguiding people is not contributing anything to our society.
Guru ji also propagated the same yoga, eight limbed Ashtanga Yoga. He just emphasized very strong on certain point, like postures and alignment (You even can get worse results following any Yogasana of any school, if not done with proper alignment, it not just about Iyengar Yoga). And I nowhere see him saying that Iyengar Yoga is great for those who wants to work on injuries or joint problem. Iyangar Yoga is for everybody as it follows the same legacy, just the name is different.
And please! For all you following youtube, Guru ji never said that one can achieve perfect pose using props, Props are just for initial stage and later the body needs to be on its own, without prop.
I just wish the writer to have a more gravitas for the subject. I hope it would have been that simple as said.
Yoga Circulating in Market
It is coz of this kind of marketing that Yoga is very wrongly publicized. All such yoga encourages even me to start with a new branch by name “Vidhu Yoga”, as even I have learnt Yoga, and I am well capable of it. Wouldn’t that be wacky!!
Yoga is not a new born child, it is thousands of years old. It was not developed in a day or two. It took sages, years to experiment on themselves and experience and then come up with it. Yoga science is just so complete in itself that, you and me neither could subtract nor add anything to it. Patanjali Yoga Sutra (for English people look for Osho’s commentary over the PYS) is just so complete in itself, that no expert could even remove a letter/alphabet from the Sutras. (Removing a letter means- thinking that letter to be an extra)
Some people has reduced Yoga to a ‘Weight loss technique’, and if not weight loss than just a therapy. Though there is nothing wrong in there. It is like that, We get what we seek for. However these are just side effects of Yoga. Just imagine something is having such side effects (as health and prosperity), what its actual effect would look like!
People (as in student) ,who do not know Yoga ask, “You do Yoga for Pregnant women!”
I say YES.
People ask,” You do Yoga for children!”
Yes I do
People as ,” You do Yoga for Back Pain!”
Yes I do
People ask, “Do you teach Power Yoga!”
NO, I Don’t!! ,poor people then act, heart-broken. I just want to say – Yoga was one, it is just that people have derived same Yoga by different random names. Good institutions/Ashram teaches YOGA and not courses like Yoga for Pregnant women/ Yoga for children/ Yoga for Back Pain.
Yoga is not a piece of cake !
If not done with proper guidance it might lead to havoc.
By now I have met number of patients and general students. Sometimes people do not tell their problem, thinking it to be a minor one or irrelevant one and then they face the consequences. Like once a student came, practiced Kapalbhati and then did not turn up to the class, after enquiring found she was Ulcer patient, which got aggravated from the practice (which she initially hesitated in telling). Another fellow came, did normal class and then dropped out, told that knee joint got filled up so had to go for evacuation of that fluid, this is nothing just a consequence of not telling your instructor about your condition or having an instructor whose has learnt from Youtube Baba ji.
This post is not to scare you but to guide all to look out for actual good instructors/teacher for you Yoga.
As a reader too, we should feel responsible to what all things that we read and what all things we declare to be righteous .The types of People in my above bullet points, though some eventually using same ancient textual Yoga, but have distorted Yoga for their name sake, not even their fault, it is just LACK OF KNOWLEDGE and greed of fame.
Initial phase of a Yoga practitioner
- Initially when started doing Yoga, used it for sweating purpose and doing so rigorously as if punishing self. Same I did to my students as well, coz that is what even they wanted (to sweat!). So, doing Yoga asana very forcefully, with lot of efforts, getting lot of sweat! And eventually happy students!( If an actual Yoga Practitioner reading the post, would really laugh out loud on this. Doing Asana as exercise and losing its actual benefits BUT sweating, so basically doing Power Yoga)
- At Initial stages, you believe in SPEED, you do that everything that belongs to Yoga but with speed. Always in hurry to attempt, to result, to show. Again why! Because, it involves lot of action, which entertains your class.
When you study more, you realize Yoga was never meant to be above, it was supposed to reduce that speed, get happiness and prepare the body to get that higher spirituality. So now do we understand why health is a side effect of it. As yoga first tries to get that every ailment out from your body- back pain, knee pain, cervical etc. so that once you are free from such ailments, only post that you can concentrate in spiritual things.
What worse can we do with ourselves via Yoga?
Using this amazing tool only for bodily purpose, and not seeking for the higher things that it can offer you, just stopping at Asana/Pranayam/Mudra/Bandha and what about Dharna/Dhyaan/Kaivalya?
People, stopping at the former category are just wasting it, if not using this tool for spirituality (Inner Peace/ happiness/ Paramananda/bliss).
We only find those things, for which we are looking for!
Means- those want commercial benefit, they get that from Yoga. Those want health, thy get health. Those want mental peace, get peace from Yoga.
Basically! We get what we seek for.
Then, what is Yoga?
Literally, it is a Samskritam word, which means summing/adding/Joining/Combing. I feel myself incapable of explaining this science. It has multiple facets to it, let me try at my level:-
- Yoga is a life style, which is beyond your mats during a Yoga class. Yoga is there in your every act.
- Living in Present, every moment, is Yoga. If you are doing that, you are already a Yogi.
- Every sect/Group, talks about that one thing in which eventually our soul has to merge. That merging of individual soul to that one supreme thing is Yoga.
- Living life in a balanced way with balance emotions with balance work is Yoga. Samtvam Yogah uchhyate Bhagwat Geeta 2.48
- Doing that every work with Joy and excellent is Yoga. My fav one: Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam Bhagwat gita 2.50
- It is a philosophy, like western philosophy talks about human, universe, where’s and what’s of it, Yoga talks about getting riddance from that every affliction/pain/dukhah. How that state of Anand can be achieved? If you have got away with all form of pains, You are Yogi.
- Achieving a thoughtless state, when we are thinking nothing is Yoga. Yogah Citta vritti Nirodhah PYS 1.2.
So, we realize it is very vast, beyond our imagination and capability of thinking.
Do not stop at physical level, it is much more and on all level you could achieve for your soul. And keep exploring and reaching out for good and authentic stuff. Even while reading this article, look out for what authenticates me to write all this, am I a novice or someone who learnt from Google or Youtube. Look out ! search, one even can find God on searching , finding authenticity is nothing compared to that.