Jun 3, 2009

Yoga :where does it fit between regular exercises and occult

Some questions come in the minds of many people and some of us ask these questions again and again: Should I be happy with a yoga set or should I do yoga along with other exercises? Should I mix yoga with other exercises and other health / spiritual systems such as reiki, acupressure and tantra?

We have tried to answer such questions here and there. Thought, let's put together our views on the subject in one place, so this post.

One. Yoga is a stand-alone system of body-mind-spirit health, but it can be mixed with any other system.

Two. Yoga is to be done moderately [maybe, except by expert hatha yogis] and with the aim to be healthy in body, mind and spirit. So, it will not lead to 'six pack abs'. For this very reason, mixing yoga with rigorous gym workout will waste yoga. If you want to do yoga while maintaining a 'macho' body, do yoga separately [better if you do muscle building exercises in the mornings and yoga in the evenings].

Three. We cannot recommend mystical/ metaphysical practices either as a part of yoga or separately. These practices may have their benefits or powers, but unlike what is advised in many websites, we would advise that you should do practices that do not stand to common sense only under supervision of a master and after understanding their consequences. However, doing some ancient/ oriental practices such as use of acupressure or mudras to relieve pain or envigorate some organ may be OK even if you learn them online or from books, but after due consideration. Mixing them with yoga is not a good idea except when permitted by genuine yoga experts or when such practices intrinsically gel with a yoga procedure and have been so described in yoga treatises [eg. doing meditation with gyan mudra].

Four. Take with a pinch of salt if anybody claims that you will get supernatural powers by doing yoga A, B or C , or someone promises you that s/he will permanently cure cancer and HIV with a few asanas daily for a week, or a yoga teacher shows you photos / video of twisted spine and entangled limbs to explain what yoga is and to convince you that your body will become so flexible after some asanas, or a friend advises you to do asana X or pranayama Y for an ailment because he got completely cured of a similar ailment by doing X/Y, or someone talks in confusing alien language, chants incomprehendible mantras, asks you to stare at complex geometric designs or makes you do scary occult things and then tells that it is all ancient 'science' from India.

Five. Remember that what we are discussing here is the two basic components of yoga - asanas and pranayamas. Yoga is a way of life - a way of life that teaches you to be healthy and well and in unison with the creation.