When it comes to energy, one often thinks of popular practices, which, as many would believe, grant us this energy almost automatically. Such as yoga.
Yoga is very popular these days. We have access to mountains of information. Tonnes of books, videos, magazines, articles… What you are going to read below may be in contradiction to much of what you have read and currently know about yoga. I am inviting you to ponder a little over my thoughts, and to give them a chance before making your final conclusions.
What is our goal when we practice yoga? The key to success in any practice is to determine what we want from it. What I have observed is that many people do not ask themselves this question and do not invest effort and time into getting an answer to it. They believe that the practice of yoga will bring them the necessary results all by itself. But if you do not know where you want to go, yoga alone will not take you there.
First and foremost, “yoga” is a general word. There are many different schools of yoga, and they do differ from one another greatly. All of them call themselves yoga. It can be said that the word “yoga” is similar to the term “martial arts”. There are many different schools of martial arts. But here is the fundamental difference. All martial arts schools have one goal – to win the fight. It is not so with yoga. Not only do different schools of yoga use different techniques, but their goals are also different.
Before naming these goals, let us have a look at the origin of yoga. Many people think that yoga is several thousand years old, and thus such an ancient system must definitely be perfect. But this is not so.
Yes, yoga has existed for several thousand years. However, previously it had been a secret teaching, to which only a select few were allowed access. Only in the 20th century did yoga become available to the general public. Nonetheless, it is impossible to apply the practices of the past to present day directly. The yogis of antiquity practiced their art with goals in mind that differed significantly from the goals with which it is practiced by the majority today. The yogis of antiquity sought to raise the mystical power called Kundalini, to attain states of altered consciousness and to achieve a union with God. As a rule, they devoted themselves to yoga, or rather Yoga (with a capital letter). They were not at all interested in, say, “opening up the hips”, “a reviving practice after a working day” or “an anti-stress effect”.
In addition, the practice of antiquity was very difficult, and it was impossible to perform without a teacher. You can say that modern yoga is also quite complicated, for example, modern yogis can adopt very complicated poses (asanas). But this is a completely different type of complexity. The asanas of ancient Yoga were used to direct the flow of energy, which the adepts of Yoga could actually see. And they could see this energy not only in themselves, but also in their followers, and thus guide them on the basis of what they saw. Of course, such yogis exist even today, but they are very few, and most of us will never meet with them – that is why I call them the yogis of the past.
Modern yogis also sometimes talk about energy, chakras and prana; despite that 99% of those practicing yoga (including teachers and trainers) do not see or feel the energy. I am using “see” in the Castaneda sense of the word – to mean direct perception of the ethereal world. And without this “vision”, all the talk about chakras, prana, etc. is of little use. It makes sense to talk only about what we can see, feel, and even better – measure. Therefore, the attempts of modern yogis to reproduce complex and supercomplex asanas are in fact somewhat closer to circus arts than to the Yoga of the past.
So, modern yoga with its new goals has existed for about 100 years, and has truly been thriving over the past 50 years. The difference between modern yoga and the Yoga of the past lies primarily in the purpose of the practice. For the yogis of the past, Yoga was the basis of life itself; we can say that their life was subordinate to the practice of Yoga, they were quite literally living for Yoga. We can call this the “greater Yoga”. And for most of us (the vast majority), yoga can be an important part of life, but not its main part. We practice yoga for life. This may be called the “lesser yoga”.
The first question that any practicing yogi should ask him- or herself is: does he/she want to practice Yoga or yoga? The practice of Yoga is dangerous, especially without a Teacher (with a capital letter), even more so when one tries to reconcile it with family, a social life and work. It can bring great harm to health and the psyche. In ancient India, those laypersons who wanted to practice Yoga usually only began after reaching the age of 50 years, when their children grew up and could take care of themselves. These new adepts left their families and for 2 years lived in the forests or mountains, completely breaking off contact with the familiar world.
The purpose of practicing the lesser yoga, in contrast, should consist of obtaining greater energy levels, tranquility and concentration for ordinary life. All in order to achieve the goals of this ordinary life. If, say, morning yoga provides you with a sufficient supply of these qualities for the whole day, then the practice has been chosen correctly. Otherwise, you should seriously consider changing it.
The technique of the lesser yoga should also be very different from the technique of the greater Yoga. In the modern world, in my opinion, there is a lot of confusion with this, because the methods of the greater Yoga are sometimes used to achieve the goals of the lesser yoga, which leads to all the wrong results. This is, however, the topic of a separate discussion.
I have read through your article and i was satisfied of the good information that you have contributed in your article! Thanks a lot for that beneficial article!
Thanks for reading, Kundalini Chakras
I came to the conclusion that for most of us the best yoga and the best way to open our chakras is to follow our mundane life and achieve our mundane goals. If these goals are right – this very spiritual. So this blog is about this path.
The desire to follow Yoga is often imposed by our Ego and is toitally not spiritual.
This is a paradox – right mundane life often is more spiritual than Yoga.