The Misunderstanding of Yoga
As yoga has grown in popularity, western society has taken the sacred science and built quite an industry out of it. With new “yoga teachers” sprouting up everyday, creating their own versions of the science and randomizing certain yogic practices, one might find it daunting or even downright confusing on how to begin their spiritual journey. What has happened, today, is a misunderstanding of a beautifully profound and extremely important science that could very well be the answer to modern-day problems, illnesses, and ailments.
Yoga has the ability to transform one’s inner energies, bringing balance to your life, along with complete inner and outer wellbeing. However, many forms of “yoga” being taught today, could be considered irresponsible and actually have an adverse affect on one’s spiritual journey.
Newly created forms of yoga seem to be popping up all the time, especially in the United States. With the ever-growing desire to live a healthy lifestyle and the increase of people longing for something more, certain entrepreneurial types have taken advantage of the ability to commercially gain from teaching. This has created an opportunity for some to dream up many different versions of exercises and activities, while attaching the yoga name to it.
First, let’s take a look at what has become “yoga.” Then, we’ll take a look at what yoga actually is.
Yoga was never meant to be practiced in an artificially heated environment and is something that has come about in very recent times. In fact, internal body heat increases naturally when you practice yoga. The body also has its own natural ways of cooling itself when it gets too hot. However, if you are in a room that has been heated to 100 degrees, the body may not be able to properly cool itself and could disrupt your internal body temperature, leaving you in heat exhaustion.
But, It’s Good to Sweat Out Toxins
The body does not sweat to release toxins, but rather to cool itself. When the body sweats, mostly water is what is being released, along with ammonia, salt, potassium, and urea. The amount of toxins that are released during heavy sweating is extremely minimal. True toxin elimination is done through the liver and kidneys, releasing them out of the body via urination and defecation.
Another western workout riding the yogic curtails. Aerial yoga is certainly not a true yogic practice, but rather a new-age form of exercise that has hijacked the yoga name. It seems that wherever and however people can bend themselves into a yoga posture, they call it some new form of yoga.
Power yoga is an unfortunate derivative of Ashtanga yoga. Engaging in fast repetitive asanas and performing aggressive surya namaskars, many injuries have resulted from power yoga, generally to the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips. Instead of turning inward and enhancing one’s spiritual practice, power yoga can cause one’s health to actually regress and leave them sustained with torn muscles, ligaments, or worse.
Consuming alcohol within 8-10 hours of doing a yoga practice can have very damaging effects on one’s prana or energy system. Drinking beer while practicing yoga, can only be damaging to the system and nothing less. This new form of “yoga” is by far the most concerning of all the abominations that have been created by those looking to commercially gain from the ancient science. Practicing yoga, naturally builds energy in the system, causing one to become more sensitive. Alcohol already has a negative effect on the prana and mixing it with a simultaneous yoga practice is not a good idea.
When doing a yoga practice, having an animal lick your face, pee on your mat, poop next to you, or jump on your back is not conducive to your yoga practice. Instead, find a private space to do your practice, then go outside and play with the goats.
So, What is Yoga?
Yoga is the path towards becoming boundless. It is not about fitness or twisting your body into impossible positions. In fact, the word yoga literally means “union.” Today, it has been scientifically proven that everything on earth is of the same energy, just manifesting itself in different ways. In other words, it is all one in the same. Yoga is the science of being in complete alignment. It is the science of being in absolute harmony, being in complete sync with everything that exists. Once you have come to realize this, it is then that you are in yoga.
Yoga is the science of turning inward and calibrating the things inside you to function the way you want them to. Once everything within you functions the way you want them to, everything to the peak of your ability will begin to flow out of you. Doing certain yogic practices can allow your body and mind to function at the highest possible levels. Yoga is the science and technology of activating and upgrading your inner energies into much higher possibilities.
Again, yoga means “union” and at its deepest core, when you are in yoga, everything on the planet in your own experience, is one.
The Dangers of Random Yoga Practices
Believe it or not, doing random asanas, certain breathing techniques, or other improper yoga practices can actually lead to negative effects on your energy system, mind, and body. Learning proper yoga practices from a legitimate and credible source is crucial for your inner wellbeing. Yoga is a technology and if it is mishandled, there could be unwanted consequences. Most yoga practices being taught, especially in the United States, are being modified in a gross manner and therefore irresponsible.
So, How Do You Learn Proper Yoga?
Proper yoga should be learned from a credible source and is not recommended to learn from a book. When you learn from a book, there is nobody to help you make corrections to your practice. If you wish to learn a yoga practice from an individual, first find out where they were trained to teach. If they spent years learning yoga out of books published by random “gurus” or from the hot yoga studio across town, you may consider looking elsewhere. If you are longing for something more or if you truly want to become boundless, to activate and calibrate your inner energies, don’t settle for the easiest or most convenient way to start practicing yoga. Seek out a master.
Here is a very powerful beginner yoga practice from the Isha Foundation, that you can start implementing into your daily life. It is called Yoga Namaskar and works to activate the lumbar region and regenerate the spine, but also has all-around great benefits for the entire body. It is a complete and powerful system. Enjoy!