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satay
20 March 2006, 11:02 AM
It's amazing how "yoga schools" are popping up left, right and center in the western countries. I wonder what is happeing in these schools. The people "selling" yoga have truly lost the underlying meaning of the practice!

Then again this is kali yuga...

satay

Namo Narayana
20 March 2006, 01:45 PM
Satay, yoga is arguably one of the most popular form of exercise. it makes wonders if you practise it and no wonder there is a huge following. lot of yogists especially american professional yogis learn it from India from stalwarts like BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi jois. Pattabhi jois himself charges around 16K rupees per month as tuition fees alone.

Fee Ranges from few dollars to $20 per hour. YMCA and LA Fitness offer it free with monthly membership.

Sudarshan
20 March 2006, 01:56 PM
Where is the Yoga? Yoga is not the exercise.

The only valid Yoga is the Yoga of God realization. Where is that science? If you are lucky, you will be lucky enough to meet a real Yogi who can impart the knowledge. Barring that, you can get it only from Bhagavan, the greatest Yogi amongst all Yogis. Will we be that fortunate to get it from him?

Namo Narayana
22 March 2006, 07:11 PM
I think satay talks about Yoga as an exercise

satay
23 March 2006, 11:56 PM
I think satay talks about Yoga as an exercise

Master of all yogis, Bhagwan krishn teaches us what yoga is...Yoga is the way to experience bhagwan and it is not merely some exercise routine like it has become in today's society.

satay

Vajradhara
30 March 2006, 01:42 PM
Namaste all,

my views, naturally, will be somewhat different than my Sanatana Dharma friends on this topic.... for, in my school of Buddhism, we include several Yogas which are not found in other systems.

nevertheless with regards to the OP, it seems to me that there are several things happening here and the commercialization of Yoga is merely symptomatic.

it is, of course, clear that Western Hemisphere societies are becoming increasingly aware of the Eastern Hemisphere traditions, not the sensationalist pulp media junk, but real spiritual traditions with real answers for beings who are seeking.

in Buddhism we have a term, Upaya, which means "skillful means". this is what we try to use when dialoging with another being, to skillfully understand their needs and questions so as to skillfully present the correct information. for a great many beings, i would submit, the initial stages along the path of Dharma can look very unusual to us that are comitted to the Dharma already.

that being said, it is my view that we should encourage beings that are taking up the practice of Yoga even if they are uninformed about the inner dimensions of the practice. there is benefit to the practice, on a physical level, even if there is no inward dimension to the practice, in my opinion.

metta,

~v

Ram
30 March 2006, 02:41 PM
Master of all yogis, Bhagwan krishn teaches us what yoga is...Yoga is the way to experience bhagwan and it is not merely some exercise routine like it has become in today's society.

satay

janmAntara sahasreshu tapo dhyAna samAdhibhih |
narANAm kshINa pApAnAm kRshNe bhaktih prajAyate ||

The sins of human beings get exhausted over a period of several incarnations by means of austerities, meditation, and contemplation(samadi) on Him, and devotion to Lord Krishna results in the end.

Great devotees of Bhagwan are not just accident, only a great Yogi who performed Yoga and realised the Lord in the past has the true bhakti towards him. True Bhakti imples knowledge about the Lord, which implies Yoga. Unfortunately, this has now degenerated to exercise and money.

Eternal Law
01 April 2006, 04:23 AM
Yoga as an exercise is not a bad thing. I would say West has started moving in a right direction. We should'nt expect them to raise at the level of Eastern understanding of Yoga instantly but the process has started. You will see most of the western converts have entered Sanatana dharma through gates of Yoga(just as an exercise) and later they discover Sanatana Dharma and complete message of Yoga..

Only thing Hindus can do is to keep spreading parallel message of Yoga as a whole in West and atleast Hindu teachers should never try to disconnect Yoga from Sanatana Dharma for commercial purpose.

Indrajaya
16 April 2006, 06:51 AM
Yoga as an exercise is not a bad thing. I would say West has started moving in a right direction. We should'nt expect them to raise at the level of Eastern understanding of Yoga instantly but the process has started. You will see most of the western converts have entered Sanatana dharma through gates of Yoga (just as an exercise) and later they discover Sanatana Dharma and complete message of Yoga..

Only thing Hindus can do is to keep spreading parallel message of Yoga as a whole in West and atleast Hindu teachers should never try to disconnect Yoga from Sanatana Dharma for commercial purpose.

Namaste.

And here I was believing that I was the first guy in the West to discover the Dharma through yoga :). Five years ago, my doctor recommended yoga as a treatment for the stress that comes with a Type A personality. All I knew about India at the time was that Hindus worshipped cows, were racists (varna=White Brahmins and Black Shudras), and that Islam had broken their evil caste system.

Since my doctor is extremely good at what she does: I decided to try yoga. But not the type she recommended. I went out of my way to avoid any practice that any Hindu references. As a Type A, I was drawn to Power yoga. I liked it, and wanted to know where asanas (I called them "poses" then) came from. I found out that Power yoga is a watered down, Westernized form of something called "Ashtanga". That led to the Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Five years later, here I am. Still a Type A, but a LOT less angry and stressed out. And let's just say my views of Hindus and India have
changed. The Dharma was to strong to resist.

Bharat Mata is the queen of nations. If she ever stands up, gets her own house in order, and turns to the world--then the rest of humanity is hers. Christianity and Islam are flip sides of the same coin. It's our way or death and eternal torment.The Dharma is a viable alternative to anyone who doesn't have such a Manichean world view.

And that is what makes it so dangerous. The West and Islam can't compete equally with the Dharma. To them, this is war; and yoga is Hinduism's beachhead. The practice has been co-opted by the former and banned by the latter for a reason.

Om Shanti.

Indrajaya

Namo Narayana
16 April 2006, 09:18 AM
Indrajaya, a great post. what do you mean by type A person ? I too used to have pre-high blood pressure. when I am not able to do yoga, I do a hand stand which reduces stress and cheers you up a lot. when I did four times a day for couple of minutes each time, it phenomenally reduced my stress, and made me energetic and also changed the way i saw others view points . Ashtanga is said to be created by Pattabhi Jois in 20th century.

According to me there are lot of Americans who teach and practise and learn yoga. Ofcourse i have seen some christians who consider yoga as a hindu thing. But if you talk to the people who practise it, then you will realise that they dont have slightest apprehension that yoga promotes hinduism

Namo Narayana
16 April 2006, 09:20 AM
just you should know, there is something called Sudharshan kriya which can reduce your stress . I first heard about it while reading about Sri Sri Ravishankar's Art of Living news.

Singhi Kaya
16 April 2006, 10:48 AM
Namaste.

And here I was believing that I was the first guy in the West to discover the Dharma through yoga :). Five years ago, my doctor recommended yoga as a treatment for the stress that comes with a Type A personality. All I knew about India at the time was that Hindus worshipped cows, were racists (varna=White Brahmins and Black Shudras), and that Islam had broken their evil caste system.

Since my doctor is extremely good at what she does: I decided to try yoga. But not the type she recommended. I went out of my way to avoid any practice that any Hindu references. As a Type A, I was drawn to Power yoga. I liked it, and wanted to know where asanas (I called them "poses" then) came from. I found out that Power yoga is a watered down, Westernized form of something called "Ashtanga". That led to the Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Five years later, here I am. Still a Type A, but a LOT less angry and stressed out. And let's just say my views of Hindus and India have
changed. The Dharma was to strong to resist.

Bharat Mata is the queen of nations. If she ever stands up, gets her own house in order, and turns to the world--then the rest of humanity is hers. Christianity and Islam are flip sides of the same coin. It's our way or death and eternal torment.The Dharma is a viable alternative to anyone who doesn't have such a Manichean world view.

And that is what makes it so dangerous. The West and Islam can't compete equally with the Dharma. To them, this is war; and yoga is Hinduism's beachhead. The practice has been co-opted by the former and banned by the latter for a reason.

Om Shanti.

Indrajaya

Extremely nice post. And very inspiring to come from someone who had negative impression of the dharma to start with. Not to mention I was overjoyed to see negative reference on Islam - that is the key to the survival of hindus through this millennium. General hindu's understanding the concept of right work based on justice (nyay) and danda of our dharma has become very poor. Understanding the Islamic threat for hindu's inside or outside India is the key whether we will become a showcase like many past civilizations of our age or the next age will be ours.

Spirituality is Hinduisms eternal gift to the world. But without nyaya, without danda narrow individual spirituality becomes a show. And spirituality is whole life, not a practice one does at certain moments of the day and acts contrary rest of the time. Many hindu's after so many years of enslavement don't recognize that we have (we always did) a battle at hand. Whether it will inlvolve bloodshed or not will depend on how well we play it, but islam-o-fascists are taking over the country slowly but surely. But we have to understand how valuable or dharma is - and it's protection. I am glad that a new initiate can understand this - perhaves because of the western outlook. But believe me, proper hindu outlook tells the same. All our god's came to earth with single task of slaying demons, not setting up kirtans at road sides. Current popular hindu outlook is a lot perverted that it used to be. But I hope times are begining to change.

Indrajaya
16 April 2006, 12:10 PM
I didn't mean to trash Christianity or Islam. I have friends in both faiths. But they practice versions that are a lot milder than what we see around the world now. Of course, the the ideas of tolerance and acceptance of difference are Hindu concepts (but my friends will NEVER admit that). While I believe that the Dharma is the best way for me, I respect anyone who tries to live an ethical life; no matter what path they choose.

The reason why many non Indians will eventually turn to Hinduism is that it is the only faith that can adapt to change and still remain true to its core. I was raised as a Christian and I have studied Islam. At the heart of those two beliefs is that if you're not with us, your soul is lost. WE know what's best for YOU. Don't ask questions, just believe. Have faith.

I admit that I haven't read the Bhagavad Gita in a while, and I'm over 40, so my memory is faulty. But I do remember Krishna explaining to Arjuna why everything has to play out a certain way. What kind of religion has God justify his actions to Man?

A religion that assumes that people are capable of rational thought. Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because you're told to. Your soul's "reward" is not Heaven or Paradise; but liberation from all the hate and greed and pettiness that enslaves men. I could be wrong, but that's what I believe the Dharma is about.

Om Shanti.

Indrajaya

Singhi Kaya
16 April 2006, 12:45 PM
I didn't mean to trash Christianity or Islam. I have friends in both faiths. But they practice versions that are a lot milder than what we see around the world now. Of course, the the ideas of tolerance and acceptance of difference are Hindu concepts (but my friends will NEVER admit that). While I believe that the Dharma is the best way for me, I respect anyone who tries to live an ethical life; no matter what path they choose.

The reason why many non Indians will eventually turn to Hinduism is that it is the only faith that can adapt to change and still remain true to its core. I was raised as a Christian and I have studied Islam. At the heart of those two beliefs is that if you're not with us, your soul is lost. WE know what's best for YOU. Don't ask questions, just believe. Have faith.

I admit that I haven't read the Bhagavad Gita in a while, and I'm over 40, so my memory is faulty. But I do remember Krishna explaining to Arjuna why everything has to play out a certain way. What kind of religion has God justify his actions to Man?

A religion that assumes that people are capable of rational thought. Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because you're told to. Your soul's "reward" is not Heaven or Paradise; but liberation from all the hate and greed and pettiness that enslaves men. I could be wrong, but that's what I believe the Dharma is about.

Om Shanti.

Indrajaya
It is good that you respect other's right to practice what feels correct for them. But what is the solution to those who do not accept that. All Islamic countries (barring a few tiny exception) don't allow other's to practice their faith freely. This an Islamic law.

There is no mild version of Islam, like christianity because revolutions within muslim society happen in much less number/hardly happned. And it is a much more sound sytem than chirstianity in it's grip over society. In fact I never mentioned christianity - I don;t think anyone has problems with them. Except for occational tactict conversios in poor countries, most (even the orthodox are very nice people). Many muslims are nice too - but their mass behaviour is not nice/it's ugly even in India. And as long the doctrine remains powerful as it has been for last 1400 years, being nice to them will only end up in we loosing more and more - they ain't going to stop untill the world is Islam. That's what Islam aims in it's jehad.

Indrajaya
16 April 2006, 01:22 PM
Thank you, Namo Narayana. I'll check that out. However, I doubt that I'll ever find anything that works as well for me as Ashtanga yoga. It's not just the practice. Something inside me just clicked the first time I recited the Ashtanga Mantra in Sanskrit. The chant, and performing the anjali mudra to images of Shiva, Ganesha, or the sage Patanjali remind me of the Sanatan Dharma's greatness.

I believe that I mentioned that I'm not a Hindu; but my respect for Bharat Mata grows as my practice develops. My eventual goal is to study in Mysore with The Master, Guruji Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

Namo Narayana
16 April 2006, 03:16 PM
Thank you, Namo Narayana. I'll check that out. However, I doubt that I'll ever find anything that works as well for me as Ashtanga yoga. It's not just the practice. Something inside me just clicked the first time I recited the Ashtanga Mantra in Sanskrit. The chant, and performing the anjali mudra to images of Shiva, Ganesha, or the sage Patanjali remind me of the Sanatan Dharma's greatness.

I believe that I mentioned that I'm not a Hindu; but my respect for Bharat Mata grows as my practice develops. My eventual goal is to study in Mysore with The Master, Guruji Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

Indrajaya, I will be glad if you get trained under Guru Pattabhi Jois himself. He and BKS Iyengar are the top gurus in India or the World so to say, who are best in the business. They were students of Guru Krishnamachar.

I use a dvd on Ashtanga yoga by Nicky doane of hawaii. She learnt under Pattabhi jois.

I agree with your word on the mantra. I think you should follow your heart.

thanks for nice posts.

Indrajaya
16 April 2006, 04:54 PM
Small world! I've used Nicky Doane's DVDs myself. I can also highly recommend Melanie Fawer's 2 DVD set. It's pricey, but good. Also, David Swenson's Short Forms and First Series discs are okay. Not as good as Miss Doane or Miss Fawer's, though. I know this is sexist; but until I can study under Guruji himself, I prefer to be taught by a female teacher that he trained. I have no idea why that is.

Namo Narayana
16 April 2006, 09:53 PM
Small world! I've used Nicky Doane's DVDs myself. I can also highly recommend Melanie Fawer's 2 DVD set. It's pricey, but good. Also, David Swenson's Short Forms and First Series discs are okay. Not as good as Miss Doane or Miss Fawer's, though. I know this is sexist; but until I can study under Guruji himself, I prefer to be taught by a female teacher that he trained. I have no idea why that is.

i knew only nicky. i have the first dvd only. i am afraid to buy dvds without knowing how they would be. I have never heard about melanie. have u tried vinayasa flow by seane corne, she is darn good. but i read in amazon that her second dvd set is no commentry just poses. hard to follow unless u have ur dvd player under ur nose.

Indrajaya
18 April 2006, 09:06 PM
i knew only nicky. i have the first dvd only. i am afraid to buy dvds without knowing how they would be. I have never heard about melanie. have u tried vinayasa flow by seane corne, she is darn good. but i read in amazon that her second dvd set is no commentry just poses. hard to follow unless u have ur dvd player under ur nose.
If you like Nicky's first DVD, I believe you'll like the second. In that one she introduces Surya Namsakar B and selections from the Primary Series. Keep in mind that Nicky takes some liberties with the practice, though. It's supposed to be five Surya Namaskar A held for five breaths, then 5 Surya B for five, then so on. Nicky stays in Adho Mukha Svanasana WAY longer than five breaths. Still, I recommend her other DVD.

As for Seane, a friend loaned me both of her DVDs when I went through my vinyasa yoga phase a couple of years ago. She's good, but (to get back to this thread's original subject) a little too commercial for me.

I can forgive her for not reciting the Invocation to Patanjali since she's not an Ashtangi. I still expect more acknowledgement of yoga's Hindu roots. If memory serves, she doesn't use the Sanskrit names for the asanas. She does a heartfelt Anjali Mudra, though.

Namo Narayana
18 April 2006, 10:08 PM
If you like Nicky's first DVD, I believe you'll like the second. In that one she introduces Surya Namsakar B and selections from the Primary Series. Keep in mind that Nicky takes some liberties with the practice, though. It's supposed to be five Surya Namaskar A held for five breaths, then 5 Surya B for five, then so on. Nicky stays in Adho Mukha Svanasana WAY longer than five breaths. Still, I recommend her other DVD.

As for Seane, a friend loaned me both of her DVDs when I went through my vinyasa yoga phase a couple of years ago. She's good, but (to get back to this thread's original subject) a little too commercial for me.

I can forgive her for not reciting the Invocation to Patanjali since she's not an Ashtangi. I still expect more acknowledgement of yoga's Hindu roots. If memory serves, she doesn't use the Sanskrit names for the asanas. She does a heartfelt Anjali Mudra, though.

folks in amazon did a lot of criticism about second dvd. nicky one thing i observed is she does lot of reps. where as my friedn who does yoga which he learnt from India , he does not do any reps of a particular asana.

the one i have is nickys where she has suryanamaskar A and B. i know seane does not say the mantras but about all other yogis and yoginis do chant at the beginning and end. even my boss who is not a high profile teacher she does utter few mantras.

have u tried rodney yee and others ?

Arjuna
19 April 2006, 06:43 AM
Indrajaya, I will be glad if you get trained under Guru Pattabhi Jois himself. He and BKS Iyengar are the top gurus in India or the World so to say, who are best in the business. They were students of Guru Krishnamachar.

Sri Krishnamacharya was an authentic master, but these two are just very good businessmen...

Singhi Kaya
19 April 2006, 08:19 AM
should add "as well" to the end of your sentence, so that you are not denying that they are not masters at what they teach;)

Indrajaya
21 April 2006, 06:41 PM
folks in amazon did a lot of criticism about second dvd. nicky one thing i observed is she does lot of reps. where as my friedn who does yoga which he learnt from India , he does not do any reps of a particular asana.

the one i have is nickys where she has suryanamaskar A and B. i know seane does not say the mantras but about all other yogis and yoginis do chant at the beginning and end. even my boss who is not a high profile teacher she does utter few mantras.

have u tried rodney yee and others ?
Yes, I have tried a couple of Rodney Yee's DVDs. He's from the Iyengar school. I have mixed feelings about Yee. He's good; but he takes too many liberties. Guruji teaches five Suryanamaskar A and five B done a certain way, and that's good enough for me.

I don't care how good you are: you don't mess with the Suryanamaskar sequence. Surya A & B, the Invocation to Patanjali, using the proper Sanskrit names for the asanas, and a murthi in the studio representing a Hindu deity are all signs of respect that all yoga teachers should adhere to.

Namo Narayana
21 April 2006, 07:20 PM
Sri Krishnamacharya was an authentic master, but these two are just very good businessmen...

well. there are buncha westerners ready to pay dude. they have a following. whats wrong in making money ? jois found his own techniques.

Namo Narayana
21 April 2006, 07:24 PM
Yes, I have tried a couple of Rodney Yee's DVDs. He's from the Iyengar school. I have mixed feelings about Yee. He's good; but he takes too many liberties. Guruji teaches five Suryanamaskar A and five B done a certain way, and that's good enough for me.

I don't care how good you are: you don't mess with the Suryanamaskar sequence. Surya A & B, the Invocation to Patanjali, using the proper Sanskrit names for the asanas, and a murthi in the studio representing a Hindu deity are all signs of respect that all yoga teachers should adhere to.

hmmm. iyengar is quite good and famous. but i dont know much about him. there are many western yoga teachers who dont have deity or do what you say about sings of respect. i am very new to yoga so i dont know what is first and last. but i usually go by the response of my body to yoga. if it does me good , i take it and follow it. what isyour opinion about too many reps nicky is following in her dvd. i think reps will reduce the focus aspect of the mind. a streamlined flow of asanas is what will make your focus better.

Indrajaya
22 April 2006, 06:00 AM
hmmm. iyengar is quite good and famous. but i dont know much about him. there are many western yoga teachers who dont have deity or do what you say about sings of respect. i am very new to yoga so i dont know what is first and last. but i usually go by the response of my body to yoga. if it does me good , i take it and follow it. what isyour opinion about too many reps nicky is following in her dvd. i think reps will reduce the focus aspect of the mind. a streamlined flow of asanas is what will make your focus better.
I should have said: yoga teachers should TRY to adhere to Hindu principles. Obviously, the practice is not about the trappings. You're right: it's about what it does for your body and mind. I sometimes use Nicky's second DVD when I want to slow things down. I like her; but she's way too slow. I hope she eventually releases a DVD with the Primary Series done the way Guruji taught her.