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Jainarayan
26 July 2012, 01:04 PM
I found a local Iyengar yoga school. An excerpt from their site:



Level 1 Iyengar

This class is very focused on precise body alignment. Based in the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, It is yoga taught with highly verbal instructions. Errors are actively corrected so that students can find the correct form for their body in each pose. Props such as belts, blocks and blankets are used in the class to help people adjust into proper alignment in poses. This style helps to prevent any pain or injury in the poses. In this class you will build strong legs and increase vitality. The class moves slowly and this helps to bring more awareness. It takes time to move into a pose and to become stable. This class will help your practice to change and expand. Take this class to bring a positive effect to your nervous system.


Unfortunately the prices are beyond my finances, and there is only 1 Iyengar yoga class per week.

Drop In $18
10 classes (valid 90 days) $150
30 classes (valid 180 days) $400
75 classes (valid 240 days) $750
Monthly Unlimited $165
3 Months Unlimited $450
Yearly Unlimited $1400

:eek:

I cannot sit cross-legged for more than 15-20 mins. without my foot going numb (compressed nerve even after my back surgery), and I am extremely inflexible.

However, I found some books written by Guruji himself. I was wondering if anyone could give an opinion on them: which one is better, should I even attempt using a book, etc. I would get my own blocks and supports, mat and anything else recommended. The books are:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyen...=9781405317382 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyengar-yoga-for-beginners-b-k-iyengar/1008264363?ean=9781405317382)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyen...=9780756642839 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/iyengar-yoga-bks-iyengar/1110863220?ean=9780756642839)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-...=9780756633622 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-iyengar-yoga-bks-iyengar/1111260625?ean=9780756633622)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ligh...=9780805210316 (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-on-yoga-b-k-s-iyengar/1028960624?ean=9780805210316)

Thanks for anything you can suggest. http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif

Eastern Mind
26 July 2012, 01:16 PM
Vannakkam: I saw Iyengar in person once. My take was that it was all hatha, no philosophy, and incredibly strict hatha at that. Some people got injured trying to do the 'basics' . So I came away with a "Be cautious," feeling. But that was just me. There were people there going all gaga.

Sounds like you need a far gentler approach.

Aum Namasivaya

realdemigod
26 July 2012, 01:53 PM
Namaste Jainarayan,
I hope the school you found is affiliated to B.K.S. Iyengar and you better do some research on it before you decide to join. I would suggest the book mentioned below as it is quite comprehensive. Even though after reading the book you might think you could do many of the asanas (poses) from the book but Guruji advises it's always better to learn from a proper yoga instructor. But there will be always some asanas very simple which a beginner can do effortlessly. The book even gives a regiment from beginner to advanced and also by weeks. And I see you are from US and yoga there is commodity now and a market worth billions of dollars. All I can say is please don't go by the name of Iyengar yoga as many people who learnt directly from the students of Guruji or from their students' students.. you never know but still use Guruji's name just to attract people and make money. (Even this started happening in India)

I heard from my teacher who learnt directly from Guruji that Guruji never makes a beginner to do advanced asanas and even in our class we use lots of props (a trademark of Iyengar yoga) just to educate your body till flexibility comes in. Same asana can be done by a beginner with props in one way and in another way by someone advanced and some don't even use props.

It could be also possible people from this school learnt Guruji books and try to teach on their own.

http://www.amazon.com/Light-Yoga-B-K-Iyengar/dp/0007107005/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343324034&sr=8-2&keywords=light+on+yoga

If you think you can learn from dvds I would suggest Richard Freeman videos as he is really good and learnt from Pattabhi Jois a contemporary of B.K.S Iyengar.

I'm grateful that I was born in India and have the opportunity to learn Iyengar yoga for just 8$ per month..three classes a week :)

Good luck

Jainarayan
26 July 2012, 02:26 PM
Namaste.


Vannakkam: I saw Iyengar in person once. My take was that it was all hatha, no philosophy, and incredibly strict hatha at that. Some people got injured trying to do the 'basics' . So I came away with a "Be cautious," feeling. But that was just me. There were people there going all gaga.

Sounds like you need a far gentler approach.

Aum Namasivaya

Yes, I need a very gentle approach. This question was spurred by another discussion about integrating meditation and yoga. It was recommended that Iyengar was the route to go to avoid the 'New-Age-removed-from-Hinduism-yoga'. I will bear your caution in mind, of course. Thanks. :)


Namaste Jainarayan,
I hope the school you found is affiliated to B.K.S. Iyengar and you better do some research on it before you decide to join.

Given the pricing and schedule I think joining is out of the question. So, not to worry about that. In reading further about the school, only one teacher is certified in Iyengar yoga:


XXXX has been practicing yoga for 10 years. In her quest for knowledge and as a vehicle to improve her personal practice, she found herself drawn to the endless refinements of the Iyengar method.

As a student and teacher the deeper she dug the more she realized that the surface had hardly been scratched and found herself truly enjoying the endless learning and discovery it brought. She has been following and studying Iyengar yoga intensely for the last 7 years.

After completing the teacher training program at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York led by senior teachers James Murphy and Mary Dunn. She was awarded certification in the Iyengar method as a Intro One Teacher.

Currently XXXX is continuing her studies in New York and also working with world renowned Iyengar teacher Patricia Walden in Boston to further her qualification as a teacher and yogi .She is completing an additional two year teaching program finishing in June.

Her passion is simply to guide students towards a better understanding of this method and then to observe the students and teach according to what their practice requires. Keeping it simple... XXXX believes interest is the most important thing a student can bring to yoga.




I would suggest the book mentioned below as it is quite comprehensive. Even though after reading the book you might think you could do many of the asanas (poses) from the book but Guruji advises it's always better to learn from a proper yoga instructor. But there will be always some asanas very simple which a beginner can do effortlessly. The book even gives a regiment from beginner to advanced and also by weeks.

Fortunately I'm not one to try to attempt too much. I've learned my limitations... the hard way. I'm in no hurry to master any asanas. Any little bit I do today is more than I did yesterday, I always say.



And I see you are from US and yoga there is commodity now and a market worth billions of dollars. All I can say is please don't go by the name of Iyengar yoga as many people who learnt directly from the students of Guruji or from their students' students.. you never know but still use Guruji's name just to attract people and make money. (Even this started happening in India)


Yes, it's common practice to co-opt a famous name. One example is the upsurge in Sōka Gakkai because Tina Turner practices it. This is why I'm reluctant to just jump into something.



I heard from my teacher who learnt directly from Guruji that Guruji never makes a beginner to do advanced asanas and even in our class we use lots of props (a trademark of Iyengar yoga) just to educate your body till flexibility comes in. Same asana can be done by a beginner with props in one way and in another way by someone advanced and some don't even use props.


I will definitely need props.


It could be also possible people from this school learnt Guruji books and try to teach on their own.


http://www.amazon.com/Light-Yoga-B-K-Iyengar/dp/0007107005/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343324034&sr=8-2&keywords=light+on+yoga

If you think you can learn from dvds I would suggest Richard Freeman videos as he is really good and learnt from Pattabhi Jois a contemporary of B.K.S Iyengar.

I'm grateful that I was born in India and have the opportunity to learn Iyengar yoga for just 8$ per month..three classes a week :)

Good luck


The book you recommended looks like a later edition of this one http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-on-yoga-b-k-s-iyengar/1028960624?ean=9780805210316 which I would probably go with, rather than the B&N copy.

I envy you. Yeah, there are benefits to living in India. When I order puja items or books, or anything else I can't get here, the prices are very low. It's the shipping that kills you. A $20 order can be $13 in shipping, for example. But it's usually worth it.


Thanks much. :)

Vasa
26 July 2012, 04:47 PM
Namaste.

If you have a Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit Plus w/ Balance Board is like 60 to 80 bucks and there are several beginner asanas as well as more advanced. It is designed for people to ease into the postures. If you don't have a Wii you can get the whole package with system game and balance board for around 180 bucks.

I found a lot of benefit in it, my 52 year old mother with degenerative disk disease also found it beneficial. Once you develop some flexibility it will be easier to move on to more difficult asanas without straining yourself.

Sahasranama
26 July 2012, 06:50 PM
You said somewhere that you were doing TRX exercises. TRX has very good mobility DVDs and some of the movements are yoga inspired. You can do this at home. This is very good preparation for yoga asanas.

Also, you don't necessarily need to follow yoga classes every week. That's what they tell you, because they want a steady income. You could go every two or three weeks and practice at home the rest of the time.

Light on yoga is a very good book, but there are a lot of advanced postures in it. You will need a good beginners book too, like this one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-iyengar-yoga-bks-iyengar/1111260625?ean=9780756633622

If you are looking for yoga anatomy books, these are the best I think: http://www.bandhayoga.com/

Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.

Jainarayan
26 July 2012, 08:23 PM
Namaste.


You said somewhere that you were doing TRX exercises. TRX has very good mobility DVDs and some of the movements are yoga inspired. You can do this at home. This is very good preparation for yoga asanas.

Yes, I was doing TRX at a fitness club I joined, but they changed the schedule so much that I was not able to get there for the classes, so I withdrew. They geared the classes towards stay-at-home moms and retirees.

TRX was my favorite class at the club, and is excellent for core strengthening and flexibility. I'm going to re-visit this and if I can manage to get a class at a time I can attend, I can do a drop-in without joining up.

The yoga school, as I may have mentioned also has a drop-in arrangement, and a once-a-week Iyengar level 1 class. There is no harm in trying it out.



Also, you don't necessarily need to follow yoga classes every week. That's what they tell you, because they want a steady income. You could go every two or three weeks and practice at home the rest of the time.


That is exactly what my accupuncturist, who is big into yoga and understands its roots and heritage, said. I might consider the weekly drop-in class at the studio, then do the rest of the discipline at home.



Light on yoga is a very good book, but there are a lot of advanced postures in it. You will need a good beginners book too, like this one: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bks-iyengar-yoga-bks-iyengar/1111260625?ean=9780756633622

If you are looking for yoga anatomy books, these are the best I think: http://www.bandhayoga.com/


I have both Light on Yoga and The Path to Holistic Health waiting at the B&N store. You can order on-line and do an in-store pick up. I'll get them tomorrow. I have two weeks to review them and return, if necessary. But I'm sure that won't happen. Be assured I have no intention of doing more than my body will allow. I need to hear my sports chiro chewing me out!? Nuh uh. In fact, I'm going to get a block, strap, mat and cushion this weekend at our local sporting goods chain store.


Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.

I think you are right... there are very few teachers or authors who are not "tainted" to some degree by $ signs and fame. But we can't let ourselves get too cynical or we will write everyone off.

I think anything that requires such deep concentration to do properly entails a certain meditative aspect. For me it has a multi-purpose goal... joining mind, body, spirit in my bhakti and sadhana; and physical fitness and recovery.

I found out via x-rays ordered by my sports chiro that I have a calcification in my right shoulder and C6 vertebra, which may preclude any serious weight training anymore. My initial p.t. consists of serious stretching from the chiro as well as on my own.

So you see, I have a method to my madness, as the saying goes.

Caltha
26 July 2012, 09:33 PM
Namaste,

One thing led to another, and I have been studying with a very experienced Iyengar Yoga teacher for the past couple of months. I started in her beginning class so as not to miss anything. I'm very pleased with her teaching and her knowledge. Even though her beginner class is very gentle, she has an even gentler class which is especially geared toward people who have medical issues.

So if your teacher is anything like her, I would not fear becoming injured.

I found an excellent book for beginners -- "PRELIMINARY COURSE - Yoga in Action" by Geeta S. Iyengar. I got my copy from these folks:

https://www.toolsforyoga.net/store/MainStore?action=view&type=prefab&list=C23

I am also reading "Light on Life" by BKS Iyengar. This is a wonderful book. It doesn't explain how to do asana, but it is all about why practice Hatha yoga in the first place.

Pranam

Jainarayan
26 July 2012, 10:44 PM
I saw in the list of books that his daughter Geeta has written a few. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just try one class. The worst that can happen is I've wasted $18 and 90 minutes. I'm going to keep looking though; I hope there is more than one school to choose from.

ceedaar
27 July 2012, 12:10 AM
I found a local Iyengar yoga school. An excerpt from their site:

I cannot sit cross-legged for more than 15-20 mins. without my foot going numb (compressed nerve even after my back surgery), and I am extremely inflexible.

Thanks for anything you can suggest.

i would quote what yajvan ji quoted recently. it is a call / sign that helps you move to the next level. why do not you try for a level. my experience is that it is very very painful during starting but the body get used to it after few sessions. i am a serious walker ( around 4.5 kms per day) for many months now, but i get anxious to attend the training each week. each part of my body aches for two days but it is advice able as the body is reacting to techniques it never had a opportunity for.



Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.

Sahasranama ji . plz do not get me wrong. they are many ppl who are determined and focused to help. they take money no doubt only to make sure that you will be committed and remain committed. plz do not get me wrong.


I saw in the list of books that his daughter Geeta has written a few. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and just try one class. The worst that can happen is I've wasted $18 and 90 minutes. I'm going to keep looking though; I hope there is more than one school to choose from.
yes. that is the best approach at this time.


PS. i am beginner level student of Iyengar yoga and i am wondering why did not i not attend it earlier when my body was more flexible. plz take my above advice based on this statement.
regards
Ceedaar

Caltha
27 July 2012, 10:46 AM
Namaste Jainarayan (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/member.php?u=2902),

Some other thoughts -- you don't have to use a cross-legged position to settle and meditate. The level 1 Iyengar yoga class that I am going to has presented us with a few different possibilities, plus our teacher has asked us to tell her if anything hurts when we try the asanas. She usually has something to offer that will help.

Virasana can be a good meditating pose (and your legs don't cross at all). If, like me, you are too stiff to sit all the way back onto the floor, our teacher helps us to find a position using blankets that works. The level of the blankets varies from person to person and she helps each person find the way that helps them. Some people are very sore at the top of their feet when they attempt Virasana and she has ankle rolls for them. As you practice the asanas in good alignment, your body becomes more flexible over time. The key is good alignment + time!

I should have said more about the books I recommended. The Preliminary Course (Yoga in Action) book by Geeta Iyengar explains very basic ideas. The good thing is: a certified Iyengar teacher will teach those very principals in the class and the book can reinforce what you just did and help you remember better when you practice at home. I find yoga classes to be a bit like dreams -- hard to remember the specifics afterward. So this book helps with that.

Light on Life by BKS Iyengar ranges over all sorts of practical topics about being embodied and practicing Hatha yoga. He wrote this book about 50 years after he wrote Light on Yoga and he says that he could not have written Light on Life when he was younger because it took so many years of living to understand these things.

Light on Yoga is also essential -- but I didn't find it to be that useful (for me) until I'd practiced Hatha Yoga for about 2 years. Before then, too much of it was too far beyond me. Now I consult it constantly. It deals with a lot more than asana, too.

I have not read it yet, but people also highly recommend BKS Iyengar's Light on Pranayama. However, this one is for later, at least for me. Our teacher does not accept people into the pranayama class until they have completed at least 6 months of level 1, plus they must be able to hold an inversion for 5 minutes. I'm not there yet. BKS Iyengar says in Light on Life not to attempt Pranayama until the body is strong enough for it. So I look forward to all of this, but I am not ready for it yet.

Geeta Iyengar has written a book for women -- I think it's called Yoga a Treasure for Women or something similar. Some say that this book, not Light on Yoga, is the most important book for women. And the 2nd most important book for men! So another very useful book and one I'm planning on studying deeply.

My teacher has a spiritual approach to the world but does not teach her spirituality in the class. Her yoga room is clean, fresh, and spare. Every time I go there I'm ready for good things to happen there and they do.

Pranam

realdemigod
27 July 2012, 12:16 PM
Iyengar is no saint, he is just as commercial as any other yoga teacher and he will say anything to attract more costumers. He is often criticised for teaching physical only yoga. This is not entirely true, there is certainly a meditative aspect to doing hatha yoga postures. Focusing on physical alignment is not something to shun, it's good to prevent injuries.

Sahasranama,
I'm not really sure of that..both of my instructors met BKS Iyengar and one of them learnt directly from him during late 70s.. said he is a pleasant person. If he is commercial he could have been a billionaire by now considering how people in the west are exploited in the name of yoga. There is a no copyright on Iyengar yoga like some people who went to the west during 70s and 80s and copyrighted few sets of asanas. There is of course meditative aspect of Raja Yoga (Hatha Yoga) but he teaches through Pranayama and not all his students teach Pranayama in their own classes. If you think he is focusing on only physical aspect it's because people are only interested in becoming slim, lose weight and also to recover from physical ailments. He learnt from Shri Krishnamacharya for less than 2 years and was asked to go to Pune to teach. He practised and popularised yoga but still very humble and always pays homage to his guru in every one of his books..to me it's a mark of a teacher and a real master.

Most people who learn yoga don't even know what's the end to yoga just like martial arts ..both are not just for becoming fit and prove yourself to others.. it's way of life.. realising yourSELF through your body and mind. Like Bruce Lee says only if you know the philosophy and technique you can perfect..students should be interested in taking the initiative of knowing the philosophical part of Yoga or any martial arts...rather not just be satisfied with techniques or asanas. The onus never lies on a master to teach everything he knows until a student requests him or her to teach what all he or she knows.

It's very sad to see in Bangalore itself..there are new yogas (like judo+yoga etc.,) and people are buying them and I have seen people teach Iyengar yoga just by learning from his books.

Amrut
27 July 2012, 12:24 PM
Namaste @Jainarayan

What is your goal?

If your goal is to meditate for divine vision of god or something similar, then you do not need to *strickly* sit in any posture to achieve the goal.

IF you want mastery of body and then prana and later mind, then Hatha Yoga is good.

Patanjali has not described any asanas to meditate. He simply said, ' sit in the asana which is most comfortable to you.

*cough* do not sleep ;)

If you lie down and then meditate, then you may fall sleep.

If you stand and meditate, then you may fall down and get hurt.

If you sit with bend spine, then you may have some spine problems, which are common among people sitting in PC for long period of time. It gives you fatigue and boredom.

So sitting in spine straight is recommended as it also balances force of gravity on body. But if you cannot sit straight for prolonged period, then you can rest your back or use a pillow.

Asanas are like medicines. They are not needed if you are fit, unless you are fitness freek. So all asanas are not applicable to you, specially then you have operated your spine and considering your age.

There is no need to sit in padmasana (cross legged). IF you are not comfortable, how can you meditate? Just be comfortable.

God is inside you, it does not matter whether you sit in siddhasana, padmasana or simply folded legs (lotus pusture).

No doubts asanasa, mudras do have a definite impact. Looking at your age, and knowing that you have been operated, you can even sit on edge of chair, just use 5 - 6 inches of seat and not the whole chair. This will help you to sit straight without support. Sit in east or north direction and then meditate. Initially sitting in east is also fine, later you can shift you north.

Hatha yogis are of a different kind. God wants bhakti, surrender, etc more than discipline. You can becomes both physically and mentally strong and can have control over your body and actions, but God is above body and mind. You cannot go beyond body, if you give too much importance to your body. Give importance to God. Do whatever you can or rather your body permits you to do. Rest live it to God

BKS Iyengar is a renowned (hatha) Yogi and mas achieved mastery in many asanas.

If you still want ot practice asanas, try Baba Ramdevs 7 types of asanas which are much easy. DVD are available on his website.

In kaliyuga, do not give too emphasis for a 100 % pure spiritual foundation, there is none. If there is some, it's not that famous and has limited members and disciples that you can count on finger tips.

So if the foundation and the founder is doing good work, but taking reasonable money and if you can afford it, go for it. This is what I think is a practical approach in today's age.

To spread you should have marketing team, well presentation skills, have good contacts adn must be a powerful orator. You will have to depend upon others. So even if you may be pure adn do not like some things going in your foundation, you have to neglect them, as the people running this foundation are not saints, who just depend upon God. They do not receive any God's direct order. They are just like me and you with limited and conditional faith, but have a liking and some dedication to their work. Please understand this fact. So things cannot be, what you say 'ideal' in today's spirituality. You have to take care of all devotees, trustees and volunteers and handle their egos. It's not easy. Just like a millionaire business knows that his purchase officer is taking commission, and the next one whom he will appoint may also do the same, he neglects it to a point which he can absorb it.

Crows are always black, wherever you go and you always find 'crows' :D everywhere (in spirituality), who think they are smart and are a part of a so-called illusionary 'Inner Circle' and that anyone can reach Gurudev only through them

Ask your self honestly, do you deserve to stand in front of an IDEAL GURU?? - it's a million dollar question. Isn't it. WE are also not that pure.

Best is to keep praying God to give us pure devotion and pure love and unconditional surrender. Also pray to show us that way and guide our meditation. Rest leave it to God.

This is not to you (OP) but to other posters.

So it's better to select what is best available option.

Aum

Jainarayan
27 July 2012, 12:35 PM
Namaste.


Namaste Jainarayan (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/member.php?u=2902),

Some other thoughts -- you don't have to use a cross-legged position to settle and meditate. ...

Virasana can be a good meditating pose (and your legs don't cross at all). If, like me, you are too stiff to sit all the way back onto the floor, our teacher helps us to find a position using blankets that works. The level of the blankets varies from person to person and she helps each person find the way that helps them. Some people are very sore at the top of their feet when they attempt Virasana and she has ankle rolls for them. As you practice the asanas in good alignment, your body becomes more flexible over time. The key is good alignment + time!

I've sometimes used that sitting in temple, though I read somewhere that position is not acceptable. I didn't have anything to cushion myself with, so it was half kneeling and half virasana, that is, not sitting completely on my heels. For home use I'll definitely use cushioning. I have no objection to doing that at home to meditate, but I wonder about the appropriateness in temple.



I should have said more about the books I recommended. The Preliminary Course (Yoga in Action) book by Geeta Iyengar explains very basic ideas. The good thing is: a certified Iyengar teacher will teach those very principals in the class and the book can reinforce what you just did and help you remember better when you practice at home. I find yoga classes to be a bit like dreams -- hard to remember the specifics afterward. So this book helps with that.


It can indeed be overwhelming to try to remember what you learned in the first class or two. I'll look up Geeta Iyengar's book too, then decide out of the ones I've chosen which can be of the most use to me at this stage. If and when I can advance, the books will still be in print, I''m sure.



Light on Life by BKS Iyengar ranges over all sorts of practical topics about being embodied and practicing Hatha yoga. He wrote this book about 50 years after he wrote Light on Yoga and he says that he could not have written Light on Life when he was younger because it took so many years of living to understand these things.


Now that's something I can also use.

I think I will be spending a good deal of time in the bookstore comparing and contrasting several books, and not make any sudden decisions, though I will still get the props I need... block(s), cushion(s), mat, etc. Those will come in useful with anything I do.

Jainarayan
27 July 2012, 12:53 PM
Namaste.

Sound advice. :)


Namaste @Jainarayan

What is your goal?

If your goal is to meditate for divine vision of god or something similar, then you do not need to *strickly* sit in any posture to achieve the goal.

IF you want mastery of body and then prana and later mind, then Hatha Yoga is good.



Goals: both of them:

For spirituality and closeness to God, I meditate (e.g. japa, ajapa japa, or simply clearing the mind) sitting in a solid comfortable chair, as straight and tall as possible.

Physically it would be through hatha yoga, yes.



If you stand and meditate, then you may fall down and get hurt.

If you sit with bend spine, then you may have some spine problems, which are common among people sitting in PC for long period of time. It gives you fatigue and boredom.

So sitting in spine straight is recommended as it also balances force of gravity on body. But if you cannot sit straight for prolonged period, then you can rest your back or use a pillow.


As imperfect and novice as I am, I do occasionally go into a deep state. I will most certainly lose my balance if I stand, unless I am supported by a wall. I have meditated while lying in bed and have indeed fallen asleep. The same thing will happen in the recliner, even sitting upright... out like a light.



...Sit in east or north direction and then meditate. Initially sitting in east is also fine, later you can shift you north.


My altar is on an east wall in a corner, so when I face it for puja, I am off to the left (not supposed to face it directly?), so I am at an angle actually to the southeast. Angling to the northeast is not possible. But for seated meditation, east and north are quite easy to face.



Hatha yogis are of a different kind. God wants bhakti, surrender, etc more than discipline. You can becomes both physically and mentally strong and can have control over your body and actions, but God is above body and mind. You cannot go beyond body, if you give too much importance to your body. Give importance to God. Do whatever you can or rather your body permits you to do. Rest live it to God


I agree and understand. God does not want suffering in the name of bhakti. I know we're given the tools (mind and body) we are for a reason. A certain mastery is good, but torture is not.

Amrut
27 July 2012, 01:11 PM
Goals: both of them:

For spirituality and closeness to God, I meditate (e.g. japa, ajapa japa, or simply clearing the mind) sitting in a solid comfortable chair, as straight and tall as possible.

Physically it would be through hatha yoga, yes.

You can stay fit, but give priority to any one.


As imperfect and novice as I am, I do occasionally go into a deep state. I will most certainly lose my balance if I stand, unless I am supported by a wall. I have meditated while lying in bed and have indeed fallen asleep. The same thing will happen in the recliner, even sitting upright... out like a light.

Chances while going into deep sleep are less as compared to other two.

I daily meditate at 3:30 upto atleast 3 hours. I have even meditated upto 12 - 13 hours a day, but not constant. I take some breaks, but do not leave my room.

I have also tried to meditate while lying. Sitting is the best posture I have found and is also mentioned in Gita.


My altar is on an east wall in a corner, so when I face it for puja, I am off to the left (not supposed to face it directly?), so I am at an angle actually to the southeast. Angling to the northeast is not possible. But for seated meditation, east and north are quite easy to face.

Altars are generally on east side and facing west. So if you are facing altar you are facing east. Same with north direction.

If it's not possible, forget it. Just take care you do not show your back to your altar :)


I agree and understand. God does not want suffering in the name of bhakti. I know we're given the tools (mind and body) we are for a reason. A certain mastery is good, but torture is not.

I was told Upvasa is anand. Then I felt it. Let me give an e.g.

If you daily take dinner at 8:00 pm, then your stomach will start secreting acids and other juices for digestion and you will feel hungry. But when you are in deep meditation, you may not feel the hunger and so you keep meditating for another 2 hours. You have skipped dinner. For you upsava (fasting) is an ananda.

Now if you were practising fasting, you know that you can sleep empty stomach. (some cannot). So even if you are not that deep in meditation, but you are enjoying meditation, then you will neglect the hunger and keep meditating. This is also upvasa, much better than torturing just body and tons better than not eating anything but then passing time by playing cards or watching TV.

So increase bhakti. Focus on it and not other things. Do not give the too much importance. I do not say tools are useless. I just say, keep bhakti in center keep God in center and focus on it. Do not give more importance to tools then to you destination.

Aum

IS

Jainarayan
27 July 2012, 01:42 PM
You can stay fit, but give priority to any one.

True, often can't give equal time to two things and expect good results.



Altars are generally on east side and facing west. So if you are facing altar you are facing east. Same with north direction.


That's exactly it. The altar faces west, and I face east.



If it's not possible, forget it. Just take care you do not show your back to your altar :)


I try not to when I am leaving the area; I back away. I am going to order Japanese screen panels to put up for when I am not doing puja or spending time with the devas. I am now vegetarian, but others in the household are not, especially when the kids come over. And because the altar is in a corner of the 'great room' (combined living room/dining room area, an architectural design I detest), when others eat non-veg, I feel creepy that it's in front of the devas. Though I know They are all around us at all times. It's still a creepy feeling.



I was told Upvasa is anand. Then I felt it. Let me give an e.g.

If you daily take dinner at 8:00 pm, then your stomach will start secreting acids and other juices for digestion and you will feel hungry. But when you are in deep meditation, you may not feel the hunger and so you keep meditating for another 2 hours. You have skipped dinner. For you upsava (fasting) is an ananda.

Now if you were practising fasting, you know that you can sleep empty stomach. (some cannot). So even if you are not that deep in meditation, but you are enjoying meditation, then you will neglect the hunger and keep meditating. This is also upvasa, much better than torturing just body and tons better than not eating anything but then passing time by playing cards or watching TV.


That's it right there. I've found that before I know it, after sadhana (I just say sadhana as my catch-all term) it's 9 or 10 pm and I have not eaten, yet it does not bother me.

Thank you. :)

Amrut
27 July 2012, 02:06 PM
That's exactly it. The altar faces west, and I face east.

It's perfect :)


I try not to when I am leaving the area; I back away. I am going to order Japanese screen panels to put up for when I am not doing puja or spending time with the devas. I am now vegetarian, but others in the household are not, especially when the kids come over. And because the altar is in a corner of the 'great room' (combined living room/dining room area, an architectural design I detest), when others eat non-veg, I feel creepy that it's in front of the devas. Though I know They are all around us at all times. It's still a creepy feeling.

Not all things are possible. Always remember. That same God is inside you whom you are worshipping. Who gives you inspiration to chant Mantra or do worship. Inspiration is from inside. He is none other than God.

So it's ok if you leave your room with back facing to Altar.

If also OK of kids and others eat non-vg in front of God, as your altar is combined inside living / dining room.

Spirituality id a subjective matter. You cannot force others to follow what you do. If they do not believe, let them eat non-veg. Just not let them force to you eat it as you have quit it.

It's all in the mind. If you are not eating, do not fear or fell upset. Just take it easy. It's just between you are your beloved God. It does not mater what others are doing, unless they are not hurting you.

Just remove that guilt. that creepyness. keep your heart in God and then do any work. Rest leave it to God.

Not advising kids is the best thing to do. If you FORCE a RULE, results will be reverse. Just do not mind. Take it easy. Just let go.

... and no problem if they ask you to push a chicken lolipop dish. Just push it. Chicken has already died and it's not you who has killed it for taste of tongue.

Just stay normal. no prob if you will ahve to carry a non-veg dish from kitchen to dining table. You simply do not cook it, eat it ( and lik your fingers if at all some chicken gravy sticks to it ;) )

I hoe others will understand you. Problems arise when try to force anything on others. Just keep the spiritual path and advises to yourself and you wont be hurting anyone.

There is no need to feel upset. God knows everything and is all compassionate. Better surrender then fear him. God wants love and devotion and not creepiness and guilt.

Stay neutral, stay in harmony. accept things as they are and most of life's problems will be solved. Rest is just to train your mind, or it's your fate. Accept them too with a smile.

Cheers



That's it right there. I've found that before I know it, after sadhana (I just say sadhana as my catch-all term) it's 9 or 10 pm and I have not eaten, yet it does not bother me.

Thank you. :)

Sadhana is the best word for me too.

Happy to hear this.

hey wait, not happy to see you hungry, happy for your devotion ;)

Nice talking to you. Thank God not me :)

Time to go to sleep

Aum

IS

Jainarayan
27 July 2012, 02:19 PM
Namaste.


It's perfect :)



Not all things are possible. Always remember. That same God is inside you whom you are worshipping. Who gives you inspiration to chant Mantra or do worship. Inspiration is from inside. He is none other than God.

So it's ok if you leave your room with back facing to Altar.

If also OK of kids and others eat non-vg in front of God, as your altar is combined inside living / dining room.

Thanks, it's easy to sweat the details. Though it's best to show as much respect as possible, lest one run the risk of becoming careless.



Spirituality id a subjective matter. You cannot force others to follow what you do. If they do not believe, let them eat non-veg. Just not let them force to you eat it as you have quit it.

It's all in the mind. If you are not eating, do not fear or fell upset. Just take it easy. It's just between you are your beloved God. It does not mater what others are doing, unless they are not hurting you.

Just remove that guilt. that creepyness. keep your heart in God and then do any work. Rest leave it to God.

Not advising kids is the best thing to do. If you FORCE a RULE, results will be reverse. Just do not mind. Take it easy. Just let go.


No, I would never enforce or even suggest such a rule. It's true that you swim at your own karmic risk. The family knows I don't eat non-veg and does not make a stink about it. In fact relatives brought me some food that was non-veg when they stopped by. I said thank you but I don't... and they understood and said oh, OK.



... and no problem if they ask you to push a chicken lolipop dish. Just push it. Chicken has already died and it's not you who has killed it for taste of tongue.


I knew a Buddhist woman who would not even touch animal flesh to prepare it for someone else. Heck, I feed my dogs and cat, and often get canned food on my hands. So I'm not bothered by that.



Sadhana is the best word for me too.

Happy to hear this.

hey wait, not happy to see you hungry, happy for your devotion ;)

Nice talking to you. Thank God not me :)

Time to go to sleep

Aum

IS

Nite-nite! :D

Amrut
28 July 2012, 01:37 AM
Namaste.

Thanks, it's easy to sweat the details. Though it's best to show as much respect as possible, lest one run the risk of becoming careless.

Namaste,

The point is to do whatever best you can and leave the rest.

I was just trying to remove that 'creepyness' ;), not to make you careless.

Aum

Jainarayan
28 July 2012, 08:46 AM
Namaste.


Namaste,

The point is to do whatever best you can and leave the rest.

I was just trying to remove that 'creepyness' ;), not to make you careless.

Aum

Understood you completely. Thanks so much. :)

Shuddhasattva
28 July 2012, 03:22 PM
For what it's worth Iyengar yoga is the only asana yoga which my guru recommends to people; he has high praise for Sri BKS Iyengar and his approach.

Light on Yoga is an excellent book.