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Re: "Don't do yoga!"

Interesting, and convincing article in the NYTimes today about the dangers of yoga, for some people - particularly those not brought up sitting in full lotus - which means most of us.  Actually, yoga was originally more of a spiritual than physical undertaking, it meant 'the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness', and was combined with other approaches to reach this end.   In total, they consisted of: yoga (asanas), pranayama (breath control), mudra (subtle physical movements which deepen awareness and concentration), bandha (locking the breath in particular areas to redirect its flow for the purpose of spiritual awakening), shatkarma (purifiction practices ridding the body of toxins, and preparing a base for the higher practices of pranayama), dharana (concentration), and dhyana (meditation).  Patanjali said yogic technique entailed many categories of physiological and spiritual practices which are prerequisites for samadhi, all of which were to be mastered before union with the higher reality could take place.
The yoga we know of today was developed as part of the tantric civilisation existing in India 10,000 years ago, tantra being the science of expanding one's consciousness.  Lord Shiva, considered to be the embodiment of supreme consciousness, is said to be the founder of yoga.   As the techniques of yoga have their source in tantra, they can not be separated, although they quite commonly are. 
The ultimate purpose of yoga is to awaken Shakti, and the central pathway in the spine through which this (kundalini) energy ascends, until the higher  centers of human consciousness, in particular, sahasrara chakra, are reached.  When kundalini is established in sahasrara chakra, that is called yoga - the union of Shiva (consciousness) and Shakti (energy).  It is said to be the greatest discovery of tantra and yoga.  The awakening of kundalini is the subject matter of Hatha Yoga, but, by itself, and, as far as the article is concerned, for those for whom 'yoga' is no longer a possibility,  asanas alone were a limited technique to begin with. 

11 Comments to Re: "Don't do yoga!":

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dedicated servers on Sunday, December 23, 2012 6:40 AM
Informative article! I had positive idea about yoga but I had no idea about the dangers of yoga. Pleased to know about the dangers of yoga. Thanks for informing me. Carry on.
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david on Monday, December 24, 2012 6:27 PM
thank you. the article referred to william broad's 'the science of yoga'. i don't vouch for his book at all, except for the chapter on yoga injuries. coincidentally, he wrote an article in today's new york times, more or less following up, pointing out the overwhelming predominance of men in these serious yoga injuries.

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david on Friday, June 13, 2014 9:05 AM
thanks for your comment

Exercise Therapy on Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:43 AM
Outstanding article! I really like this article about yoga. This article seems to me informative and helpful. Thanks and Keep sharing blogs about it.
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david on Friday, June 13, 2014 9:05 AM
thanks for your comment

Adeline on Friday, June 13, 2014 8:43 AM
I'm bit confused that why you are saying don't do yoga. As far as I know yoga is very much effective for health but I'm now in confusion.......
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david on Friday, June 13, 2014 9:26 AM
My post referred to this quote form that day's New York Times: "When yoga teachers come to him for bodywork after suffering major trauma, Black tells them, "Don't do yoga." The article mentioned serious injuries that are not well known of resulting from Westerners practicing yoga. I was saying that yoga, to most Westerners, means only asanas. Patanjali said asanas were only one limb of the eight limbs of yoga; but very few people undertake the other seven (yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi)

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