How to find the best yoga school?



What is a school of yoga? Please tell about your school of yoga and how it differs from other schools of yoga?

Yoga is a system of self-exploration that adheres to the principles of humanism, kindness, common sense and experience. The purpose of any yoga is a state of the highest freedom and the Supreme happiness , which in terms of yoga can be called as the limitless Samadhi, liberating ecstasy, enlightenment, and in many other terms. Despite the fact that the goal and principles to achieve the ultimate goal of yoga are the same for all yogis, methods for the implementation of these principles and their sequence on the way to the ultimate goal, may vary. Like the mountain has only one vertex, but many paths can lead to itI. n yoga there is one purpose and myriad paths for reaching the goal. People who are close to one or the other path, often become a friendly companions on the spiritual path of self-exploration - or Sanskrit in "Sangha" - and go together, helping each other along the way. Such a group of people using the same methods in yoga, called the school of yoga.

Today there is a large number of yoga schools. In these yoga schools methods for progressing can be very similar or differ greatly. For example, some schools of yoga make emphasis on asceticism, others - on ecstatic methods. Some schools of yoga urge followers to maintain one way of life, say, the minimal use of sexual energy to accumulate considerable potential for future spiritual breakthrough. The another school believes that the wise use sexual pleasure may serve for greatly acceleration of the spiritual evolution of self-exploration. And there can be a lot of such differences. And at first glance, these methods may seem contradictory. Just as there are climbers and rock-climbers, who love to climb on top of the cliffs, avoiding simple ways. At the same time there are people who get to the top along the mild slope, and spend their accumulated energy to help many other good people to get higher.

Various yoga schools can have different names in order to draw a distinction between each other. Sometimes the school name originates from the name of some Yoga Master who has helped many people to get over all difficulties in the way of reaching the final destination in yoga. Many Teachers are known as the people who accepted and followed the third yoga principle or took a vow of refuse from suffering. As a rule they take a pseudonym. Sometimes the name of the Master or school encloses the word “Ananda”. In a free translation it means “joyful” or the person who does not know suffering, misery, sorrow, disappointment, and pessimism. The other part of the pseudonym can mean that path through which he/she came to that condition or a kind of word understood only by the Master. Therefore there are many schools known as “ABCDEanandas” or ”XYZanandas”. In fact, the yoga school names can form from the usual names of the Teachers . For instance, Hindu names and they may include the words reflecting the main approach of one or another school. For example, “Advayta Yoga” points to the main approach of the school as the method of unambiguous perception or “Prema Yoga” tells us about ultramundane love to Absolute.

Also, be aware that at the present moment it is impossible to trace how and from where one or other school has appeared, which school has borrowed something from other schools, who was the initiator of some tradition. Oriental scientists tried to study this subject by varied type of science methods of analysis and comparison, starting from radiocarbon methods for determining the age of the existing manuscripts and to analyze lexical expressions, subjects and concepts referred in the studied tradition.

Regarding the yoga schools in the East, they always pay more attention to the meaning of the teachings rather than the fact where they came from. The thought that the higher knowledge has always existed and came from the highest spheres of the Universe has deeply embedded in the Eastern mentality. And the man who first published that knowledge is just the mediator in spite of the fact that he/she is the Master of mankind. And the most important, the yoga Teachers, despite their super geniality never brought attention to their personality if it could harm to the distribution of yoga knowledge. So we probably will never know the entire history, when and where a yoga school was established, what it was before it and how it spread. As the result all modern classifications, tables and lists representing yoga schools in ancient times, their evolution and what impact they made are relative, incomplete and approximate. Mostly yoga followers from the West are more occupied with this rather than the followers from the East.
If we speak about our yoga school, it is Classical yoga based on respected ancient treatises such as Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the others, and which in turn fully belong to the Vedic Knowledge - ultramundane knowledge contained in the ancient Vedas.

When talking about questions asking to tell about the tradition of our school we should understand the following: on the East when somebody asks about one or another doctrine they want to hear about the essence of it, main practices, methods, and philosophy. Actually all our lectures, courses, workshops tell about our school. If you want to get the answer you just need to study. However, on the West this does not mean the doctrine itself but myths, legends, Teachers` biographies and gossips related to the doctrine. This is Western mentality. People are firstly interested in artist’s or musicians private life, scandals and squabbles rather than professional achievements and skills of this person. Nowadays, all this has transferred to yoga.
As for our school of yoga , there are different kind of stories, legends and myths, just like in any other school of yoga. Some of them we sometimes give to illustrate one or another kind of yoga. However, it seems that many of these legends were created by the Teachers themselves. They apparently did this just to quench the insatiable curiosity of people who have recently found about yoga. At the same time these "details" convey at least some knowledge of yoga to people who generally perceives things only through rumors and gossips. Yoga Teachers are probably well aware of the motivations and aspirations of modern Western people who grew up with the gossip press, and predicted everything few steps ahead. There is nothing good or bad. There is only relevant or irrelevant. Therefore, Teachers can even use the love of Western people to gossips to help them to break out from the cycle of sufferings.

Sometimes classes can be offered free for very poor people but we ask them to do something for free in return for benefit of other people. For example, we can ask them to clean the room or ask for help in some other work. So the person pays for his or her education in such way.

There are a lot of myths about India and other countries where knowledge of yoga has been available. They say that in these countries people can study yoga for free. Actually, if a person is a wandering monk and lives only by handout, which is collected every day, nobody has ever thought to ask for money from this person. But this person would still be asked to do something good for other people. But if you have normal life, of course, it will be only natural to pay for your lessons, according to your conditions and possibilities.
Sometimes we hear an opinion that it is very easy to be a yoga teacher. It is the same as to practice it for yourself. That is why there are a lot of people who want to get easy money from teaching yoga. They read one or two books about yoga, remember names of some asanas in Sanskrit. And next day a new yoga teacher is ready. This idea is an awful mistake about yoga and teaching of yoga. Those are completely different things to practice yoga yourself and to teach other people. It is the same as to compare hard working person with the person who enjoys the fruits of this work. And it is not exaggeration. In general the instructors and yoga teachers feel like a squeezed orange after classes. However, students cannot see it. It is not only about physical load. It is also because of mental and psychological pressure experienced by the instructor or teacher during the lesson. Uneducated yoga cannot stand that pressure for a long time and give up the teaching. Thereby, saving yoga from bad teachers.

4I like yoga very much. How can I help to promote yoga? What can I do for it?

The biggest help that you can do is your attendance at yoga classes, seminars and yoga retreats. If you would do it regularly and not only from time to time then the help would increase a lot. Actually, if you attend yoga classes and other undertakings regularly then it gives an opportunity to forecast all matters related to rent bills, advertising and other financial and organization moments. All these things will help to lower fees for seminars and classes. Also it will be a chance for people who have fewer resources to spend on things like yoga. Half of that money we spend on the yoga promotion such as publications of books, creating of films, support of our web site and other important things. So every time when you attend classes and yoga seminars, you need to know that you spend your resources (money and time) not only for your own education and just for yoga but also on the development of yoga in general. And in addition to new experience and knowledge you will get credit from the Universe or you will have good karma as we say in yoga. Your help can also be as a sponsorship if you have enough financial sources to do it. If you don’t have extra money you can do some promotion work. But the most important is your real attendance at classes, seminars and lectures . Thus, in this way we can cover all accumulated costs. And, please, notice the following, this list does not include yoga fees. Yoga is invaluable and it is impossible to estimate the price for self-exploration. You cannot buy yoga. You can give yoga as a present like a flower for a girl. So those fees are not for yoga but for the opportunity to practice it.

There are different fees for the yoga classes in different countries. Mostly, it depends on the standards of living and social level. It is natural that poor people have modest conditions to practice yoga and the fees are lower compared with the successful businessmen. Here we can continue with the following story:

After years of ordeal young Raja finally got his kingdom back. But the country was in shambles due to years of anarchy. Epidemics and bad harvest damaged cultural standards of people. People were only thinking about survival, there were violence, corruption and apathy everywhere.

Raja’s Guru gave him two advices.

The first one: until people don’t believe in themselves, they will not overcome poverty. If poverty is not overcome, it is not possible to get over peculation, violence and corruption. But as long as violence and corruption thrives, people do not tend to believe in themselves. This is a vicious circle. But there is a way. Invite spiritual teachers from neighboring countries, learn from them, generously reward them and encourage others to learn from them too, pay for their studies. Having heard about it, other spiritual teachers and holy pilgrims (sadhus) will tend to visit your country and teach more and more people. More people will learn from them, more they will believe in themselves and more intolerant to the manifestation of evil they will become. Rascals will be afraid even to conceive about bad. Rumor about your kingdom will spread to other countries and other peregrine merchants will tend to trust in your kingdom.

After spiritual teachers come and you reward them generously, call peregrine merchants with luxurious good. The merchants will come to your kingdom if they know that you follow Dharma, orderliness and law. When merchants come, buy up all their goods by yourself for a good price and invite them to come again. The merchants won’t come back empty-handed and they will buy something from your citizens hoping to sell it profitably. Thereby you’ll have money in your kingdom, your treasury will fill up, people will get wealthy, you’ll set order in the country and foes won’t overthrow you.

Same with you: each time you visit a yoga class or a workshop, like young Raja you put the basis of future yoga development and the basis of your own well-being by interaction, because material always follows spiritual.

Last modified: Friday, 23 April 2021, 6:41 PM