Hatha yoga and poses

Hatha yoga is poses. What poses can they be?

For example: sit down, straighten your legs and lift your body up by supporting yourself on palms. That’s all! This is a pose of hatha yoga. It’s not difficult. You don’t have to fling your leg around your neck, to sit in lotus pose. Another one – bend your leg, cross it over another leg and twist over the crossed leg to another side but just according to your flexibility. Now let’s do this to the other side.

And such sequence of exercises forms the core of hatha yoga. Everything’s getting commercialized in the West, so some yoga teachers try to make things more complicated as they seem to be too easy. And we begin reading manuscripts. They write a whole book on each exercise saying what you should do, how you should breathe, what mantra you should repeat to yourself. So yoga is becoming full with lots of complicated details. If you check the ancient manuscripts there were no details like that. They have appeared recently. Somebody is trying to make yoga complicated while its beauty is in its simplicity. That is why we should be critical about all kind of detailed details. It’s worth doing yoga exercises as if you were a child taking one pose or another. So the same we read in the ancient manuscripts as they thought it was all natural and clear.

The essence!

Sometimes for this reason people have fear of starting to do yoga. They are afraid of missing, losing or misunderstanding something very important. Yoga is an interesting system that turns a person to self-education. It is not only causing some effect, it makes a person to learn how to teach him/herself. It is as easy as that. It is so easy that sometimes people wonder what the effect consists of. All the brilliant things are that simple. Yoga poses are mere keys that open in us all that we’ve got already. A key can have a very unsophisticated look. A piece of metal of a certain colour.There shouldn’t be much jabber, too many details and uncertain attitude. If your attitude is uncertain it means you didn’t catch the harmony, and if there’s no harmony it’s no use doing exercises. You won’t get the effect even if you’ll twist like no other gymnast can. That means you need a subtle thing. This subtle thing is harmony.

When harmony appears it never looks like something pretentious or unnatural. If you look at the picture of some Western book on yoga you can see a man who’s trying to do utmost to do a pose – as considered to be “correctly”. But you feel this person doesn’t feel comfortable and it’s not natural for him/her. And it is all done according to a modern texts that describe a pose in details on twenty pages.

Yoga is like a play for children experimenting with their bodies.

It is not yoga if you take a certain pose and think that everybody is laughing at you and that you are looking silly. It is even more not yoga when the instructor is telling you that you are doing it wrong or making you the etalon of the worst example in yoga Yoga should calm and relax you making you feel natural.

Sometimes it means it is not a pose you’re doing wrong but the way you’re trying to copy what the teacher showed. The teacher said turn your head to the right and you turned it to the left. It is basically impossible to say whether you do it right or wrong as it should be an inner sense of harmony. Until you are able to feel what a person feels, whether there is harmony or not, you cannot say whether this person is doing yoga poses right or wrong. On the contrary, every thorny word like that causes personal blocks. The harmony happens to be blocked.

Glass smithereens

Just imagine you’re going on the road. Somebody has broken a bottle – you can feel smithereens under foot, you can be injured and you won’t be able to go further. The same can happen on your way of yoga. You can face such instructions or instructors. Sometimes they are likely to intimidate you. They regard themselves to be the truth of the final instance and say: “You’re doing right, you’re doing wrong, and you’re just ridiculous”.

If you meet with a person like that you should know those are just smithereens on the road, you’ better go a different way. You shouldn’t trust those who don’t understand what harmony is. They will lead you to nowhere.

This is a manifestation of blocks inside a person when a physical body is connected to the psychic, the psychic is connected to the mental – this is a complex of inner blocks. Usually it’s a lateral effect caused by stress. A man is stressed, afraid of everything, afraid of looking ridiculous. While doing a pose the person thinking: “How do I look? What will the instructor say? And what will people around me will say? They’ll be laughing at me”. This kind of thoughts is not pertinent in yoga. If thoughts like that appear it means you have started practicing yoga. If they’re cultivated in a place where you practice you should know you’re not doing yoga. It can be a type of aerobics or gymnastics but it is not yoga. It is especially important to know for those who just begin practicing yoga. Indeed a beginner doesn’t know many things. They don’t know whether there are some canons, rules in yoga or not, what they should do and what shouldn’t. The most important rule in yoga is harmony, non-violence.

Who can practice yoga?

From the yoga viewpoint all the people are alike. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Hindu, African, German or American. Even more, historically yoga is just stored on the territory of India and the neighbouring countries. They are Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Tibet. It is just kept there but nobody knows where it originates from. That is why if you go to India and you find the local lifestyle absolutely shocking, if it makes you think it’s an integral part of yoga you are mistaken. This is just a place where yoga knowledge is kept.

Indeed yoga influenced greatly by the culture in these countries. But these cultures do not make a basis for yoga. Yoga is much more; it’s superior to any factor like this. Many people are shocked by the poverty, dirt, etc. which they see in the oriental countries. Usually they think of the Orient as of a fairy tale, as of an ideal place, but when they face it they see exactly the contrary. Yoga is not to be blamed. Yoga fits any race, nationality, etc. It’s like a Constitution – you can mention any point, it fits. Regardless of race, nationality, religion, age, sex, etc. Yoga fits.

Common sense

Any person can do yoga whatever religious views they have as yoga and religion are two different things. There is a habit to mix these notions nowadays. “I won’t do a headstand as it’s a yogic exercise. Yoga is of Hindu origin, Hinduism is a religion, and I represent another confession and I won’t do this”. Yoga doesn’t belong to any religion. Yoga can go together with any religion perfectly well as it can go together with an absence of the religion – with atheism.

The only thing you should follow when practicing yoga is common sense. If you feel ill, if you’ve got a disease you should consult a doctor. Yoga doesn’t substitute medicine. Doctors do their work and you do not interfere.

Last modified: Sunday, 25 December 2016, 9:36 PM