a "different" perspective of Yoga

This is what a Western practitioner of Yoga for six years has to say about it. This was quite a strange perspective of and certainly quite interesting, if not outright entertaining. Its an article that says yoga is dangerous, and is some kind of a witchcraft, and the author has been desperately trying it out for a few years, till he finally came to the conclusions that he lists in this article.

Witchcraft

It made me really wonder what the poor man had desperately been trying out, what grand expectations he had, and most importantly who it was who put him in “bondage” for the “horrible experience” for six years! Hope he’s found his peace now atleast 🙂

I practice a bit of Yoga myself actually – though nothing much to speak about as such. As of now I haven’t really subscribed to the ideas of chakras and all the other spiritual concepts associated with it – not that they are true or false – but just that they do not really interest me. My opinion about yoga agrees more or less with Paul Bancroft’s book about it.

But based on what little I know, I wouldn’t say the author is entirely wrong wrt danger. Indeed yoga done wrong can be dangerous. Crossing the street done wrong can be dangerous – in fact in many steets of Bangalore – done – itself is pretty dangerous. If it looks like it might be a good idea to abstain from all dangerous things and sit quietly and blog… heck… even blogging can be dangerous!

Anyway, most of the author’s arguments are pretty strong. All except this one line… which seems to be missing something:

If one is experiencing stress and needs to relax there are many ways to do this such as going for a walk, a picture show, playing sports, going out for dinner, taking a vacation than pursuing yoga.

IMO this undermines his entire case – since it would be fairly clear to more and more people now, even Madonna, through their own everyday experiences: that a lot of relaxing activities (especially a “picture show”!) are merely temporary escape routes – which usually procrastinate stress (if any) instead of actually confronting it. So much for the alternative solutions 😉

Since my employer had conducted yoga classes on campus, I was able to continue it for quite a while, though currently its come down to at most 15 minutes a day of only suryanamaskaara.

In general, the main benefit I got is really quite simple and can be summarised by a very ordinary incident. Once while stepping on an uneven surface, I twisted my ankle. This is something that could happen anytime – which could result in anything from nothing at all, to a sprain to a hairline fracture. But I felt that it was thanks to the practice of yoga which helped limit the damage to nothing at all 🙂 In ordinary situations, flexibility and fitness don’t matter that much, but its in such unexpected situations, it proves to be particularly useful!

One might still feel a bit sprightly after having done some yoga last week or even earlier, but its might be a smart move not to try vaulting over a compound wall based on just that feeling! Buddha’s words are especially relevant here when he had said “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.

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