“Notes on classical yoga practice”
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“Yogash–Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha" (ChVN), quoted from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutrastranslates as “an intentional slowing down of mental activity within consciousness. When this activity is stopped, one enters a state known as “silence of the mind”. The Yoga Sutras are our oldest extant texts on the subject and represent the teachings of classical yoga which will be discussed in this article.
In order to survive in Russia today, we are required to think and act at a highest level of intensity, that’s why today the number of psychosomatic disorders within Russian population reached a catastrophic level. Typically, this is a violation of the functionality of the internal organs and systems, due to an acute or chronic trauma, in combination with the personal characteristics of psycho-emotional reactions. The resulting stress levels cause excessive psychological strain that activates our neuro-endocrine and autonomic systems, which in turn causes the changes in the cardiovascular system and in the health of our internal organs. Initially, these changes are symptomatic, but with frequent and prolonged exposure, they can become organic and irreversible.
The most common of these disorders are asthma, essential hypertension, dermatitis, gastrointestinal disease, ulcerative colitis, a disorder of sexual sphere, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, goiter, heart attack, depression and neurosis.
There are no available preventive medicines for these disorders, and, for the majority of Russian people, medicines to treat the symptoms of these disorders are not available. State appointed medical professionals, particularly in the provinces, seem to be at a complete loss with regard to treatment, and patients feel abandoned.
The population is quickly becoming a victim of circumstances and a nasty lifestyle.
One of the effects of yoga practice is to eliminate functional psychosomatic disorder and our school transmits this unique technology as far as possible to the society.
Experience has shown that a reasonable implementation of yoga provides high standard of health and psychological stability of the average practitioner; even among those who had experienced the most sever external conditions. If those who are in an atmosphere of continuous disaster, called “the Russian reality”, feel they do not deserve to be happy, they are at least entitled to a peace of mind.
It is known that yoga is not an activity in the ordinary sense; it is a skill of dosed staying in the full and continuous sense of peace.
Here are the necessary and sufficient conditions for this:
- Absence of body movement;
-Absence of arbitrary motion of thought;
-Absence of emotion;
- And as a result, the predominance of activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. In this case, the heart rate and clearance of respiratory tract are becoming lower, skeletal muscle arteries are becoming narrower, and a gastro-intestinal tract is expanding. This leads to a reduction of blood flow in the muscles, myocardium, and its intensification in a digestive tract.
Physical peace is needed to cover the energy consumption and to compliance with the functional balance of the body; this is provided by rest and sleep. However, mental peace - the suspension of mental activity is unreachable by well-known methods. Alcohol, drugs, and different crazy extreme methods are not considered. Physical exercises, for example, body building, do not eliminate the high nervous excitement, but only enhances it.
Claude Bernard showed in the nineteenth century that the internal environment of the body tends for balance and it was capable to self-correction. Walter Cannon introduced the concept of the relative stability of this environment and its components, and called this biological function of "homeostasis". "Silence of the mind" yoga, being properly implemented, provides ideal conditions for the formation of homeostasis of the highest quality.
Human organism - a self-organizing structure of open type, consisting of thousands of regulatory systems; mental activity represents only a small part of the spectrum of life-support processes.
Asana is a fixed position (forms) of the body. The minimal number of the asanas has real historical roots, and lots of other was invented by the falsifiers of yoga in the 20 century. The sutras say, asana is a fixed and comfortable posture. Minimizing of physical activity during asana performance also slows down the activity of the mind up to a complete stop. Body - this is the tool by which you can start developing of the mental silence; there are no other win-win situations.
In a classic yoga, asanas are performed only using the way allowed by the body. If you are practicing in class, it is useless to imitate others - everyone has his own unique genetics, age, health condition, and natural flexibility. It is known, comfort is a synonym for convenience. For example, sitting on a sofa, reading, meditating, listening to the music etc. - forgetting about own body and not feeling it for a while.
In yoga, the main goal is to just stay in a static position! There is no other meaning than the mere presence in a pose.
You can come to silence of mind only while being still, because you always realize process of motion.
In addition, the movement activates the motor cortex of the frontal lobes and the premotor cortex (so-called premotor areaof the brain). Mindfulness is usually a standard waking consciousness, although during yoga practice it may turn into an intermediate state between sleeping and waking, when alpha rhythm and low-frequency brain activity simultaneously present.
Comfort means the complete absence of sensations, at least, the sensations which attract your attention. However, even after reading the book "Yoga - the art of communication", many people still perform asanas in the usual manner without taking this condition seriously. The beginners are puzzled and annoyed because of absence of the usual diligence and attendant paraphernalia - willpower, heating, sweating, fatigue, and sensations in the body. The man says, "If I do it, and absolutely do not feel anything, then where the work by itself is, and where the result is?"
“Vegetative automatics” controls life support of human body. If everything is going well this extremely sophisticated and useful work is impalpable. It is not displayed in the consciousness until a person is functionally healthy and active within the average values of the load.
Exactly the same thing happens in a traditional yoga!The correct pose is not one where you copy someone, but the pose when the body is not manifested in the mind! Only as long as the body does not remind about itself, the pose in which you are in can be called "Asana", and what you do can be called "Yoga".
As soon as your body begins to remind about itself, no matter in what place, the useful time of the asana is completed. Further holding of the asana leads to the accumulation of sensations and clarifies consciousness, and then the phase of injury comes.
The absence of any pressure on the asana, the absence of desire to improve it, the absence of desire to bend more or to do asana correctly, etc., that is, non-action in the posture meets the main requirement of ahimsa: all violence against its own body is forbidden! We are not speaking about the injuries that result from effort to perform asana better and more correct. Better than what? Correctly compared to whom? Better than the man in the photo, on the screen, or a man directly in front of you, which bends like rubber? But this is a different person with a different body. You have your own body, which can be bent today to the certain limit and not more and even if you try to bend yourself more, you will not get anything but trouble or pain.
While mastering yoga we learn to influence the consciousness through the strange, by conventional standards, the use of the body. Asanas - fixed poses of unusual shape which are never implemented in everyday life - they are not peculiar to it. But the body is very sensitive to unknownimpacts. While practicing, a powerful stream of impulses comes from the musculoskeletal system to the above-mentioned areas of the cortex. This stream leads to overstimulation of these areas. Shavasana is always performed at the end of the practicing just in order to eliminate this overstimulation. Tonus of the rest of the cortex automatically reduces. This is mental relaxation.
In yoga it is important not to perform poses according to some rules, which were created for something by someone unknown person. You should not do the asanas; you just need to be in the asanas. And that's all - nothing from you except a relaxed presence. When attention stopped at a fixed body, consciousness begins to fade gradually, first in the pauses between the poses and then in themselves.
The lifestyle of the West is the permanent and full involvement of the individual in the different parallel processes, which may happen even with different speed; Lifestyle of the East is just being. How to make muddy water clean? Leave it alone. Do not touch it and it will settle. There are no other options regarding consciousness. The greatest achievement of yoga is the opening of the fundamental importance of dosed silence of mind and a way to reach it.
The work of human sensory system is based on events that are called changes. The function of vision, for example, is realized because the eyeballs continually fluctuate with frequency from eighty to one hundred twenty Hertz. Consequently, the body should not interfere with sedation of the mind neither by a movement or sensation of the form. In asanas, it should be as static and imperceptibly, as in Shavasana. Or you can say: Shavasana should be maintained during all practice, no matter which postures we performed today.
This is the ideal situation. This of course takes a few years to develop.
In the living human body the heart contracts rhythmically, the breathing process is discrete but continuous; if the body is in rest, to realize these physiological movements, you have to pay attention to them. By themselves they do not penetrate into perception, staying behind of the threshold of sensitivity. If you consciously focus on any area of the body, it is almost certain the feelings will appear there. This is especially typical for neurotics, with two possible options:
- Hypersensitivity develops; some processes in the body clog a consciousness so much that a person ceases to perceive stimuli from the outside; he sinks in the flow of strange feelings inside;
- A body disappears from the perception, because a person is fully concentrated on the outside troubles and dangers. One of the beginners, an explicit neurotic, during performing Pashimottanasana, said: - I can not bend; it's hurt... He was asked: - Where it hurts? He answered: - I do not know ... Everywhere.
In addition, the mental flow of the neurotics and people which are on the verge of breaking down is often out of control and it becomes self-sufficient. The external world and its events are understood poorly and inaccurately.
Every beginner understands differently the requirement about the absence of the sensations during asana practicing, substantiated in the book "Yoga - the art of communication". Hence, there are periodic meaningless online discussions and arguments especially popular among the beginners on the website of our Yoga school.
The sensations are considered allowable when:
- They do not penetrate in the consciousness by themselves without focusing the attention on the body, or on the working area of asana;
- They disappear in the former place when the attention is transferred to another place, and they appear in this new place;
- For some reason (for example - in case of diseases of the musculoskeletal system) sensations or even pain are permanent and are habitual for a given person; In this case, a signal to come out of the pose is everything that is beyond this habitual sensation.
- The magnitude of these sensations does not preclude disabling of the consciousness;
If consciousness almost faded, and then suddenly starts to clear, it means that pre-sensation is already above the perception threshold. Although you have not realized yet this pre-sensation, it means that the useful holding time of the pose exhausted;
Here are the necessary conditions how to avoid the sensations:
- Perfect functioning of the body;
- Full muscle relaxation;
- Optimal (not causing sensation) speed of coming into the postures and speed of coming out of the asanas;
- Complete rest (immobility) in the asanas;
- The absence of the emotions during keeping focus on the body and the processes in it (e.g. respiration);
- The attention is not focused and scattered in the body;
- Therefore, "beam" of attention does not move;
- The optimal air temperature is 23-25º C (73-75º F);
- No perceptible movement of air;
- The absence of significant muscular effort (strain);
- Optimal holding time of the pose.
Human energy in waking state is spent in the following main directions:
- Maintenance of vital activity;
- Providing physical activity - muscular work and its associated nervous support;
- Mental activity;
At the beginning, the individual learns to communicate with his body during asana practice. Familiarization with the features of his own consciousness occurs exclusively in the pauses between the asanas - in Shavasana. To get out of the flow of the obsessive thoughts, attention should be set in that place of the body, where it is more or less stable. It is undesirable to tie up attention to the respiratory process prior to the full mastering of mental relaxation. Moreover, it is strictly forbidden to observe the work of the heart - it is fraught with very big trouble.
Trigger points that initiate reduction of mental activity, a very individual and are grouped on large samples approximately in the following ratio:
- About 30% of people start to feel immediate pressure and heaviness in the skin of nose;
- Heat in the skin of the palms appears more or less freely in 40% of people;
- Relaxation of the eyes - 20%;
- Observation of breathing - 5%;
- Different or unusual - 5%.
Being fixed on something, attention constantly strives to go away from this "something", and we involuntarily drawn again into the thoughts. Once this is realized, it is necessary to return the attention back to the body, to the place of focusing. And so over and over again, just like a baby learning to walk. In the early stage of learning yoga such a boring process is inevitable. The attention moves away from the anchor point less and less and then sticks to it. After that, the student gradually realizes that during the asanas and between them he does not think more, that the stream of his own thoughts has dried. Only a continuous perception of the body and its impalpable overflowing of the poses in a pose remain. And then it becomes clear that a part of thoughts still remains in the consciousness and turns there, but they are autonomous and are not controlled by the person. He just watches them, detached and indifferent.
There are three basic types of thinking process representation:
- Mainly by the "pictures" for so-called "visual thinkers" (about 20% of all people);
- In the form of "chatter" - monologues and dialogues by your own voice or somebody's voice (people with auditory perception);
- Mixture of the "pictures" and "chatter";
- Thoughts out of nowhere; their form is unclear, but it may be logical and abstract for people with kinesthetic perception and digital perception.
Emptiness in front of the inner eye is characteristic only for kinesthetic perception; they do not see anything special except phosphenes - flashing lights, flickering or complete darkness. If I am “a visual thinkers”, as soon as my consciousness ceased a targeted and controlled work, the same though tarnished flow of "pictures" (images) will be in the field of view. But I'm not involved in it.
People with auditory perception still hear dialogues or monologues, but as if from outside - the meaning of chatter is lost. The flow of "pictures" (images) is often mixed with a chatter; then the stage of chaos comes and all fogged up. Sometimes a mental bifurcation takes place. For example, in one part of the consciousness, a person is practicing yoga, and in the other is talking to someone, and participates in some events. What to do with this "craziness"? Nothing. Again and again, relentlessly return your attention into the body, as required by the technology. Little by little the part of mental flow which is not related with practice fades.
Of course, the pauses, in which a silence of the mind arises, are not binding after each executed asana. Such approach is valid only in case when a person is very weak physically or is seriously sick. But it might be another situation. Once I worked with a guy from Kiev - forty years old, big and physically very advanced person. A set of his problems was approximately the following: the chaotic surges of blood pressure, panic attacks, insomnia, headaches, inability to concentrate. It was not surprising after several shrapnel wounds, traumatic brain injury, two heavy concussions, malaria, typhus, obtained during the massacres in Angola.
Then years of hard work in the business - the days and nights. At the beginning, he tried desperately in the asanas, but my suggestions and Yoga-Nidra started acting surprisingly quickly. Then, an opposite situation started to arise. During practicing at home he had time to make only a few asanas and relaxed deeply (he was "switched off") after each of them for fifteen minutes. In general, it was more important for him than by purely physical impact. Later, when the quality of relaxation improved, these pauses decreased to two minutes, but the guy always fell in Shavasana after each pose - this became a style of his practice.
Reducing pause time, required to switch consciousness to idle occurs gradually for everyone who practicing yoga. In "standing" poses - in Trikonasana, for example - you should sit or stand relaxed with closed eyes between "the left" and "the right" position. Keep in mind that time of rest has to be not less than time of the asana. A long pause follows after a couple of the left-right made asanas, or after two, four, six of them - in short, after a block of the asanas.
After the beginner understands how to feel his body, the focus of the practice shifts to the breaks between the poses and to the changes of consciousness during the breaks. If there are no changes, then this is not yoga, but strongly spoiled fitness exercise.
After the changes of consciousness during the long pauses become stable, they begin to affect the asanas for flexibility and stretching, and then, the power asanas. Finally we come to the fact that the silence of the mind arises from the very beginning, and then remains stable during all practice. And after the practice is finished, it is impossible to remember what exactly you have done today. Growth of the skill is that after two-three years of practicing, imperceptible time delay of the asanas grows significantly, and in general, effect increases respectively.
Besides teaching yoga, our School specializes in the Yoga-therapy, because the number of people with the health problems is growing steadily. People, who come to us, have advanced bad health conditions or they were outrageously treated by the different psychics, the witches, the falsifiers of yoga, or also by our destructive medicine.
Ask them, how they could bring themselves to such condition, and you normally get the following answers:
- It has never happened to me before...
- I do not want to believe...
Nescience does not discharge from liability, in this case - from paying for inattention to the body. Attempts to ignore a disorder delaying the situation, lead to the situation when return point can be traversed, and then nothing even yoga, will return health to its original level.
People often ask: “What is the difference between yoga-therapy and ordinary yoga practice, when not the patients, but the students without health problems come to you?
There is no difference except one thing. The sensations of a healthy person in the asanas arise from touching the limit of the reserved flexibility range; the sensations of the patient arise with from touching the restrictions which were formed by the particular disorder and by the psycho-emotional state. You need a certain experience to teach yoga a person with an average level of health, but the therapeutic activities for people with disabilities - is an absolutely different thing! Although the technology is the same; its essence is a competent account of sensations produced by the body in the current state - no matter what it is!
Yoga instructor who deals with therapy should know a physical history of the patient, history of his problems and their development; also he has to know the history of the attempts of treatment, if they were. Essentially, yoga therapy is a unique work; sometimes you have to delve into such details of patient's life and health, which are unknown even to his family. Each instructor is a kind of generator, the source of peace, which he passes to surrounding people nonverbally.
It is very problematic, to become a member of our School's team without this main characteristic.
Until now, there is a common misconception that yoga is super-flexibility and acquirement of these skills, according to some dodgy acrobats, promises to get the amazing properties. In reality, under the name of "yoga" the crooks successfully sell their innate physical abilities, and sometimes the anomaly.
People should understand that the flexibility of the body is the same constant as the papillary patterns on the fingers - it is impossible to change the natural limits. Although, actually I knew two individuals who have succeeded this. They won the shell of their body, almost without damaging it; they could fold themselves, being known as the tough Masters. Nevertheless, in both cases, the years later, this stunning success ended in failure, because their internal organs could not adjust themselves to what they did with their musculoskeletal system. Permanent violation of topology of the internal organs (the relative location) and the form, led to a chronic disorder of a number of functions; that's why the health of these people began to decline too early.
The development of flexibility never was a purpose of yoga! The correct practice does indeed lead to its increase, but only up to the genetic limits.
Natural flexibility can be conventionally divided into three ranges; let's call the first one the standard. It covers the majority of everyday movements. If physique and health are normal, the amplitudes of these movements are free; the body is not present in the perception - there are no sensations during the movements and at rest; also there are no efforts in case if we move only our weight with an optimum speed. Since the most of forms here are archetypical, then they are saved without sensations and long enough.
The second range is reserved. We use it only in cases when the necessary action goes beyond the normal limits. For example, something had rolled somewhere, and to pick it up your body should take the unusual form, etc.
Here we come close to the limit of movements, which is available today; speed, agility, and the amplitude of the movements are falling; the movements are performed with an effort. Time of maintaining the shape is short.
The third range is potential. This is a range from the limits of the reserve range up to an ultimate limit of the flexibility inherent to a given individual, but which is usually unknown and inaccessible to him.
Performing asanas properly, we somehow reach the boundary between the latter two ranges. Barely touching it, we stop going further without any significant sensations in the body!
An absence of sensations is the main criterion in the asanas for stretching, flexibility and development of the joint. The situation is different in the power poses. Let's assume, for example, you performed Chaturanga Dandasana. Immediately, palpable stress appears in the muscles of the arms, but it disappears after a few seconds - arm muscles have adapted.
You do not feel anything during certain period of time - this is the range of useful work. Then stress appears again and begins to grow - asana is over. If a person is physically strong enough, then the necessity to exit the posture is indicated by the beginning of shivering in the body (before the sensations in your arms), flushed face or its warming.
When we regularly performing asanas follow the procedure described above, a boundary of flexible starts to shift, the potential range decreases and the standard range and reserve range grow. Thus, a general functional recovery of the body takes place. When the third range is mastered and became available, it means that you got to the absolute limits of body mobility, given by nature. Now, the second part of the problem is to keep this flexibility for the rest of your life, as it is one of the attributes of youth. When during the practice we close our eyes (by the way, it is desirable to keep them closed during all practice) and release them, they will find a comfortable position by themselves, turning up or down - it does not matter. After all, they stop moving on their own and you stop to feel them.
Some people just do not feel the eyes, although they are constantly moving, but if to pay attention on the eyes, they will be painfully strained. In these cases, it's better not to pay attention on them. On the contrary, you should to forget about their existence, passively observing what is going on in front of the inner eye. Everything is clear about "the visual thinkers" - they see habitual movie, but different options are possible for people with kinesthetic and auditory perception. As for me, I am an inveterate "kinesthetic" person - being between sleeping and wakefulness, I fall into a strange reality of an ashen palette; normally, this is water, rocks and plants.
It's not the fact that we observe the screen of the mind, when something is flashing or is staying in front of the mind's eye.
In fact, it occurs only in a specific "layer" of relaxation, where you have to get into. For example, being this morning in Siddhasana, ceasing to understand myself, I was there. A light gray field trimmed with a trembling edge, materialized in my sight from a vague mist.
The lower right part of this field was a rectangle which consists from gray square tiles with the deep dented signs in the center.
When I began to watch them straight, the tiles began a strange dance, moving one under the other, floating, swapping from right to left and from top to bottom, as if they were playing leap-frog. In my mind, it lasted a long time, then this vision grew dim and my consciousness was switched off.
When my consciousness was switched on again, I was moving through the forest thicket in the sunlight. Far clear voice called insistently: - Come on! Come here! At this time I was inside the very image, the edge of the screen parted to the side and disappeared.
Again my consciousness is off. After that the third episode - I am inside "an event" once again. The main building of the hotel "Tara" (Budva, Montenegro) ……………………………………………………………………………………
Again consciousness is off, and I am back from oblivion. Now, again, the screen is in front of me. Three different-sized obliquely purple parallelepipeds are hanging in the left upper part of the screen. Then the image instantly becomes a bright dot, which lost immediately among the constellation appeared on the dark screen. It shimmers, shudders, and I do not see anything else except it until the end of the practice.
After such a visualization, which normally occurs at the beginning, the quality of practice is unexcelled. Physical relaxation is outstanding; the body ceases to resist and bends to the limit; the breath disappears; time disappears. It happens to every fourth or fifth practice, in other cases a consciousness just goes out, spread out, loses clarity.
Everything described above is not in contradiction with the fact that I am a "kinesthetic" person. In general, only around twenty percent of people think with the images, and it is impossible to teach this. Nevertheless, through the deep relaxation, you can create the conditions when the visualization become possible and it occurs spontaneously.
Another option: in the morning I sat on the mat and closed my eyes; immediately I began to feel heaviness at the nose bridge. It means that today I will feel it during whole practice. It's enough to remember once about breath and it becomes clear that my attention is jammed on it, or my attention dissolves by itself in the body and there are no thought. In short, you get the different options with the growth of your personal experience. After some time, a silence of the mind in some form will be achieved and it will be automatically reproduced in every single lesson.
In this case an interesting opportunity occurs. I get a comfortable position and "fly away". Then, slowly, keeping an altered state of consciousness, I strain any single muscle of the legs, arms or torso, which is not working in this asana. After a few seconds, I also stop to percept this muscle as the rest areas of my body. Unlike other not working muscles, which are hanging freely, this one works locally. Maybe this muscle will remind me about itself before the asana is completed, and I will relax it; maybe this muscle will be relaxed by itself before the end of asana, or at the same time when I will go out of the pose. You can do the same things with the groups of muscles - they will work out well, but the silence of mind in this process will not be violated!
In the asanas where the shape depends on the static strength, time increase also depends on stability of mental relaxation under load, and this is not so easy! Nevertheless, if it will be done, the duration of the power poses might be significantly increased.
The signal to come out of these asanas will be just only a clearness of consciousness, but not the increasing of local or general muscle strain! If this kind of practice is mastered, it makes physical condition perfect, but, in general, this is a deviation from the main way to “Yogash–Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha" (ChVN).
So, the essence of the asana practice is not thinking of the other things staying in the asana, but to keep the attention on the body, tracing the appearance of the first sensations, that indicates the necessity to come out of the pose. Immobility and the physical rest calm the mind and give our consciousness an opportunity to relax.
So far, we were talking mainly about the material body, but now let's talk about consciousness. It is considered that in the psyche there is the subconscious mind under the "layer" of consciousness; deeper than the subconscious mind is the unconscious, which nature is still unclear. Gregory Bateson (*) stated that unconscious contains a certain matrix of personality - the system mind. Bateson considered that the system mind contains completed information on a person, starting from the moment of his birth, and even perhaps from earlier stages.
Taking this hypothesis as a basis, we note the following:
- The subconscious is "a damper", a protective "device"; its function is to save personality (ego) and a mind through ejection (pushing away);
- Ejection is one of the mechanisms of psychological protection - a process of removing from consciousness and transfer into the unconscious the thoughts and experiences. Nevertheless, after this, the effect of the ejected information continues - a subject is constantly experiencing unmotivated anxiety, discomfort, uncertainty, and mental stress, without realizing the reasons.
- The subconscious has a finite information capacity;
- The psyche of child usually develops adequately to the body, its entire structure, including the subconscious becomes completed only at the time of full maturity of personality (18 - 23 years);
(*) Gregory Bateson (1904 – 1980) was an English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semioticianand cyberneticistwhose work intersected that of many other fields.
- One of the functions of the family is to protect children from such influences of society, which their immature mind can't endure without damage;
- If such the damage effects take place (or if a family by itself produces them), the structure of the child's mind is strongly (and sometimes irreversibly) deformed long before a child will become an adult.
- Subconscious and memory of such subjects are overwhelmed by negative information, which leads to a stable psycho-emotional imbalance;
- Any subject with healthy psyche and happy childhood may get the same imbalance as a result of long-term and systematic overloads;
- Negative information is dual. One part is not perceived and is not realized. As a result it stays unknown to the subject. Another part of negative information is perceived and experienced.
- In many cases, the ejected information also takes away from the memory the recent events. That's why a memory can be fragmented - a subject may not know anything about the whole period of his life;
So, we gradually learn to stop thinking during asana practice; the space of the mind becomes more and more empty.
Finally, at the end, there are only separated and isolated informational fragments produced by the consciousness.
These fragments degenerated into “white noise”.
A unique situation takes place: one of the two adjacent layers of the mind, consciousness is nearly empty, and the other, the subconscious is full. After that, the contents of the overflowing “compartment” begin to seep into the empty one. This is the beginning the self-correction of psychosomatics; in particular, the discharging of the subconscious. This is impossible in the normal situation, because a man permanently acts in society, and his consciousness is always busy. It does not work during sleep – it is disabled. Unloading of the consciousness is possible only when it is enabled, but it does not work, being, as they say, at "idle". It is possible to create such situation only with yoga ChVN. In this case, the negative information, captured in memory, and then moved over the threshold of perception, begins to return from the deep layers of the psyche to its "surface".
The safest and the most effective channels of discharging are determined by the "system mind", which was mentioned above; That's why, this discharging is an element of structural optimization which can not be wrong or bad.
For the adults, everything which is incompatible with the moral values and the logic of the mind as well as the serious emotional traumas will be also displaced.
Those who have too intense ejection from the early childhood do not realize how much ballast is in their subconscious; they do not realize how much their being was deformed. There were many attempts to understand what subconscious means. There are a lot of methods which have the same goal: they try to eliminate the mental traumas from the past which stay in psychosomatics and distort the personality, creating difficulties in today life and, therefore, in the future life too.
On the one hand, asana practice releases the body from habitual muscle clamps (in accordance with Wilhelm Reich's (*) ideas), and, on the other hand, it empties the consciousness; the released energy is partly transferred to subconscious, activating it content, and helps to start the process of “unloading”.
For convenience, I call this "reset". Its difference from the vast number of known methods of therapy is the following:
- This process is the result of deep relaxation of the body and its functioning in trophotropic mode;
-This is a natural process, which is not caused, is not supported, and is not controlled from the outside; its correctness and safety is provided by psychosomatics;
- Psychosomatics also implements the optimal options of reset, and the allowable awareness of the individual components of this process;
- Perhaps, that after the beginning of the reset, psychosomatics in general is involved in this process.
Reset is unpredictable. It can be represented as the physical disturbance, unpleasant memories, negative emotions, heavy dreams, spontaneous movements of the body, and various combinations of them.
The following occurs during and on completion of reset:
- Traumatic material from the subconscious and other psychosomatic elements involved in the process of ejection are deleted or lose pathological activity. The impacts that child got before the age of five years old, have the irreversible traumatic impact on mind. For the adults such impact may be due to the natural and / or social disasters.
- The physical and psycho-emotional condition will be restored to the extent permitted by the remaining life resources.
(*) Wilhelm Reich (1897 –1957) was an Austrian psychoanalyst, a member of the second generation of psychoanalysts after Sigmund Freud.
- And finally, the phenomenon which the mystics of all the times and nations pompously called "enlightenment" may occur (or may not).
Reset may have infinite variety of the forms. Here is an excerpt from a report written by one of the patients:
« My spine became crooked. I carried the tables the day before that. A load was light, but I had an unusual feeling in my back. I realized this in the morning on the way to work. My back did not fit to the shape of the chair. The curvature of my back was increasing approximately till noon. I started to feel dizziness and also some feeling in the spine, which was not painful, but uncomfortable. I felt light nausea. I had to take time off at my work and went home. My spine itches and is warming up. Shoulders' muscles are strained; mobility of the neck is limited. It's a very strange feeling. It is unclear whether to laugh or to cry.
I started to listen Yoga-Nidra. I listened it twice today. My condition is weird: as if everything is in a fog. Something is going on with my spine, but it's just curious and fun.
I was walking about forty minutes in the evening. The shoulders are tired and stiff, but cramp there does not disappear.
I started the next day with Yoga-Nidra. I am not hungry. I lay on the back; the spine was hot and itched. There was a feeling as if the vertebrae were separated from each other. There was unpleasant feeling when I moved. It did not hurt, but the feelings were strong and I wanted to avoid them.
I listened Yoga-Nidra five times during the day. It became funny by lunchtime. I lay on the back during an hour and half, laughing. Then the spine cooled down and started to hurt a bit, as if after exercising. The shoulders relaxed. Everything was still in a fog.
I started to remember all the injuries, connected with my spine. It took around half an hour to recall around twenty of them. Some of them did not look real. At least, I don't remember them.
I did not control the process. I was lying on my back and looked at the ceiling.
In the evening shudder began. Shudder was along my back around twenty minutes. After that a feeling of chill in the spine appeared, but not too long. It was hard to sleep. The condition was about the same as during the day, but from time to time I fell asleep, and then wake up.
Next day, the spine was hot again and itched, but it became straight. It became crooked and then released four times during the day. I listened Nidra five times. Around twelve o'clock I decided to turn on the TV, but I could not watch it. I wanted to cry when the main character had problems. I turned the TV off.
Around four o'clock, it became completely unclear what was happening. I did not react on any external stimuli. There were the yellow circles before my eyes, slowly transforming into a dot. I was curious, but I decided that my body would understand by itself what to do and that I should not help it. So, I was confused. I tried to keep my mind busy reading a book. I decided that if this does not finish in a couple of hours, I will call to Victor Boyko.
By 5 AM everything suddenly finished and the shape of the spine was restored. There was only fatigue. I slept well and went for a work in the morning."
Note again that in addition to the emotions and memory, reset will affect a body. The old injuries will remind about themselves, but, of course, in very "erased" form. After such experience, people get a clear understanding that the residual traces of these injuries were completely and finally eliminated.
It should be noted that the proper yoga mastering is not always accompanied by the reset! At the end of the day, there are enough people, which do not have (and did not have so far) the extraordinary problems; their life from childhood was quite safely and the stresses did not come out of the range of the average level. Of course, "well" doesn't mean perfect; subconscious accumulates psycho-emotional "garbage" anyway, but its amount is far from the critical value, and its accumulation leads to the system deformations. Nevertheless, a hassle-free man will also get the beneficial effects from yoga practice and finally will come to a state of enlightenment which is described below.
Why "silence of mind", which is cultivated in classical yoga, gives such an amazing effect? Just because this is the only alternative to the continuous activities of human mind, which is typical to the Western people! It is known that it is impossible to walk with one foot, and an attempt to fly with one wing ends with a tailspin. You can not permanently eat or not eat, permanently move or not move, permanently sleep or not sleep; life is the alternation of mutually exclusive states which support each other at the same time - a synergy. The Taoists in ancient China knew that only the rhythmic alternation of Yin and Yang forms the Path - Tao. And if there is only Yin or only Yang – it means that there is nothing at all.
The modern man, the product of advertising lobotomy; he wants to have too much, that's why his thoughts excel all the time. The one, who is constantly trying to survive, is puzzled by it day and night. Surplus of money destroys mentality even more; no matter how much money you have, it always seems that you don't have enough. In short, due to the numerous reasons, western people disable their thinking only during sleep.
As Talleyrand said, this is more than a crime - this is a mistake. The mind, similar the body, needs a rest; It needs dosage of complete stop. Not just a switching from one working regime to another.
“There is an image of the running sinners in Dante's hell, which were punished by the fact that they have to run all the time like mad. There is the internal running that harasses us worse than external running, than a physical running.”
"When thoughts are scattered, it is necessary to know how to put them together. When thoughts come together at one point, it is necessary to know how to dissipate them. If you are not able to do so, even if you conquer despondency, anxiety will be in the heart. (Hong Zicheng, a Chinese philosopher)
"Woe unto you from the wheel, which rotates in your thoughts." (The Gospel of Thomas).
The second quotation is clear and obvious. The first and the third quotations say that the non-alternative ceaseless running and thinking are turning into horrible infinity.
The prolonged mental overloads lead to a steady deterioration of general condition and then to the depletion of vital energy. Trying to meet the requirements of environment at any cost, a man overstrains himself completely; He completely loses intuition, peripheral perception, clarity of thinking, and an adequate understanding of the current situation. After that, the most likely the following three scenarios are possible:
- The collapse of psycho-emotional sphere, while physical health remains good.
- The collapse of the body, while the psyche and the nervous system remain healthy.
- Simultaneous collapse of everything together.
In any case, even short-term, but regular and high-quality stop of the mind makes a powerful positive effect.
The main problem of Russian reality is not the fact, that we do something wrong in our life, but the fact that we have do too much and do it too fast. During mastering of yoga, a man begins to reduce the unbearable speed of action, marveling that their effect is not reducing, but even increasing.
Getting everyday dose of deep relaxation, psychosomatics “recycles” it and gradually slows down the development of pathological processes. A body is stabilizing for a while in this state. Normally, in this case the reset process is very intensive. Then, after the most part of the ejected material is eliminated and total deviation of the system is significantly reduced, a man gradually recovers. He becomes such as he was originally created by nature, and as if the blows of force majeure did not distorted his genetic structure.
Growing up, the person develops a certain set of social roles. Everybody can be at the same time a son, a husband, son-in-law, a father, a brother, a boss, a wife, a daughter, and so on. Adapting gradually, the person begins to match perfectly the priority roles, but often the opposite side of this success is the loss of the most important role - himself! And then a man begins, for example, to behave at home like in the office. In addition, growing up, we forget a childhood. Initially, we feel that our childish behavior seem shameful. Later, we constantly do not have enough time for them; then we forget them, and they disappear. Childlike spontaneity perception is a very important sign of the psychological well-being.
When regeneration of psychosomatics is completed, a person comes into a condition which I call "enlightenment".
Nevertheless, this is not the enlightenment that leads to a complete loss of the society, and which is described in the philosophical part of the "Yoga Sutras"; this is existential enlightenment in accordance with "The Bhagavad Gita" - the art of being in the society!
Practicing yoga, we reduce the intensity and the number of external (body) and internal (mind) movements to the optimum value. Vital resources are not consumed with less intensity, but more reasonable. Thoughts are cleared from the hectic, mind becomes clear, emotions stay on an average level. Actions acquire infallibility - as that Zen-master, who went hunting with only one arrow, because he could not miss.
Let's make a brief list of the signs of enlightenment. Keep in mind that all of them is the result of good practice for five years or more; if a person came to yoga with health problems, then this period of time can grow significantly.
-Health - a body never reminds about itself; it is not subjected to epidemics and diseases specific to the megapolis;
- Bright color of the face and skin in general;
- An absence of any everyday fatigue;
- Indifference to excessive heat, cold, changing of geomagnetic factors;
- The permanent feeling of freshness and an excessive energy;
- The high tolerance of daily stress;
- An obvious decreasing of the consumed food amount;
- Indifference to delicacy;
- Change the smell of sweat - it becomes so enjoyable that the surrounding people note this;
- increasing agility of movements and speed of reaction;
- The rate of aging is slower if to compare with the others; the typical signs indicating age are minimal or absent.
-remarkable memory improvement;
-clarity of perception;
-the permanent clarity of thinking and increase of power thinking;
-speed of thinking increases;
-instant deployment of associative chains;
-operational thinking goes under the threshold of perception;
-thinking process disappears; after realizing the problem, I forget about it; a while later, the solution just comes to my mind as a finished product;
-the quality of verbal communication improves (a person constantly helps interlocutors to formulate their own thoughts better);
- Emotional stability gradually develops; unnecessary, useless worrying disappear. If nothing else can be done, we wait until the new opportunities will appear, or we work to create them without hysteria, depression, and panic.
- There is always a good mood; people recover much faster after the life challenges.
- You get a steady inner peace, which is not the equivalent of the indifference or blunt insensitivity. There is no external impact which is able to destroy this comfortable sense; of course, until this impact has not reached a certain critical level.
- You become more and more content with what you already have.
- The number of desires is reduced - you do not desire more than you really need; it becomes clear what you really need;
- It becomes clear that a man can do a lot, but not everything right away.
- A man begins to understand the uselessness and harmfulness of the exchange what he has already have to what he wants.
- A man loses the illusions about himself, about the surrounding world, about his own place and his own role in the world.
- A "black-and-white" logic (a "black-and-white" vision of the surrounding world) disappears; you begin to realize that the most of people are neither good nor bad. They are what they are. It does not have any sense to modify them, and sometimes it is just dangerous.
- A man begins to realize that only he, but not someone else is a source of his problems. In the words of Lao Tzu: "The whole world is brightly lit, and only I am immersed in the darkness".
- As a rule, there is a reorganization of tactics and strategy of the life.
- You finish a pursuit of the meaning of your life; you begin to clearly understand your place in the life, your abilities, and your goal in the life.
- Sometimes an adept of yoga discovers such abilities. Abilities which he did not expect before.
Effect of self-adjustment:
Doing yoga regularly, a man does with himself what the others do not do. As a result, after a certain time he acquires the abilities which other people do not have. One of them I call a power of peace.
World - it is a huge conglomerate of interdependent interactions. In the society all of these interactions are initiated by people. Each process has its own structure corresponding to its nature. However, people always want to improve and to accelerate everything. They try to intensify the dynamics of the processes by contributing their personal energy and resources. As a result, they destroy the natural process flow. A natural chain of the events collapses. The distortions and malfunctions appear.
Yoga teaches to create correctly the conditions for an autonomous transformation of body, mind and consciousness without the intervention of ego. Consequences of such self-adjustment gradually penetrate into everyday life; redundancy goes away from everyday activity. A person's behavior becomes perfectly integrated into environment and does not cause its resistance. An essence of existential enlightenment is that a person is in harmony with his own nature first, and then with the surrounding world.
After that, the unusual tendency takes place - the world starts to assist a person to such an extent that the positive events become regular even if their probability is low.
The first one will be intuition. In the normal state, the signals from the system mind simply does not reach the consciousness; the consciousness is unable to perceive them, being seriously strained.
After reset is finished, the system mind begins to provide person up to date information, which passed by the consciousness for some reason. During the practice the sensible thoughts and the answers to important questions appear. Also, the various problems become visible from the new view points.
The actions are determined now not by the logics as before, but only by the internal impulses "yes" or "no." The personal statistics confirms their correctness. Coming home, I insert the key bladeinto the lock just the right side up without mistake, never thinking how to do this properly. And if that happens, that happens very rarely, it is a reason to analyze my condition - something is wrong there.
What you need almost always happens. I emphasize - what is really needed, but not what you want!
Remember one of the characters from the "Monday Begins on Saturday" by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. "He could everything and he could nothing. He could nothing, because the boundary condition of the equation of perfection was a requirement that a miracle will not hurt anyone. No one on the Earth and in any part of the Universe could imagine such a miracle. And he quit the magic forever.... “ (*)
Thanks God, in our case everything is not that tough. We are not talking about the wonders of such global scale, but, nevertheless, the responsibility for the behavior of one who received the power of peace, increases in many times.
Frankly, Don Juan Matus of Carlos Castaneda looked at this simply:
"I can not be responsible for what happens to people who will meet me in this life."
If he really existed, it was not wrong, and Castaneda’s sad fate confirmed this.
In fact, the power can be useful for others, but not for yourself; and only when it is really needed, which is sometimes difficult to understand.
Nevertheless, everything in this world has a price, and although the social status of the owner of power grows, the number of personal contacts steadily decreases. As a result it reduces to pure therapeutic communication. People need only your power, but not you. The more power - the stronger the loneliness.
Collective hysteria brings people together and unites them. An internal peace separates them, because there are not too many of those who have it. These people do not need a crowd. That's why your own family and its well being are extremely important.
Power of peace is ambivalent, and if an enlightened person loses internal peace even for a short time, it can cause severe emotional destabilization of his inner circle. Therefore, we must learn to manage not only the power, but also how to spend it, and this is not easy.
Here are examples of using the power.
In a city, the businessmen and local organized crime were close to war. To prevent the war from happening, an official, who practiced yoga well and for a long time (of course, no one guessed about that), gathered around the table the local businessmen and criminal leaders. After tea, all those people signed a "declaration of peace" and left. Next day, the official got the phone calls asking the same repetitive question: - What did you do to us yesterday, and how we signed this?!
The Second example. The man is a mid-level manager of a large company, which has facilities all over Siberia and the Far East. He has practiced yoga more than ten years. Once, one of the general managers, being an observant and intelligent man, took notice at the environment, work, and efficiency of the department where this man worked. As a result, this employee was promoted to a much higher level position. The administration began sending him to its business locations as a consultant in order to help resolve any problems or conflicts that arose. All problems disappeared by themselves with his mere presence!
The third example. A married couple, who I worked with for about two years, went to Canada for permanent residence. They continued yoga practice there.
Here is an extract of the report which I received from the head of the family.
"Nothing special happened with our practice. Everything was going smoothly. There were some difficulties to practice regularly. There is no chance to practice yoga for two hours because of our little kids, but except that, everything is okay. It was the first time here when I really started to feel this power. This is manifested in the fact that I interrupted relationships with all kinds of crooks. For example, I meet someone. You never know in advance what kind of person he is. He begins to offer you something. He immediately gets a trouble! The car won't start; the contractual partner does not come. Something happens all the time. Three months later I realized what it meant; and since then, in such cases, I do not insist. It was found later that I could persuade people to do what they didn't want; but for sure, the unexpected consequences will happen. It is possible to force somebody to get a result which you want, but be sure, that later you will have to deal with something bad. It is strongly reminiscent of a guardian angel. It is clear now that is hidden behind the phrase "God saves."
Here's another situation from the past. Once I had an ordinary workshop in a small town, near Moscow. In the evening of my arrival, two students came to my room:
- Sir, there is а strange woman there. She keeps silent and looks like she is crazy. What to do? - What to do? Bring her here! Later, this woman, Lyudmila told me that almost up to eighteen years old every day her mother brutally beat her. The girl ran away early from home, got married, and had three children one after another.
(*) Monday Begins on Saturday (Russian: Понедельник начинается в субботу) is a 1964 science fiction / science fantasy novelby Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. The first English translation was published by DAW Booksin 1977.
In August 2005, Seagull Publishing, London, published a translation by Andrew Bromfield titled Monday Starts on Saturday (ISBN 978-0954336820).
A month ago, her husband, whose fate was also hard but in a different way, had hanged himself. Such people often find each other. She sits in front of me, shaking. Her head is shaved; her eyes are black and crazy. Definitely, a woman is on the edge. There is a rule: when the system is in an unstable equilibrium, you can not make any sudden movements. I asked everybody to leave the room, sat in front of this woman. I told her to put her hands on the table palms up and to close her eyes. After that, I covered her hands with mine and relaxed. After a few minutes I started to shake so that my teeth were chattering, and a woman dropped her head on the table and fell asleep.
I asked to carry the woman into her room, to put down on the bed, where she slept for almost two days. After awakening, she was already more or less sane. As for me after the session of such therapy I had to take a warm shower, and make a series of inverted asanas. Actually, that's all. In case of high psychological and emotional stability, you can do things like not very often, but in general, I do not recommend this to anybody.
Later, Lyudmila tried to learn yoga for a long time, but, in my opinion, without much success, because her mind had been already damaged irreversibly at the beginning of the life.
In my opinion, to conclude the topic about the power, I need add the following:
-emergence and existence of this power is the result of yoga practice with silence of mind during many years;
-it's impossible to get it by a desire or using any other way;
-everyone has his own limit of this power;
-as you approach to this limit, a desire to use this power decreases, and a necessity to use it disappears;
-when this limit is reached, this power becomes the person’s second nature;
-the attempts to use this power for selfish purposes lead its owner to early self-destruction, therefore, this power should be used responsibly.
Now, I’d like to explicate some thoughts regarding the limits of yogic Samadhi.
Among the myriad myths regarding yoga, one of the most exciting for the amateurs is Samadhi. This term was used a lot of times by the stars of the esotericism during the last century.
Esotericism is an independent topic of discussion and is beyond the scope of this article. Although it is clear that the texts of Helena Blavatsky, the Roerichs, Ron Hubbard, Castaneda, Grigory Grabovoy, and other's, are specific products tending to develop and self-preservation.
From certain standpoint, these products act as living systems; they act as epidemic diseases which modify human behavior. That's why their degree of danger will still have to figure out. They are not as harmless as they seem.
Going back to Samadhi, let's remember The Jesus Prayer and its outcome - theosis, likeness to or union with God, the connection of man with God, bringing him to divine life through the action of divine grace.Ignatius Brianchaninov (*) , a bishop and theologician of the Russian Orthodox Church, wrote in his "Experiences from the Ascetic Life" that those who praying without ceasing can become insane for the sake of Christ.
However, what's the difference, to become insane for Christ's sake or through Samadhi? Madness is madness.
Now let's talk about the role of proportion. There is an optimal value for all processes and experiences.
Any variable is harmful if it is in excess of this optimal value.
There is a saying "Use it or lose it".
Here is a description of the experiment to dysfunction of musculoskeletal system, which was made in The Institute of Space Medicine of the USSR Ministry of Defense. The experiment was conducted on volunteers - the soldiers, drafted for military service.
"There are two privates: Victor Malyshev and Eldar Sumambaev. The medical personnel are happy with them - no whims. They are fully reconciled with a life without any move. All biochemical changes and electrophysiological deviations have investigated and experiment will be ended at the end of the ninth month. However, the soldiers were not informed about the date of end until the last moment. They were oriented for one year of experiment.
The day before the end, the military doctors - the generals and the colonels of medical service visited the patients. They shook the heroes' hands and handed them checks with an earlier agreed sum of money.
Eldar's reaction was calm: 'The end is tomorrow at twelve o'clock, so come back tomorrow after the last blood sampling." In contrast to him, Victor could not sleep waiting so much tomorrow noon. He was talking the whole night, dreaming out loud…
(*) Saint Ignatius (secular name Dmitry Alexandrovich Brianchaninov), (1807–1867) is a bishop and theologician of the Russian Orthodox Church.
At noon a nurse took the last blood sample for analysis. The belts were unfastened, and the private Malyshev jumped up with applause from the bed with a cry of joy. Suddenly this cry of joy turns into a terrible scream. The soldier falls unconscious and lying on the floor, pale, with unnaturally bent legs. The medical officers picked him up, and the reason immediately became obvious. It was not orthostatic hypotension, as one might think; it was bilateral fracture of femoral necks! The largest bones have become so brittle that they could not sustain the weight of the body. The soldier was immediately transferred to the hospital of traumatology, and resuscitation began. A patient with regular femoral fracture can stay in bed up to six months, but it is much more serious issue if the broken bones almost don't have calcium.
Pvt. Malyshev was recovering about a year; he had to stay in bed again, but that time much longer. Unfortunately a guy got disability.
In case with another guy, Eldar, everything was good - this time, the medical staff did not let him hasty movements. Initially, they moved the soldier onto the normal horizontal bed. Then they allowed him to bend his legs. After that they let him to sit down. He could not sit for a few days - he was losing consciousness. Finally smooth muscles of blood vessels got enough workout, and the guy was allowed to get up. Two nurses held him from both sides and dragged him around the bed; that's how he was making the five "light" steps. After that, they placed the soldiers on the bed again. He had to take a cord, then to pass it under the bent leg, and then to unbend this leg. It was a synchronous workout for the arm muscles and for the leg muscles. Next, the workout with a stationary bike started, and he got additional calories to his diet. He was taking the huge doses of vitamins and injections of calcium. A month later, I saw private Eldar Sumambaev, who was jogging in the park." (A Lomachinsky "Curious thing of Military Medicine").
Thus, long-term immobility of the body leads to a very dangerous weakening of many functions and systems.
By the way, in contrast to samyama, the consciousness of patients in the above experiment was not subjected transformation.
What happens when we are approaching to completion of yoga?
“According to the Yoga Sutras, Samadhi is cessation of all mental activity, but this is extreme case to interpret the term. Expression "The Great Mahasamadhi" denotes concentration, resulting in the perfect yogis discard the body and release of it. Apparently, this is expressed as a stroke for the "bodily remains". In deep Samadhi, body temperature drops a few degrees; all the functions of the body are barely active; a long stay almost without air is possible." (Andrey Paribok) (*).
Let a person sleeps during the third part of a day; the other two thirds of a day are for active being, which is full of fury and noise. Experience shows that one, maximum two hours of being in ChVN (“Yogash–Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha") is more than enough for psychosomatics to restore its initial condition (using reset) and not to overload itself in the future.
It is known, that yoga adept have to devote all his time other than sleeping, for development the highest stages of yoga. This is the same as The Jesus Prayer. But it is already known, where this way of praying leads to.
What will happen if every day the mind (consciousness) will work in the regular mode one of the sixteen hours of waking, and it will be disabled for fifteen hours? That is, predominance of immobility of the body and of the mind will be absolute? It is clear that long-term preservation of these conditions sooner or later will lead to muscle atrophy and craziness; you lose what you do not use!
So, why do we need it and what is the profit? None of ardent Samadhi supporters gave me an intelligible answer. That's why, an aspiration to a self generated stroke (stroke, generated by the own will) as it was with Swami Sivananda Saraswati, is totally not in my nature.
Also, there is Yoga Tantra, which is incompatible with harmony and balance (stability). Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika describe the different ways to raise the so-called Kundalini energy. The essence of this process is a deliberate unbalancing of system and its shift to the extreme modes of operation. Automatic life support starts to fail; psycho emotional fluctuations appear. They are accompanied by extraordinary feelings and effects. Tantra announced these effects as signs of the highest transmutation; however, it does not guarantee the safety of mind.
Regarding Siddha induced by silence of the mind in classical yoga - obviously, they can manifest themselves as long as adept exists, and as long as he does not damage his own mind by the excess of such silence or by contemplation of the hallucinations, initiated by autonomous mental activity.
There are countless legends of the great yogis, their Samadhi, and the Siddha which they got. Nevertheless, they did not effect on the real world, as well as faith in God, which did not save anybody today and in the past from death by starvation. And civilization is not developed by those who completely inhibit the activity of the mind, falling in the sacred craziness. It is developed by the thinking individuals.
I think that all the chatter about the mystic phenomenon is an eternal temptation for those who want to stop the heart, breathing, reach Samadhi - in short, to assert themselves using any even the most savage way. Doing that, they never wonder - what for? Generally, extreme activity, especially for yoga, became rapidly popular in the last few years among young people with intellectual deficiency and with excess of health. They are not familiar with the words from "Bhagavad Gita":
(*) Andrey Vsevoldovich Paribok (born in 1952) – Russian scientist in Oriental studies (languages and philosophical traditions of ancient India).
- A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work. (II. 50);
- Perform your duties, renouncing attachment, being steadfast in the path of Yoga, remaining even-minded in success and failure, as that equanimity (equilibrium) itself is called Yoga. (II. 48).
Any devotee, be it Christianity, yoga, theosis or Samadhi, requires confidence that he spends life for something higher; that's why the concept of holiness was created.
Pavel Florensky (*)wrote, that if we call something the Saint, it means the separation from the world, from everyday, from worldly problems. Thus, the goals of both, the Orthodox asceticism and yoga (in the extreme form) are beyond the normal being and have no bearing on it. So, they are barren and worthless. And holiness is nothing but a sophisticated, created for many centuries, arrogant disregard of everyday life, which was perfectly shown in the "Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse.
That's why I reject obsolete, engrained philosophy, esotericism, and countless false versions of yoga. I recommend to anyone who has the desire and common sense to master dosed silence of mind through real yoga. This will provide and will extend the harmony of soul and body health for years.
For it is said in The Dhammapada:
- Just as a border city is closely guarded both within and without, even so, guard yourself. Do not let slip this opportunity (for spiritual growth). For those who let slip this opportunity grieve indeed when consigned to hell.
*********************************************************************(*) Pavel Alexandrovich Florensky - (1882 – 1937) - a RussianOrthodox theologian, priest, philosopher, mathematician, physicist, electrical engineer, inventor and Neomartyr.