There is a lot of “yoga” happening in the world today that has very little to do with what yoga really is. Several myths about this ancient practice have long been masquerading as facts. It is time we demystify yoga.
Myth 1: Yoga comes from Hinduism
Just because the law of gravity was propounded by Isaac Newton, who lived in a Christian culture, does it make gravity Christian?
The yogic sciences have been labeled Hindu only because this technology grew and prospered in this culture, so naturally it has been associated with the Hindu way of life. Yoga is a technology. Anyone who is willing to make use of it can make use of it. If you have any interest in your inner wellbeing, the technology of yoga is a must.
Myth 2: Why be a human when you can be a pretzel? Yoga is all about impossible postures.
When we utter the word “yoga,” most people on the planet only think of asanas (yoga postures). The science of yoga explores just about every aspect of life, but today’s world has chosen to represent yoga with only the physical aspect. In the yogic system, there is very little significance given to physical postures.
Yoga means that which allows you to attain to your higher nature. The yogic system is a subtle manipulation of your system. Every mudra (hand gesture to direct prana through the body), karma or kriya, the very way of breathing, every asana is focused towards this.
If hatha yoga is taught in a proper atmosphere, it is a fantastic process of shaping your system into a fantastic vessel, a fabulous device to receive the Divine.
Myth 3: Find your groove. Yoga and music go well.
There should never be music or a mirror when you practice asanas. Hatha yoga demands a certain involvement of your body, mind, energy and the innermost core. If you want the involvement of that which is the source of creation within you, your body, mind and energy must be absolutely involved. You should approach it with a certain reverence and focus.
One of the biggest problems in yoga studios is that the teacher is doing asanas and speaking. This is a sure way to cause damage to yourself! You never, ever speak in postures. The breath, mental focus and stability of energy are most important when you are in an asana. If you speak, you will destroy all of that.
A lot of people who have done improper yoga have lost their mental balance. This is not because yoga is dangerous, but if you do something stupid, it will cause damage to you.
Myth 4: Need a yoga study guide? You can learn yoga from a book.
Today, if you enter any major bookstore, you will find a minimum of 15 to 20 different yoga books. How to learn yoga in seven days, how to become a yogi in 21 days... Many people have caused immense damage to themselves by learning yoga through books. Yoga seems to be very simple, but there is a very subtle aspect to it. It has to be done with perfect understanding and proper guidance. Without this, one can get into deep trouble. A book can inspire you, but it is not meant to teach a practice.
Myth 5: Yoga is something you practice every morning and evening
Yoga is not something that you just do morning and evening. Yoga is a certain way of being. One must become yoga. If you are doing yoga in the morning and evening, but the rest of the time you are emotionally entangled with life, this is not yoga. This is only yoga practice.
There is no aspect of life that is excluded from the yogic process. If your life becomes yoga, then you can do everything. You can conduct your family or your business. You can use every aspect of life either to entangle yourself or liberate yourself. If you are using it to entangle yourself, we call it “karma.” If you are using it to liberate yourself, we call it “yoga.”
Isha Hatha Yoga School delivers classical Hatha Yoga in its full depth and dimension. It is Sadhguru’s vision to offer this ancient science in all its purity and make it available to every individual. In this program, Hatha Yoga will be taught as a living experience in the most beautiful ashram setting of the Isha Yoga Center, India under the grace of a living master. Upon completion of the program, trainees will have the privilege and fulfillment of bringing this knowledge to many more people.
To learn more about Sadhguru, visit Sadhguru.org