Is there a right and wrong method of practice in Yoga?
Today, In american yoga, there is incredible amounts of ego with different styles being the best and different teachers being the best. I even heard an argument over who had the best song list in a class. It is just the normal western yoga way. It means nothing. Just because someone has written a book on yoga doesn’t mean it is correct. Buyer beware. Only true knowledge and a real practice is the illumination for all of this darkness. For those that wish to remain in ignorance, there is not a right way or wrong way in yoga. Ignorance is bliss, until it becomes a disease. There are many many people out there calling themselves yoga teachers that say that there is not a wrong way; that all is god, that we are all one, etc. etc. etc. It is so far from correct and the proof lies in the injuries and the imbalances that are being created on exceedingly large levels. I must make a note here that the man who originated the open hearted approach with lots of backbending (which actually brings prana to either ajna, sahasrara, or muladhara not the heart) was so conscious and open hearted that he was on drugs and sleeping with married women and employees. Think that there is a problem there? Get the point? It is not all as it seems out there. Yoga is just a fashion today. Just go to Elephant Journal and look at all the article that have absolutley nothing to do with yoga and many are the opposite of a yogic path. Just what yoga has become, nothing, just exercise.
I receive many comments of who am I to say what is right? This is just an out, thats all. it is not about me knowing anything or being right. It is about health, your health and if you are a teacher, it is about the health of your students or the opposite the damage you are doing to them because of a lack of knowledge. Where is your honesty and integrity?
Swatmarma gives instructions on symptoms indicating the favorable and adverse effects of the practices in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The best example of this can be found in the detailed discussion on Nadishoadana Pranayama in the second chapter. Regarding the proper pranayama and the improper pranayama, Swatmarma has given symptoms of the effects of doing pranayama in the proper manner and has also given symptoms of of adverse effects of doing pranayama in an improper way; refer to chapter 2 # 16 and 17.
There are what are called tikas or commentaries that are written on the original texts that are not easy to find and not New York Times Best Sellers written by a guy with less than a decade in experience of any path. These commentaries going into more depth on the original texts. From these commentaries you will find many effects of doing proper techniques and the effects of improperly performed techniques. The improperly performed technique does create imbalances and cause disease.
Mulabandha for example…. If you know how to do mulabandha properly please leave a comment as to how it is performed below. I have seriously heard about 25 ways in my time. Only one is correct. When tissues are depleted, proper excretion is hampered, digestive fire is disturbed, and the nada or internal sound is not properly formed are all effects of improperly performing mulabandha and also shows an imbalance in the system .
All of the bandhas must in fact be properly performed or they will cause an imbalance. This is interesting since the bandhas are hardly taught at all in American Yoga, much less correctly.
Another interesting factoid is that Svatmarma has qualitatively prohibited fasting by quoting Goraksha. The possibility of bile/gall (pitta) formation is indicated as an adverse effect of fasting. So much for those water fasts huh?
H.P.J. Chpt 2/17 Mulabandha and Uddiyana Bandha are necessary components of pranayama. If practised wrongly cause adverse effect due to vitiated vayu.
All of this is just a snippet view but begs the importance of a real guru and the actual dangers of American Yoga with our 200 hr trainings based in western exercise.
It is also written that the comprehensive benefits of this secret knowledge should never be given to a person not worthy of receiving it. If it is given to a person not fit to receive it then Saraswati at once destroys that knowledge and withdrawals the power of that knowledge.
Okay, so how do you know if your yoga teacher knows anything correctly? Great question huh? Specially because most teachers are laying on the crutch that there is no one way and that all paths lead to the same place. I beg to differ.