Hindrances to the path of yoga

As per the Gheranda Samhita, one of the main texts of yoga.…

Chapter three, verses 34 through 37

Now I mention the paramount hindrances in the path of yoga that are to be overcome by doing so the yogis cross the painful ocean of transmigration.

Sour, dry, pungent, salty, made of mustard, bitter, too much traveling, early morning bathing, oil, and things causing burning sensations.

Stealing, violent, always hating others, egoism, not being straight forward, fasting, falsehood, infatuation, and pestering other beings.

Contact with women, basking in fire, excessive agreeable or non agreeable talking, gossip, and over eating. All these things a yogi must renounce.

Notice that the first shloka here states the ocean of transmigration is painful. It is not about being happy or joyful or any type of feeling whatsoever. It is fire of transformation and it burns. All the enlightened saints of the past and those looked at as highly spiritual had huge amounts of suffering in their lives.

Furthermore the niyamas and yamas are pretty much covered here and specially brahmacharya is well defined as celibacy by the comment of contact with women. Plain and clear isn’t it? Yoga is only a path of renunciation.

So what is yoga and what is a yogi? Surely not what is being taught out there today as yoga and sold on every corner. Kinda makes you think? Yoga huh? Really?

Lets add another shloka into the mix….

From a text in Sanskrit one of the tikas on The Hatha Yoga Samhita….. Chapter one verse 11

Those desirous of success in yoga should always keep this vidya a secret. It becomes powerful when kept secret. On revealing it becomes powerless.

so still thinking your teaching yoga? Ever feeling like your just a GMO and not the real thing? How about one more shloka….

Just like a country without a king, night without a moon, and mudra without the symbol of the king similarly various types of practices like asana, kumbhaka and mudra are meaningless without samadhi.

Since kumbhaka and mudra are not taught in any “system” or “style” if yoga in the West we don’t even need to talk about them but we now see once again that asana is pretty useless

and just added for fun…

Verse 17

First of all, asanas are described as it forms the first limb of yoga. Asanas bestow physical and mental stability, good health, and lightness of the body.


Asana is only this and it is only the results of balancing prana gives those results

But wait there is more…

Verse 33
Lord Shiva has enumerated 84 asanas and of those I am describing the most important asanas among them.

Verse 34
The four asanas are Siddha, Padma, Simha, and Bhadra. Amongst those the most is siddhasana. One should always practice for sitting comfortably in this asana.

who would have thought that the only important asanas would be seated meditative postures? Mostly since yogas goal is samadhi, you would think that meditation might be important? Modern day yoga is solely focused on exercise and not even from a yoga perspective but from a western exercise theory perspective only.

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