Yoga? What is it? Is it anything you want it to be? Lets ask Krishnamacharya.
Quotes from KRISHNAMACHARYA’S YOGASANAGALU (1941)
From ancient times, while doing veda adhyayanam, the svaras (the notes udatta (elevated), anudatta (grave) and svarita (middle/articulated)) in the aksharas (syllables) of the vedas are observed and mastered without fail;
in music, the rules of sruti (division of octave), layam (metre or time), thrtam and anuthrtam are followed;
in pathyatmaha (verses of 4 lines each) poems the rules for chandas, yati, and parasam have been established and are carefully followed;
in mantra upasana, the anganyasa, karanyasa, sariranyasa, kalaanyasa, matrukanyasa, ji- vanyasa, tattvanyasa are experienced and understood.
Similarly in yogasana, pranayama and the mudras, the vinyasas handed down from ancient times should be followed. But nowadays, in many places, these great practitioners of yogabhyasa ignore vinyasa krama and just move and bend and shake their arms and legs and claim that they are practising asana abhyasa. This is being done not only in yogabhyasa but also in veda adhyayanam and in mantra upasanas where the rules are being ignored and people shamefully practise this as though it were part of their worldly affairs. If this behaviour continues for some time, even the vedas will be ruined. Everybody knows that anything that is done without following the prescribed rules will not give any beneﬁts. When we know that this is true, is there any need to reiterate this for the great traditions of yogabhyasa, veda adhyayanam and mantra upasana which provide the best beneﬁts? Some people, who are involved in sahavasa dosha and interested only in worldly beneﬁts, say that they do not see any point in following sanatana dharma or karma yoga. There are reasons for their saying this.
I would like to brieﬂy mention one or two points addressing this.
1. They are not following the rules such as vinyasa.
2. Their guru is not teaching them using the secrets and techniques that are in his experience.
3. The guru has not instructed them properly about the place and time of practice, the appropriate diet and drink and activities for the practitioner. As a result of many people teaching yogabhyasa in this fashion, many leave the path of yoga saying that they do not see the beneﬁts in yogabhyasa and fall into the traps of various diseases. They do not exercise the body properly and spend money unnecessarily.Instead of following the system properly, they lose their way and waste time on unnecessary pursuits and have started saying that these times are not appropriate for sanatana dharma and karma. Some others, in order to hide the mistakes and bad actions that they have committed, keep saying that doing yogabhyasa makes one go mad and intentionally deceive great people in this manner.