I read the very very very long blog below, all the way to the end. I must say she could have said it in 2 paragraphs.


She is right that American Yoga only focuses on Hatha Yoga Asanas … only 1 of the 8 Ashtanga Yoga steps. But, what she and all these Indian Yoga teachers don’t understand is that without the effort and fire of Hatha Yoga, you cannot prepare the body and mind to embark on the remaining 7 steps. So, even though American Yoga looks so body oriented, it is actually the right starting place for the Yoga journey.

In fact, I find Indian Yoga teachers quite confused. They do not pay enough attention to doing Hatha Yoga right because they are lazy and indolent, and are unwilling to change their horrible diet. As a consequence, they are blatantly unhealthy and the body/mind vessel stays in a primitive unrefined state … so they try to bullshit about the other 7 steps of Yoga. And all they know is WORDs .. they have never experienced any extraordinary state.

Progress on the 8-fold path requires education, discipline and incessant practice. Asanas can transform any body at any age into a Yogic body that has a calm breath in a stable sitting posture for long periods. Yama and Niyamas (rules of conduct societal and personal) will purify the personal relationships and emotional balance, so the person becomes one of steady wisdom. Then the person is ready to practice Pranayama … and onwards to self-actualization.

Yoga, like most of man’s institutions, is unfortunately also full of buffoons and idiots. Shallow understanding but great ability to vomit out meaningless words.

The most important part of our Engineering journey was getting into IIT and finding a sangha of seekers and a few professor gurus. Ditto for Yoga. Finding the right institution and teachers is the most important first step of a Yoga aspirant.

I just felt stuck in my spiritual journey. After zillions of Yoga asanas and reading and meditation over 30 years, the experience of our divine self was miserly. Several of my fellow long-term practitioners, 20-years and more, had tried this and felt that they finally saw the potential for enlightenment in themselves and were humbled by the glory of it.
So, I kind of just went for it, not expecting anything, one way or the other.
After 15 minutes, my body went warm and then like a bucking horse, a force just grabbed me … it was an explosion of colors and patterns and sounds, just pulling me in. After a few minutes, I said this is too much
for me, let me get out of this state. Too late … when I opened my eyes, the world was distorted and twisting and curling. I started to panic.
One of the helpers came over … and indicated to me to lie down and just let the force take over. I did so. And, as I gave in to the force, the most magical world opened up. The tree leaves were like emeralds, the trunks of trees were alive, and the world was warm and I could luxuriate in the wealth and bounty of God’s gift to all its creations. It was like being in a mother’s womb but with all my senses flooded with colors and ethereal chanting and music. My joy was unbounded. My happiness and love for everyone and everything was boundless. My thankfulness at getting a chance to experience it here and now, filled me.
And I have described the rest of the experience above that went on for 6 more hours.
Now I know what I am doing Yoga and Meditation for…and I do it with a joy that was absent before. And it has released prana and Kundalini energy that courses through every night. I wake up every night at 4am with my body just bucking rhythmically like a young fawn. After letting it energize every muscle and tendon and joint, from head to toe. I jump out of bed, go into a long meditation (Vipassana Meditation) session. And then I am no more body, just a spirit that flows.
Crazy! But I love it.

Do you want to give your body pain, or do you want your body to give you pain?

During today morning’s Yoga class, Sherry Han, asked this question, while students were engaged in some strenuous Yoga sequences. Then Sherry asked us to think about it.

The first option is “do you want to give your body pain?” The instantaneous reaction is certainly not. I would rather be comfortable. If my body is hurting, then I am certainly not happy. I would like to stop whatever I am doing, that is causing the pain. The stomach crunches or plank pushups or one-legged exercises are getting to be excruciating after the fifth rep….and there are 5 more to go…or maybe 15 more, if Sherry goes for 20! Or I could make my body really crave for food, by going on a fast. I could give up and nobody is going to hit me with a stick or scold me. It is entirely up to me, to give my body pain. But when my body has pain, it makes me suffer. So, why do I give my body pain?

The second option is “do you want your body to give you pain?”.  When I was young, under 40 years old, my body never gave me pain, unless I carelessly stubbed my toe or twisted my ankle while playing tennis. Now, at 60, after a few days vacation from exercise and Yoga, the body is stiff in the morning. The left shoulder hurts when I lift my arm. My arthritic left knee hurts when I flex it. My lower back hurts when I sit too long. My neck hurts on one side. Sitting in Lotus pose or Vajrasana, is difficult. The question my mind ponders is, what would happen if I did not do exercise or Yoga for 6 months, or a year or 2 years. I think my body would be giving me a lot of pain, all day long. The knee surgery that I have held in abeyance because of Yoga, will have to be done; maybe even knee replacement. Then the painful healing of the surgical wound, followed by more painful physio-therapy. If I don’t go through the severe pain of physio, then the replacement knee will never give me proper posture. This can affect my spine. Maybe slipped disc. Sciatica pain from an uneven hip. The body can certainly give me unending pain, that maybe it makes sense to take pain-killers. But, that will wipe out my stomach and digestive lining. So, let us eat bland soups. So painful to see everybody enjoying their foods, while I eat soups. The litany of pains that the body can give me, seems to be endless. Maybe it is better to die.

Now, after thinking through the consequences of letting the body give me pain, for me the choice is simple. Make the body suffer through a million crunches or a regular fast or eat like a spartan when a feast is laid out. 

I am going to be the master of my body.