In the name of yoga what is being taught by so called yoga teachers like Swami Ramdev and others is only Hatha Yoga i.e. aasan and pranayam. The way these are being taught is not the practice of aasanas and pranayam as has been prescribed by Patanjali, the originator of complete discipline of yoga. The sutras in which Patanjali has explained aasanas and pranayam have been explained by Osho in following lines:-
"Patanjali's whole art is of how to attain to the state where you can die willingly, surrender willingly, with no resistance. These sutras are a preparation, a preparation to die and a preparation to a greater life."
'sthir sukham asanam'.
"Patanjali's yoga has been very much misunderstood, misinterpreted. Patanjali is not a gymnast, but yoga looks like it is a gymnastics of the body. Patanjali is not against the body. He is not a teacher to teach you contortions of the body. He teaches you the grace of the body, because he knows only in a graceful body a graceful mind exists; and only in a graceful mind a graceful self becomes possible; and only in a graceful self, the God."
"Step by step, deeper and higher grace has to be attained. Grace of the body is what he calls asan, posture. He's not a masochist. He is not teaching you to torture your body. He is not a bit against the body. How can he be? He knows the body is going to be the very foundation-stone. He knows if you miss the body, if you don't train the body, then higher training will not be possible."
"STHIR SUKHAM ASANAM" -- the posture should be steady and should be very, very blissful, comfortable. So never try to distort your body, and never try to achieve postures which are uncomfortable."
"For the Westerners, sitting on the ground, sitting in padmasan, lotus posture, is difficult; their bodies have not been trained for it. There is no need to bother about it. Patanjali will not force that posture on you. In the East people are sitting from their very birth, small children sitting on the ground. In the West, in all cold countries, chairs are needed; the ground is too cold. But there is no need to be worried about it. If you look at Patanjali's definition, what a posture is, you will understand: it should be steady and comfortable."
"If you can be steady and comfortable in a chair, it is perfectly okay -- no need to try a lotus posture and force your body unnecessarily. In fact, if a Western person tries to attain to lotus posture it takes six months to force the body; and it is a torture. There is no need. Patanjali is not in any way helping you, in any way persuading you, to torture the body. You can sit in a tortured posture, but then it will not be a posture according to Patanjali."
"A posture should be such that you can forget your body. What is comfort? When you forget your body, you are comfortable. When you are reminded continuously of the body, you are uncomfortable. So whether you sit in a chair or you sit on the ground, that's not the point. Be comfortable, because if you are not comfortable in the body you cannot long for other blessings which belong to deeper layers: the first layer missed, all other layers closed. If you really want to be happy, blissful, then start from the very beginning to be blissful. Comfort of the body is a basic need for anybody who is trying to reach inner ecstasies."
"Posture should be steady and comfortable." And whenever a posture is comfortable it is bound to be steady. You fidget if the posture is uncomfortable. You go on changing sides if the posture is uncomfortable. If the posture is really comfortable, what is the need to fidget and feel restless and go on changing again and again?"
"And remember, the posture that is comfortable to you may not be comfortable to your neighbor; so please, never teach your posture to anybody. Every body is unique. Something that is comfortable to you may be uncomfortable to somebody else."
"Everybody has to be unique because every body is carrying a unique soul. Your thumbprints are unique. You cannot find anybody else all over the world whose thumbprints are just like yours. And not only today: you cannot find anybody in the whole past history whose thumbprints will be like yours, and those who know, they say even in the future there will never be a person whose thumbprint will be like yours. A thumbprint is nothing, insignificant, but that too is unique. That shows that every body carries a unique being. If your thumbprint is so different from others', your body, the whole body, has to be different."
"So never listen to anybody's advice. You have to find your own posture. There is no need to go to any teacher to learn it; your own feeling of comfort should be the teacher. And if you try -- within a few days try all the postures that you know, all the ways that you can sit -- one day you will fall upon, stumble upon, the right posture. And the moment you feel the right posture, everything will become silent and calm within you. And nobody else can teach you, because nobody can know how your body harmony, in what posture, will exactly be steady, comfortable. Try to find your own posture. Try to find your own yoga, and never follow a rule, because rules are averages."
"All rules exist for averages. They are good to understand a certain thing, but never follow them. Otherwise you will feel uncomfortable."
"STHIR SUKHAM ASANAM." There cannot be any better definition of posture: Posture should be steady and comfortable."
"In fact I would like to say it the other way, and the Sanskrit definition can be translated in the other way: Posture is that which is steady and comfortable. STHIR SUKHAM ASANAM: That which is steady and comfortable is posture. And that will be a more accurate translation. The moment you bring "should," things become difficult. In the Sanskrit definition there is no "should," but in the English it enters. I have looked into many translations of Patanjali. They always say, "Posture should be steady and comfortable." In the Sanskrit definition -- STHIR SUKHAM ASANAM -- there is no "should." STHIR means steady, SUKHAM means comfortable, ASANAM means posture -- that's all. "Steady, comfortable: that is the posture."
"Why does this "should" come in? Because we would like to make a rule out of it. It is a simple definition, an indicator, a pointer. It is not a rule. And remember it always: that people like Patanjali never give rules; they are not so foolish. They simply give pointers, hints. You have to decode the hint into your own being. You have to feel it, work it out; then you will come to the rule, but that rule will be only for you, for nobody else."
"If people can stick to it, the world will be a very beautiful world -- nobody trying to force anybody to do something, nobody trying to discipline anybody else. Because, your discipline may have proved good for you, it may be poisonous for somebody else. Your medicine is not necessarily a medicine for all. Don't go on giving it to others."
"How to attain to this posture? How to attain this steadiness? First look at the comfort. If your body is exactly in deep comfort, in deep rest, feeling good, a certain well-being surrounds you: that should be the criterion with which to judge. That should become the touchstone. And this is possible while you are standing; this is possible while you are Lying down; this is possible while you are sitting on the ground or sitting on a chair. It is possible anywhere, because it is an inner feeling of comfort. And whenever it is attained you will not like to continue moving again and again, because the more you move, the more you will miss it. It happens in a certain state. If you move, you move away; you disturb it."
"And that's the natural desire in everybody, and yoga is the most natural thing: natural desire is to be comfortable, and whenever you are in discomfort you will like to change it. That is natural. Always listen to the natural, instinctive mechanism within you. It is almost always correct."
"THE NEXT STEP AFTER THE PERFECTION OF POSTURE IS BREATH CONTROL, WHICH IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH HOLDING THE BREATH ON INHALATION AND EXHALATION, OR STOPPING THE BREATH SUDDENLY."
"Between body and mind, breath is the bridge -- these three things have to be understood. Body posture, mind merging into the infinite, and the bridge that joins them together have to be in a right rhythm. Have you observed? If not, then observe that whenever your mind changes, the breat"
"When your body is healthy, breathing has a different quality. When your body is ill the breathing is ill. When you are perfectly in health you completely forget about breathing. When you are not in perfect health the breathing comes again and again to your notice; something is wrong."
"The next step after the perfection of posture is breath control...." This word "breath control" is not good; it is not a right rendering of the word "pranayam." Pranayam never means breath control. It simply means the expansion of the vital energy. Prana-ayam: prana means the vital energy hidden in breath, and ayam means infinite expansion. It is not "breath control." The very word "control" is a little ugly, because the very word "control" gives you a feeling of the controller -- the will enters. Pranayam is totally different: expansion of vitality breathing in such a way that you become one with the whole's breathing; breathing in such a way that you are not breathing in your own individual way, you are breathing with the whole."
"Sit with a tree. If you are silent, enjoying, delighting, suddenly you will become aware that the tree, somehow, is breathing the same way you are breathing."
"And there comes a moment when one feels that one is breathing together with the whole, one becomes the breath of the whole, one is no longer fighting, struggling, one is surrendered. One is with the whole -- so much so, that there is no need to breathe separately."
"The next step after the perfection of posture is breath control -- PRANAYAM -- WHICH IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH HOLDING THE BREATH ON INHALATION AND EXHALATION, OR STOPPING THE BREATH SUDDENLY."
"When you breathe in, there comes a moment when the breath has completely gone in -- for a certain second breathing stops. The same happens when you exhale. You breathe out: when the breath is completely released, for a certain second, again, breathing stops. In those moments you face death, and to face death is to face God. To face death is to face God -- I repeat it -- because when you die, God lives in you. Only after the crucifixion is there resurrection. That's why I say Patanjali is teaching the art of dying."
"When the breathing stops, when there is no breathing, you are exactly in the same stage as you will be in when you will die. For a second you are in tune with death -- breathing has stopped. The whole of THE BOOK OF THE SECRETS, VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA, is concerned with it -- emphatically concerned with it -- because if you can enter into that stoppage, there is the door."
"And these are the moments to find the way: when the breath goes in and stops for a second; when the breath goes out and stops for a second. Attune yourself to become more and more aware of these stops, these gaps. Through these gaps, God enters you like death."
"THE DURATION AND FREQUENCY OF THE CONTROLLED BREATHS ARE CONDITIONED BY TIME AND PLACE, AND BECOME MORE PROLONGED AND SUBTLE."
"The more you do these stoppages, the gaps, the more the gate becomes a little wider; you can feel it more. Try it. Make it a part of your life. Whenever you are not doing anything, let the breath go in... stop it. Feel there; somewhere there is the door. It is dark; you will have to grope. The door is not immediately available. You will have to grope... but you will find."
"And whenever you will stop the breath, thoughts will stop immediately. Try it. Suddenly stop the breath: and immediately there is a break and thoughts stop, because thoughts and breaths both belong to life -- this so-called life. In the other life, the divine life, breathing is not needed. You live; there is no need to breathe. And thoughts are not needed. You live; thoughts are not needed. Thoughts and breath are part of the physical world. No-thought, no-breath, are part of the eternal world."
"THERE IS A FOURTH SPHERE OF BREATH CONTROL, WHICH IS INTERNAL, AND IT GOES BEYOND THE OTHER THREE."
"Patanjali says these three -- stopping inside, stopping outside, stopping suddenly -- and there is a fourth which is internal. That fourth has been emphasized by Buddha very much; he calls it "anapana sata yoga." He says, "Don't try to stop anywhere. Simply watch the whole process of breath." The breath coming in -- you watch, don't miss a single point. The breath is coming in -- you go on watching. Then there is a stop, automatic stop, when the breath has entered you -- watch the stop. Don't do anything; simply be a watcher. Then the breath starts for the outer journey -- go on watching. When the breath is completely out, stops -- watch that stop also. Then the breath goes on coming in, going out, coming in, going out -- you simply watch. This is the fourth: just by watching you become separate from the breath."
"When you are separate from the breath you are separate from the thoughts. In fact breath is the parallel process in the body to thoughts in the mind. Thoughts move in the mind; breath moves in the body. They are parallel forces, two aspects of the same coin. Patanjali also refers to it, although he has not emphasized the fourth. He simply refers to it, but Buddha has completely focused his whole attention on the fourth; he never talks about the three. The whole Buddhist meditation is the fourth."
"There is a fourth sphere of PRANAYAM" -- that is of witnessing -- "which is internal, and it goes beyond the other three." But Patanjali is really very scientific. He never uses the fourth, but he says that it is beyond the three. Must be Patanjali didn't have as beautiful a group of disciples as Buddha had. Patanjali must have been working with more body oriented people, and Buddha was working with more mind oriented people. He says that the fourth goes beyond the three, but he himself never uses it -- he goes on saying all that can be said about yoga. That's why I say he is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end: he has not left out a single point. Patanjali's YOGA SUTRAS cannot be improved."
"There are only two persons in the world who created a whole science alone. One is Aristotle, in the West, who created the science of logic -- alone, with nobody's cooperation. And for these two thousand years nothing has been improved; it remains the same. It remains perfect. Another is Patanjali, who created the whole science of yoga -- which is many times, a million times greater than logic -- alone. And it could not be improved; it has not been improved; and I don't see any point how it can be improved any day. The whole science is there, perfect, absolutely perfect."
(Yoga: The Alfa and the Omega)
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