יוגה עם אלכס ניימרק

יוגה בגישה אישית

  • קורס מורים ליוגה
  • יוגה למתחילים ולמתקדמים
  • יוגה לנשים
  • האתה יוגה וראג'ה יוגה
  • יוגה כטרפיה
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כבר 17 שנה

הוראת יוגה

מלב אל לב

Art of Communication


Chapter 1 

At the time when a drop is touching water glassy,
The air fogs, and someone approaches from behind,
So what, he speaks, is your experience to you within your forces?
Oh, no, answer I, dropping to the whisper…

Svetlana Kekova

The life is a process of sense (order) extraction from environment. Thinkers of all times asserted that from the philosophical point of view the person as such initially does not exist, his real appearance in space of this world is not the fact, but the act. The person arises only as a result of the certain efforts. There are great number of variants "becoming human being fully", called "second birth", however to solve this problem of coming-to-be successfully is far from possible for everyone.

One of the ways to clear your nature and be fulfilled, become "sound" and at the same time free is yoga in its traditional kind, known thousands years (we name exactly this variant classical). «It is impossible to deny an importance of one of the most essential discoveries of India, namely that our consciousness can represent itself as "witness", "observer", free from influence of psychophysiological factors and temporal (connected with time) conditionality. It is consciousness of the "released" person who has managed to leave stream of time…» (M.Eliade, «Yoga: Immortality and Freedom»).

There are a lot of original methods of self-realization (though there are certainly incomparable more fakes), among them there are no the best or worst ones, all of them are real, it is only necessary to find suitable. Icategorically object against transformation of the Russian into a parody of Hindu by means of slavish copying alien customs and behaviour. Technology of yoga is non-national, and, saved from metaphysics and mysticism, it excellently works (by analogy with computer) in isolation from «motherboard».

Contrary to narrow-minded ideas, yoga is a rather complicated subject, not having analogues in life experience of the person of the West. For some reasons fragments of its universal technology found itself scattered in time and space, among various peoples, epochs and cultures. At the certain share of success and patience I managed to restore an initial masterpiece using separate fragments, it had taken me about three decades.

Unfortunately (and more likely fortunately), I did not have a real guru who guaranteeing safety considerably accelerates process of yoga learning by the pupil. My teachers and co-authors are adherents of the past and the present devoted themselves to yoga, without them this book would never be born.

Since some moment material of the book with which I had worked began spontaneously to be ordered. And thus the text in which the received conclusions apparently should be stated has turned into the mechanism of independent manufacture of sense, being before not quite clear. When the mental content has been transferring on paper, all its components, refracting in verbal equivalents, are settling down spontaneously and completely in a new fashion. The arisen conclusions have confirmed the fact that it is in the process of yogic practice based on principles of Patanjali Yoga-Sutras problems of body (health) and existence (being) are resolved and the spiritual transformation goes on.

It cannot be said that as a result of a long and persistent practicing yoga, I had greatly grown wiser, understood everything, and written this book. Having accumulated a plenty of various data on the subject and a big personal practical experience, I was given an opportunity for writing it. And further has worked the principle of action by not action. Here is its essence: The order of the real world is such that the human is not capable to come to many results (changes) by consecutive operations. Wishing to perfect ourselves, we are confronted at once with a contradiction: even if it is clear what and in what direction is it necessary to change, it is impossible to understand, who and how will do it. How can I improve myself? How can psychosomatics, whose part is my personality existing for a long time, become other? Who will change it? Who knows what and how is necessary to change, maybe, ego? But it is of erroneous idea of ego and its defective behaviour, based on these ideas, that pitiable state arises, which one must investigate. In order that those changes prove to be really necessary and correct, they must be done by a force from the outside which should be clever and know all about me. But from whence can it appear? The only thing to do is following: it is necessary to create conditions for free functioning of psychosomatics in its own interests which simultaneously are also mine, but hiding from me (elements of the situation which ego basically cannot know – see Gödel’s theorem of incompleteness).

In this case the necessary adjustment, inaccessible to ego, is spontaneously (without my control, but as result of the conditions created by me) made by the system itself, and it is just «action not by action» («act by not act», in the Chinese culture – "u-way"). I canonlycreate conditions for initiation of a desirable course of events, but it is realized by the natural mechanisms working independently, without human understanding and will.

«It becomes obvious that one cannot impose ways of the developmenton intricately organized systems. More exactly, it is necessary to understand how to promote their own tendencies of development» («FoundationsofSynergetics»).

«The Development of the trance condition is an intrapsychic phenomenon caused by internal processes, and actions of hypnotherapist are directed to create for them favorable conditions. By analogy one can tell that the incubator creates such conditions for breeding chickens, but chickens themselves come out due to development of biological processes inside eggs. The inexperienced doctor inducing a trance condition tries frequently to direct behaviour of the probationer according to his ideas how the last one should conduct himself. The role of the doctor, however, should reduce to minimum» («Strategy of Psychotherapy»).

Transformation by means of yoga principles of which had been described by Patanjali is possible only in the channel of «action by not action». As a matter of fact, it is soft management of initial conditions as a result of which the system works in itself in direction useful to it and hence useful to me, and that is just yoga. Any physical or mental activity constructed from the beginning to the end on personal efforts, self-control and occurring in a usual state of wakefulness is not yoga

All modern kinds of pseudo-yoga («author's styles») are senseless as a matter of fact since in the nonlinear environment what the organism of the person is, «only those structures can arise which are potentially incorporated in it and answer own tendencies of processes in the given environment. And no other metastable nonfluctuating structure can not be designed. It is some kind of evolutionary rules of an interdiction» («FoundationsofSynergetics», p. 132). To put it briefly, one can think up any sequences and updating of physical actions, any way one likes to name them, but useful they will be only in that case when their dimension and character coincide with the main task of psychosomatics – the preservation of homeostasis stability.

«The American doctors and chiropractors are seriously worried about the growing number of traumas which people receive at yoga practicing, especially by its "high-speed" variety so-called "power-yoga" which enters more and more into a fashion last years. As experts recollect, there had not been a boom like that since the Eighties when Jane Fonda began to advertise aerobics. «Boston Globe» correspondents give examples of "victims" of enthusiasm for yoga. Thus, a thirty-year man was in need of operation after he had damaged his knee joint. A woman with wide experience of "classical" yoga damaged the neck after practicing yoga with a new "guru", another man damaged a nerve and lost sensitivity of the hip (though newspapers usually give not statistics, but «fried facts», obviously there's no smoke without fire – V. B.).

By some estimation, yoga in the USA is now most dynamically developing form of physical activity. According to the information received by «Yoga Journal», eighteen million persons are practicing it while in 1998 there were only seven. According to the American Association of Sports Goods Manufacturers these figures are somewhat more modest, and the statistics had grown up from 7,4 in 2001 to 9,7 million in 2006.

As experts mark, in most cases, yoga is more safe than other systems, however many people misunderstand it, transforming it into competitions, and absence of preliminary training (and necessary knowledge) leads to traumas. The situation is aggravated because of absence of standards in instructors training though now «Alliance of Yoga» has been organized which supports certain requirements to their training («Medical news», 09.01.2003).

The approach of a person of the western mentality to yoga contains a radical and rather dangerous error: speaking about asana performance or meditation, ancient texts do not mean the direct strong-willed control at all! The point is only creation and preservation of special conditions in the consciousness and body that starts self-adjustment (process of self-improvement) proceeding outside of sphere of perception and competence of intelligence. I find, cook, put in my mouth, chew and swallow some food (my conscious action), but it will be digested and assimilated independently (a completely unconscious action), and mechanisms immeasurably more ancient than ego-consciousness answer for this process. To make the process of digestion faultless, all what is needed: not to hinder it! The original yoga always was and remains art of an indirect adjustment, but in no way of direct one! I only create conditions that psychosomatics itself has led by itself to the order peculiar to it! This order (homeostasis) is latent, minimized, we "learn" about its presence only after the appearance of disorder. If the life of a subject is constructed so that the sum of daily burdens exceeds opportunities of restoration, in that case sooner or later destructive changes accumulate in organs and systems being shown in the beginning as functional disorders which in process of their development become chronic diseases.

The typical example of an illiterate behaviour is attempt of building of communism in Russia. «The social state which had been intended did not correspond to internal properties and potentialities of circumstances. There was no such state (though one believed that it should be as it was desired very much – V. В.) among possible ones, and that is the reason why one had slid off in another potentially existing one. One went in a room but got in another. In such cases it is necessary either to search for the ways of changing internal properties of a complex system (what has no prospects concerning the human body as it is a product of evolution – V. B.), or to refuse attempts of imposing on reality the things that are unusual to this system at all» («FoundationsofSynergetics», p. 133).

To similar attempts relates any «yogic dynamics» which are characterized by the fact that the time of being in asana is minimal, practically the pose is not fixed. To tell the truth, P. Jois, founder of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, says that in his "system" the exposure time of asana lasts some respiratory cycles, but videorecordings of his yoga practicing do not confirm that. For the least pauses dividing the continuous stream of movement in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Ukrainian "circles", etc., the process of self-adjustment (self-perfection) cannotgo on as its main conditions are not followed: the full relaxation (including silence of mind) and the physical immobility. In classical yoga, the body simply carries out asanas, and the consciousness is practically switched off not participating in the process. The order (sequence) of poses (judging by primary sources, there were in the past hardly more than three tens poses) in the beginning has no special value as it is defined by initial physical data and state of health. Without difference, with what "material" we receive a relaxation, the desired psychophysical state arises securely and exactly in simple and accessible poses just as like in pauses between them. Superfluous complexity is not necessary at all; it is energy-consuming, unsafe, and not compatible with truly yogic state of consciousness.

Now some history. My personal acquaintance with yoga (not including an absolutely childish attempt of 1964) began in 1971, from book «Light on Yoga» (or «Yoga Dipika») by B.К.S. Iyengar. When this book had been brought from Moscow, it was really something! I remember a powerful pile of sheets of the typewritten translation and separately photos of asanas. We simply revelled in them: what can a person do with his body! Moreover, the main thing was a tremendous detailed elaboration, everything is planned for days, take it and use.

But except for it there was also yoga of «Indian Philosophy» by S. Radhakrishnan, of "Mahabharata" translated of by B. L. Smirnov, of «The Razor’s Edge» by I. A. Efremov, of «Living Ethics» by Rerich, some integrated yoga by Shri Аurobindo, Yoga Bhakti of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. And all this, except for platitudes, in no way correlate with «Light on Yoga» by Iyengar! Besides it turned out very quickly that the author had shown what to do, how often, and in what sequence, but nowhere it was spoken how to make any asana so that I couldpersonally make it! There was as much as necessary statements of this type: «Take the leg, bring it with an exhalation behind the head …, » etc. However, the leg did not wish to be turned there no matter what you do! The situation with the overwhelming majority of poses was not better; there were no explanations in essence which would clear up the situation in «Light on Yoga».

A question was arising: if one thing (philosophy) is outside of apparent connection with another (practice), why texts repeat persistently that Raja-Yoga is a comprehensive whole, and the sequence of mastering it should be observed steadily?

As a result I have decided to penetrate by all means into philosophy and simultaneously to practice «according to Iyengar», whose book seemed then to us the height of perfection. I persistently went deep into Radhakrishnan, «Lokajata Darshan», "Atmabodha", Upanishads («Old Indian Philosophy of New Time», 1963), found out at secondhand booksellers the books of "Mahabharata", comprehended scholasticism of uncountable Indian schools and sects. All of them praised to the skies yoga as the tool of self-actualization, salvation, intuitive knowledge, etc.,not to mention technologies of asanas practicing and meditations (except for B. L. Smirnov's comments to his translations of "Mahabharata", but also there these data were minimal).

Melancholically, I even had tried to search for a grain of sense in «Living Ethics» by Rerichs, but came to grief. For all that I worked tough in the mornings «according to Iyengar», however if I had a splitting headache from philosophy then asanas failed in general! As a result my yoga practicing «according to Iyengar» during four years of study at the institute did not give any obvious positive, but infinite trivial traumas pushed me to serious reflection. Why is there no progress, despite of exclusive conscientiousness, and attempts to execute poses «as in the picture» overload the body invariably?

Once, waiting just another trauma and having temporarily lost an opportunity and desire to try, I have caught unusual inner rest during exercises, and reflected light of truth had penetrated into the consciousness saddened with fatal aspiration to another's flexibility. Then, I stopped to press on the form at all and understood soon that own efforts are not necessary at all, moreover they are a handicap. So the fundamental revaluation of value of flexibility factor in Hatha-Yoga began. It turned gradually out that only after achievement of full (muscular and mental) relaxation the body starts "to flow down" in itself to the absolute border of the form, where without a powerful dynamic warming-up it is impossible to get with any conscious effort. This specific "fluidity", that gives a spontaneous increase of flexibility, is directly proportional to the degree of clearness of consciousness from any mental activity and independent cogitative "trash".

Moreover, when years later I had read in a Russian translation of Sutras the 47th Shlok from Chapter II: «Asana is reached at the termination of effort or concentration on the infinite» («Yoga Sutras of Patanjali»), it did not become a revelation to me. Inasmuch as I had come to a similar conclusion long ago having felt it on my own back. Another thing was strange: why there is no one word on this subject in the same «Light on Yoga»? Why the world-famous yogic authority did not consider necessary at all to mention it? Nevertheless, it is already another history.

When I had compared results of the practice based on the full relaxation with that what turned out at the diligent pains in the usual state of consciousness, any doubts had disappeared. To provide the safety precautions in asanas I happened to penetrate into dissolution of sensations, and only then to examine approaches to the mental relaxation.

Thus, Sutras define yoga as a temporary inhibition of physical, mental, and emotional activity. «It is very important to keep the body in one position without effort as only easily executed asana gives a necessary concentration. The ideal position of the body is absence of any effort to maintain it», writes Vyasa. «Yogin carrying out an asanashould remove a natural corporal strain» («Yoga. Immortality and freedom», p. 56).

And further: «Against the physical body, asana is an ekagrata, a concentration on one subject: the body "is concentrated" on its position. As ekagrata damps fluctuations and dispersion of "whirlwinds of consciousness», so asana stops any movements of the body filling it with the awareness of itself … » (ibid.).

It seems that only Shavasana (its description is given in Chapter "For Beginners") corresponds to such description, but it is not so since the overwhelming part of motion activity of the person is automated, and it is carried out outside of the control of consciousness. Moreover, at the same time, we practically never cause in everyday life any harm to our body. In addition, we do not feel it if it is healthy. Consequently, for guarantees of physical safety in the same vein – without any negative sensations! – Hatha Yoga should be realized too!

The Definition: «The Relaxation [from Latin relaxatio: reduction of tension, weakening] – 1). It is a physical process of gradual returning of system into state of balance after termination of the factors which had removed it from the given state; 2). In medicine – а). A relaxation of skeletal muscles; b). Removal of a mental strain» [«The Modern Dictionary of Foreign Words»]. The relaxation means in this case not only and not so much the muscular, but first of all the mental relaxation (inhibition of consciousness) since it is the purpose and method of yoga. The body in asanas can be loaded with any intensity, but for all that, there are two moments distinguishing the given physical activity from the usual one essentially:

1) devastated and partly inhibited consciousness during all practice;

2) asana practice generating the predominance of activity of the parasympathetic part of autonomic nervous system (ANS)!

A competent practice cannot generate hypotonus, on the contrary, selected in a necessary (for the given individual) proportion involving strength and stretching poses lead to an optimum vegetative balance. As regards nervous system of an average inhabitant of a megalopolis, the social medium daily loads it up to such degree that the mental relaxation will never be superfluous. SSS (Swami Satyananda Sarasvati) writes: «Just as a convenient bed is necessary for the relaxation of body, certain periods of rest also are necessary for your brain to preserve its freshness» ("Yoga-Journal", №1, 2003, p. 6). When the deep relaxation has been mastered, the person receives an opportunity to strain himself without any negative consequences, physically also, of what he could not dream earlier.

Besides, the classical Hatha Yoga while regenerating psychosomatics provides operating time of the premeditative state during asana practice. «Any dynamic application of force should be avoided in every possible way, the common orientation toward a relaxation is characteristic enough for yoga in general. One or another internal structure that demands only the minimal expense of energy is involved in every asana. Asana mastering is a perfection of sensomotor regulation, so the decrease in muscular activity will be the reflection of mastery growth in Hatha Yoga» (D.Ebert, «Physiological Aspects of Yoga», «Физиологическиеаспектыйоги», p. 24, 45, 47). Practice realized in such a way causes concentration of attention which is understood in the West completely differently – as reduction of perception to focus and strong-willed keeping it on one place (object). SSS asserts that the true concentration of attention can be only spontaneous and arises in a completely weakened body and consciousness. In other words, the main thing with what it is necessary to work in yoga purposefully and consciously is the silence of mind,only in this condition the phenomenon of self-adjustment arises.  

All in this world is interconnected, and the ancients knew it. The purpose of yoga initially was and remains the same: a consecutive contacting (communications) at first with the own body, and then with unconscious. From here, most likely, one of translation variants of the word "yoga" is the term "unity".

«For me yoga or psychophysiologic perfection is a strong screwing the conscious and the subconscious in psyche of a person with the iron core supporting the strength of soul and body» (I.Efremov, «The Razor’s Edge», p. 624).

The nature is arranged so that at all levels of the organization time works against the life. One of conditions of any local order is that fact, that eventually this order is exhausted. From the moment of birth of the individual the error of life-support processes is continuously accruing, and only Hatha Yoga practice (or chi kung and zyong shin) can appreciably inhibit the standard speed of the entropy increment.

«For creation of a supercomplex organization one can work … properly varying slightly constants of the environment. It is the way of yoga. How is it possible to raise in the environment desirable structures from the spectrum of possible ones (to receive the necessary results – V. B.) or – what is more important – to initiate processes of spontaneous increase of the complexity? In the eastern worldview …, there is an understanding of nonlinearity of communication between cause and effect, between action and result. The effect can be opposite to the applied effort.One can with a small, but correct effort, being figuratively expressed, «get a mountain moving» … («FoundationsofSynergetics», p. 110 – 111).

Let us address ourselves to the newest history of yoga in Russia. Crash of the Empire and freedom that burst suddenly had involved here a huge quantity of self-styled "enlightened human beings" (Sahaja Yoga, Brahma Kumaris etc.) aspiring to such variant of prosperity where they alone will supervise spiritually underdeveloped majority.

The situation that had arisen because of censorship abolition, M. Shvydkoj had characterized in his article «Geniuses had shut their eyes… »: «Availability of cultural values discovers an ineradicable dilettantism. Everybody can find their place under the sun: postmodernists and socialist realists, surrealists and traditionalists, the Pinks, Blues, Reds, and even Browns… Everyone works in itself and struggles with himself, if forces suffice. Alternatively, with heavens, if there is impudence enough. But forces and impudence obviously lack» (the paper "Izvestija", 22.12.1999). The situation with yoga had become quite strange forcing to recollect Holy Scripture: «But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak». (The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, IV. A. 8.9).

The question of yoga change in India is a long and confusing history. Quite often different teachers and schools have an incompatible vision of the subject. However, disagreements of such property, as a rule, are never submitted to the public, being latent by the impenetrable armor of corporate ethics, what, I believe, is far from being useful for the followers of the doctrine. The ideology of tutorship developed in ancient times had completely exhausted itself, and new social realities went out today of the control by former system of values. The strongest moral decay, corruption and abuse of power became integral attributes of institute of the guru both in India and behind its limits, and it is not peculiar to any separate people, but is generated by the structure of the mutual relations initially inherent to the tandem "guru – pupil". However, seemingly, these problems are purely Indian, nevertheless they directly affect also Russia. The pseudoyogic substitute is penetrating first of all into the broad masses as there is too much of it in the world. For some reason in this life people give equal value to sense and fiction, but yoga in mass conception is first of all a thing exotic and mysterious from which one always expects miracles. Against a background of these expectations and full ignorance of the subject, any bosh called yoga produced by infinite quantity of authors of «new styles» gets on faith. Like futurists at the beginning of XX century these «authors» are young, healthy, cheeky, they can splendidly bend and are not burdened with doubts on own exclusiveness. Moreover, as the invented information is always organized much easier than the original state of affairs, and it is much easier to manipulate it (after all, there are more words than facts), we have an enormous quantity of versions of "yoga" today. Nevertheless, it is necessary to note, for the sake of justice, that process of the worldwide profanation had begun just on its native land.

The problem of authenticity had been raised in the sketch «The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace» by N.E. Sjoman («Dynamic Practice in the Classical Yoga», 1999). His researches had confirmed that a number of «author's styles» spread widely in the West had long ago and completely exceeded in India itself (by virtue of those or other reasons) the conceptual bounds of Yoga Sutras. Based on the personal physical data, many teachers and "experts" had extremely expanded the asanas catalogues, having simultaneously revised completely principles of their performance. To tell the truth, nobody had dared to reconsider the form of few poses represented in primary sources. Theoretical innovations have been carrying out either by arbitrary interpretation of unclear places in Sutras, or under covering of references to mythical ancient texts ("Yoga Korunta"), which interpretate the yoga essence by radically different way than Patanjali.

At one of the Moscow seminars at the beginning of 1990, Faek Biria, the high-ranking functionary of Transnational Iyengar Yoga Corporation, had declared literally the following: «Guruji like Mendeleyev in chemistry had found out, restored, and systematized mass of the unknown and forgotten poses of yoga». This addition appeared overpowering as Iyengar had added some more than hundred sixty-eight (and with variants much more) to thirty-two asanas of «Gheranda Samhita».

Yogeshwaranand had described two hundred sixty-three asanas («First steps to higher yoga», 1975), Dhirendra Brahmachari hundred seventy-two («YogasanaVijnyana»), Shyam Sundar Gosvami («Hatha Yoga», 1974) hundred eight. Besides many asanas of these authors are not crossed and if to gather them, the total quantity will exceed three hundred.

According to A. Lappa's revelations («Yoga: The Tradition of Unity», 1999) there are exactly three hundred sixty-five asanas. On the sitehttp://yogadancer.com/Asanas.shtml, there are about four hundred fifty poses, moreover with variants. Dharma Mitra, a pupil of Shri Svami Kuvalayananda and the founder of the Dharma Yoga Center, had depicted in his poster nine hundred eight asanas. Who is more!? And what for?

Each person possesses a level of the physical flexibility inherentby nature just to him consisting of the basic, spare, and reserve ranges of movement of the backbone, joints, and parts of the body against trunk. Flexibility is a secondary constant of homeostasis, and at regular practicing asanas, it grows up to the possible and useful (at the given bodily constitution) maximum.

«Are elementary exercises of yoga, probably, known to you?

I am nodding assent.

– I shall show you what one can do on their basis.

I see a tuber swell under the diaphragm of Ambu, the stomach become flat as the board and stick to the back. However, it was only the beginning. Everything what had followed it was beyond description. I was staring at him and doubting whether a person was in front of me. He coiled as a snake, and it seemed to me that bones of his extremities were soft. Ambu tied himself into a knot and untied as easily. His interiors were moving and taking position unusual to them. He was bending as a snake and crawling slowly under himself. His hands and legs were bending in the most unusual directions, and at times, it seemed to me that Ambu was taking himself to pieces. The muscles on his hands were compressing, and hands became childly thin. At some moment, he all became flat as though a road-roller had taken for a ride on his body. He was rolling into a wheel, and this wheel was moving only with efforts of stomach muscles in the room. When all this cascade of improbable exercises had been terminated, Ambu stood up from the mat and sighed deeply» (L.Shaposhnikova, «Years and Days of Madras», 1971, p. 338).

Physical flexibility inherent to an individual forms features of the structure of the glenohummeral-ligamentous apparatus, the level of excitability and extensibility of muscles, and also the degree of kinesthesia. Flexibility (synonyms: limberness, pliancy, plasticity, suppleness) is an ability to carry out physical exercises with a big amplitude. Distinguished are two kinds of flexibility: an active and a passive. The active one is an at most possible mobility in joints, which the executor can show independently, without assistance, using only muscle strength. The passive flexibility is defined by the best amplitude, which one can reach due to the external forces created by a partner, a gymnastic apparatus or a burdening.

Development of the top flexibility was never the purpose of yoga. If an individual hypermobile by his nature (and there are a lot of them) is concentrated on development of this virtue so he can reach a phenomenal level of the complexity, but yoga is somewhat different. If the enlightenment depended on the ability to double up, then any circus actor specializing on it would automatically become the titan of spirit what we, naturally, do not observe. In June 2005 in Moscow a three-day seminar of Shri Avanish Acharya, the Yogin from Hardvar, was held. He had directly declared to the audience: Yoga is not a flexibility, but something greater. The more complex are asanas, the less useful they are – in all senses!

Unfortunately for people interested in yoga in modern «author's styles», aim at development of the maximal flexibility had gotten a completely mad character, it had come already to the world championships. At the same time, the public being actively involved in the orbit of given "styles", submitting themselves deliberately as yoga, does not even suspect that all this has already been existing for a very long time, but under completely other signboard.

In the English language, there is a word «contortion» i.e., flexibility in the widest sense. In the Russian Internet one can find sites of its fans – ,etc., and also The Contorion Home Page and Possic Contortion Home Page – the full worldwide list of references to pages about contortion.

Here are fragments of an essay by K. Topfer (professor of faculty of dramatic art, University of San Jose, California, the USA) «Twisted bodies. Aspects of female contortionism in letters of a connoisseur». Despite of the specific orientation, this information is rather pertinent in the given context.

«Contortion is an ancient kind of art. The first information about it goes back to antiquity when contortionists of the Egyptian and Greco-Roman cultures acted in cast of theatrical troupes together with acrobats, rope-dancers and strong men. These troupes showed tragical pantomimes at theatres, stadiums and in private houses. At the age of Christianity contortion as a public show had gone through decline and became a stochastic element of eccentric entertainments of aristocracy alongside with men of motley, dwarfs, dancers, acrobats and jugglers. A remarkable example of medieval number of contortion is a sculpture in nave of the Cathedral in Rouen representing Salome on a feast of Herod. She is dancing being on hands, bending the turned body so that her legs are hanging down above the head.

As a public show, contortion had reappeared approximately in 18thcentury, but only in 20th popularity of its women-performers had eclipsed the man's one. In 1890 mademoiselle Bertoldi, "distortionist", had opened for public the female contortion in some variety theatres in Europe. They discussed from her plastic numbers mainly plots, and technical and psychological aspects of performance were not concerned. Using light effects, properties, luxurious magnificent suits and «the offscreen voice» for creation of mystical atmosphere, contortion performers had been transforming their performances into emotional dramas. Sometimes women acted with male partners who did not bend, however merely female duets made a stronger impression upon the public, especially if there were both performers contortionists. Contortion had become a "dark" genre admitted mainly in nightclubs and concert halls. The flowering of contortion fell on the Thirtieth and Forties. The American performer Barbara La May who had located in Paris was, probably, the greatest actress of this genre. She connected motives of heroic spirit and danger with the luxurious melancholic representation of defenselessness. Her daughter also participated in number together with mother. In general, the reason of interest to contortion is quite often the desire to see something unpleasant. It demonstrates the autobiographical «story of a contortionist» in the old brochure «Vive le Cirque Serge» (from B. Kattenberg's collection): «At present time public thirsts for a nightmare. One woman had fainted before my very eyes. Public is horrified, when it hears the crunch of my bones and feels disgust, when I do myself completely soft. Once at home I was coming downstairs as a frog, and houseowner who had seen me got an attack of hysteria».

There is also a term "klishnik" (frontbender) – a performer of the plastic acrobatics numbers based on the special flexibility of the body. The main position of a klishnik is a so-called front folding (position at which the corpus closely adjoins to the legs, which have been not bent in knees), is carried out standing, sitting and lying. Among other tricks there are: "frog", a handstand with the legs been put behind shoulders; «simian run», the actor quickly moves on the arena on direct legs, touching with his palms the ground; puts legs behind the neck, and others. These elements of acrobatics were known in antiquities too, but their setting apart in an independent kind and the further development is connected with the name of English actor E. Klishnik (1813 – 1877), who for the first time acted with the number "person-monkey" (Vienna, 1842). In the beginning of XX century in this genre, there were comic and group numbers which represented pantomime sketches with a simple plot – actors represented devils, frogs, crocodiles, snakes».

When yoga began to become fashionable (the beginning of 1990), the superflexible youth had instantly caught demand and rushed to create «schools of author's yoga»,but actually all this is the same contortion, only in pseudo yoga packing. On the mentioned above sites are placed photos of little-girls-gymnasts who are bent so, that on their background, even Iyengar has nothing to do. To tell the truth, everything is fairly called by them tricks based on the youth and physical predisposition of performers who, by the way, are not invited for some reason to the championships in yoga sport.

There are known both women and men who had reached in contortion outstanding success such as Galina Torbeyeva, Tamara Ljazgina, Irina Vashchenko, Irina Kazakova, Christina Kireyeva, Svetlana Belova, Natalia Vasiljuk, Tatyana Basargina, Englishman Daniel Browning Smith, Mongolians Norovsambu and Talbaa Ouontsatsran, etc. All of them, possessing rare innate physique, act in various shows after their special development and polishing their mastery. They do not give out the circus for yoga, do not promise to teach anyone this, and do not bring abstruse substantiations under their narrow physical endowments what is typical for authors of new «yoga styles». If actors of "caoutchouc" genre travelling across the world support themselves owing to earnings from the performances, many people fooled by "yogis" of the new formation go themselves to them and pay money for that what is impossible to learn, and by the highest standards, there is no need to do it.

What moves authors of mentioned "styles" one can learn from correspondence between resident of Kiev Sidersky and resident of Novosibirsk Kalabin, both bright representatives of the substitute "yoga". This correspondence had flashed once around in the Internet.

There are addresses on which some texts had been exposed, >, and also , "had been deenergized" in two weeks after appearance.

S.: «I have thought out from the beginning to the end the whole trash «round» forms described in the book («Yoga of Eight Circles»). There is nothing except mercenary-minded allurement, called to pay attention to yoga as such in general and to involve people in practice – "to form" the country in rows and to specify for it the direction of movement towards the bright future. It is an extremely magical manipulating subterfuge and nothing more. No staircases, no monkeys, actually, there is nothing of it, and never was. All this is a flight of fancy, for that moment it was vital for pulling mass’s attention from hallucinogens and bad idle talk to healthy practices. And, as a matter of fact it is a full bluff from the beginning and to the end… Therefore that what could be farther: if I wish, I think out, if I wish I let it drop. The copyright… Now I have no time for an inventing of continuation. In addition, such an intention is not observed. As I am already reputed as a deceiver, therefore the further development of the situation is absolutely of no concern. As you understand yourself, the Russian-language book was useless for arrangement of near-yogic situation on worldwide scales. Therefore, I had to take advantage of a little bit other methods, channels and contacts, what as a result had led to promotion of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by P. Joyce for key roles in Hollywood, and from there automatically the wave of "correct" yogic boom had already spread worldwide and successfully reached us. Now the primary goals of introduction had been executed – the yoga had been transferred in the category of the prestigious phenomena, already irreversibly introduced into system of mass culture. The avalanche has gone, and its further pushing is a silly occupation and of no use to anybody. Moreover, to try to run before it is even a little bit dangerous. Now it is necessary only to watch that in process of promotion it does not spread where it is not necessary, and to put energy in rocking the situation is already of no use – there is nothing to rock – the train has left… Moreover, it is pursuing its normal course. Therefore I am engaged in introduction and pushing essentially other things (free-diving and psi-art), having transferred from my yoga-teaching and everything what is connected with it in the category of a residual hobby.

I do not like green tea and psychodelic frills around tea drinking. I prefer usual "Lipton" tea from the bag – with sugar and a lemon slice – at an usual table in the postsoviet kitchen in the circle of friends for which yoga – the same as for me – is not a moronic end in itself, but not more than a tool state of the consciousness, allowing to take the maximum from potential characteristics of functioning of the body and mind «according to life».

К.: «Is there on the part of you an interest in development of gymnastic entertainment potential of techniques submitted in embryo in your splendid book «Yoga of Eight Circles»? Or have prospects of the description of techniques from the «ladder in the sky» up to the «steel monkey» sunken into nonexistence, and you have decided to be guided by only elementary gymnastic forms?»

S.: «They are submitted there even not in embryo, I knew not enough at that time about difference between asana and gymnastics and about techniques creation, correct from especially physiological point of view. Therefore, there is, alas, only not too correct gymnastics and a lot of abstruse idle talk about "lofty matters", but there is no elementary understanding of a whole series of … mechanisms, functional optimization of which "concealed" in practice of asanas. So the book is not so much splendid as crappy».

What turns out after all? «New asanas» were "opened" by many yogis, for example, the same Krishnamacharya from Mysore, but a question is:whether their founder and his followers had carried out all these poses in that state of the consciousness which corresponds to the definition of yoga given by Patanjali? Just to this condition, practice of founders and adherents of "dynamic" yoga (however, as well as to anyone another, not based on postulates of Patanjali) does not answer not in the least.

As a rule, all their "concepts" and "substantiations" are reduced to persistent mockery at the body which should be transformed in strong-willed way to a "better" one. To bend it so how it would be desirable for its owner, and from it will result ostensibly something useful. Actually such an approach is dangerous as it contradicts own tendencies of psychosomatics. The organism is a complex nonlinear open system, and the daily challenge thrown to itself (to the body) in asana practicing does not lead to anything good. Only a competently organized resonant influence results in the expressed amplification (or easing) of processes in environment. «Not the subject gives recipes and operates … the situation, but the nonlinear situation itself, be it natural, the situation of dialogue with other person or with himself, is somehow resolved, including making the subject himself. The nonlinear, creative attitude to the world … means opening an opportunity to make himself creatable. The similar recipe, we find in the poetic state of Paul Valery: «The Creator is the one who is created» («Foundations of Synergetics», p. 66). We shall add: and not the one who ostensibly precisely knows incomprehensibly from whencewhat is necessary for others, inventing for them asanas of different levels of complexity, acceptable for his personal physical constitution.

If any convenient and steady pose of yoga is an asana where full removal of efforts or a concentration on the infinite should take place, by the highest standards it is without a difference WHAT is exactly to do with the body – gathered from primary sources or invented. Nevertheless, the state of the consciousness which should be at the same time (and exactly it makes the essence of yoga) is well-known: It is inhibition of mental activity (Chitta vritti nirodhah, further in the text CVN). Asanas of yoga as it follows from Sutras (and it had been confirmed by early commentators) are intended for development and preservation of steady rest and unidirectionality of mind. There is a threshold of complexity of the form and value of physical effort behind which any relaxation is inaccessible, therefore the high complexity of asanas is not compatible with orientation of practice on CVN.

There is a reasonable question: what is then Ashtanga Vinyasa, Dhara Sadhan, or «matrix Y23» of the yoga teacher most known in the postsoviet space? And what does all this have to do with yoga? Clearly, nothing! And wonderfully flexible founders of «dynamic styles» are most likely no personages at all, but labels of commercial projects, and the word "yoga" is only a ledger-bait.

In the textbook «Vjajama Dipika» by Bharadvaja (Sjoman names it an «attempt to revival the Indian system of exercises»), «Chapter I … is devoted to walking, running, high and broad jumps. In Chapter II, it is told about danda exercises. In many respects Danda resemble press-ups. It is a very ancient kind of exercises known in yoga as Surya Namaskar. They can include separate asanas such as Tadasana, Padahastasana, Chaturanga Dandasana and Bhudjangasana. Apparently, they have formed the base for Vinyasas of Krishnamacharya. In India they are used by fighters …» («Dynamic Practices in Classical Yoga», 1999, p. 102 – 103).

P. Jois, the pupil and follower of T. Krishnamacharya, had continued investigations: In "Yoga Mala" he stating sequences of poses omits "asana" phase at all, instead of it, there is the part «Surya Namaskar and yogic asanas». Patanjali and his followers would be struck having learned that in a wonderful way «a huge corpus of dynamic practices had been excluded from Hatha Yoga» (A.Sidersky, «Yoga: Tradition of unity», 1999, p. 2). And they would shed tears having learned that this "corpus" had been extracted from the Himalaya caves at the risk for his life and returned to the grateful mankind by a brave Ukrainian boy, the future forefather of «vortical Vinyasas».

One more a well-known pupil of Krishnamacharya is B. K. S. Iyengar. It follows from his book «Light on Pranayama» (published by «Yoga Institute of Patanjali» in 2002) that he unlike P. Jois as far back as the Sixties of XX century had refused (and, probably, not without purpose) ligaments-transitions and respiration control in asanas. He has noted that the control over breathing is unacceptable for beginners.

The revisionism is inherent in any epoch, as far back as M. Eliade had noticed: «Yogatattva Upanishad states yoga technics reinterpreted in the light of dialectics of Vedanta. The whole Upanishad is penetratedwith pathos of experimentation.» («Immortality and Freedom», p.189). Is there then any sense to speak about modern times!

Thus, emphasizing the determining role of the full relaxation in the original Hatha Yoga, I, first of all, have in view the main role of consciousnesses in it that is completely conformable to Sutras! Just for this reason, the yoga discussed in the given book is called classical. The effort in any asana should be minimal, only to keep its accessible form, therein consists the skill. Nevertheless, it does not mean at all absence of an active physical work! Mayurasana can be executed, to tell the truth, both the beginner and the master, but the master’s effort will be minimal in comparison with what the beginner spends. That is the minimum we are just speaking about. To relax completely does not mean to drop out of the pose, in fact, having relaxed, we do not fall from the chair, when sitting on it.

The individual spectrum of poses is selected proceeding from the current state of health. Muscular relaxation is a necessary, but an insufficient element of technology of asana practicing, achievement of emptiness of mind is always priority. When the consciousness is inhibited so, that stability of this rest does not depend on occurring with the body then there is a somatic aspect of Pratyahara.

Shankara had proclaimed in "Atmabodha" the well-known principle: «The Atman is Brahman» when the genuine vision is realized by yoga and shows the unity of the particular and the general: «Omnipercipient Yogin sees with the knowledge’s eye all the world in itself and All – as the single Atman». Vedanta defines the true knowledge as contact with the Absolute.

In Christian mysticism and Buddhism of Vajrayana, the use of various meditative techniques provides manifestation of the Deity directly in the consciousness of the adept.

Schools or directions absolutizing Pranayama achieve the full suppression of mental work.

In something, method of C. G. Jung intersects with yoga, however in it, there is no work with the body, which would lead to the necessary changes of consciousness and support them, and therefore the effect of the method depends on qualification of analyst and does not touch upon soma.

The transpersonal psychology frees affects of the repressed, what influences the person negatively. Besides, a deeppsychoemotional "contracture" at such influences does not disappear, but it is unloaded for a while restoring then its pathological potential.

«In all Indian (religious philosophical – V. B.) systems, yoga is the final means of rescue» (F.Scherbatskoy, «The Selected Works on the Buddhism», p. 153).

On the one hand, yoga always gave a mystical substantiation to philosophical systems of India (with a small exception); on the other hand, at different schools had been used separate parts of system. For example, in the Buddhism, meditation had been applied to immersing of contemplator in the worlds of no-forms from what, perhaps, someone took also advantage, but the majority became «star rangers».

Today, fanatics of "spirituality" aspire to the enlightenment ignoring the body; for other part of yoga worshippers, the development of flexibility had become self-sufficing and had degenerated into acrobatics. The impulse to development of yogatherapy had gone out after departure of Swami Kuvalayananda; his school had fallen into decay. One can use a microscope while hammering in nails or breaking skulls as it was done in Kampuchea under Pol Pot. But the given device had as a matter of fact been created for observing of subminiature objects. Similarly, the traditional yoga was intended by no means for receiving siddhas, supercomplex acrobatics, or a daily challenge to himself. Being realized, it leads the person to the condition of system balance providing physical health, peace of mind and general harmony. If we will analyze texts of many late schools from «Gorokho Bidzhoj» to «Malla Purany» and «Shritattva Nidhi», one can see that in many of them asanas and pranayamas are not used according to their intended purpose. For finding of a systematic classification, there is no need forawaking Kundalini or performance of hundreds of poses. «Being mastered, an asana can destroy illnesses and even neutralize poisons. If there is no opportunity to master all asanas, choose one, but achieve by means of it the full comfort» ("Shandilya Upanishad", 1,3,12-13).

Sjoman says: «It is clear that the system of Yoga of the Mysore Palace (which then, in turn, was "specified" by Iyengar and P. Jois) coming from Krishnamacharya is a one more syncretic doctrine leaning, basically, on the text on gymnastics (V.P. Varadarajan «Vjajama Dipika», Bangalore; Caxton Press, 1896), however submitting it under the name of yoga. There is a huge chasm between the submitted here … reformist movement trying to adapt yoga for needs of ordinary people and the traditional ancient ideas… («Dynamic Practices in the Classical Yoga», p. 105). Attempts to teach this "yoga" other people are similar to behaviour of a character trying to give what he has not to the one who need not that.

It is not so necessary to aspire to the Himalaya caves to understand the primary sense of original yoga, its scale, and predestination. Comprehension of truth is not wanderings across face of the Earth, not rashes from one shrine to another in hope to pinch off and carry away a particle of spirituality. It is a movement inside of oneself, which can be started at any point of space and time.

The given book is a self-instruction manual suitable to everyone who wishes to begin mastering of the traditional yoga (if there are for it no contraindications mentioned at the end of Chapter "Asana"). Complexity of the text in separate places is seeming, it occurs because of that there where I had happened to pass you have not been there at all. In process of accumulation of own experience, nuances of the information pressed here will be clarifying still for a long time providing the personal progress. And it is fairly, as not any understanding is transferred by words, and the full one – only through participation, assistance, co-staying in the field of the existence called yoga.

The book can cause discomfort and internal resistance by those who have already had time to get involved in pseudoyogic hangouts, it is difficult to re-train for a true yogis if one had already become any. Even if the reader understands that this information has opened his eyes, it does not mean at all, that he is capable to refuse that, in what he has already been involved. And if such attempt also will be made so, most likely, it will turn out rather hard, and not at all because to be retrained is always more difficult. If a person has plunged down, say, into "yoga" of Iyengar, it means realization of his personal interests, expectations and promptings having a long history of development. When we for the first time acquire something concerning yoga – even if it is very ludicrous – it appears to us a finished structure of understanding, though it is erroneous and harmful, but unchangeable even if under pressure of incontestable facts absurdity of it becomes obvious. Any reasons or outside influences rest against the fact that to change the once changed is extremely difficult. When the person has once already «become yogi», he has received a stereotype in his consciousness, and to have the second stereotype apropos of this and in the same consciousness is impossible. It is the problem of identity with himself which – if it has been already achieved – becomes almost indissoluble. Stendal spoke about it, as about crystallization of feelings and expectations on a cropped up object. Returning of the person involved into pseudoyogic reality to the normal condition of criticality is a difficultly feasible problem as in this case, his views make a start not from the facts, but are generated by ideas. And except for final accident, nothing penetrates into area of ideas. If a person has already come in any way in that what he names (or somebody did it for him) yoga, even if through the most sham "teacher", realizing at the same time own dignity and idea as about person respecting itself then it is impossible to uncouple this connection by any logic reasons.

Moreover, it is even dangerous, as the course change entails necessity of parting with the acquired stereotyped pattern, the recognition of one’s weakness and perspective of a new hard work. Only critical aggravation can convince person of the falsity of way, which he follows.

«He who was not capable to practice yoga in corpore contented himself with that he imitated some external aspects of it and interpreted those or other technical details literally. From the Indian point of view, this phenomenon of degradation is nothing else than a constantly growing moral falling… In age of Kali Yuga, the truth has been buried in the gloom of ignorance. That is why there are new teachers who appear constantly, aspiring to adapt their doctrine to weak abilities of the fallen mankind» («Yoga. Immortality and Freedom», p. 346). Actually, it is not clear: what purpose are served today by yogic "remains" doctored many times by «teachers of new formation» – to good or evil?

What is the way to truth? It is a personal act of knowledge, which had already occurred earlier to others, including great people. The classical practice of yoga is an activity realizable in the space of laws, filled with texts of Sutras. It is the creation of conditions for beginnings of a nonlinear positive feedback, which, in turn, initiates actuation (or even creation) of mechanisms of regeneration and self-adjustment.

To acquire "production" of Plato, Socrates, Buddha, Laozi, Patanjali, Nietzsche, Bulgakov it is necessary to reproduce the thought process, which had been carried out by these persons or any otherwise to extract its emotional-intellectual equivalent. In case of yoga, everyone should pass independently the way during which it is possible to receive and understand (or not to understand, not having received anything) what had been reached by founders of this ancient system. «If to work for a while very intensively and to have luck, we shall think the same what had already thought long ago others too» (M.Mamardashvili, «The Psychological Topology of a Way», 1997).

In the world, there are enough ways for self-actualization without yoga – love, art, mercy – we do not invent them anew, because it would be, to put it mildly, strange as they already exist. We fulfill ourselves if we manage to get in states, ways of entering in which had been invented long ago. Many others before us had repeatedly been in these states, as well as in flights of soul generated by them.

We can do a lot of conclusions, movements of body and soul, strong-willed efforts, but love, virtue or honor will not appear or not disappear because of that, as well as the tradition transferred by Patanjali as it is already shown in this world.

The initial system has undergone changes as «… Alongside with the classical form of yoga also others have very early appeared … using other approaches and pursuing other purposes…. We notice a constant process of interosculation and merging, which has considerably changed some principles of classical yoga eventually» («Yoga. Immortality and Freedom», p. 389). All this is good however, one should remember: « … Misfortune waits for the one who aspires to success by force» (Guoyo, «The Discourses of Kingdoms», 1987, p. 298).

Sutras of Patanjali are a metaphorical description of algorithm of yogic practice. If it is fulfilled (the subject regularly repeats actions within framework of the given technology), transformation of psychosomatics is initiated, but proceeds outside of the strong-willed control. The consequence of this process is clearing and regeneration of the system after that contact of the person with outside world and own subconsciousness becomes optimal.

Despite of identity of the structure and functioning of organism, people considerably differ in proportions, age, health state, and personal experience. Therefore there is no universal recipe on yoga training and will not be. Everyone should master technology personally, but it will be better when under the direction of the skilled instructor. However, B. K. S. Iyengar, was, undoubtedly, right having noticed: «a good book is better than a bad teacher».

                                                                             פרק הבאה