יוגה עם אלכס ניימרק

יוגה בגישה אישית

  • קורס מורים ליוגה
  • יוגה למתחילים ולמתקדמים
  • יוגה לנשים
  • האתה יוגה וראג'ה יוגה
  • יוגה כטרפיה
  • מדיטציה

כבר 17 שנה

הוראת יוגה

מלב אל לב

The Body

פרק קודם  תוכן                                                                                             

 Chapter 6  

The body is given to me, what I have to do with it,
Such single whole and such mine?
 Osip Mandelshtam

In the age of from thirty five to forty two years the reproductive function gradually dies away, and the subject as a representative of the species loses its value for nature.

«The message that the body is mortal finds us in the early childhood, and the whole following life we cannot in any way accept this obvious truth. Having matured, we find out that we have a heart, a liver, joints and kidneys, that all this can knock together, bend, break, and in every possible way spoil. We start to listen attentively to depths of our body more distant than space. We do not know exactly how things are going there with spirit, but the body is given to us only once. Sometimes it seems that once there will come an early morning, we shall run out on a glade, wash up to the waist by ice water and begin a new life. But it occurs nothing like that. We reach for various stimulators, alternate materials, activators, oppressors; and our body in horror tries to compensate this rubbish, to get rid of it. Eventually, it starts to protest, but we are not even capable to understand these heartrending shouts, muffling them up again with chemicals, barbarous meal, inactivity, infinitewallowing and lying. We start to be afraid of our body, expecting from it only troubles. We start to name as ageing this deep misunderstanding which has arisen as a result of haste, laziness, and levity. First, for fun, fishing for compliments. Then already without any jokes, with alarm. Therefore only in maturity the person starts to understand that one of the most radiant pleasures of life is a pleasure of possession of his body» (Y. Vizbor, "Works", vol. 2, p. 335)

«Variable and therefore miserable condition of man! This minute I was well, and am ill, this minute. I am surprised with a sudden change, and alteration to worse, and can impute it to no cause, nor call it by any name. We study health, and we deliberate upon our meats, and drink, and air, and exercises, and we hew and we polish every stone that goes to that building; and so our health is a long and a regular work: but in a minute a cannon batters all, overthrows all, demolishes all; a sickness unprevented for all our diligence, unsuspected for all our curiosity; nay, undeserved, if we consider only disorder, summons us, seizes us, possesses us, destroys us in an instant. O miserable condition of man! which was not imprinted by God, who, as he is immortal himself, had put a coal, a beam of immortality into us, which we might have blown into a flame, but blew it out by our first sin; we beggared ourselves by hearkening after false riches, and infatuated ourselves by hearkening after false knowledge. So that now, we do not only die, but die upon the rack, die by the torment of sickness; nor that only, but are pre-afflicted, super-afflicted with these jealousies and suspicions and apprehensions of sickness, before we can call it a sickness: we are not sure we are ill; one hand asks the other by the pulse, and our eye asks our own urine how we do. O multiplied misery! we die, and cannot enjoy death, because we die in this torment of sickness; we are tormented with sickness, and cannot stay till the torment come, but pre-apprehensions and presages prophesy those torments which induce that death before either come; and our dissolution is conceived in these first changes, quickened in the sickness itself, and born in death, which bears date from these first changes. Is this the honour which man hath by being a little world, that he hath these earthquakes in himself, sudden shakings; these lightnings, sudden flashes; these thunders, sudden noises; these eclipses, sudden obfuscations and darkening of his senses; these blazing stars, sudden fiery exhalations; these rivers of blood, sudden red waters? Is he a world to himself only therefore, that he hath enough in himself, not only to destroy and execute himself, but to presage that execution upon himself; to assist the sickness, to antedate the sickness, to make the sickness the more irremediable by sad apprehensions, and, as if he would make a fire the more vehement by sprinkling water upon the coals, so to wrap a hot fever in cold melancholy, lest the fever alone should not destroy fast enough without this contribution, nor perfect the work (which is destruction) except we joined an artificial sickness of our own melancholy, to our natural, our unnatural fever. O perplexed discomposition, O riddling distemper, O miserable condition of man!» (John Donne: «Meditation I – Insultus morbi primus»).

If timely not to find the common language with the body, it turns into the chamber of tortures. The opportunity of a consensus is given by yoga.

Here is a parable: once a certain raja after a long feud had captivated his neighbour. While he invented a way of execution, the captive was put in a high tower. A long spiral staircase led from an iron door below up to the very top, and there, behind the other same door there was a small closet with a window under which a steep wall led downwards. The window overlooked one side of the tower, and the bottom door another, they were guarded day and night. And yet the captive had run away. His friends let at night a big bug crawl upwards on the wall with the thinnest silk string tied to it. When the bug crawled up to the window, raja took the thread, having given a signal about it. Then below one tied to it another thread, a little thicker one; the captive pulled out it too. And so some times, then in a course there was a cord, then a rope was in turn on which the captive went down while guards peacefully snored at the closed door.

The moral: an inconsistent mastering yoga makes the person similar to the bug which tries to drag a thick rope. Besides, without preliminary preparation of the body any attempts of the spiritual development are fruitless.

One of my tasks here is a substantiation of an indissoluble connection of physical aspect of yoga with its supreme stages for the person thinksusing not only brain, but also the body.

«The requirement to the master to possess a healthy physical constitution is quite reasonable as he operated both by means of own essence and was a completely necessary component of his experiment» («Psychology and Alchemy», p. 291).

Texts for example of  «alive ethics» cannot be recognized as trustworthy ones already on the ground that E. Roerich was anepilepsical patient, and practice of yoga was completely inaccessible to her (wife of S. Roerich had told that after death of E. I. a suitcase of medicines had been found in her room). Perhaps therefore she had declared: «We do not know anybody who achieved by Hatha Yoga» («The Letters of 1929-38», PRAMEB, М., 1992, vol.1, p. 185).

Krishnamurti suffered from the poor health too, according to his request Krishnamacharyahad given to him his son Desikachara as instructor. Though Sri Aurobindo had not practiced "Hatha", but under testimony of Satprem he some hours per day walked «for yoga» (obviously carrying out vipassanaduring movement).

There are individuals for whom the spiritual way is open initially, but even their opportunities are limited, for example, Vivekananda had not watched at all over his body which had very quickly collapsed. It did not help even that by nature he possessed a remarkable health, reaching in the youth by swimming up to Sri Lanka and back (and it makes up about 30 km, even with a great number of shallows). The same fate had overtaken Ramakrishna, having died of the throat cancer.

Mirra Rishar, an associate of Aurobindo, not so distinctly mentioned disorders «…Growing out of a difference in development of the highest levels of our consciousness, and our physical consciousness. It results in malfunctions which can cause illnesses not because of the intrusion of any external intermediary – a virus or a microbe – but because of rupture of a normal ratio of internal parts of our being; such illnesses can be allergies, and also mental disorders and malfunctions of the nervous system. Thus, it concerns the problem of the susceptibility of the supreme spheres of consciousness by matter» («Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness», p.113). German surgeon Virchow wrote in the beginning of the XX century: «The reaction of tissues depends not only on external factors; the answer of the organism is more likely caused by the condition of its internal parts».

So, if the body is not cleared by Hatha Yoga, the spiritual transformation is open to a big question. If power inputs are not balanced, then one, practicing samyama, cannot avoid illnesses and physical disintegration, hence the main task for yoga is preservation of the corporalblamelessness. The body of each person is a unique design from many billions of the interconnected cells representing about two hundred specialized types. What does the Bible say about the attitude to it?

 «What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.» (1 Cor., 6, 19 and 20).

« If the body is the temple of Holy Ghost, so obviously its cleanliness and  the care of it is one of the duties of the Christian» (Bishop Michael Semenov).

What had the Christian ascetics thought of the transitory tunic? «The corporal infirmity of some people is a considerable obstacle to making a clever pray. If it were good to be a weakened body and to lie as dead, God would have created us as those. If he had not created us as such, then those commit a sin who does not keep the fine divine creation in such state as it had been created» (Vasily Veliky).

Sacred Isaak: «If to compel a weak body to over force of it, you will give rise to the double confusion of the soul. The body is called, together with the soul, to participate in inexpressible blessings of the next century, and the body has experienced comprehension of things divine».

In general it was considered in Hesychasm that Christianity does not contain a negative attitude to the body what is proved in unfortunately little-known Grigory Palamy's works. From of old the ascetics knew that during «a clever making» «movements of mental forces and the body come to a halt» («To Phenomenology of Ascesis», p. 121). Here we see a full coincidence of Jesus’ pray with samyamawhich is in no kind combined with a physical activity though some insignificant movements do not prevent the initial stage of concentration (as in qigong).

As against yogical ideas (for example in "Bhagavad Gita") the ascetics considered that a person walking unpainfully will not receive a fruit, besides «Everyone wishing to pass the spiritual life should begin from the active life, for without it one cannot come in the mind meditative one» (Serafim Sarovsky).

« A clever making demands also a corporal strength. The body is that by what the spirit is released from mind» (Saint Isihy).

In Ancient China everyone had been obliged to keep in order his physical "part", especially it is expressed in «theTaoistic Yoga». Sorcerers and shamans never showed special cares of the body; on the contrary, self-torture was among them one of the ways to achievetrance. The purpose of shamans was not spiritual perfection, but the solution of specific targets, ecstasyof shamanism has a strictly applied character.

The Buddhism declares: «There is no world independent of my body!»

«12. There is neither an illness, nor old age and death for the one who hasacquired the body from the flame of yoga.

 13. Easiness, health, imperturbability, pure color of complexion, a melodious voice, a pleasant smell, and an insignificant quantity of urine andexcrement – these are the first displays of yoga» («Svetasvatara Upanishada, part 3).

The late Buddhism highlights matter, Hevajra Tantrasays that without a sound body, one cannot achieve beatitude.

Poets treated "matériel" in their own way:

« The person has one body as a single, the soul is fed up with a continuous cover with ears and eyes in size of five-kopeck-coin and the skin – a scar on a scar – dressed on the skeleton. Without body the soul feels as if it belongs to sinners, as the body without shirt, there is neither a thought, nor an affair, neither aproject, nor a line. A riddle without a solution: who will return, having danced on that dance floor where is nobody to dance? » (A. Tarkovsky).

«We have bodies on as rags of a sung song… » (A. Belyj).

« Through generations the ancient flesh has given birth to us. There is its hour. Its fate. Its force is not to overcome» (D. Andreev).

Leo Tolstoy named the body «a dirty bag».

«The sting of flesh drives into the soul… »; «But the body that is singed by fire keeps silence as a vessel wine, keeps, flickering by the dusty glass… » (S. Kekova).

«Only snakes shed skin that the soul grows old and grows up. We, alas, are not similar to snakes; we change souls, not bodies. Memory, you with hand of giantess leads life, as a horse by the bridle, you will tell to me about those who earlier had lived in this body before me» (N. Gumilev).

«It approaches now the time of parting with the body, and at the same time with the habitat of flesh. How imperceptibly at times you get used to walls – as if a frog, you grow old in the bog. Everything to nothing. Only heart aches about something, probably it is terribly to give up your habits. In general, it is not worth to love anybody on the ground. And to stop loving – It’s impossible to present it yourself.» (Y. Baytyakin).  

W. Whitman named the body as ship of the soul.

« If somebody in fight had thousandfold won a victory over one thousand people, and another would overcome one himself, then this another is the greatest winner in the fight» ("Dhammapada", 8,103).

«The last stages of yoga demand a big physical endurance, and there is no lack of cases, when an intense spiritual life overstrains the body so that it results in its destruction, and consequently the body is the first thing which should be subordinated to the control» («The Indian Philosophy», vol. 2, p. 313).

 «Asana or position represents the physical support from the standpoint of the body to the condition of concentration» (ibid, p. 312).

«… The Body is a starting point of our evolution » («Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness», p.119).

 « We should work in … the individual body… because it is just that place where consciousness joins with matter» (ibid, p. 116).

 «Patanjali insisted on a certain practice whose purpose was clearing the body from what disturbs it and from dirty impurities» («The Indian Philosophy», vol. 2, p. 298).

«One cannot operate theoutward, not being able to operate the inner life, for this is one and the same» («Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness», p. 138-139). It would be desirable to note that it is fair just what isn't needed.

« The body is a cover of spirit, and consequently it is the first thing what should be cognized» (Sri Aurobindo).

« The purpose of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga is a full elimination of movement at first from physical sphere, then the mental one» (B.L. Smirnov).

« The body has its reasons, unknown to mind» (Pascal).

«The body is nothing other than a part of mind. The body is by what the spirit frees itself from mind» (C.Trungpa).

Professor Günter: «The Body has not own nature and is open to all opportunities. It can always become another. It is not an embodiment, but what is constantly embodied».

«The body is a rest of the light mirror. The light mirror is initially clean» (a saying of Chan).

The attitude of Europeans to the body varied depending on epoch, for example, the Gnostics preached libertanism (permissiveness), the body had not for them any value, one could do everything with it, and the value was given only to the soul.

The treatment of it was by the ascetics purely exploitative; theysacrificed their body to receive mercy from God. In the ceremonial Christianity the body is a transitory cover which has not a special value.

The way of the Buddhism is a median one: the body does not possess value because of some individual properties; it is a value itself, direct and absolute.

In ancient India there were three terms for the designation of the body: deha(flesh, the living tissue), kaya(the sense is similar to the European concept of the body), and sharira (a backbone, a skeleton, a base, on what the rest of everything keeps).

Ancient Greeks and Romans asserted that the vessel of soul is divine: "A sound mind in a sound body" (10th satire of Uvenal). In the Latin original it sounds so: «One should pray that a sound mind will be in a sound body».

«The physical mind is the most stupid of all possible» («Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure … »).

Sri Ramana called the body «This log… », and Tantra considers that «Perfection can be realized only in «the divine body». It is not a source of suffering, but the most reliable and effective tool disposable for the person, and serving him for the conquest of death. And as liberation can be achieved already in his lifetime, the body should be keeping as long as possible and in an excellent condition that it was suitable for meditation» («Yoga: Immortality and Freedom», p. 282).

« Paradoxically an impenetrable wall between corporal and mental exists only for our mind, but not for our feeling… Contrary to all intellectual reasoning, we simply are not capable to doubt on unitybased on principle of the body and the soul!» («The Reverse Side of the Mirror», p. 394).

« Know that the spirit is an ocean, and the body is its foam. The body moves due to spirit, but you do not see it. So learn the spirit on movement of the body!» (Djalal ad-Din Rumi:«God and His Creations»).

B.K.S. Iyengar expresses more specifically: «God has given us the body as a bank or an initial capital for everything else. Care of this divine capital» (The Psychological Review № 1, p. 113).

The body possesses an inertness without which it is difficult to save life, but at the same time it is rather plastic.

Mirra Alfassa (the Mother) had voiced an ingenious idea: «It seems to me that in yoga nothing can be understood up to the end, till you will understand it by the body». Anyone who has personal experience will unconditionally agree with the given statement, for it is an axiom. 

«That in these actions (in «a clever prayer») seems strange, exceeds the sense and escapes understanding of the person penetrating into them by a reasoning instead of deed and practical experience» (Grigory Palama).

Yoga is first of all a practice, always practice, only practice, exclusively practice; the true understanding and progress grow on the basis of the personal experience; books, conversations, video films, revelations of teachers are only words. Whatever the subject has learned about yoga, whatever he has understood – at the best it is a part of knowledge. Saint-Exupery told: «In order to know one must participate, and it is a heavy school». Already initial stages of asanas practicing are inextricably linked with transformation of consciousness; these two aspects sprout  in each other and form an integrated field of the experience.

For the last one hundred thousand years the body of the person has changed little, though concreteness and direction of the realizing mind are qualities which the human species has found rather recently. Physical movements also have remained constant, tough we live now in houses and not in caves, but in the same way we get up, sit, lie, walk, operating with surroundings.

If to exclude the satisfaction of natural needs, hygienic procedures, condition of illness and scientific and medical research, then it becomes obvious that the overwhelming part of interests of the person lies on the outside of his body.

The person studies the distant space, and meanwhile «From all instruments (of knowledge – V.B.) the body is the least understandable, and one treats it worst» («Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness», p. 110).

The body is equipped with a set of the impellent stereotypes, allowing to release mind from the excessive control arising in unusual conditions or at an unfamiliar activity. As soon as the difficulty (complexity) of the carried out action exceeds the certain level or go out of the limits of experience, consciousness instantly "sticks" to the body, the great sense for beginners of yogaisenclosed just here, and it is the first stage of diversion of attention from the external world. As soon as the form of asanas and dissolution of sensations have more or less been mastered and have turned into automatism, the accent in practice can be transferred from the muscular relaxation on the mental one.

Usually our motion is realized within the limits of a standard range of the articular andligamentous mobility, however, the purpose of Hatha Yoga is a regular going out to these borders. For the beginning we shall understand what yoga’s treatment of the body differs from a typical physical activity.

Firstly, asanas practicingis an activity which has not been submitted to the experience of man of the West.

Secondly, the addressee or the area of the application of this activity is not the surrounding world,but only own body!

Thirdly, asanas are a reproduction of canonical forms, each of which (traditionally there are eighty four) has the name and a legend of origin. The body of a practicing person is simultaneously both the subject, and the object of action.

Fourthly, by the performance of asanas, consciousness (attention) has no need to contact with the surrounding world; it heads only for the body. The attention changes the direction from outward on internal what considerably narrows its volume, and also the quantity and the variety of the perceived information.  

Fifthly, as instead of a set of simultaneously controlled objects and/or processes there is only the body, the tone of consciousness automatically falls.

Sixthly, by performance of asanasone of system constants, flexibility is directly involved. According to persistence of achievement of the purposes, people are subdivided into strong and weak types of character. The first is capable to long regular efforts and self-restriction, he scrupulously makes asanas«as in the book», if he has assumed it as a basis. But by yoga mastering, people of a similar mentality quite often reach a deadlock, operating persistently on the basis of the ordinary experience which is in yoga inapplicable.

The second type, a weak one, practices anyhow, only on the ground of duty, mechanically, not especially straining, thinking about his own. The treatment of the body is in this case correct, but the content of consciousness does not answer the essence of activity. In the first case the adjustment is true, but the approach is erroneous. In the second – the approach is close to a correct one, but the attention/ consciousness is outside of the body. Both that and another is unpromising and erroneous.

Seventhly, the will, the desire, and the diligence – all this does not influence on the speed of changes of psychosomatics, they only can be observed. This speed  depends on the basic exchange, which can be urged either by special means, or slowed down, but it is already the diocese not of yoga, but of the Chinese and Tibetan medicine or Ayurveda what demands obligatory presence of the expert. And one big question else, whether such urging will beuseful, nevertheless it is much more reliable, when psychosomatics varies with that speed which it will choose itself.

The organism perceives asanasas a meal: even if it is the most refined, only a certain quantity is useful, everything over is harmful and superfluous.

The stumbling-block for beginners is always relaxation and if its physical (muscular) aspect is more or less clear, so what concerns the mental one is an obscure theme. As soon as it becomes possible to adapt to the practice and to dissolve sensations (obstacles from the side of the body) the physiological silence comes, and mind starts more or less independently "to chew" impressions and problems. The person thinks about everything besides what he makes at the moment. In such conditions asanas turn into physical exercises with a rather low coefficient of efficiency (though even it suffices that the therapeutic effect of yoga would be much higher than one by various systems of remedial gymnastics). Influence of asanas practicingdepends on as far as consciousness is cleared of material of the daily occurrence and of spontaneous cerebration. Loss of connectedness of thinking is the initial phase of the relaxation of mind and the final one is its silence.

But let us specify: darkness, cosiness, and silence in the space of consciousness are characteristic only for kinesthetics, whose leading representative system is the body. Silence of mind of those who think mainly by images or words looks differently. People of the figurative thinking will as before see "cinema", it recedes only into the background and loses connectedness, turning into dreams which cannot be recollected after withdrawal from the relaxation. Those who think by the speech will as before hear a monologue or a dialogue; but this chatter leaves somewhere on the bottom of consciousness and becomes incomprehensible. In other words there is an obvious distance, an appreciable spacing between the independent production of thinking and ego-consciousness. You lie here, in Shavasana or Nidra, and the stream of ideas goes separately, by itself, not touching and not involving you. That iswhat the relaxation of mind is all about. Subsequently, by the gaining the mastery in a mental relaxation, the independent work of consciousness dies in any kind almost down, at least – is hardly recollected.

Yoga is «chitta vritti nirodho», if consciousness in asanas is kept in the usual tone and with the typical "filling", such practice can be anything at all, only not yoga! «Woe unto you because of the wheel which rotates in your thoughts!» (The Book of Thomas the Athlete).

In the beginning of practice, universal "suppressors" of intellectual activity are Pashimottanasana, Virasana, Jatara Parivartanasana, Siddhasana; they are asanas in which one can be for a long time. Sutrasmark: «At the long practice the yoginbecomes sensitive like the eyeball» (it is a matter of initial stages of mastering). If initially thoughts from the external world «are dragged» in practice, and it prevents to relax, so after a while the mistake changes its sign, and after a deep relaxation the block lasts some time which prevents to concentrate upon the normal functioning in everyday life. If after Shavasana constantly to leave «for the world» in the condition of the increased sensitivity of perception, one can get a neurosis. Therefore before the finishing relaxation it is necessary to designate your intention: after the exit my perception has become usual.

Now we shall address to the most curious theme, and namely: yoga and the creative potential.Creative work is always emotional, if yoga calms, does not it lead as result to dullness and the loss of creativity?

Life without stresses is impossible; the problem is in their size, duration and sign. Geniuses practically do not need stimulants, talents sometimes are inclined to them, but if creativity demands a constant "heating", then it is something wrong here.

What is emotional optimum? Because of sharp change of the inhabitancy, the newborn the most part of time stays in a somatic discomfort when the baby feels good, it simply sleeps. Then the periods of comfort start to be extended – mechanisms of adaptation are included. The constant change of mood is inherent in the person; it is not clear why it can suddenly come over causeless sadness or fun. At achievement of a certain critical level of "heat", emotions suppress the productive thinking, taking from consciousness too much energy. As most of psychophysiologists think, formula Э= f [-П (Ин- Ис)] (where Э – emotion, its degree, quality and risk, П – force and quality of the actual need, Ин – the information about means, prognostically necessary for satisfaction of the need, Ис- the information about means, which the subject has at present, (Ин – Ис) – the estimation of probability of satisfaction of the need on the basis the of congenital and ontogenical experience. The low probability of satisfaction of the need leads to the rise of negative emotions (Ин>Ис). At increase of probability of satisfaction in comparison with earlier available forecast (Ис>Ин), positive emotions arise what according to Simonov's need and information theory is a common law of human emotions. Hence it follows that decrease of emotionality is reached by reduction of needs (their motivational component), and also by an incorrect estimation, or unlimited opportunities of repletion of wants. In the first case, we have degradation of the motivational sphere, characteristic for schizoids with their low emotionality, in the second one – the foolishness peculiar to oligophrenic patients, and in the third – the emotional satiety of bohemia. The only positive variant is a fullcoincidence of needs with a reliable opportunity of their realization. As A. Galich wrote: «When I were quieter, not outwardly, but indeed

Today the optimization of emotional sphere of the person of the West demands a great attention. Information overloads lead to that adaptive opportunities of the person suffer crash; emotions (first of all negative) reach such intensity that the system mind simply disconnects them. It rescues intellectual functions of the personality from accident, but in a result quantity of callous pragmatists, no less than maniacs, implacably grows.

Asthe subject grows up, he finds his natural place on the conditional scale of temperaments – the choleric, the sanguine, the phlegmatic person, or the melancholic one, though after works by Pavlov, Nebylitsina, Teplov, and Merlin, the temperament looks as an objective phenomenon, connected with dynamic properties of the nervous system. If the subject is adapted to life, he is almost always in a rather comfortable emotional condition that allows realizing his inclinations most full.

However many (especially people with a gloomy childhood, though not only) wish to be happy permanently, though the more strong is the nerve strain, the more quick it passes, the recession comes, and it is normal as positive and negative conditions are complementary. Their natural and constant change is symbolized by the sign of the great transition – "t'ai-chi"; in Ancient China concept "nothing" was characterized by the constant and continuous prevalence of one and the same thing, whatever it was. Drugs are mortally dangerous just because they break the natural balance of oppression and excitation. A rather fashionable today search of sharp sensations, aspiration to the extreme is an emotional narcomania. It comes to mind a fragment of the conversation of two guys in a summer Moscow cafe:

«Do you remember how it was great, when we had stormed the ninth quarter of Herat? Shooting, torrid heat of hell … And then, when all has ended and you are alive… For the sake of that I am ready even tomorrow again to go to Afghan!»

A professional Alpinist in reply to the question: «And is it beautiful, probably, there, above?»  had only grinned: «What the hell beauty!? When everybody had gone from the mountain and living – then one can recollect it …»

The concept of the emotional horizon had been formulated as far back as by N.A. Bernstejn; its essence is that both emotional optimum and size of maximum deviations from it is inherent in everyone. Consequence of a competent practice of Hatha Yoga is the decrease in intensity and duration of negative conditions; positive emotions are not weakened, but lose elements of hysterics and euphoria. Is it well for creativity or bad? «The inspiration is a disposition of the soul to the most vivid acceptance of impressions, consequently to a fast understanding of concepts, what promotes an explanation of the last. The inspiration is necessary in poetry, as well as in geometry. The critic mixes inspiration with ecstasy. No, resolutely not: the ecstasy excludes the calmness, a necessary condition of the beautiful. The ecstasy does not assume the force of mind, having the part in their attitude to the whole. The ecstasy is short, changeable, therefore it is not in force to make a true great perfection» (A. Pushkin: «About Kuechelbeker's articles in almanac "Mnemosyne").

«If the line is dictated by a feeling, it sends on stage the slave» (B. Pasternak).

«The thousand-year experience of studying of creativity shows that the stage of the relaxation on background of an intensive mental work, switching on other forms of activity or even on the mode of sleep is necessary. Therefore it is senselessly to rush events. Till the stage … of spreading on old traces, revival of processes in subconsciousness, maturing and nurturing of new ideas is passed, there will be no stage …, when … something already ripened in subconsciousness, is quickly verbalized. Till there was not an immersing into the delayed world of subconsciousness, there will be no active and successful work of consciousness» («Foundations of Synergetics», p. 233).

« … Emotions are provided by a rather small amount of brain’s areas, where exactly the shift of super slow processes, changing properties of these areas,takes place. In the emotionally unbalanced brain or in case when the emotional factor is very intensive and operates for a long time, shift of the mentioned processes occurs in the big territories of brain, and creativity of people most capable to it genetically comes to be already contrary to the arisen situation, and as a whole … of most people gets at the same time difficulties» («The Magic of the Brain», p. 171).

Yoga provides to everyone, certainly not at once, a natural, optimum, and steady level of the spiritual comfort.

«The emotional condition of the person … strongly depends on activity of cortical areas forming …the limbic system. This part of brain lies underneocortex (youngcortex) and surrounds brain stem; in the phylogenetic relationship it is a primitive formation». «Beauty and the Brain», p. 188). In other words, emotional manifestations are provided by the most ancient structures of brain, just for this reason they are so uncontrollable and contagious.

Needs of the  survival, emotions and feelings are an internal reality; and sounds, sunlight, color, the wind touching the face, etc. are an external one. When I bruised my finger, I feel the pain in it. But actually it "is" not in the finger, but represents a neurophysiological process taking place in the brain. And it is not clear, how it manages to carry out a distinction between internal and external.

The brain is a part of the CNS situated in the cranium. The second department of the CNS is the spinal cord. The nervous ways connected with the CNS, but located outside of the skull and the backbone, are a part of the autonomic (vegetative) nervous system (ANS) which functions more or less independently, providing coordination of work of all internal organs and systems.

The ANS itself, providing homeostasis together with other neurophysiological mechanisms, consists of two principal blocks – a sympathetic block and parasympathetic one (however, there is also the third one which is seldom recollected – the diffusive system of bowels). Neurons, managing muscles of internal organs, are outside of the CNSand are usually (except for those who had mastered yoga, АТ, or biological feedback) not subject to the strong-willed control, submitting only to the vegetative "automatics".

Activation of the sympathetic segment of the ANSresults in expansion of pupils, palpitations, increase of  the hepatic blood flow, increase of glucose concentration in blood, increased oxygen consumption, body  warm-up when moving and its shiver by the relative immovability – all this is typical for prevalenceof the ergotropic, cost-based mode of activity. For its emergency acceleration in critical situations there is a special organ – the brain substance of adrenal glands, they throw out adrenaline and noradrenaline directly in blood.

Activation of the parasympatheticpart of the ANS causesa regenerative relaxation or a condition of trophotropism. Functions of both parts of the ANS are complementary; the optimum balance of excitation and inhibition provides a good state of health, perception, thinking, andcapacity for work.

The CNS only partly provides the conscious management of perception and skeletal muscles; the ANS supports the constancy of the internal environment; and the endocrinal system duplicates functions of the CNS concerning emotions.

If the nervous control is carried out through neuromediators, so the endocrinal one – by means of the hormones secreted in blood by glands, the main from them is encephalon. The aggregate of processes by means of which it coordinates the current needs of an organism with parameters of environment, is the main neuroendocrinal function.

What is an emotional experience? The Cannon-Bard theory asserts that at perception of the events causing emotions, nervous pulses pass at first through hypothalamus making the ANS active. Then the excitation pulse splits: one its part leaves for cortex of cerebral hemisphere, causing a subjective emotional experience, and another, but again throughhypothalamus involves simultaneously the ANS.

In other words, when the stream of nervous pulses from sense organs goes to cerebral cortex, it, being split, preliminary gets intolimbic structures which already before comprehension of the perceived information define character (sign) of the emotional answer and form it with the speed outstripping the mental one! When the sense of the perceived is understood, the character and size of emotional reaction "are" already "built" in this understanding! Strong-willed efforts are capable to hide measurably emotions from the associates, but their mechanisms are much more ancient than consciousnesses, and it is always colored to some extent by them, being called the mood.

The perception and behavior of the person can in large measure be unintentional, for example, escaping the running automobile, you jump aside, not having time to understand something plainly. It is also known the phenomenon of perceptual defense when the system mind blocks consciousness from perception of the destructive information.  

The intuition delivers to consciousness information, which else is not present in the current time and space. Who and how sorts the perceived information in case of the above mentioned defense? Who, whence, and how delivers to consciousness the intuitive "material"? Who "disposes" of the emotional condition of the person and his acts? Apparently, all this is managed by the system mind locatedin the unconscious part of mentality, "being responsible" also for emotions which always are an integral, though badly realized element of interpersonal contacts. It is possible that all strong-willed decisions of the person only seem as such, and actually they are taken at the unconscious level.

Though in aspect of the information completeness the system mind is immeasurably more powerful than consciousness, but also it can be deceived. Specially processed data can be entered in the unconscious, passing censorship and direct actions of the person so that they will harm him. These methods are known; for example, a fragmentation and programming of the picture in TV-transmissions, disparate suggestion,NLP, and also the notorious «twenty fifth frame». In 1957 psychologist James Vicary, the member of the American Association for the Market Study, had carried out experiences on use of this effect in New Jersey. He had established an additional projector through which phrases «Drink coca-cola» and «Eat popcorn» were projected simultaneously with demonstration of film on the screen. They flashed for 1/300 of a second, and consciousness could not apprehend them. Nevertheless, on shows where this projector had worked, sale of coca-cola in the buffet of the cinema had increased by 17 %, and sale of popcorn by 50 %. It was found that «the effect of the 25-th frame» is a powerful means of suggestion; at a multiple repetition the information given in this way, goes into subconsciousness under the threshold of perception passing censorship of the mind. The so-called Beholder’s effect, integration of the 25-th frame into ТV-tuners, is developed today. However, a considerable part of representatives of science thinks that all this is charlatanism.

Drawing the conclusion, we never know what share of the information perceived and processed by consciousness is perceived with its participation and what one- without, and whose contribution to its perception and processing is decisive. Actually, the mind and free will of ego "turn" on a very narrow information "patch"; everything with what they deal is already preliminary filtered by the system mind! Already from this sample consciousness deals with what is actual at present. Lack of interaction of the person appropriate on the quality and system mind is the main reason of failures in tactics and strategy of human actions.

Certainly, the mechanism of replacement unloads salvationally consciousness, but at the same time the whole intrapsychic structure is also deformed. On the other hand,considerations of morality prevent a normal utilization of emotional "fuel"; the rigid self-control oppresses and disorders the functioning of separate organs and psychosomatics as a whole.

The strong and advanced consciousness is capable to place into the service experiences of any sign (R. Descartes, treatise «Passions of the Soul»), but the structures of the brain, "answering" for negative emotions, are much more powerful than the positive ones, as human race had evolved among uncountable dangers. In the countries of "the gold billion", positive natural experiences pass in the category of the deficiency, and the degree of alienation grows. The hope that after the full elimination of material problems the person will by all means want to develop spiritually, had appeared  as an utopian one ("topos" means in Greek "place", "u" – negation, "utopia" – "a nonexistent place "). Not having meaning of life, the person, as a rule, degrades. The everyday comfort had deprived the person of the muscular exercise necessary for the utilization of emotions. Receiving not cost-based pleasure (enjoyment), the person gets in Edem, terminating inevitably in catastrophe.

In Hatha Yoga the body is used not for finding of acrobatic abilities, but as the tool of liberation of consciousness from mental vanity, and mentalities as a whole – from the repressed. During the traditional practice of asanas, psychosomatics is restored, accumulating the relaxation having been received less for long years of overloads. Emotions are not so alien to the one who has reached peace of mind by means of yoga! On the contrary, they reach an unprecedented force, but without loss of the control and self-destruction. «Balance is yoga» ("Bhagavad Gita") all is told by it. «One considers as yoga the firm control over feelings » ("Katha Upanishad", 3, 11).

Today the near sportive extreme has stricken civilization as a plague; by this time some international organizations of the surrogate yoga holding competitions for so-called "asanas" have arisen. Not only that these organizations impose to people their interpretation of yoga, they propagate moreover as mushrooms, getting everything under what is anyhow connected with interest of people to the subject. Between "perfection", propagandized by this "yoga", and completeness inherent in the individual, there is a huge difference, though also a hardly perceptible one for dilettanti. As it was marked above, any position of the body, not distinguishable according to the form from the yogic asana, cannot on consciousness grounds be asana at all! The converse is fairly too: any form of the body retained in silence of mind, arisen as consequence of stay in this form, is an asana.

Yet in days of the USSR, a question had been put to Faec Biria at one of the seminars: « Is it really to practice with help of courses offered by "Yoga Dipika"»? He has instantly answered: «Never! This book is the horizon, it is written for people with the same physical data as the teacher himself has, it will simply kill an ordinary person».  

Not without reason in the last best seller by B.К.S. Iyengar «Yoga. The path to holistic health» («Dorling Kindersley», London, 2001, p. 416) about sixty poses are showed, and all magnificence of «Enlightenment of Yoga», blinding unripe minds, is abolished because of harmfulness.

Since yoga of Iyengar had been distributed across Russia, I did not meet among its apologists anyone who according to the level of complexity would be equaled with the founder, besides aspiration to somebody else's flexibility is a banal mistake which frequently costs too expensively.

« … I say that perfection is not only unattainable for the person, but it is also unthinkable, however I am confident that some incomparably bigger opportunities for perfection areconcealed in everyone, rather than we have got used to think. The dream of a perfect society is as well unrealizable as the dream of a perfect person. The perfection of even one individual demands a huge work which can last for years and will only approach to perfection, will enable him to work further on himself. We can argue about inside, enlightenment, or awakening, but we should realize that an instant self-actualization, a swift transition from one condition in another is possible, but it is so atypical that it is not necessary to rely on it especially. To the same idea the most thoughtful and serious organizers of groups of psychotherapy, meetings, personal growth and emotional training gradually incline also, – all of them even if unwillingly, even if against the collar, but nevertheless start to recognize that self-actualization is not expressed by the formula: «Bang! And everything is ready!» («The Motivation and the Person», p. 339 – 340).

Completeness means what is peculiar to each individual by nature instead of ideas from mind. The speculative way to an abstract, somebody else's perfection always turns out for violence against reality and its loss. How many muddle-headed fans of yoga tore ligaments, tendons, muscles, turned out joints, aspiring, by all means, to bend «as in the picture»! Even if it were possible to repeat and not to break down – and what it means!? In fact yoga according to definition is something absolutely different; it is chitta vritti nirodho, only in this condition of the determined chaos processes of self-improvement livens up! Silence of mind becomes the new parameter of the order changing drastically behavior of the system.  

In his autobiography the known film actor («It is me, Jackie Chan», 1998) tells, how once the teacher during the training has ordered to rise on hands to the wall and to remain so. In half an hour everybody dropped out of the stand, some people vomited, only one kept the stand – a puny lad-beginner, he fell asleep! It is only one of uncountable set of examples how much people differ in their physical and intellectual data.  

Once Yan Ivanovich Koltunov, the founder of legendary club "Cosmos" – association of the Moscow worshippers of yoga, forced people before performance of asanas to warm preliminary up. At first sightit looks like there is no special sedition in it: an hour of jogging, you will perspire, and the body bends in the best way! Come to think of it, what occurs? After dream the organism is by definition weakened. Though awakeningis also connected with activation of the sympathoadrenal system, but the body – before the beginning of movement – stays in the physiological rest. Process of any run, including a slow one, "hitches up" the system, reconstructing it into power cost-based condition whichshouldin principle be removed that asanas practicinghas taken place in a correct key. Let the warmed up organism bend better, but in fact «Asana is a means of development and maintenance of rest and concentration». But the run, even if it is slow, by no means reduce the tone of consciousness. Therefore the traditional yoga and the run are incompatible.

It is desirable not to postpone yoga lessons for the evening (when symptomatology is active, the level of hormones is optimum, and there is not enough glucose in blood), but to form them competently exactly in the morning. For example so that at first there were loading, consumable asanas, and in the second half – flexibility, relaxation, and extension exercises.

In 1990 I had been invited to conduct a section of yoga at a seminar on extrasensory perception and rebirthing(Crimea, Kazantip). Except for Sergey Vsekhsvjatsky with a team, there was a certain Alexander, the humpback from Vinnitsa, possessing exclusive paranormal abilities. The natives went to him in quantity, and he really helped many people. In the evenings seminarists, thirsting for exotism, got the wonder-worker under the full program, at times he remained with them on sea coast till the late night. Once I decided to listen to such conversation, but I quickly was tired of this delirium and mosquitoes which had literally become enraged in that summer on Azov. Next morning I had not restrained: «Sanya, what would you thrust upon people if you did not know about chakras, prana, and kundalini? – And you there?», he snarled. – I have no idea, whence this misfortune is! It began after fifteen years, I hold my hand for some time on the place where it hurts and everything is all right. They stick endlessly; I am fed up with them… Do you want songs? I have them! I can tell them as far back as not like that!»

«Yoga forbids demonstration of supernatural abilities, but, nevertheless, many pseudo-yogins even today continue to show various "tricks", showing huge force, endurance, and immunity to painful influences (or tremendous flexibility – V. B.). The similar facts prove that the person has an enormous potential which can be revealed be the yogic practice. The rough and disgusting window dressing, encouraged by modern gymnasts, who are engaged in pseudo-yoga in India and behind its boundaries, is equally forbidden. It has been doing because by superficial understanding and commercial operation yoga and systems similar to it (wu shu, karate) lose their high ideals» («Personal Hygiene of Yogin», p. 17).

« In the first decades of the current century in Europe, and in Russia a huge wave of the fashion for yoga has risen; book show-windows carried bright red, green, violet covers of the books interpreting yoga. «With extraordinary lightness of thought» different American and other businessmen under attracting pseudonyms of «yogins», having caught something from translations of original records and having supplied the caught with a good little of own imagination, had been creating "manuals" on yoga practice without taking into account the true sense of this practice, without taking into account physiological and psychophysiological regularities, well-known to thinkers of ancient India… It turned out something very pitiful and unhealthy.

This phenomenon in the beginning of XX century was described by O. Schmitz: «An infinite set of Europeans practice yoga. Incalculable books written by semiliterates for semiliterates (today – by illiterates for absolutely illiterates – V.B.), try to introduce technics, but yet we have not met a yogin-European or met them in such dizzy – grotesque appearance, that they cause only our smile» («The Book about Bhishma», p. 196).

The own, natural level of flexibility responsible for the physical constitution, age and state of health is inherent in each organism. Certainly, owing to a competent practice of asanas,the ceiling of the given level can be reached in due course, but it never was the purpose of yoga! One can try to force the body to performance of complex poses, but it will only harm health and general state. When it is a matter of flexibility andit sounds the slogan «our yoga will allow you to bend much better», at once there is a question – better than what?

Everybody has his own blood pressure, those, whose norm is 110/70, will nothing win, having received 120/80. If a person of average age and health will start to train as sprinter, he will quickly reach the ceiling, but there will be obviously not champion results! Yogins-fakirs had showed since olden times tremendous flexibility and management of involuntary functions (corporal siddhas), their task was to surprise people, just according to this line increase of quantity of asanas was constantly put into effect. The powerful hyperthermia in the modern «dynamic yoga» allows young people to develop hot flexibility in short term, however it has a high price (the message at the forum realyoga.ru of 28.7.2002 «The extreme yoga is till 30 years, and then one should collect himself for the rest of life»). For the sake of justice we shall note that «the dynamic yoga» happens sometimes to be moderately extreme, among its pillars there are people professing a rather soft (nevertheless, depending on what to compare with!) approach, these are Desikachar, Farmer, and B. N.S. Iyengar (do not confuse him with B.K.S. Iyengar; these are different teachers of yoga!). But, anyhow, itdoes not smell of a mental relaxation in any, even if in the "softest" yoga at all.

«The most elastic man on the planet lives in the Canadian city of Québec, amazing with his abilities millions people. In «The GuinnessBook of Records» 35-years Pierre Beaushimin has been written down as a superperson, able to bundle himself, to twist his arms for three hundred sixty degrees and to twist feet and shins of legs in the opposite direction. Due to ubiquitous press, the rumor about a unique ability of Pierre was quickly spread around all Canada and then far beyond the borders of the country. On TV and in press he had got nickname "contortionist". It seemed after birth Pierre was not having any special pathology and did not differ from ordinary children. Only after several months parents began to notice an "unhealthy" flexibility of their son. The verdict of doctors was awful: unusual deviations can lead in the future to traumas, and it is possible that by thirty years Pierrecan become invalid. But, despite of the diagnosis, parents for all that have not despaired and have not lost heart. After the boy has a little grown up, they have given him to a sports school where Pierre under supervision of skilled teachers and doctors took exercise which strengthened joints, but at the same time helped to keep his unique plasticity. Fortunately, forecasts of physicians proved to be wrong. Pierre Beaushimin is thirty five years now, but he feels excellently and is in good trim. Besides, this person possesses a fine sense of humor and likes to play a trick both on himself and others. For example, leaving for taking a walk in a park, he sits on a bench and starts to read the book, and not how it is usual, but having dexterously curled up as if he was from plasticine, and holding the book before himself by the feet which have been turned out in the opposite direction. Suspecting nothing, passers-by, having seen such show, are some seconds in shock condition and only then, having a little come to themselves, some with laughter and some with surprise begin to view the unusual reader and try to speak to him. Pierre is always amiable, and would like completely disinterestedly to show his unique abilities. And in fact he could arrange representations and receive for it quite good money. Though, as everyone is well aware, money cannot buy happiness» (E. Ilyukhina "Contortionist", newspaper «Mir novostey», 22 – 29, 12.1997).

It is easily to understand that the described deviation from an average level of flexibility is on the verge of the pathology, and the attempt to imitate him is an outright foolishness.

Concerning development of flexibility in yoga, as well as in general its personal development, words of Vysotsky's songs are completely fair: «Hey, you, the backs, do as me! It means – do not follow me! This rut is only mine; get out on your rut».

There are parameters which can be freely "workable"in relaxational mood (effort, speed of asanas change), and there are the more independent ones, for example, breathing which "is usually squeezed" because of the unusual form or at an excessive nervous tension. As soon as frequency of breathing or its intensity reaches some limit, ANS automatically transfers system into a consumable, not yogical mode. Intensive perspiration is also a sign of sympathetic prevalence, and it is not inherent in traditional practice of asanas,though the perspiration can appear at the long endurance on some parts of the body.

Over half a century ago N.A. Bernstein had developed the actual to this day concept of construction of movements and also revealed corresponding structures of CNS and the vegetative apparatus («Biomechanics and Physiology of Movements», 1996).

In the simplified variant it looks so:

Level "A" – ancient regulations (the mobile "mechanisms" of interiors equipped withunstriated muscles), they are controlled by ANS.

Level "B" – a later one, cross-striped muscles are subordinated to it. Systems of this level organize the self-sufficient movements which have not been directed outside; they are determined by the machinery itself of an organism as a biomechanical machine.

"C" – the level of a spatial field, in its borders CNS organizes activity for achievement of the external purposes, these actions possess sense and concreteness.

"D" – the level of concrete actions, work with material objects.

The level "E" – structures of the suprememotion realized levels responsible for the organization of speech, writing, and other kinds of communications.

Management of movement of the body in space is centralized, each level "answers" for maintenance of its part of "contribution" to the solution of a concrete task. When there is a skill – an action (movement) is automated – consciousness transfers the basic functions of management to some of the lowest levels or their group. Within our theme the level "B" is of interest.

When the full relaxation in asanas had been mastered, discharge of the repressed occurs in part through the body, being sometimes expressed by the spontaneous activity just of this level. If nervous-emotional conditions can measurably be utilized by movement, so there is another regularity: the muscular loading imposed on nervous-emotional "overheating", is capable to strengthen it! For that very reason, Iyengar has emphasized once in a private conversation: «Any movement of yoga should be carried out without excitation by this movement». It's a great pity, that among his Russian followers the given postulate has remained unclaimed.

Bernstein gives an ingenious formulation: «Where is a development, each subsequent performance is better than the previous, that is it does not repeat it. Correctly performed exercise repeats over and over again not the means used for the solution of the given motional task (asanas as such – V. B.), but process of the solution (such performance of asanas which leads to chitta, vritti, nirodha), improving means from time to time» («Biomechanics and Physiology of Movements», p. 230). In place of any pupil of yoga I would write down these words in a visible place and meditate on them! The regular practice of asanas(pranayama, meditations) is arepetition without repetition, and if a person says that he is bored to do the same – he practices not yoga!

When there comes perfection in performance of asanas, there comes the higher automatism, but « the Border between voluntary and involuntary movements does not coincide at all with the border between movements of conscious and the unconscious» (ibid, p. 242).

B.K.S. Iyengar asserts: «Initially I knew technics, not knowing bases (his hypermobility was natural). Technics and intellect are two different things; the intellect allows to understand principles of practice of poses. It is more difficult to understand principles, which determine technics, than it directly» («The Youth of Spirit» – interview for magazine "Yogasara", August, 1994).

Or: «Today I perfect the art of simplicity that the most delicate and complex aspects (of yoga) could be described by words understandable for all». And further, he who has come from the same «author's school», as Pattabhi Joyce (whose acrobatics differs through the high intensity of loading), says: «The term "intensity" is frequently understood incorrectly. It is a in a much more degree mental, but not physical action; many understand it how «to force to sweat». It is interesting, how those will comment it, who is then drenched in sweat during performance of Kiev "sets", or series of Astanga Vinyasa?

How does a line of human life take shape, whence did the concept of destiny appear? Nietzsche has once formulated his well-known paradox so: «Truth is error». One of the interpretations is so: the person lives, as a matter of fact, never understanding up to the end why he acts so and notin a different way. He chooses the purposes and ways to them; this moment is always in focus, but it is not clear, whom does belong the determining role in strategy and tactics – to consciousness or the unconscious. Besides, social being is liable to accidents. Glancing back in some point, the person sees: here is it, the road, having been left behind. But when he starts to explain why it has such configuration, tries to find a logic substantiation to freakish bends , the explanation inevitably turns out to be an error, as ego knows only a little bit ofthe factors having determined character and scope of vital zigzags.

Philosophical model of antiquity is two-coloured: there is black and white, "yes" and "no", night and day, lie and truth, etc. Old Indian ideas are others: there is neither black, nor white; there is only maya, an illusion, having been created bythe supreme reality. The Chinese model is most adequate: black will be white and vice versa – the world indefinitely changes through transitions of proportions and combinations, a continuous game of semitones, conditions, sensations; only the brevity of periods of stability is trustworthy.

First of all, Hatha-yoga puts in order the body; however people with the damaged health in the beginning of practice will inevitably feel an interim deterioration of general state. In this case the work with the body is performed in a sparing variant, it is minimal, or one should temporarily refuse it, having kept only Yoga Nidra (Shavasana). Improvement and stabilization of general state serves as basis for restoration of activities in full.

As to those who more or less penetrated into technology, their change of life’s quality can proceed for a long time enough; sometimes a distinct sensation of the uttermost well-being appears as the signal to the next reorganization after what a causeless recession follows and the person starts to "mess about".

An episode: the middle-aged woman, the experience of her practice makes up about six years. Once a year her temperature because of some trifling occasion rises and she loses sleep. Such condition keeps some days, and at the same time lady feels perfectly. At night when her head is clear, she can according to her words make effectively brainwork. Then the temperature falls, and everything comes in norm, whereupon the general flexibility in asanas increases sharply.

Some variants can be sharper; here is a letter of 26.04.2004: «Dear Victor Sergeyevich! Excuse me, that I disturb you… One week ago as usually I have started morning exercise. The condition was in norm, except for a littleinflammations of facial nerve. Approximately in the middle of practice, in Shavasana, I felt unexpectedly shivery and began to tremble as in fever. The whole body was thrown up on the floor. Only in about ten minutes I managed to call my wife, she has taken temperature and pressure. The temperature was about forty, and pressure 180/120. She has called the "ambulance". To its arrival (after 2 hours) everything has come to norm, but it has appeared the most intense weakness, and the whole left side of the face, on the course of facial nerve, began to swell up. On the next day the doctor has opened the medical certificate with the diagnosis "angine", and I successfully rested a week. On Friday the swelling has disappeared, and oh, what joy, my nose has unexpectedly begun to breathe (four months ago no drops and washings could remove the strongest rhinedema). And I began not only to breathe; I started to feel smells – for the first time during eleven years! To tell the truth, not in full force, but my happiness does not have limits. I go, smell everything, and savour food (before there were simple gustatory sensations – sweet, sour, salt). And now I have a real assortment. There are such affects for me; it seems that their quiet smearing during time does not turn out. Once again I beg your pardon for anxiety, but, perhaps, in your work with people such things do not happen frequently … ».

Every asana influences organism as a whole, its separate parts, organs, and systems what allows restoring of the health at the stage of functional disorders. One can successfully manage also some organic defeats, it is not a matter only of method, but also of the one who applies it; in some cases the Yoga therapeutist himself happens to be a determinative factor of influence. There is a set of diseases and disorders at which yoga is categorically contra-indicated, and the one who says otherwise is a fool, swindler, or is not a master of the subject.

The organism can be presented schematically as a local network of the interconnected dynamic processes whose parameters vary in borders of allowable values; for the period of disorders (diseases) these borders are broken. Any pose of yoga creates a specific imbalance as it changes the form of the body, topology of the internal organs, blood circulation, etc. But, first, as it was already spoken, such "distortion" is minimal and does not affect central parts of homeostasis; secondly, it is short-term and is not an illness. One performed asana, strained functional "network" in one place, then released. One "pressed" a number of secondary parameters of homeostasis to the limiting sizes of values, then released. Thus, the deformed part of network of the functional parameters, "containing" a disorder, is exposed to the repeated crisscrosses of "lines of influence" of asanas. But in any case, the total useful influence should not exceed adaptable opportunities of the organism. Such things as allergies and some skin diseases are not located, they "are dissolved" in the whole volume of an organism and have a system character. If it is accompanied by the bad quality of teeth, elimination of the similar ones will demand from five and more years of the qualitative practice.

In the beginning of the seventieth years of the last century, being students, we have got acquainted in Alushta with a female artist who had the diagnosis "organic barrenness". During a business trip to France someone has advised to her to try yoga which is, ostensibly, capable to work wonders. By time of our meeting, Olga fanatically was busy with asanas some years and got such flexibility that at times, for the sake of interest, acted with number "contortionist" in a variety show of cafe "Vostok", popularat that time in Yalta.  And subsequently she has with her husband givennevertheless birth to the child!

I had later in Moscow a patient with barrenness, bilateral traumatic adnexitis. She was for a long time and persistently treated by her physicians, as a result the inflammatory process extended to nearby organs. Two and a half years practice, and the diagnosis has been completely taken off, now they are engaged in yoga three together, in their house situated near Moscow: she, the husband, and the son finishing school.

I had happened to work with a group of women with the same problem in 1993 (Kustanai, Kazakhstan). I have offered them an average set of asanas, kriyas, bandhasand deep relaxation. In couple of years child-bearing for the most part of women of this group has ceased to be an unattainable dream.

In 1996 in Crimea, I met a "splinter" of the well-known Gazenko Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP). Equally with the Institute of Brain, it always remained one of the most secret establishments of the country, its structure included also the Laboratory of Extreme Situations, headed in the past by film-traveler Y. Senkevich.

Once one tried in IBMP to find an approach to yoga, but one could not find the skilled personnel. For that reason the known yogin Dhirendra Brahmachari with pupils had been invited (1968) to Moscow, they had shown an amazing degree of strong-willed intervention in the involuntary functions, for example, isolated reduction of any muscle of the face. But as the CPSU categorically did not wish to recognize yoga, everything was with it over.

After disintegration of the USSR the branch of the Laboratory has got stuck in Sevastopol; the "independent" economy has forced employees to spit upon secrecy and to engage in treatment of people. The essence of know-how as it had been described to me is so: when the function of the liver is disordered, the character of its signals of feedback varies. The brain "knows" that the body is sick, besides its game is started by the long-term memory whose main role in stabilization of pathological conditions was established by N. Behktereva. The work of adjacent systems changes through the brain (the main coordinator) in view of the changed status of the sick body. It would be reconstructed as it is, according to fact, but the brain makes it centrally, squeezing out from the situation all possible positive. On the basis of a certain program the computer databank is created with integrated record of biological currents of the feedback made up of a great number of "structures" of a healthy liver. The more they are in number (Americans have some hundredsor even thousands), the more effective is medical influence.

The patient "isoffered a seat" under computer, the information exchange of the center with the sick body "is intercepted" and "a package" of  biological currents of the healthy liver goes into corresponding structures of brain. At once brain starts "to correct" the periphery; parameters of functions change their ways according to a sudden "recovery" of the body. Roughly speaking,  one "forces" the liver to recover by the pressure from the center.   

Moreover the required time of computer sessions is very great, the organ approximately recovers as much time, how much it "became unfit for use". Sometimes the person is compelled to sit «under computer» for some hours per day during one year and more, moreover the cost of the machine time raises incredibly the price of treatment.

What suggests Hatha-Yoga in comparison with it? The same active influence on the periphery, on the disordered organs and systems, but without intermediaries, with the simultaneous system regeneration. In conclusion I say: it is a surprising feeling when you, having woken up early in the morning, sit down on the rug, and start practice. In some time the body starts to be felt completely, you become with it a single whole. It bends and flows itself to borders of the form, without resistance, with some primitive pleasure. There are no thoughts, only the condition of transparency and rest. You and the nature are a single whole. And after practice – charging the accumulator – all the daylong you do not feel weariness, anxiety, irritation, you are happy simply so, without reason. Because you live. It is called health, basing on which everyone can make everything, to what he is capable.

Obstacles to performance of asanas, enumerated below, are taken with "a stock" as in Russia there are practically no experts on yoga therapeutics (it is another matter that practice in vein of yoga of Patanjali automatically includes the stage of system improvement; and all instructors of our School work in such vein).

Contraindications, not dependent on time:

– A grave condition in general, any physical load is impossible, the organism does not have resources, and only a deep relaxation is allowable in this case;

– Mental disorders;

– Borderline states (in this case there are allowable only asanas under a rigid control of the expert);  

– Organic lesions of heart – not compensated failures, paroxysmal tachycardia,   

 cardiac fibrillation, aneurysm of aorta, dystrophy of myocardium;

– Intellectual incapacity;

– Blood disorders;

– Infectious failures of locomotive system;

– The heavy craniocerebral traumas, not compensated injuries of the backbone;

– Neuroinfections;

– Rough infringements of the body image;

– Malignant neoplasms. 

Temporary contraindications:

– A long and simultaneous reception of medicinesin quantities;

– An aggravation of chronic diseases;

– The postoperative period;

– Monthlies;

– A strong bodily fatigue;

– Overheating and overcooling;

– The body temperature is above 37 and below 36,2°C;

– A too rigid mode;

– A heavy physical work;

– Professional sports (with yoga one can combine games, easy run and swimming);

– A full stomach;

– Some personal properties (see the chapter «Ethics of Yoga»);

– A course of deep massage, acupuncture;

– A steam room or a sauna is allowable not less than in five hours after practice of asanas or three hours before it.

Here is a fragment from Baudelaire, drawing the destiny of those who neglects their body:

«The blood of your fathers and grandfathers will turn sour in you,
 It is not fated to you, to become strong like they.
At life, not having experienced its sorrows and passions,
 You will as a patient look through the window.
 Your skin will shrink. And thoughts will weaken.
And boredom will eat into flesh, destroying your desires,
 And dreams will ossify in your skull,
And the horror from mirrors will look at you».

                                                                                פרק הבאה