TRADITIONAL ‘SEATED’ YOGA & CONTEMPORARY WESTERN YOGA
'OLD IS the new NEW'
Unfortunately, in the West, Yoga is popularly associated with standing, sitting and reclining physical postures (asanas), with a cursory nod to breath practice (pranayama). The practice of Meditation is generally non-existent, either presented at the end of class in the form of Savasana (corpse posture), or something to be done 'later' - if you are a more experienced practitioner. Contemporary forms of Yoga (in accord with Western thinking) are DUALISTIC in nature, separating Mind from Body.
The REASON - it allows for the commodification of ‘Body-benefit’ (the Ego's closest ally). Body-benefits are easily commercialised and sold to an uninformed public. The commercialisation of Yoga via ‘Body-benefits’ is a by-product of India’s renaissance following independence from British colonialism and adoption of Western market Capitalism. Contemporary Yoga as we know it has ‘plied its trade’ for little more than 60 years.
Traditional Yoga, on the other hand, has been authenticated, in text, for at least 3,000 years. Traditional Yoga avoids the limitation of ‘dualistic’ thinking – it does not separate the organic functionalism of the Mind and Body entity. We are ONE psycho-physiological regulatory system. The ancients recognised this through practice, which gave rise to the term ‘Yoga’ (‘Union’). The term Yoga is the descriptor of practice necessary to bring together (‘unite’), the psycho-bio-energy' (prana) of the human organism into a ‘force-field’ of energy capable of entering the central nervous system causing profound and permanent neurological alteration.
Traditional Yoga, as known through the texts – the Vedas, the Upanisads, and the Tantras define the term 'asana' as 'seat' or ‘seated’ (Goraksasataka). 'Asana' is 'the seat’ or ‘seated’ position from which you do your practice. The texts tell us that your 'seated' posture must be correct. Once correct, you may begin specific practices as indicated by your teacher (Guru). The practices recommended are from a 'seated' position - 'seated' postures, ‘seated’ breath regulations (pranayamas), and 'seated' internalisations (pratyaharas & dharanas). These practices lead to ‘one-pointedness’ of mind, and finally, freedom from thought waves (vrttis) i.e. the state of Meditation (dhyana).
The point being made here is that ‘Seated’ Yoga is Traditional Yoga. It is the oldest form of Yoga known. It is expounded in the tantric texts of my tradition, the 9thC Siddha/Nath lineage. This is ‘old school’ Yoga --- proven Yoga --- Yoga that works!
And why is this method of Yoga so little known in the West?
Because we are all too busy ‘jumping up and down’ hoping to delay the inevitable, to look good on the day of our Death!
So, if you wish to stop ‘jumping up and down’, or don’t wish to start ‘jumping up and down’, and wish to simply learn to ‘be’ – the MIND-YOGA (Aust) - INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION TRAINING COURSE, Yarraville, Melbourne - is it.