28 Jan Smt. Hansaji on ‘Misconceptions About Yoga’ at the Satsang, 27th Jan 2013
The topic for the English Satsang on Sunday, 27th January, 2013 was ‘Misconceptions About Yoga.’
Following is the transcript of the speech made by Smt. Hansaji Yogendra on the topic.
“If we understand our own selves and our body, we will realize that if even one area is disturbed, it affects the whole system. If you have a pain in a finger, you will have stress in the entire body. Because of the pain, the person starts breathing shallow, hunger is gone, head gets heavy, nothing works well. Now if we are going to treat only the finger, somewhere we have not attended to our breath and other things. The finger heals, but because of that pain, somewhere the problems would start again like acidity, headaches, etc.
Just observe – there is nothing like only body. Unfortunately, misconceptions occur because we have not understood our own selves and body. All these misconceptions will go on their own once you understand yourself.
1. Yoga is Religion, it is Hinduism – Yoga is a way of life. it has nothing to do with religion. But of course, it can be called as the Grammar of religion because once you understand yoga, you can understand religion.
2. Yoga is for awakening Kundalini, the serpentine energy – This is another big misconception. Dissect your body and you will not find any Kundalini. The message that is given is that the body has a lot of dormant energy. And what we need to understand is that whenever there are problems, our own energy, our own system helps us in solving the problems. And so to remember this, these kinds of words are used.
3. Yoga is only a Post Retirement Plan – It is believed that yoga is for old and not the young. Don’t the young live their life? Don’t young people have any tension, don’t they fall and get hurt, or catch cold and cough? Then how can we say it is not for the young? Yoga starts from the womb itself.
4. Yoga is the last respite for the sick and the ailing – People come to yoga only when all other avenues are closed. When you have a heart problem and the doctors say nothing can be done, then you come to yoga. If you could have come to yoga earlier, things would have been very different. You would not fall sick and if you do, you would have been able to handle it yourself.
5. Yoga is for the Recluse living in the Himalayas – Earlier people used to think only Yogis, Sanyasis, etc. practiced yoga. But yoga is for every human. A recluse would use different techniques whereas householders would use a different technology. But yoga is definitely a science of living.
6. Yoga is a Miracle, Jadoo, Vibhuti from the palms – You might find it fun to watch Yogis performing miracles. This they do to attract people. This has nothing to do with yoga. There are so many miracles happening around us that we don’t notice. Don’t you think that there are lots of miracles in our own life? But we don’t see it from that angle. We only think something great has been done when someone makes a ring appear in his hand etc. A magician in a magic show can do all of these mind-boggling tricks and show you. They are nothing else but tricks but the way they put it across it appears to be a miracle. So don’t see miracles in the external world, see them in your own life.
My point is that in our system, you can’t separate body, mind, emotions, intellect, etc. We have to use everything for living our life. So if there is disturbance in one area, all areas have to be looked upon. Yoga has a holistic approach. So just doing it for fitness, energy, etc. does not work. These days yoga has become a fashion. Any word is attached to ‘Yoga’ and it becomes yoga. Yoga encompasses everything, it divided be separated using words. It is being marketed and people run for it.
So basically, bring yoga in your life – bringing balance in life, concentrating on everything and doing the work, becoming aware, thinking before any action – all this is yoga. Understand what is right and wrong and act, do not react. If we understand this, then we will not have such misconceptions and run to the wrong people to learn yoga. Make efforts and with the right knowledge, move forward towards progress.”