Yoga as Self-Transformation
November 10, 2002 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Yoga as Self-Transformation is an interesting article on the mental and physical effects practicing yoga can have on a person. Anyone who practices yoga will probably recognize some points in this article, and may enjoy some of the author's other articles as well.
posted by homunculus (7 comments total)
I really have to start doing my asanas again. Thanks, homunculus.
posted by y2karl at 2:59 PM on November 10, 2002

I think one way to make yoga more popular among the young 'uns would be to have that grizzled and wise yet huggable green-skinned Jedi Master do an instructional video and call it Yoga with Yoda.

Boffo-Socko, trust me.
posted by jonmc at 3:23 PM on November 10, 2002

he stuff about pain is interesting and useful, most of this is actually exactly what I hate about doing yoga. It reminds me of the kind of claptrap one has to block out as some uber-flexi, just out of college white person spouts rehashed spiritual wisdom at you while you hover in some dreadful position.

All sorts of claims are made on behalf of yoga, none of which have any proof to back them up. Yeah, sure: you get more flexible and stronger and breathe more, and you feel better and probably are healthier. Beyond that, this piece should have every disclaimer attached to a bottle of unregulated herbs.

The word "disease" means what it literally says: dis-ease. As the body becomes less "easy" in itself, it begins to break down.

Oy. And Louise Hay says negative thoughts give you cancer. So why isn't Jesse Helms dead?

On preview: good one, Jon.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:31 PM on November 10, 2002

good article.

on another point, the article reminds me exactly of an article i read a while back from that same source, ... the author seems to take a very typically western perspective, and further presents the interesting notion of how the ancient practice of yoga has changed so dramaticaly and so rapidly as it has become integrated into western culture: that the word "asana," the postures, has become synonymized with the process of "yoga" ... which funny enough, is really such a small small part of such a much larger system; [especially if you study a raja yoga system, which most westerners do, in which the asanas only represent 1 out of 7 steps]

from my article:
Say "yoga" to most Americans, and they think "yoga poses." With its emphasis on using the physical body as a vehicle for spiritual awakening, hatha yoga—formerly a small and obscure corner of the vast yoga firmament—has captured the imagination and spirit of America, and is the branch of yoga that has flourished here most successfully. Never before in the history of yoga has the practice of physical postures assumed the importance that it has in the West.

posted by 11235813 at 3:56 PM on November 10, 2002

i meant 8 steps
posted by 11235813 at 3:57 PM on November 10, 2002

posted by Silune at 4:07 PM on November 10, 2002

very good and revealing article. every western sadhaka should read instructions like that. it's the western mind troubleshooting their own problems while living this eastern art and wisdom called yoga. i liked very much the direct and detailed way mr. kramer described all the matters in the article. it still lacks the ayurveda knowledge that's essential to the effective transformation through yoga, but it's just a relative problem (once in the west a few people knew about ayurveda and yoga in 1980). thanks for the link, homunculus.
posted by nandop at 2:02 PM on November 12, 2002

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