Thursday, November 10, 2011

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Yoga, (Again!)

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

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     What is really so amazing about this subject is that it doesn’t die. When hatha (exercise) yoga fans discover what is called the “deepest” yoga, kundalini yoga, they feel that they have struck gold and that they are now ready to go higher and attain the highest yoga goals of all, “bliss, opening the heart center, developing power, serving others, self-realization, and ultimately, merging into god consciousness.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

     The yoga teachers say that there is a power, called the “serpent power,” that is coiled up and resting at the seat of a person’s spine, and that kundalini yoga awakens this power and causes mystical experiences as it rises. “At the lowest, it evokes sexual intensities; at the highest, there is light and individual “god-realization.”

     Now what could possibly be wrong with this? After all, it is just another form of yoga, right?

     In my book on meditation, Taming the Raging Mind, I warn against this practice.

    “Using this technique, the meditator will experience endless highs and bottomless lows.  At each high he will experience more and more vivid glory, and then immediately he will be thrown down, with each lower depth bringing darker and darker sorrows.  The more of these experiences he has, the more convinced he becomes of his imagined uniqueness. This conviction will become ingrained.  This makes it even more difficult to get beyond the limitations of form and ‘otherness,’ beyond the ups and downs.” 

    Here is a letter I just received that explains it much better than I did.

    “Mollie also taught me kundilini meditation while I was at Columbia. I practiced this diligently for a year before significantly scaring myself with an out-of-control explosion of energy racing up my spine—a hundred times more powerful than any orgasm. I wasn’t prepared for this kind of success. I think of this as “the white poker up the ### trick” – very dangerous without an experienced teacher.

    “The revered Indian yogi, gopi krishna, describes his own disastrous premature experience in his autobiography, The Awakening of the Kundalini. It left him hospitalized and mentally ill with buzzing sounds and flashing lights in his head for years, until he finally integrated the experience—a very scary tale. I wish I had read it before, rather than after my own adventure in the fire—another unforgettable glimpse into the unseen world.”    

    Yoga is not simply physical exercises as they like to pretend. It is a collection of different systems that further the goals of Hinduism (Brahmanism). This is a religion of many gods… outrageous and even proud idolatry! No one should practice any of it, not even non-Jews.

     Those simple exercises, even when they are called such things as “kosher yoga” are no more kosher than “kosher Hinduism.” If these people had not started with the simple exercises they would never have had those books (or ideas) in their homes that led them further and further, until they themselves strove to become “revered” teachers of a spiritually disastrous system.

     Yet, after all these warnings, there are even many Jewish centers that teach yoga today!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I once took a Kundalini class but dropped out after a few sessions. I had a strong intuitive feeling that something wasn't right. The teacher gave off negative vibes and was really weird.
Years later I had a brief conversation with a Noahide who told me over and over how dangerous Kundalini yoga was. I don't know why he felt compelled to tell me that because he didn't know me very well.

Leah said...

The other interesting thing that makes me cringe is when I read the ending note of some peoples letters and or articles that read, "Namaste." Apparently it means something to the effect of "I bow to you" and or "I bend to you"
When I see this I think of the yoga bit, too. It's all self serving and servitude of others combined. It seems really screwed up in it's understanding of our relationship with both G-d and people.
I stretch before and after I work out and there are some stretches that invole what looks to be yoga and yet I cannot avoid stretching. When I stretch I purposely mess up the configuration a bit and certainly do not think anything in terms of yoga. It's not difficult,just a little imagination needed and an undying faith in Hashem.
I think that yidden and others are searching for something new and exciting and they do not realize that proper study of torah, a healthy outlook, plenty of good friends and an open honest relationship when speaking to Hashem is much of what a Jew can utilize to have the excitemment and fulfillment in one's life.
yasher koach, again for adddressing this issue.

yaakov said...

reb gutman, maybe you can direct readers to a site/book that shows safe, healthy (spiritually and physically) stretching and breathing excercises.
i think people are just trying to exceercise and have peace of mind. they don't realize what they are stepping into (as in stepping into a pile of..).
these articles perform a great service. maybe a booklet is needed?
safe alternatives are needed for people to see.
yashar koach!

Anonymous said...

mental illness i know several mentally ill kabbalists ! all spiritual practices are dangerous ! moses almost got thrown down from mount sinai by satan in the orchard of pardes only akiva passed 1 insane 1 dead 1 heretic . Our record in mysitism doesnt sound great either rav locks . My brother is an orthodox jew who practiced yoga god conciousness for 15 years he thinks hes god evertything comes to him his intelect and perception is immense . Something happened in india . By the way mans highest level is ish elohim noah moses abraham . God conciousness tries to mimick this . Im skeptical even though i believe some in the east are enlightened far far more then 95 % of orthodox rabbis . So im mixed on the subject.

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