Yoga is an ancient art, science, and philosophy gifted to humans for spiritual enlightenment. It’s an emotional matter practiced by Sadhak (Seeker/Practitioner) for self-realization. For this, yoga offers a three-dimensional benefit: physical, mental, and spiritual.
In today’s world, people across the globe take yoga as a mere exercise. It’s only become a source of physical fitness and if not, mental calmness or relaxation. However, in reality, yoga is more than just bending bones and flexing hips. It’s spiritual guidance!
Every Kriya (action) in yoga has spiritual values, but to learn it, one must have a guru by their side. Otherwise, your practice will only incorporate the physical and the mental side leaving the spiritual one totally unchecked.
The physical and mental side of the practice is more put into action by the people who want to perform the yoga asanas (postures). However, it’s not only about the poses, but it’s also about those breathing bits and pieces.
With the growing use of social media, copying has become a favorite hobby. People, not only copy the poses from socials such as YouTube and TVs, but also without an experienced yoga teacher.
Yoga asanas attract a lot of people because of their health benefits. But, in addition, it also has a plethora of issues. Even if you perform the postures, there can be some common mistakes while doing yoga – jerking body parts, irregularity of breath, overstretching, playing without knowing the intensity, strength, stamina, flexibility, and much more. This, in turn, inflicts harm to self. Unguided yoga practice might cause nerve compression, ligament tears, muscle tears, increased heartbeat, fatigue, tiredness, irritation, and such.
Therapeutic yoga can help people cure diseases, but some medical complications must be duly dealt with. The complications vary in accordance to the Sadhak’s body.
Let’s take Kapalbhati for an example. It’s a well-known breathing technique in the yoga world. TVs and other media platforms just show the How To’s for the exercise but fail to tell the contra-indications to the technique. For Kapalbhati, it’s not recommended for people with heart disease, hernia, high blood pressure, vertigo, epilepsy, stroke, or gastric ulcer. The media has failed to deliver this exact information to the public.
Quite risky for beginners, eh? Yoga practice from TVs or social media is unsafe and might harm some delicate nerves, organs, and tissues in the short run. Moreover, practitioners may also suffer from stroke, paralysis, body pain, body aches, and even mental disorders in the long term.
So, what did you get from all this? Well, though we’ve found ways to teach ourselves new skills and techniques, learning from a master is always of more value.
And, it’s also our parampara (tradition) to learn from masters!
The same applies to yoga, where the energy of a guru helps motivate and inspire and if not, protect the practitioners.
The mentor helps light the path of any spiritual practice of what is called yoga!