“Yoga can’t be Copyrighted”, rules the US Court. Is Yoga a Copyright or a Birthright? A Guru can’t be a Copy-Cat !!
The ancient yoga is known as Ashtanga Yoga. Yoga can not be Hot or Cold. Yoga is warm. It makes you warm. It makes you a warm person. It brings in a quality. Only extremists go from one extreme to the other. A Tyagi is a masochist. He starves the body. He contorts the body. And a Bhogi is a sadist. He indulges with the body. He harms the body through indulgence. Yogis stay in the middle. Yogis stay centered. Yogis stay composed. Yogis stay united. You can not create Yoga. No, this is not possible. You can only be a Yogi. This is the only possibility. This is the only reality. Yoga can not be this or that. It can not be this yoga or that yoga. Vikram Yoga or Betal Yoga. Hot Yoga or Cold Yoga. Love Yoga or Laya Yoga. Power Yoga or Prayer Yoga. All these can be just names. A name is okay. We all have different names. All Yogis have different names. All different flowers in a garden have different names. All these flowers know only one thing inherently, and that is the art of flowering. The same is true with a Yogi. He knows the art of being one with the divine. He starts with the Body and culminates in Being. All these names can not have a different significance. Every Yogi may have a different name but he has to only teach the secrets of Ashtanga Yoga. No matter you do what, if you are not a true yogi, you can only be counted among the monkeys - only jumping from one posture to another.
Yoga essentially means an union with the divine. This is where Ashtanga Yoga has a significance. It is a method and a process that moves all our energies hidden in the body through the eight different limbs or parts or stages or steps. Yoga is everybody’s birthright and it can not be anybody’s copyright. Through the process of Ashtanga Yoga it moves an individual being to a cosmic being.
An individual being is like a drop and the cosmic being is like an ocean. And when the drop merges and becomes one with the ocean, what remains behind is only the ocean. This is that merger. This is that union. This is that singularity. And this gives the experience of oneness. The individual is not separate from the divine. The drop is not separate from the ocean. An electron is not separate from an atom. The atom is not separate from the cosmos. A string is not separate from the Supreme Consciousness. The existence is not separate from the non-existence. Something is not separate from Nothing. It has emerged from it. Everything is interconnected and unbounded. It is only the prism of the mind that creates this division and separation. It is only the perception of the mind that gives rise to this duality. The Supreme Consciousness is non-dual. It is Ekam, Advitium. It is non-dual. It does not mean a numeric one. The moment we bring in a numeric one, there is then a possibility for two, three, etc. And this can go on and on to infinity. Ekam, Advitium simply means now it is non-dual. Now, there is no scope for any duality. We can neither make it or break it. Yoga is, therefore, an existential experience of this union.
What is the significance of Ashtanga Yoga? The significance of Ashtanga Yoga is that it divides the whole journey of this union into eight limbs or parts or stages or steps. The whole process of the body is divided into eight stages. And these eight Angas are - Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Samadhi is the end of the journey. Now you are convinced of the union. It is not that your teacher has convinced you of the union. No, it is your own existential experience which is the test of the union. Nothing succeeds like success, they say. Right? Otherwise success just sucks!!
What does a blacksmith does when he has to bend an iron rod? He heats it up. When it becomes red and hot, it becomes easy for him to bend it in a form he wants. The same is done by a goldsmith with the raw gold when he has to make gold ornaments. So, heating a room of Yoga to some degrees sweats out the body and brings in some more flexibility. Except this there is no other value. This is okay with bending and twisting the bodies. What about bending the mind? What about bending various perceptions and conceptions of the mind? How will you bend various individual Dharanas? Heating up of the environment is of no help. And Yoga is a holistic science. It is for the whole being and not just for the body. It definitely begins with the body. There is no doubt about this. And body is only a beginning. We have to begin with the Body and evolve into the Being. Yoga is a method to move from a posture to a composure. Ashtanga Yoga is a method to move from Yama to Samayama.