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Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: Troubled Teen ()
Date: January 29, 2007 08:52PM

Yoga is not a manipulation as long as the mind of the one who practice it is strong enough to withhold some negative behavior. I used to practice Yoga and I have to admit that I didn’t experience such feelings. It helped me a lot in keeping a balance with myself and in treating a stomach disease. I regret I do not do it any longer, but it requires special environment for it: silence, good air flow, a very clean body and empty stomach. If these conditions aren’t fulfilled problems could occur. Maybe she isn’t doing it the right way or, worse, she may be under some negative influence. Try to talk to her.

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Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 07, 2007 07:50PM

From an article on yoga



meditating is like running, or any sport or form of training – injuries happen. And injuries are to be avoided if possible! They ruin the fun. But the denial system in meditators is so intense they can't stand ANY hint that their practice may be less than perfect. And this denial, of course, is one of the hidden dangers of meditation. Go figure.

From an article on two paths--renunciate practice and householder practice and problems that may arise if detachment practices are wrongly prescribed for persons whose actual life path is through relationship not detachment from relationship...



Almost all books on meditation available today are written by people who were inspired in one way or the other by the great monastic traditions of India and other Asian countries. Almost all teachers of meditation are either monks or nuns, were trained by monks or nuns, or were trained by students of monks or nuns. So attitudes of renunciation have come to be synonymous with meditation.

When householders practice meditations designed for renunciates, they inadventently damage the psychic and energetic structures they need to make their way in the material world. Meditation works, and it works on you on a deep level. If you go into meditation with the idea that you have to detach from the world, you may get more than you bargained for - you may find yourself gradually getting dissociated, removed, alienated, and depersonalized. It is always easier to destroy than to create, and detachment means to cut off or separate. It can take years to rebuild connections that you have severed through mistakenly practicing detachment.

In a nutshell, monks and nuns evolve by living a life of detachment, disconnection, and aloofness. They may be very attached to their robes and their spiritual order, but their practice is about renouncing their desire for "worldly things." For them, spirituality is irrevocably tied up with denial.

Non-monks, on the other hand, evolve through working with the material world. Detachment is not the primary attitude to cultivate. Rather, the opposite of detachment is indicated: being involved, close, committed, and intimate. For some odd reason, this distinction is not being honored, and the wrong techniques are being taught on a wide scale.


The Path of Attachment and Involvement

People who have families, jobs, pay rent or mortgages, and live in the real world, have very different needs in meditation. Recluses call us householders. Houeseholders do not need to constantly kill off their natural impulses. As a matter of fact, the last thing they need is to weaken their desires, instincts and intuition. The path of the householder involves working with attachment. It is very daring to be attached. Tolerating the experience of attachment takes courage. Personal bonds are attachments. Loving someone is an attachment. Householders, when they meditate, should savor every sexual impulse, cherish every desire, honor and listen to all their instincts, and cultivate their general enthusiasm for life.

When The Paths Become Confused

When householders practice meditation in the style of a recluse, and practice detaching from their desires, they often find that over time their instincts become weaker, their intuition becomes flawed, they become confused about their desires, and they start looking for an external authority to dominate them and tell them what to do. This is what happens when you practice detachment. When you internalize toxic attitudes (such as advocated in The Precious Garland) toward your desires, attachments and your identity, you will indeed find over time that your individuality is weakened and you start longing for some dominant male to tell you what to do. You will long for shelter in a religous organization, spiritual collective, or cult. As you separate yourself from your personal desires, you become magnetically attracted to people who have strong, dynamic egos. In other words, the center of life is moved from being inside your body to being out there, somewhere. This process of depersonalization usually takes several years, and people are generally surprised at how deep it goes. It is not unusual for it to take ten or fifteen years to recover from several years practicing meditation in a mood of renunciation.

It is not the meditation per se that is harming you, it is the attitude of detachment that you are practicing. In other words, taking on reclusive attitudes is like taking the treatment for a disease you don't have. If you are healthy and strong, but your doctor thinks that your strength is a sign of a rebellious spirit that needs to be broken, and gives you chemotherapy and radiation, you will get sick. When householders become weak from meditating, monks and nuns think this is great, that you are stepping onto the spiritual path. But it is one thing for a monk or nun to have no money, be celibate and obedient. When a householder is influenced by monastic thinking, she just becomes broke, lonely and submissive. This is not evolution, this is just damage, unless it really is your destiny to leave everything and everyone and go join a religious order.

A lot more research needs to be done in this area. For example, some people can breeze through years of Nagarjuna-type teachings and then just slough it off when they are done. It was no weirder than their family of origin, and maybe it helped them to expunge something. Others are deeply affected in a negative way...

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Re: Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: gondolf ()
Date: November 16, 2007 10:19AM

"Possibly inadvertently, you have hit the nail square on the head here. Usually when someone withdrawls from their life situation so suddenly and completely after joining a yoga group you often find that in their practice of yoga stands a guru teacher they are devoted to and manipulated by."

While this is sometimes true I disagree that it is usually or necessarily the case. Often nowadays people are disatisfied with their life and there is a certain mythology about running off and becoming a yogi or a yoga teacher. In a few cases that is a legitimate aspiration, but often it is just a mythical life they are chasing because there is something difficult in their life You know the saying..........the grass is greener.........

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Re: Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: dartreeg ()
Date: January 16, 2008 03:07AM

Starbright, I have to agree with you.

I have been involved now in two places where the leaders seemed to take advantage of people/abuse them as a form of mind control. Of course, when you hear Swami Sita talk, for example, the ONLY subject is control of the mind. She thinks this means that other people should choose to control their own minds, but what she's teaching is actually the opposite from this.

I agree that one should be able to count on selfless love, compassion and so on, yet somehow it also seems to be lacking in organizations where there is one main leader. I also think that this is not ALWAYS the case, but it's exceedingly difficult to find someone like this.

In thinking of starting an organization myself, these kinds of things are always in my mind. I would like to think I could be like a Penn and Teller- to show people how they are fooled by people, but at the same time, still try to teach something. I do think there is a place for teachers, in spite of all the potential for problems.

I think it's important not to get too paranoid also, as this is also not helpful, IMO.


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Re: Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: Keir ()
Date: January 25, 2008 12:17PM

Some of these yogis or yoga groups are extreamly cultish.
Its when they tell you something like: "You must give up everything for your guru" The red lights in your head should be going off.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2008 12:19PM by Keir.

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Re: Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: June 07, 2008 11:38PM

I started attending 'yoga meditation' classes about ten years ago. Initially, I was taught by a friend and was later taken to the 'Center' to learn 'higher levels'.

I never left. I started volunteering at the Center almost immediately, then working full-time for the organization.

We were encouraged to eliminate our 'personal' desires and interests and devote ourselves to 'helping others', or 'serve humanity' by working tirelessly as Teaching Center support staff.

Swept up by these idealistic notions, I 'dropped everything'. I let go of good friends, and for a long time saw my family rarely, even refusing to spend holidays such as Easter or Christmas with them.

I had been preparing to develop my career, thinking about returning to post-graduate education. It never happened. I spent ten years of my life being chastised for not being able to 'forget myself' to a sufficient degree, photocopying teaching literature and sending out teaching materials.

I did want to leave. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to go out dancing. I wanted genuinely fulfilling work. What I began in good faith as a willing volunteer, progressed quite quickly into forced subservience as any personal need of mine was deemed 'un-spiritual' and unnacceptable ... even free time at the weekend was considered 'dangerous'.

The exit costs applied to me were classic mind control ... that I would lose my spiritual development, that I would no longer be 'protected' and that I would become sick or die (or worse... that my family would suffer) if I stopped my life of 'selfless service'.

The guru made predictions of natural disasters. He spoke of society returning to the 'zero point' a complete soci-economic collapse. Careers would be of no use any more anyway, what was I thinking, "What, you want to be a teacher? You think you're very good, don't you? You think you're so high. Maybe you think you're better than the guru." (in tone of complete disgust.)

So by all means, do yoga, but be wary. Become aware of mind-control and thought reform techniques. Don't let yourself get sucked in to a group that is fronting as 'yoga/meditation' then 'reveals' another purpose later.

Set clear boundaries and never do more than you are genuinely willing to do. Don't let someone threaten you that you are not really spiritual if you don't stay to clean up the kitchen and mop the floor at midnight. Y'know? Just be careful.

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Re: Yoga: a manipulation?
Posted by: tyciol ()
Date: July 25, 2008 07:51AM

I've heard that a couple yoga teachers/groups can get weird and too intrusive like this, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions about it until you've researched more about the specific type of yoga your GF is doing and who's teaching it to her. This is really something you need to get details on before anyone can help you, because there are lots of kinds of pretty innocent yoga for health and stuff.


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