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Ukrainian Yoga Federation

Andrey Safronov

YOGA

PHYSIOLOGY, PSYCHOSOMATICS,

BIOENERGETICS

Kharkоv

2011

UDK 294.527

BBK 87.3

S 21

Safronov А. G.

S 21

Yoga: Physiology, Psychosomatics, Bioenergetics. — Kharkоv : PPВ Коvаlеnkо А.V.,

2011. — 244 p., il.

ISBN 978-966-2079-37-1

This book is based on 19 years of yoga practice and 14 years of teaching yoga and

healing. It contains over 300 pictures of asanas — how to come into them and how to go

out, energy flows and possible mistakes while practicing hatha.

Structural y, the book is divided into several levels so that it can be useful to al readers

with different experience in yoga — from beginners to experienced practitioners.

In this book you wil learn how to assemble your own yoga complex, depending on

your health. You wil learn about inward criteria of doing asanas right and how to get

practical results from your meditation.

Al rights reserved. No part of this book can be reproduced in any form without

permission of copyrights’ proprietors.

UDК 294.527

BBК 87.3

ISBN 978-966-2079-37-1

© Safronov А. G., 2011

© Коvаlеnkо А.V., 2011

© Rhythm-Plus, 2008

© Safronov А. G., 2008

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CONTENTS

FOREWORD ......................................................................................................................................................... 9

PREFACE .............................................................................................................................................................11

What is Yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................11

Hatha in the system of Yoga .................................................................................................................15

HUMAN ENERGY STRUCTURE ...................................................................................................................17

Energy bodies ............................................................................................................................................17

Human’s Сhakral System .......................................................................................................................18

History ...................................................................................................................................................18

Physiological aspects of chakras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....20

Psychological aspects of chakras .................................................................................................21

Chakra’s strength . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................21

Maturity of chakra. Openness and closeness of chakra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Energy channels........................................................................................................................................27

Ida and Pingala ...................................................................................................................................27

Other energy channels ....................................................................................................................30

Energy channels in Chinese tradition ........................................................................................31

TYPES OF YOGA EXERCISES AND THEIR MECHANISMS OF INFLUENCE ..................................32

Asanas ..........................................................................................................................................................32

How asanas influence on our body ............................................................................................34

Mechanical influence of asanas ..................................................................................................34

Humoral mechanism ........................................................................................................................34

Psychosomatic mechanism ...........................................................................................................35

Reflex mechanism .............................................................................................................................36

Stress mechanism .............................................................................................................................37

Hormonal mechanism .....................................................................................................................38

Energetic mechanism ......................................................................................................................38

Types of asanas ..................................................................................................................................40

Pranayamas ................................................................................................................................................41

Bandhas .......................................................................................................................................................44

Kriya ...............................................................................................................................................................45

Mudras .........................................................................................................................................................45

Vibration techniques (mantras) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...........46

Meditative practicesin yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...............48

Psychological aspect .......................................................................................................................48

Energy aspect of meditations .......................................................................................................50

FIRST STEPS IN HATHA-YOGA ...................................................................................................................52

Getting prepared ......................................................................................................................................52

Meditating for actualisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........52

Full yoga breath (rhythmical breathing) ...................................................................................54

Healthy respiratory muscular system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Position of eyes during yoga practice ........................................................................................58

Orientation during yoga session ................................................................................................60

. Safronov. Yoga: Physiology, Psychosomatics, Bioenergetics

«Set-ups» during practice .....................................................................................................................60

The most common exercises and generalmistakes in doing them (beginners level) . . .65

Basic group of asanas.......................................................................................................................65

Bhujangasana (cobra pose) ...........................................................................................................65

Pashimottanasana (straining spine pose) ...............................................................................69

Vakrasana (curved pose) .................................................................................................................71

Arthamatsiendrasana (pivoted spine pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

Second group of asanas ..................................................................................................................74

Ushtrasana (camel pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...........74

Padahastasana (pose of feet to hands) ......................................................................................75

Trikonasana (triangle pose)Simplified version .......................................................................77

Final group of asanas for beginners ...........................................................................................79

Dhanurasana (bow pose) ...............................................................................................................79

Halasana (plough pose or love pose) ........................................................................................80

Matsiasana (fish pose) .....................................................................................................................81

Matsiasana simplified versions .....................................................................................................81

Sarvangasana (overall pose or the posefor all parts of the body) ...................................82

Pranayamas .........................................................................................................................................83

Common remarks about pranayamas ......................................................................................83

Kapalabhati (cleaning of the skull)..............................................................................................83

Akahalabhati .......................................................................................................................................84

Ujaya (victorious) ...............................................................................................................................84

Kumbhaka (holding breath after inhaling) ..............................................................................85

Bhastrika (bellows) ............................................................................................................................86

Finishing yoga session ............................................................................................................................87

Meditation on disactualisation (forming intention) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONSAS FOR THE METHODICS

OF INDEPENDENT PRACTICE FOR BEGINNERS ....................................................................................88

Principles of independent practicing yoga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88

Entering and exiting every pose .................................................................................................88

Stable state of your consciousnesswhile doing al the complex of asanas . . . . . . . . . 88

Sequence of exercises (running a little ahead) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89

Time for yoga ......................................................................................................................................90

Set-ups ..................................................................................................................................................90

How long should yoga session last .............................................................................................91

Natural way in practice ...................................................................................................................91

About lifestyle, or Нow to start practicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....92

How to find time for practice ........................................................................................................92

Attitude of others and attitude to others .................................................................................92

Can yoga be harmful? .............................................................................................................................93

PSYCHOLOGICAL WORK IN ASANAS .....................................................................................................94

Human psyche structure .......................................................................................................................94

Relaxationmeditations ..........................................................................................................................97

Basic technique of meditation ......................................................................................................97

First step .......................................................................................................................................97

Second step ..................................................................................................................................98

Third step ......................................................................................................................................98

Forth step ......................................................................................................................................99

Fifth step ........................................................................................................................................99

Meditating in asana ..........................................................................................................................99

Techniques of energetic «denouement» and reacting traumatising situations . . . . . . .100

Analytical techniques ...........................................................................................................................100

«Replaying» the situation ......................................................................................................100

4

Contents

Letting go your feelings .........................................................................................................100

Analytic meditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......101

Playing with situation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .....101

What law is the situation for? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101

Letting go your thoughts (great meditation of Tilopa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Catharsis techniques ......................................................................................................................102

Astral breathwork .....................................................................................................................102

STRENGTHENING POSTURES. TECHNIQUES OF FIRMING THE FIELD ......................................103

Looseness and densityof chakra .......................................................................................................103

Muladhara ..........................................................................................................................................104

Svadhisthana.....................................................................................................................................104

Manipura ............................................................................................................................................105

Anahata ...............................................................................................................................................105

Vishuddha ..........................................................................................................................................106

Ajna ......................................................................................................................................................106

Strengthening asanas ...........................................................................................................................107

Tightening Manipura field ...........................................................................................................107

ParvatasanaForward set (mountain pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

ParvatanasanaBackward set (mountain pose). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108

Tightening Svadhisthana field ....................................................................................................108

KandharasanaSet on shoulders (shoulder pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Arthasalabhasana (half-locust pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109

Salabhasana (locust pose) .....................................................................................................109

Dhanurasana without hands (bow pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Urdhvadhanur asana(inverted bow pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Cat pose .......................................................................................................................................110

Navasa (boat pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......111

Firabhadrasana (swal ow pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111

Tightening Muladhara field .........................................................................................................111

Kukutasana (cock pose) .........................................................................................................111

Controlled splits ........................................................................................................................112

Uttkatasana (strong pose) .....................................................................................................112

Tightening side zones ....................................................................................................................113

Santolanasana (balancing pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113

Uthita parsfaconasana (stretched right angle pose) ...................................................113

Strengthening posesin yoga complex ............................................................................................114

ADVANCED EXERCISES AND THEIR ENERGY INFLUENCE ............................................................115

Modifications and variationsof main asanas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115

Bhujangasana and its variations ................................................................................................116

Asanas similar to Bhujangasana.................................................................................................117

Sarpasana and its variations ........................................................................................................117

Asanas similar to Рashimattanasana ........................................................................................118

Arthamatsiendrasana and its variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119

Asanassimilar to Рadahastasana ................................................................................................120

Trikonasana and its variations ....................................................................................................120

Asanas similar to Нalasana ...........................................................................................................121

«Artha»- asanas(asymmetric postures, influencing sidemeridians) .....................................121

Athabhujangasana..........................................................................................................................122

Arthanurasana ..................................................................................................................................122

ArthaUshtrasana ..............................................................................................................................122

Virasana (hero pose) .......................................................................................................................122

Arthapashimottanasana and its variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

Arthapadahastasana and its variations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123

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. Safronov. Yoga: Physiology, Psychosomatics, Bioenergetics

Sivanatarajasana (Siva-Nataraja pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124

Tadasana .............................................................................................................................................124

Parighasana (crossbar pose) ........................................................................................................124

Parsva Halasana (Halasana with a turn) ...................................................................................124

Inverted poses .........................................................................................................................................125

Viparita karani (back movement) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

Sirshasana (standing on the head)............................................................................................126

Sirshasana’s variations ...................................................................................................................127

Squeezing out asanas ...........................................................................................................................127

Maiurasana (peacock pose) .........................................................................................................127

Gomukhasana (bull’s head pose) .............................................................................................128

Advanced strengthening poses ........................................................................................................128

Equilibration poses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......................129

Advanced pranayamas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...............130

Bhastrika and its variations ..........................................................................................................130

Standing Bhastrikas ........................................................................................................................130

«Asymmetric» Bhastrikas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......131

Bramari (the bee) .............................................................................................................................131

Anuloma viloma...............................................................................................................................131

Advanced elementsof warming-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132

Self-massage .....................................................................................................................................132

Warm-up enhancers ......................................................................................................................132

Bandhas and kriyas .........................................................................................................................132

Mulabandha ...............................................................................................................................133

Uddiana bandha (fisherman pose) ....................................................................................133

Uddiana bandha kriya ............................................................................................................133

Nauli ..............................................................................................................................................134

Respiratory warm-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...........134

Simhasana (lion pose) .............................................................................................................134

Maha mudra (the great mudra) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135

Suria Namaskar («Salutation to the Sun» complex) ............................................................136

1. Pranamasana (praying pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136

2. Hasta Uttanasana (raised hands pose) .........................................................................136

3. Padahastasana (stork pose) ..............................................................................................136

4. Ashva Sanchalasana (horseman pose) .........................................................................137

5. Parvatasana (mountain pose). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

6. Ashtanga Namaskar (worship on eight points) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

7. Dog pose. ................................................................................................................................138

8. Cat pose. ..................................................................................................................................138

9. Ashva Sanchalasana (horseman pose). ........................................................................138

10. Padahastasana ....................................................................................................................138

11. Hasta Uttanasana ..............................................................................................................139

12. Pranamasana(praying pose) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Comments on practicing Suria Namaskar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Some smal pranayamas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......139

Pranayama № 1 (tree) ..............................................................................................................140

Pranayama № 2 (skier) ............................................................................................................140

Pranayama № 3 (mill) ..............................................................................................................140

Pranayama № 4 ........................................................................................................................140

Pranayama № 7 (hammer). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140

Pranayama № 8 ........................................................................................................................141

Pranayama № 10 (breathing for steady nerves) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

Pranayama № 11 (waking up lung cel s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

6

Contents

Gymnastics to «cleanse» musculotendinous meridians (MTM) .....................................142

1. Cleansing pericardium .......................................................................................................142

2. Cleansing of three heaters meridian. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142

3. Cleansing of the heart ........................................................................................................142

4. Cleansing of lungs meridian ............................................................................................142

5. Cleansing of rectum ............................................................................................................142

PRINCIPLES OF BUILDING YOGA COMPLEXES .................................................................................143

Principle of compensation ..................................................................................................................143

Principle of enhancing (swirling the energy) ..............................................................................144

Principle of «swinging» ........................................................................................................................144

Principle of using the elements in yoga complexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Coordination of practice with weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..145

Principle of fol owing the body (free complex) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

Sequence of doing pranayamas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .....148

Cumulative routines ..............................................................................................................................149

Accents in breathing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....................149

ASANAS WITH BREATH-HOLDS (ADVANCED LEVEL) ....................................................................150

How breath-holds influence the body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150

Coordination of asanas with breath-holds ...................................................................................151

Dynamic complexes with breath-holds (by the example of Suria Namaskar) . . . . . . . . .153

WORK WITH ENERGY TECHNIQUES .......................................................................................................154

Work with energy through breathing .............................................................................................154

«Breathing up» chakras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........155

«Breathing up» channels ..............................................................................................................156

«Breathing up» in pranayamas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..157

Work with energy by visualisation ...................................................................................................157

Techniques of «pumping up» in asanas ..................................................................................158

«Pumping ups» for men and women ..............................................................................................160

Energy movement in outer etheric ..................................................................................................161

Tightening of outer etheric by «raking» movements by hands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161

How energy «goes out» to the outer etheric in «pumping-ups» ...................................162

«Pumping-up» in dynamic complexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .163

Work with sun mantras ........................................................................................................................163

Emotional aspect of work with sun mantras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164

Meditative aspect of work with sun mantras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165

ASANAS ENHANCERS .................................................................................................................................166

Sarpasana ...........................................................................................................................................167

Pashimottanasana ...........................................................................................................................167

Arthamatsiendrasana ....................................................................................................................167

Trikonasana .......................................................................................................................................168

Marichasana ......................................................................................................................................168

Ushtrasana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .....................169

Dhanurasana .....................................................................................................................................168

Arthasalabhasana ............................................................................................................................169

Sirshasana .........................................................................................................................................169

MEDITATIONS .................................................................................................................................................170

Psychological aspects of meditation ..............................................................................................171

Actualisation of psychic’s processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171

Development of consciousness and of self-consciousness .............................................172

Cleansing of subconsciousness..................................................................................................173

Deprogramming of super-consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174

Achieving inner integrity ..............................................................................................................175

7

. Safronov. Yoga: Physiology, Psychosomatics, Bioenergetics

Work with subtle bodies ......................................................................................................................177

Vows ............................................................................................................................................................178

Work with mental body. Djnana yoga ............................................................................................179

YOGATHERAPY. SOME PRINCIPLES OF BUILDING THERAPEUTIC COMPLEXES .................181

Counterbalancing of branches of autonomic nervous system (ANS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Evaluation of initial vegetative tone by Wein . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183

Human energy anomalies as a reason of disease .......................................................................184

Excited and depressed chakra ...........................................................................................................184

Ajna ......................................................................................................................................................188

Vishuddha ..........................................................................................................................................190

Anahata ...............................................................................................................................................191

Manipura ............................................................................................................................................194

Svadhisthana.....................................................................................................................................195

Muladhara ..........................................................................................................................................197

Rehabilitation of field’s integrity and chakra stabilisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

Therapeutic complexes of asanas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198

Chakras stabilisation by breathing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

Affecting meridian system by yoga exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200

Harmonisation of ANS balance by asymmetric types of breathing and asanas..............201

YOGA AND NUTRITION ..............................................................................................................................203

Principles of nutrition of all bodies ..................................................................................................203

The principle of food’s correspondence to the constitutional type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205

The principle of using gunas ..............................................................................................................205

The principle of time and place ........................................................................................................206

The principle of fol owing one’s natural wishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

Principles of health-improving fasting ...........................................................................................208

YOGA AND SEX. SEX PRACTICIES IN YOGA ........................................................................................209

Hatha-yoga for Svadhisthana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..........213

YOGA AND THE STARS ................................................................................................................................214

How moon cycles influence on our body ......................................................................................214

Other biological rhythms in the body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..216

CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................................................217

GLOSSARY .......................................................................................................................................................218

ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................................................................................222

APPENDIX 1 (AFTER GAVAA LUVSAN) ..................................................................................................227

APPENDIX 2 CLASSIC YOGA TEXTS .......................................................................................................240

8

index-10_1.jpg

FOREWORD

Why this book was written

The first idea to write this book appeared quite long ago when,

after some years of practicing yoga, I finally understood how asanas

«work». After this unfortunately I found out that most of modern books

on yoga give asanas the wrong way. The picture can be nice, but tiny

inaccuracies that only a professional can notice, make such performance

useless. In one posture the back is not stretched enough, in the second

one — the heap is sticking out, in the third one the pelvis or the neck

is not straight. From the point of view of gymnastics these are details,

but, if you understand the energy aspects of asana, it is obvious, that

such performance is not only useless, but to some extent harmful. So

I wanted to get all those bad examples from many books and to explain

what troubles may ensue from such practice. But the principles of ahimsa

didn’t allow me to write such book.

Later on, teaching how to do right asanas and pranayamas, I un-

derstood, that people do them wrong not because they aren’t aware of

how to do it right — they just practice according to their actual energy

bearing. And I mean not those difficult asanas, demanding extraordi-

nary flexibility, but quite simple at first blush postures. This discovery

underlay the brand new understanding of hatha-yoga as a method of

spiritual evolution and not just a physical development of a person.

Eventually on the base of this understanding I built my own principles

of teaching yoga.

The second problem that encouraged me to write this book was

this very unpleasant tendency to «religionize» yoga, which in fact is a

profoundly rational and pragmatic teaching. Various Schools are argu-

ing about how to do this or that technique appealing to original sourc-

es and treatises or citing Teachers. Apprentices are trying to find those

«genuine», «traditional», «authentic» practices. Some people try to sit

in lotus position for many years, thinking that there is no yoga with-

out it. They forget the essential: that yoga is a creative teaching, peo-

ple oriented, not canon oriented. Ancient Indian canon, as any other,

was meant for a certain kind of person, living in a certain ambience —

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natural and cultural. Does it always suit a modern European? Human-

ity approaches ancient knowledge differently and finds new ways to

understand esoteric learning. On the other hand practices that used to

work 30–50 years ago, are irrelevant today and just don’t «work». That

is why, if you want to gain from a canon, you should deconstruct it: you

must get to the essential principle of those techniques and recreate new

ones, appropriate to modern conditions and contemporary life. Never-

theless I didn’t find books, where such work would be done. Feeling

a need for such research I came back to my idea of writing a book, that

would namely describe principles of yoga.

But this book still had to wait for many years. New subjects were

appealing to reflection, other books were being written, my methods

were maturing. Yoga Federation was founded and started to grow. The

need in a comprehensible yoga manual became urgent. I couldn’t put

off writing this book anymore.

What this book is about

The book you are holding speaks about principles that underlie

yoga practice. I mean principles and criteria — not just exercise, meth-

ods, procedures and philosophy, although you will find those too.

Whom was this book written for?

I wrote this book first of all for my students. But I think, not only

them will find it interesting. It is for all practitioners of yoga and eso-

tericism, who try to understand what lies deep inside of their practice.

Those who just started practicing yoga and want to learn about this

system «from outside» can also use it. This book will be interesting for

physicians, practicing psychologists and fitness experts.