Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

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Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:54 am

I am looking to get back into a fitness routine after a long break due to illness and injuries. I am interested in yoga mainly because of the spiritual aspect of it, however are there any versions that are based on Buddhist philosophy? I looked into Yantra Yoga, but from what I gleamed from the threads here, it is supposed to be really difficult to learn without a teacher.
Is there anything else available? Are there any other yoga traditions compatible with Buddhist practice? If so, a recommendation for one which can be learnt and practiced easily without a teacher would be nice. :twothumbsup: I am not looking to lose weight, get ripped or anything of the sort, I am looking for general fitness, I am already at my ideal weight, although I am skinny fat. If such benefits are available, that would be excellent, however I am not looking for them.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:32 am

i would think raja yoga comes the closest. it actually aids you to develop samadhi but you need to follow all the 8 branches of the system. swami sivananda has a good book about it.

if your just looking for fitness i would recommend just hatha or kundalini yoga exercises and not get fully into a system. but if you want a complete yoga system to practice then it would be raja yoga i think, at least that is one of the most compatible systems alongside with buddhism In my opinion, and can be a big help in developing deep meditation.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby Sherlock » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:18 pm

All types of yoga are "difficult" to learn without a teacher.

If there is a Dzogchen Community center near your area it's really worthwhile to learn the basics of yantra yoga, after that, you can just practice at home following the book and/or the DVDs. I don't think any other Vajrayana system of yoga is taught so openly, and yantra is usually taught along with the proper breathings and pranayama which I think are lacking in most hatha yoga courses.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:05 pm

Sherlock wrote:All types of yoga are "difficult" to learn without a teacher.

If there is a Dzogchen Community center near your area it's really worthwhile to learn the basics of yantra yoga, after that, you can just practice at home following the book and/or the DVDs. I don't think any other Vajrayana system of yoga is taught so openly, and yantra is usually taught along with the proper breathings and pranayama which I think are lacking in most hatha yoga courses.

I already looked, none available. :shrug:

KonchokZoepa wrote:i would think raja yoga comes the closest. it actually aids you to develop samadhi but you need to follow all the 8 branches of the system. swami sivananda has a good book about it.

if your just looking for fitness i would recommend just hatha or kundalini yoga exercises and not get fully into a system. but if you want a complete yoga system to practice then it would be raja yoga i think, at least that is one of the most compatible systems alongside with buddhism In my opinion, and can be a big help in developing deep meditation.

How about this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Systematic-Course ... kriya+yoga
It looks quite interesting, and doesn't seem to push any point of view very hard.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:12 pm

id rather buy either kundalini, hatha or ashtanga yoga DVD courses where you can learn the exercises. if you want yoga for exercise and can't access a teacher buy a dvd, if you want to study yoga as a complete system buy a book… anyway thats my two cents.

by the way there are plenty of good yoga lessons on youtube. kundalini and ashtanga at least. i really like ashtanga yoga exercises, check it out. you can learn a lot from the youtube videos.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:22 pm

A complete system sounds more my thing really, I think I would prefer normal exercises for pure fitness. I see what you meant when you said Raja Yoga is the most compatible with Buddhism though:
The eight limbs of ashtanga yoga are:

Yama – code of conduct, self-restraint
Niyama – religious observances, commitments to practice, such as study and devotion
Āsana – integration of mind and body through physical activity
Prāṇāyāma – regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body
Pratyāhāra – abstraction of the senses, withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
Dhāraṇā – concentration, one-pointedness of mind
Dhyāna – meditation (quiet activity that leads to samadhi)
Samādhi – the quiet state of blissful awareness, superconscious state.


That sounds almost like the Noble Eightfold Path. I think I will go ahead and practice from the book I mentioned before, if anything, I think I will get at least a different point of view.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:31 pm

you could check out ashtanga yoga exercises on youtube. Ashtanga and Raja yoga are the same. Ashtanga means 8 branches, so 8 branches of raja yoga.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:33 pm

if you get into raja/ashtanga yoga i would recommend this book.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raja-Yoga-Swami ... +sivananda

Swami Sivananda was one of the 20th centuries greatest raja yoga masters.

Also worthwhile yoga reading are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:52 am

I will check that book out, thank you for the recommendation. :smile:
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby pensum » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:40 am

If you can't learn in a class setting, then The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda is excellent. Straightforward, traditional hatha yoga with the postures clearly explained and illustrated, as well as graded programs to follow as you develop. Another is Integral Yoga by Swami Satchidananda. Just be advised that unless you are already comfortable doing headstands, it is best to wait to learn from someone who is qualified so as to avoid potential injury either by falling or not placing your head in the proper position which can easily lead to neck injury. Otherwise if you go slow and steady and prudently stay within your limits, you should be able to learn the basics and benefit accordingly.

But if you want to get in shape and keep it within the Buddhist context then just start your ngondro (or another if you have already completed one), i guarantee that knocking out a 110,000 full prostrations will get you fit both physically and spiritually.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:48 am

pensum wrote:If you can't learn in a class setting, then The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda is excellent. Straightforward, traditional hatha yoga with the postures clearly explained and illustrated, as well as graded programs to follow as you develop. Another is Integral Yoga by Swami Satchidananda. Just be advised that unless you are already comfortable doing headstands, it is best to wait to learn from someone who is qualified so as to avoid potential injury either by falling or not placing your head in the proper position which can easily lead to neck injury. Otherwise if you go slow and steady and prudently stay within your limits, you should be able to learn the basics and benefit accordingly.

But if you want to get in shape and keep it within the Buddhist context then just start your ngondro (or another if you have already completed one), i guarantee that knocking out a 110,000 full prostrations will get you fit both physically and spiritually.

I haven't even gotten in touch with a teacher yet, though I am somewhat unclear about whether ngondro can be started without one.

Thank you for the book recommendations. So many choices. :? I think I might just stick to following youtube vidoes until I go for some classes.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:42 am

For physical health Hatha yoga and derivatives (astangha...) are better. Raja yoga tends to emphasise meditative practices. A complete yoga system is going to be a complete "Hindu" yoga system. This may impact somewhat on your Buddhist practice (both positively and negatively).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:56 am

raja and ashtanga yoga are the same basically, but in western language when we refer to ashtanga yoga we are talking about the 3rd or 4th branch of raja yoga, but ashtanga means 8 limbed/limbs. but true raja yoga is a complete yoga system designed to lead to deep samadhi.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:54 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:..but in western language when we refer to ashtanga yoga we are talking about the 3rd or 4th branch of raja yoga, but ashtanga means 8 limbed/limbs.
True. But from most of my experience, in the West, the emphasis is on the physical practices
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:24 pm

right.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:34 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:For physical health Hatha yoga and derivatives (astangha...) are better. Raja yoga tends to emphasise meditative practices. A complete yoga system is going to be a complete "Hindu" yoga system. This may impact somewhat on your Buddhist practice (both positively and negatively).

What are the positive and negative impacts of a complete "Hindu" yoga system? I really am not aware of how the Hindu yoga and the Buddhist maps are linked. By the sound of it, the Samadhi being described in yoga sounds like the first jhana, is that what you mean when you talk about the positive impacts of yoga? For now I am thinking of ignoring the philosophy part of things and just doing the physical and meditation practices.

Are there no contradictions with taking refuge in the Three Jewels and then following a complete yoga system? This is what actually bothers me, I am very curious otherwise. When I started this thread, I was actually hoping for Buddhist variants of yoga, other than Yantra Yoga of course.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:50 pm

if someone has a problem with you practicing a (''hindu'') yoga system then i wouldn't listen to them, as long as you don't take some worldly hindu god as your refuge then you are fine according to refuge rules or principles.

well the negative side of following a hindu yoga system that you change it for buddhism wether that is really negative or not its up to you. but the philosophy is completely different and receiving too much of that influence mixes and confuses and is harmful for buddhist understanding of what wisdom is. but if you don't follow either system dogmatically i think then you its up to your skills to make it a good combination.

I can definitely see a benefit in following raja or ashtanga yoga.

first and second branch of raja yoga enhances your moral and ethical way of living which is of course a plus to buddhist practice.
and the other branches will lead you to a deeper state of meditation which is of course conducive to meditation practice, not necessarily buddhism…

If you want to stick with buddhism but follow a complete hindu system for example raja/ashtanga yoga you should hold on to buddhist meditation and wisdom instructions and use raja yoga to enable you to access deeper meditation levels. the practice can definitely be made into a fruitful sadhana practice, no doubt about it. Swami Sivananda suggest you to wake up at 3 or 4 am to meditate for 2-3 hours in his raja yoga book if i remember correctly. its not the easiest path and requires a lot of diligence, willingness and willpower.

but to summarize this, as long as you stay away from hindu meditation techniques or what they view as the goal of meditation and stick with the buddhist understanding of emptiness, no-self and interdependent origination and also buddhist meditation techniques then i think from a buddhist perspective it is safe to combine those two methods.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby philji » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:27 pm

You may want to check out the excellent book by Rose Taylor Goldfield, a long time student of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso who has modified and presented the Tibetan Lujong system of body work in a simplfied way.
Her book is called Training the wisdom body.
Here is a You Tube clip of Rose demonstrating the system.
http://youtu.be/BrWh26OadjA
[video][/video]
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby LolCat » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:52 am

KonchokZoepa wrote:if someone has a problem with you practicing a (''hindu'') yoga system then i wouldn't listen to them, as long as you don't take some worldly hindu god as your refuge then you are fine according to refuge rules or principles.

well the negative side of following a hindu yoga system that you change it for buddhism wether that is really negative or not its up to you. but the philosophy is completely different and receiving too much of that influence mixes and confuses and is harmful for buddhist understanding of what wisdom is. but if you don't follow either system dogmatically i think then you its up to your skills to make it a good combination.

I can definitely see a benefit in following raja or ashtanga yoga.

first and second branch of raja yoga enhances your moral and ethical way of living which is of course a plus to buddhist practice.
and the other branches will lead you to a deeper state of meditation which is of course conducive to meditation practice, not necessarily buddhism…

If you want to stick with buddhism but follow a complete hindu system for example raja/ashtanga yoga you should hold on to buddhist meditation and wisdom instructions and use raja yoga to enable you to access deeper meditation levels. the practice can definitely be made into a fruitful sadhana practice, no doubt about it. Swami Sivananda suggest you to wake up at 3 or 4 am to meditate for 2-3 hours in his raja yoga book if i remember correctly. its not the easiest path and requires a lot of diligence, willingness and willpower.

but to summarize this, as long as you stay away from hindu meditation techniques or what they view as the goal of meditation and stick with the buddhist understanding of emptiness, no-self and interdependent origination and also buddhist meditation techniques then i think from a buddhist perspective it is safe to combine those two methods.

If you remove the meditation techniques and the philosophy, doesn't that just become Hatha Yoga and Pranayama? What else can be retained?
philji wrote:You may want to check out the excellent book by Rose Taylor Goldfield, a long time student of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso who has modified and presented the Tibetan Lujong system of body work in a simplfied way.
Her book is called Training the wisdom body.
Here is a You Tube clip of Rose demonstrating the system.
http://youtu.be/BrWh26OadjA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
[video][/video]

Thank you for the recommendation, I just bought the book on kindle and it looks really interesting.
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Re: Yoga Tradition Recommendations?

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:43 am

what i mean by meditation techniques is the philosophy behind it. not the methods which induce samadhi. you misunderstood me :(
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
KonchokZoepa
 
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:50 pm

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