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Yoga, Its Essence and Mistakes of Leading Yoga Gurus

What is yoga?

Yoga is known as a physical, mental, and spiritual system that was born in ancient India. The purpose of this system is to achieve superior physical and mental health. Practice of yoga involves breathing exercises, postures (asanas), various procedures, and lifestyle changes. In particular, yoga, for centuries, was used to fight chronic diseases and it could accomplish this goal with striking success. Modern yoga is totally different and, in many respects, is opposite to what was taught by classic yoga gurus (see ancient yoga quotes below). Here is a video: Hot Yoga Gurus Teach Nonsense about Breathing and Oxygen: Yoga

Woman: yoga breathing exercise

What is essence of yoga?

Many modern people believe that yoga is mainly about postures. Traditional yoga views on yoga breathing are very different. One may spend years practicing asanas and thousands of hours doing breathing exercises, but if his or her body-oxygen levels remain unchanged, he or she will suffer from the same health problems. Essence of yoga is in correct (or ideal) automatic breathing day and night for maximum oxygenation of the body cells. This breathing pattern is diaphragmatic, very slow and light. It ensures up to 2-3 minutes for the body-oxygen test and over 7-8 minutes for maximum breath holding time due to highest possible body-O2 levels.

Yoga Benefits Are in Breathing Less (Amazon Kindle Book)

Modern yoga teaching also claims that CO2 is toxic waste gas, and that we do not need it in cells and organs. However, medical research proved that we require normal CO2 levels in organs and cells, and if CO2 drops 4-5 times below the norm, we are going to die in minutes. Modern science completely supports old or traditional yoga. Therefore, it is easy to show that:
1. Present-day yoga teachers perverted the classical yoga wisdom.
2. They are not educated in the basics of physiology and respiration.
3. They promote those ideas that can worsen or even cause many chronic health problems.

If you have a Kindle reader or some other reading devices, you can buy this book from the Amazon Kindle store. There is a paperback version of this book. Click this link "Yoga Benefits Are in Breathing Less" (Kindle) or "Yoga Benefits Are in Breathing Less" (paperback), or the link on the right to visit the webpage on Success in your yoga journey!

Yoga book cover

Yoga Benefits Are in Breathing Less (PDF book)

Looking for PDF version of this book? Here is the link: Yoga Benefits Are in Breathing Less - PDF ebook.

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Hatha Yoga Pradipika (15 century)

"3. So long as the (breathing) air stays in the body, it is called life. Death consists in passing out of the (breathing) air. It is, therefore, necessary to restrain the breath."

"17. Hiccough, asthma, cough, pain in the head, the ears, and the eyes; these and other various kinds of diseases are generated by the disturbance of the breath."

"28. The breathing is calmed when the mind becomes steady and calm; …"

The Shiva Samhita (17-18 century)

(5) The Pranayama
"22. Then let the wise practitioner close with his right thumb the pingala (right nostril), inspire air through the ida (the left nostril); and keep the air confined – suspend his breathing – as long as he can; and afterwards let him breathe out slowly, and not forcibly, through the right nostril.
23. Again, let him draw breath through the right nostril, and stop breathing as long as his strength permits; then let him expel the air through the left nostril, not forcibly, but slowly and gently."

"39. When the Yogi can, of his will, regulate the air and stop the breath (whenever and how long) he likes, then certainly he gets success in kumbhaka, and from the success in kumbhaka only, what things cannot the Yogi commend here?"

"43. ... from the perfection of pranayama, follows decrease of sleep, excrements and urine."

Increase of Duration
"53. Then gradually he should make himself able to practice for three gharis (one hour and a half at a time, he should be able to restrain breath for that period). Through this, the Yogi undoubtedly obtains all the longed for powers."

"57. When he gets the power of holding breath (i.e., to be in a trance) for three hours, then certainly the wonderful state of pratyahar is reached without fail."

The Gheranda Samhita (15-17 century)

"7. Wherenever the yogi may be, he should always, in everything he does, be sure to keep the tongue upwards and constantly hold the breath. This is Nabhomudra, the destroyer of diseases for yogis. "

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (4th-2nd century BC)

"Pranayama [the main breathing exercise in yoga] is the cessation of inspiratory and expiratory movements."

Bikram yoga teachers on Birkam yoga benefits, breathing, O2 and CO2

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"Blowing in Firm Pose - Kapalbhati in Vajrasana
Benefits: It improves digestion and circulation, and increases the elasticity of the lungs with every forceful exhale. You generate prana, and push out every ounce of carbon dioxide, replacing it with life-giving oxygen."

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Hot yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bikram Yoga, a copyrighted series of 26 asanas created by Bikram Choudhury. ... Sweating stimulates the metabolism and immune system (see purported benefits, below). ... Deep breathing helps to calm the body and mind, and helps oxygen ...

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"About Bikram Yoga ..... Helps to generate prana (vital life force) and push out every ounce of carbon dioxide replacing with life-giving oxygen ..."

FAQs - Bikram Yoga Seattle: Practice Hot Hatha Yoga at Seattle's ...
" ... helps in the removal of waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. ..."

Quotes: Leading Soviet physiologist Dr. KP Buteyko, MD, PhD about Yoga

"There is one question not discussed here: what would happen with the organism, if breathing decreases below the norm? That is, when breathing changes from deep to shallow, and then from shallow to constantly shallow. Here we should not confuse full breathing of yogi with deep breathing.

Landscape in mountains with snow and clouds Advocates of deep breathing confuse these two concepts and, in their defense, they say, “Yogi, for thousands of years, breathe deeply and we see that they are super-humans”. Quite the contrary. Full breathing of yogi is shallow breathing in our understanding. It is done, first, very slowly, inhalations and exhalations as well; second, with maximum breath holds after inhalations and exhalations.

And finally one should not confuse the following concepts: we are speaking about breathing, which goes on day and night, about our basal breathing, foundation of life. Meanwhile, the system of yogi has separate breathing exercises. Therefore, it is practically unimportant for us how and what you do: feet upwards or downwards, through the right or left nostril, or by right or left side. We are interested in where you will arrive as a result of these exercises. If carbon dioxide increases, and breathing decreases, with each day, then this will ensure the transition of man into a super-endurance state.

Respiratory systemAnd if we record the lungs’ ventilation and levels of carbon dioxide, it is clear that with such training lung ventilation is reduced, and carbon dioxide increases. Therefore, full breathing of yogi, according to its physiological effect, is analogous to our shallow breathing. This is the reason of its benefit. Now many people are interested in the systems of yogi. This, of course, is a surprisingly wise system of exercises.

I do not speak about any religions or superstitions, this is not part of the tasks of my lecture. But physiologically, yogi instinctively selected almost everything that decreases respiration: the majority of their postures (*asanas) lead to the decrease in respiration, and the respiratory gymnastics itself is called, in Indian, Pranayama. The literal translation means “slowing breath”. Whatever the yogi did with their breathing, their final goal was to restrain [breathing], to harness it, to reach breathlessness and deathlessness. But those, who misinterpreted and badly understood it all, introduced this confusion that allegedly deep breathing is the breathing of yogi...

We declassified the major miracles of yogi. Their major miracles are in the reduction of respiration and accumulation of carbon dioxide. For thousands of years the yogi were looking for “prana”, which is somewhere in food, air, etc. It turned out that carbon dioxide is prana. Here is the main source of life - carbon dioxide. If you accumulate it, you become a “superhuman”; if you lose it, you suffer....

There is no total one-sidedness: if we increase carbon dioxide above the norm (the middle norm), then an interesting phenomenon arises which I will explain later such as super-endurance [or super-resilience], a special stability of certain processes, a special stability of the nervous system, etc. Now we shall connect this with the secrets of yogi, which thus far have not been decoded. It turned out that we discovered the way to decipher super-resilience of yogi and their miracles.

All these miracles are based on the fact that yogis accumulate CO2, and all their secrets are connected with a reduction of breathing. Over 30 years ago [John] Haldane found that the organism regulates CO2 level with 0.1% accuracy (the threshold of CO2 regulation). Since this is the level of accuracy, CO2, obviously, is very important. Is oxygen regulated with the same precision? Only when oxygen decreases by more than 5%, the organism reacts to restore it.

Then we understood that by reducing breathing below the norm, our patients arrived at miracles. Here we realized . . . what it was all about! It reminded of the yogi. What they strive for, it turns out, is achieved through reduction of breath and increase in carbon dioxide. This explains their miracles.

... Super-endurance of yogis is the effect of shallow breathing. This final result unites real yogis and our system, the scientific system of breathing. Yoga should be studied! There are many interesting physiological things there. This topic is raised by many scientists in Moscow, and I support them. We came across these phenomena accidentally, and if we focus on them, many interesting things can be discovered."
Dr. Buteyko Lecture in the Moscow State University (1969)

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