The Pittfalls of Yoga

I would be a liar if I told you that the path of Yoga was perfect and without it's pitfalls.  These obstacle exists solely to keep us pressing on to the final goal.  Yoga itself is a means to an end, but it's easy to get caught in some of the quagmires listed below.  The list is in chorological order in which I have experienced them.

The first pitfall is the initial novelty of meditation wearing off.  The first time I sat down to do Kriya Yoga, I got a taste of what it was like to do self introspection.  In a sense, the feelings that I had that first time were a tease.  It's like having a juicy steak slathered in butter dangled in front of your face, but then having it ripped away.  This is a test of dedication.  Medication is very "two steps forward and two steps back" process. I have come to the conclusion that there are no real setbacks, just different sides of the whole we need to see.  The key here is to not get caught replicating the same results.

The second pitfall is the inevitable amount of repressed subconscious crap that comes to the surface.  Take a few minutes and read

this article

.  Take note that the prisoners taken on meditation retreats where calm, but still exhibited signs of psychosis and mania.  When I read this, I slapped my palm against my forehead and thought:  Gee, you take prisoners on a retreat and make them self aware,  what the hell do you think was going to happen?  I predict there will be a story about how cooperate meditation retreats result in a loss of employment and productivity.  This will of course be blamed on the meditation and not the fact that the employees realized their jobs suck.  Whatever baggage you have will come to the surface and you may not even know what the hell it is.  The key is to address it, no matter how painful it is.  You will have to address it at some point when circumstances trigger the same emotions to come to the surface.

The third major pitfall is the bliss experienced after meditating for a while.  Yoga activates certain centers in the central nervous system that are responsible for intense pleasure.  It's better than any drug you could possible think of, you can access it whenever you want, and you never run out.  This is mistaken for enlightenment, but it is not.  I remember this would happen to me when I was working help desk at one of my jobs.  Here everything was melting down around me, but all I could do was sit there in blissful paralysis.  It's hard not to get stuck here, but if you keep working in the world, you will adjust and be able to carry out your daily routine.  Cravings for materialism will diminish and this is natural.  We live in a material world, so stay a material girl if you feel fulfilled.

The final pitfall is isolation.  It's inevitable that we will want to be alone when we turn inward.  Some schools of Yoga teach that extreme isolation and meditating hours a day, is the way it should be.  We see pictures of Buddhist and Yogic monks sequestered in the Himalayas, envious of their solitude.  As we become more isolated, the less we are able to do good in the world.  We need to stay in the world to teach, help others and live out our lives.  Working and raising families are no less of a divine path than sitting in a cave on a mountain top.

I'm not trying to scare you away from doing Yoga, but I have to be honest.  That is another symptom: It will become very hard to lie.