Chapter 4: Hatha Yoga and Hypnosis
The first question:
In traditional yoga, one starts with the body, using hatha yoga methods. Why is it that you do not teach hatha yoga ?
It is good to start with the body, it is necessary - but it is not sufficient. There are many problems with hatha yoga particularly for those in the West, because the system of hatha yoga and its related techniques were all developed in a very different milieu for very differently constituted bodies as well as for different minds.
Not only is the mind different today from how it was when these techniques were developed, but the body is also not the same. Everything has become artificial. The whole environment has been so changed by science, that you do not have the same kind of body that people had before. Your body is different. Your mind would not be different unless your body had become different.
When you start with a modern body, the same techniques will not do. Something else has to be added. Hatha yoga can be used beneficially when the body exists in a very natural condition, a very natural, very innocent condition - childlike. Then these techniques are miraculous. But we do not have such innocent bodies now; we have very complex bodies. They are not natural. Changes in the environment have done much to change our bodies; medicine has done much. The whole chemical milieu in which we live is different. Even the air is different!
You have a very unnatural body. It is unnatural not only because it has been conditioned by the outside, but also because of too much mental suppression inside. There are very complex suppressions in your body and unless these body complexes are released, hatha yoga will not help or can only help to a certain extent.
Read the work of the German psychologist, Wilhelm Reich. He was a disciple of Freud’s. He worked continuously for forty years with the suppressions in the body - not with the mind. For example, he said that if you have suppressed anger then your jaw will be different, it will not be natural. You will have a different jaw; your teeth will be different. Violence is concentrated in the teeth and in the fingers.
When an animal is angry and in a wild mood, his whole energy moves to his teeth and nails. They are his weapons. The same thing happens to man. If you feel anger and do not express it, the energy does not leave the teeth and the nails. There is no mechanism for it to go back; it is a one-way process. When a dog becomes angry he expresses it, but when a man becomes angry he may not express it. The energy that has moved to the teeth and nails cannot go back to where it came from; the chemicals released into the blood cannot go back. They remain in the place they have moved to and tension begins to be accumulated at these particular points in the body. So the first thing that has to be done is for this accumulation in the body to be released.