Re: Steiner and Yoga
- Dear Art,
>Thanks for the detailed and fine reply to my messages! I'm not asWell I'm not all that knowledgable either Art. Anthroposophy is as large
>knowledgeable about Steiner as you,
as the Titanic and there wouldn't be anyone alive today who has read all
of Dr.Steiner, let alone grasped it.
I personally don't think that esotericism can ever be grasped by just
reading a book anyway.
>A very apt analogy that about grasping the snake by its head ratherthan
>the tail! I like that! I think I'll use it.And very true too.
>To me breathing is a natural adjunct to spiritual development.All of what you say is true. And these breathing exercises have dramatic
results, particularly if there has been training in will beforehand.
Many of Dr.Steiner's exercises given to individual pupils were published
for the first time in English this year. This is from the Translators
"From the start it caused controversy among members of the
Anthroposophical Society, some of whom thought that it might present a
danger to those not sufficiently acquainted with the teachings of Rudolf
This danger can be avoided if people pay sufficient heed to what the
title states. It is a history of the early phase of the society when it
was still joined to the Theosophical Society of Mrs. Besant. The
correspondence and documents included herein are in part directed toward
individual esoteric pupils already familiar with exercises practiced in
the Theosophical Society. When Dr. Steiner broke away from the
Theosophical Society and formed his own Anthroposophical Society, many
of the former ways of working were changed. It would not be right to
carry out the exercises as given here without considering the
instructions given by Rudolf Steiner in later times.
As a close friend of Rudolf Steiner explained, "The Western way of
occult development is not to seek enlightenment by regulating the
breathing (yoga), but just the reverse: to bring about a change in the
rhythm of breathing by engendering the right thoughts. The breathing is
slowed down or halted when the mind is engrossed in contemplation of
something that inspires it with admiration!"
Or, as Rudolf Steiner himself expressed it in An Outline of Esoteric
Science, "The ultimate ideal is that no exercises of any kind should be
done with the physical body as such, not even breathing exercises, so
that whatevever happens in the physical will occur simply and solely as
an outcome of the exercises for Intution."
>During the past three years I have practiced yoga more intensively thanlegitimate
>earlier in my life. To me Yoga is revivifying, healing and a
>path to the divine. It is through Yoga that I have become aware that Iam
>more than my physical body.It is certainly not my task on this list to tell people what to do,
particularly in this consciousness soul age where freedom is paramount.
It would not be like Steiner to tell you not to smoke, for instance, but
rather just present facts, and then let you make your own decision.
All occult excercises can lead to ill health, Dr. Steiner warns, and
then gives certain exercises to overcome these problems.
A friend of mine recently, started doing an exercise from the above
book, which involved a breathing exercise and observing a plant saying
"My death your life" and "my life your death." He observed that he was
becoming very distant from his day to day life and had to discontinue
the practice- Just an example of the kind of thing that can happen.
Above all one doesn't sacrifice their health for the sake of spiritual
Anthroposophy could be described as Christian Yoga.
>A final note to Bruce: Years ago I was giving some exercises to aSunday
>school class of small children. One of the other teachers said thesome
>exercises reminded her of those taught by Steiner! Could you give me
>direction to exercises prescribed by Steiner, or the breathingexercises
>you mentioned earlier.I don't think RS ever gave breathing exercises for children. We do have
a Waldorf teacher- Bruce J. - on the list, maybe he could confrim that.
Of course children are all taught eurythmy which is a a kind of physical
exercise working into the spiritual.
There may be some of the breathing exercises here: