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About the so-called "dangers" of pranayama

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  • medit8ionsociety
    This is just an anecdotal unscientifically tested opinion, but in our meditation classes over the past 18+ years, out of about 4000 students, all of whom were
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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      This is just an anecdotal unscientifically tested opinion, but in our
      meditation classes over the past 18+ years, out of about 4000
      students, all of whom were taught pranayama, only one had a known
      negative reaction. She was a severe asthmatic, and (to use
      hippie-speak) it freaked her out to follow her breath in any way. Very
      obvious panic reaction...she actually ran out of class. And I think it
      is probable that this was due to mental and/or emotional reactivity
      rather than physical problems caused by the pranayama itself. So,
      relative to pranayama, as to most things, we can look to the wisdom of
      St. John Lennon who once said "It's all in your mind, you know!:-)"

      Also, I think it is possible that the warnings about not doing
      pranayama without a teacher are often given so as to help maintain
      those teachers quantity of paying students. And that the danger of
      losing money to a teacher who just wants to take yours, is probably
      greater than the danger of doing any harm to yourself with most
      pranayama techniques. I also feel that there are those freely sharing
      pranayama techniques over the internet (like Sandeep) and in books
      (like Swami Sivananda) that have far greater likelyhood of being
      beneficial than most "pay me for my help" self-styled gurus.

      Peace and blessings,
      Bob
    • Nina
      Bob, What form of pranayama was practiced? Nina ... our ... Very ... it ... of
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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        Bob,

        What form of pranayama was practiced?

        Nina

        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > This is just an anecdotal unscientifically tested opinion, but in
        our
        > meditation classes over the past 18+ years, out of about 4000
        > students, all of whom were taught pranayama, only one had a known
        > negative reaction. She was a severe asthmatic, and (to use
        > hippie-speak) it freaked her out to follow her breath in any way.
        Very
        > obvious panic reaction...she actually ran out of class. And I think
        it
        > is probable that this was due to mental and/or emotional reactivity
        > rather than physical problems caused by the pranayama itself. So,
        > relative to pranayama, as to most things, we can look to the wisdom
        of
        > St. John Lennon who once said "It's all in your mind, you know!:-)"
      • medit8ionsociety
        ... We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril breathing, Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
          <murrkis@y...> wrote:
          > Bob,
          >
          > What form of pranayama was practiced?
          >
          > Nina

          We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril breathing,
          Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique
          http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
          and a few others. BTW, I love pranayama, and suggest everyone keep
          breathing:-)
          Peace and blessings,
          Bob
          > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > > This is just an anecdotal unscientifically tested opinion, but in
          > our
          > > meditation classes over the past 18+ years, out of about 4000
          > > students, all of whom were taught pranayama, only one had a known
          > > negative reaction. She was a severe asthmatic, and (to use
          > > hippie-speak) it freaked her out to follow her breath in any way.
          > Very
          > > obvious panic reaction...she actually ran out of class. And I think
          > it
          > > is probable that this was due to mental and/or emotional reactivity
          > > rather than physical problems caused by the pranayama itself. So,
          > > relative to pranayama, as to most things, we can look to the wisdom
          > of
          > > St. John Lennon who once said "It's all in your mind, you know!:-)"
        • Nina
          Bob, What is 1-4-2? I suspect the reason you have seen only one reaction across 4000 students is that the pranayama practiced is minimally interventive.
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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            Bob,

            What is 1-4-2?

            I suspect the reason you have seen only one reaction
            across 4000 students is that the pranayama practiced
            is minimally interventive. Alternate nostril breathing,
            while interventive, is calming to the nervous system.
            Begin working with vilomas and breath retentions and
            the dynamics change.

            Reminds me of Eric Small telling us how he had been
            practicing breath retention (heat building) during the
            time just prior to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
            (exacerbated by heat).

            Reminds me of how, during the pranayama classes required
            for my training, we consistantly had at least 1 person
            (not the same person) with an emotional reaction to the
            exercises in each class. Some people had physical reactions,
            as well, though those were more difficult to detect in
            one's neighbor. However, physical and emotional reactions
            do not necessarily occur discretely... the two were often
            interconnected... and this is a piece of information that
            could potentially be of a lot of use for meditators (if
            they weren't so busy convincing themselves that physical
            discomfort was all in their imagination.)

            The breath is the bridge between the conscious and
            unconscious. Meditators are often well-versed in what
            this means for the mind, but it may also be noted that
            the body has corresponding conscious and unconscious
            controls, which may be influenced by pranayama beyond
            the most basic 'following the breath'. This is the root
            of the warnings, Bob, though some teachers may use
            those warnings to keep their classes full.

            Nina


            --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
            > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
            > > Bob,
            > >
            > > What form of pranayama was practiced?
            > >
            > > Nina
            >
            > We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril breathing,
            > Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique
            > http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
            > and a few others. BTW, I love pranayama, and suggest everyone keep
            > breathing:-)
            > Peace and blessings,
            > Bob
          • medit8ionsociety
            ... One inhales for 1 unit of time, holds the breath for 4 units and exhales for 2. This is continued until the pattern is regular, then it is doubled to
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
              <murrkis@y...> wrote:
              > Bob,
              >
              > What is 1-4-2?

              One inhales for 1 unit of time, holds the breath for 4 units and
              exhales for 2. This is continued until the pattern is regular, then it
              is doubled to inhale for 2 units of time, hold for 8 and exhale for 4.
              This goes on until a maximum of 16 inhalation, 64 held, and 32
              exhaled. Often it can take before the practicioner moves on to the
              first doubling. This has been one of the most basic pranayama
              techniques for centuries, and is very well known by millions.
              >
              > I suspect the reason you have seen only one reaction
              > across 4000 students is that the pranayama practiced
              > is minimally interventive. Alternate nostril breathing,
              > while interventive, is calming to the nervous system.
              > Begin working with vilomas and breath retentions and
              > the dynamics change.
              >
              > Reminds me of Eric Small telling us how he had been
              > practicing breath retention (heat building) during the
              > time just prior to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
              > (exacerbated by heat).
              >
              > Reminds me of how, during the pranayama classes required
              > for my training, we consistantly had at least 1 person
              > (not the same person) with an emotional reaction to the
              > exercises in each class. Some people had physical reactions,
              > as well, though those were more difficult to detect in
              > one's neighbor. However, physical and emotional reactions
              > do not necessarily occur discretely... the two were often
              > interconnected... and this is a piece of information that
              > could potentially be of a lot of use for meditators (if
              > they weren't so busy convincing themselves that physical
              > discomfort was all in their imagination.)
              >
              > The breath is the bridge between the conscious and
              > unconscious. Meditators are often well-versed in what
              > this means for the mind, but it may also be noted that
              > the body has corresponding conscious and unconscious
              > controls, which may be influenced by pranayama beyond
              > the most basic 'following the breath'. This is the root
              > of the warnings, Bob, though some teachers may use
              > those warnings to keep their classes full.
              >
              > Nina
              >
              Dear Nina,
              When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the same
              person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each class."
              are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so, perhaps
              there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher. We
              always had many students report wonderful emotional, physical, mental,
              and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of fact, the
              1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high without
              drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
              insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them. There
              also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to this. The
              technique works so well that some would become bliss-seekers/ecstacy
              junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
              mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing breath
              retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence. And I see no
              need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage the
              potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
              practicing pranayama.
              BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators are "so
              busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in their
              imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists,
              psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients to our
              classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
              discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind' attitude
              prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know of (such
              as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the Sivananda ashrams). In
              any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
              mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that bring
              peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group is
              helping make these concepts and methods available to those who seek
              this knowledge.

              Peace and blesings,
              Bob
              > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
              > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
              > > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
              > > > Bob,
              > > >
              > > > What form of pranayama was practiced?
              > > >
              > > > Nina
              > >
              > > We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril breathing,
              > > Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique
              > > http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
              > > and a few others. BTW, I love pranayama, and suggest everyone keep
              > > breathing:-)
              > > Peace and blessings,
              > > Bob
            • texasbg2000
              ... it ... 4. ... mental, ... The ... no ... attitude ... (such ... In ... medit8ionsociety ... breathing, ... keep ... I have been around this block for
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 26, 2004
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                --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                > > Bob,
                > >
                > > What is 1-4-2?
                >
                > One inhales for 1 unit of time, holds the breath for 4 units and
                > exhales for 2. This is continued until the pattern is regular, then
                it
                > is doubled to inhale for 2 units of time, hold for 8 and exhale for
                4.
                > This goes on until a maximum of 16 inhalation, 64 held, and 32
                > exhaled. Often it can take before the practicioner moves on to the
                > first doubling. This has been one of the most basic pranayama
                > techniques for centuries, and is very well known by millions.
                > >
                > > I suspect the reason you have seen only one reaction
                > > across 4000 students is that the pranayama practiced
                > > is minimally interventive. Alternate nostril breathing,
                > > while interventive, is calming to the nervous system.
                > > Begin working with vilomas and breath retentions and
                > > the dynamics change.
                > >
                > > Reminds me of Eric Small telling us how he had been
                > > practicing breath retention (heat building) during the
                > > time just prior to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
                > > (exacerbated by heat).
                > >
                > > Reminds me of how, during the pranayama classes required
                > > for my training, we consistantly had at least 1 person
                > > (not the same person) with an emotional reaction to the
                > > exercises in each class. Some people had physical reactions,
                > > as well, though those were more difficult to detect in
                > > one's neighbor. However, physical and emotional reactions
                > > do not necessarily occur discretely... the two were often
                > > interconnected... and this is a piece of information that
                > > could potentially be of a lot of use for meditators (if
                > > they weren't so busy convincing themselves that physical
                > > discomfort was all in their imagination.)
                > >
                > > The breath is the bridge between the conscious and
                > > unconscious. Meditators are often well-versed in what
                > > this means for the mind, but it may also be noted that
                > > the body has corresponding conscious and unconscious
                > > controls, which may be influenced by pranayama beyond
                > > the most basic 'following the breath'. This is the root
                > > of the warnings, Bob, though some teachers may use
                > > those warnings to keep their classes full.
                > >
                > > Nina
                > >
                > Dear Nina,
                > When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the same
                > person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each class."
                > are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so, perhaps
                > there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher. We
                > always had many students report wonderful emotional, physical,
                mental,
                > and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of fact, the
                > 1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high without
                > drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
                > insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them. There
                > also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to this.
                The
                > technique works so well that some would become bliss-seekers/ecstacy
                > junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
                > mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing breath
                > retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence. And I see
                no
                > need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage the
                > potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
                > practicing pranayama.
                > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators are "so
                > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in their
                > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists,
                > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients to our
                > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
                > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
                attitude
                > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know of
                (such
                > as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the Sivananda ashrams).
                In
                > any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
                > mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that bring
                > peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group is
                > helping make these concepts and methods available to those who seek
                > this knowledge.
                >
                > Peace and blesings,
                > Bob
                > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
                medit8ionsociety
                > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                > > > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                > > > > Bob,
                > > > >
                > > > > What form of pranayama was practiced?
                > > > >
                > > > > Nina
                > > >
                > > > We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril
                breathing,
                > > > Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique
                > > > http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
                > > > and a few others. BTW, I love pranayama, and suggest everyone
                keep
                > > > breathing:-)
                > > > Peace and blessings,
                > > > Bob

                I have been around this block for awhile and have heard the
                warnings.
                My memories:
                Ramachraraka gave the technique for retention on the in breath and
                the outbreath in "Raja Yoga" around 1901. Vivekananda slammed him
                for giving a potentially harmful technique to the West.

                I can recall a comment by Sri Ramana that the one pefectly harmless
                way to practice retention of the breath was to do it only on the in
                breath.

                I think the point in these warnings is intended to the overly
                exuberant observer. That is, if one spends all one's time on the
                technique it can be harmful. The 20 minutes a day thing is nowhere
                near enough. An example is myself. I was pretty avid. Breath
                irregularities and sleep apnia began and I slacked off.
                Another example:
                In the biography of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhow by Georg Feuerstein,
                which he was paid to write by the estate of the Eastern European
                Mystic, a telling example of harm is described. He wrote of Omraam's
                immense focus on Ramacharaka's technique, which is about what Bob has
                delineated. He became seriously ill. But he was really into it.
                Doing it all the time. Georg makes it clear he did not approve of
                Ramacharaka' cavalier attitude either.

                Love
                Bobby G.
              • Nina
                ... There is no need to question the skill level of the teacher. These folks were senior level teachers, able to respond to the reactions and help their
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 27, 2004
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                  > Dear Nina,
                  > When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the same
                  > person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each class."
                  > are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so, perhaps
                  > there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher.

                  There is no need to question the skill level of the teacher. These
                  folks were senior level teachers, able to respond to the reactions
                  and help their students into right practice.

                  While it is possible to view the reactions as
                  'negative' (weeping, backache, breathlessness, muscle cramps)
                  or 'positive' (buoyancy, clarity, relaxation, easeful tidal
                  expansion), it is also possible to view these reactions as
                  guideposts to fine-tuning a practice.

                  > We always had many students report wonderful emotional, physical,
                  mental,
                  > and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of fact, the
                  > 1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high without
                  > drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
                  > insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them. There
                  > also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to this.
                  The
                  > technique works so well that some would become bliss-seekers/ecstacy
                  > junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
                  > mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing breath
                  > retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence.

                  I was not claiming that breath retention causes MS, and neither
                  was Eric Small. I was saying that he was having
                  reactions to using a breath technique that induced heat in his
                  body, a body which was undiagnosed with MS and yet had been
                  displaying the unrecognized symptoms of MS.

                  > And I see no
                  > need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage the
                  > potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
                  > practicing pranayama.

                  These claims are no more wild than a claim that other than
                  one woman (whose reaction could be dismissed because she
                  was asthmatic and couldn't bear to follow her breath in any
                  form), there have been no reactions in 4000 students.

                  I am not arguing for or against. I am arguing for
                  refinement.

                  > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators are "so
                  > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in their
                  > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists,
                  > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients to our
                  > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
                  > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
                  attitude
                  > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know of


                  There was in your posts.


                  > (such as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the
                  > Sivananda ashrams). In
                  > any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
                  > mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that bring
                  > peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group is
                  > helping make these concepts and methods available to those who seek
                  > this knowledge.

                  Good.

                  Nina
                • medit8ionsociety
                  ... Oh well, since they are senior teachers, I guess there was no lack of expertise, eh? But then again, maybe if they consistantly had negative reactions
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 27, 2004
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                    --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                    <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                    > > Dear Nina,
                    > > When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the same
                    > > person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each class."
                    > > are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so, perhaps
                    > > there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher.
                    >
                    > There is no need to question the skill level of the teacher. These
                    > folks were senior level teachers, able to respond to the reactions
                    > and help their students into right practice.

                    Oh well, since they are "senior" teachers, I guess there was no lack
                    of expertise, eh? But then again, maybe if they consistantly had
                    negative reactions every class, there should have been "Very senior"
                    teachers giving the class!? (he said facetiously:-)
                    >
                    > While it is possible to view the reactions as
                    > 'negative' (weeping, backache, breathlessness, muscle cramps)
                    > or 'positive' (buoyancy, clarity, relaxation, easeful tidal
                    > expansion), it is also possible to view these reactions as
                    > guideposts to fine-tuning a practice.
                    >
                    > > We always had many students report wonderful emotional, physical,
                    > mental,
                    > > and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of fact, the
                    > > 1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high without
                    > > drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
                    > > insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them. There
                    > > also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to this.
                    > The
                    > > technique works so well that some would become bliss-seekers/ecstacy
                    > > junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
                    > > mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing breath
                    > > retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence.
                    >
                    > I was not claiming that breath retention causes MS, and neither
                    > was Eric Small. I was saying that he was having
                    > reactions to using a breath technique that induced heat in his
                    > body, a body which was undiagnosed with MS and yet had been
                    > displaying the unrecognized symptoms of MS.
                    >
                    > > And I see no
                    > > need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage the
                    > > potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
                    > > practicing pranayama.
                    >
                    > These claims are no more wild than a claim that other than
                    > one woman (whose reaction could be dismissed because she
                    > was asthmatic and couldn't bear to follow her breath in any
                    > form), there have been no reactions in 4000 students.

                    Uh, you're saying that our 4000 students didn't have reactions is a
                    wild claim is not accurate. As I said, they reported very pleasant,
                    beneficial and positive reactions. And that's not so wild, it's what
                    is supposed to happen. And BTW, excuse the possible lack of humility,
                    but these classes were all in public community sponsered adult
                    education programs that were evaluated at the end of each semester by
                    the students themselves, as well as by the various schools and
                    colleges offering the classes, and our ratings of excellence were as
                    good as or better than any of the other hundreds of courses offered by
                    the various continuing education programs.

                    > I am not arguing for or against. I am arguing for
                    > refinement.
                    >
                    > > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators are "so
                    > > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in their
                    > > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists,
                    > > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients to our
                    > > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
                    > > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
                    > attitude
                    > > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know of
                    >
                    >
                    > There was in your posts.

                    If you read apples when we intended to offer oranges, so be it.

                    >
                    > > (such as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the
                    > > Sivananda ashrams). In
                    > > any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
                    > > mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that bring
                    > > peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group is
                    > > helping make these concepts and methods available to those who seek
                    > > this knowledge.
                    >
                    > Good.
                    >
                    > Nina

                    Yes, the aim of selflessly and freely sharing things of consciousness
                    evolving potential is "Good", and I know that's what you also intend.
                    Peace and blessings,
                    Bob
                  • Nina
                    ... same ... class. ... perhaps ... These ... reactions ... lack ... senior ... They are senior teachers because they have a certain level of expertise,
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 27, 2004
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                      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
                      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                      > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                      > > > Dear Nina,
                      > > > When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the
                      same
                      > > > person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each
                      class."
                      > > > are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so,
                      perhaps
                      > > > there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher.
                      > >
                      > > There is no need to question the skill level of the teacher.
                      These
                      > > folks were senior level teachers, able to respond to the
                      reactions
                      > > and help their students into right practice.
                      >
                      > Oh well, since they are "senior" teachers, I guess there was no
                      lack
                      > of expertise, eh? But then again, maybe if they consistantly had
                      > negative reactions every class, there should have been "Very
                      senior"
                      > teachers giving the class!? (he said facetiously:-)

                      They are senior teachers because they have a certain
                      level of expertise, which encompasses the ability to teach
                      various forms of pranayama to teacher trainees with a
                      recognizable degree of skill.

                      Reactions typically do not fall into binary slots, as in:
                      good reaction/bad reaction, a reaction/no reaction. It can
                      pretty much be assumed there will be a 'reaction' to any
                      input into a system as responsive as a human physiology,
                      *whether or not the human physiology consciously recognizes
                      it*. These reactions will be qualitative, moreso than
                      quantitative. The qualitative nature of these reactions
                      are what allow adjustments to be made. Usually, it takes
                      a bit of tinkering if you are 'going it alone' in new
                      territory... expertise is usually recognized by the
                      ability to 'hit the mark' with the adjustments.

                      Keep in mind, that whether or not a student reports a
                      reaction has as much to do with the environmental
                      constraints/supports to this reportage as with the
                      fact of a reaction. If a student doesn't share that
                      she had a reaction, does this mean she had no reaction?

                      > > While it is possible to view the reactions as
                      > > 'negative' (weeping, backache, breathlessness, muscle cramps)
                      > > or 'positive' (buoyancy, clarity, relaxation, easeful tidal
                      > > expansion), it is also possible to view these reactions as
                      > > guideposts to fine-tuning a practice.
                      > >
                      > > > We always had many students report wonderful emotional,
                      physical,
                      > > mental,
                      > > > and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of
                      fact, the
                      > > > 1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high
                      without
                      > > > drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
                      > > > insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them.
                      There
                      > > > also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to
                      this.
                      > > The
                      > > > technique works so well that some would become bliss-
                      seekers/ecstacy
                      > > > junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
                      > > > mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing
                      breath
                      > > > retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence.
                      > >
                      > > I was not claiming that breath retention causes MS, and neither
                      > > was Eric Small. I was saying that he was having
                      > > reactions to using a breath technique that induced heat in his
                      > > body, a body which was undiagnosed with MS and yet had been
                      > > displaying the unrecognized symptoms of MS.
                      > >
                      > > > And I see no
                      > > > need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage
                      the
                      > > > potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
                      > > > practicing pranayama.
                      > >
                      > > These claims are no more wild than a claim that other than
                      > > one woman (whose reaction could be dismissed because she
                      > > was asthmatic and couldn't bear to follow her breath in any
                      > > form), there have been no reactions in 4000 students.
                      >
                      > Uh, you're saying that our 4000 students didn't have reactions is a
                      > wild claim is not accurate. As I said, they reported very pleasant,
                      > beneficial and positive reactions. And that's not so wild, it's
                      > what is supposed to happen.

                      I am saying that what I have to offer by the way
                      of anecdote is no more wild than what you have shared. The
                      only possible difference being that what I have observed is
                      a greater array of reactions to more advanced forms (or, if you
                      prefer, more interventive forms) of pranayama practice.
                      This difference in degree of intervention in respiration
                      may account for the differences in outcome, btw. Nonetheless,
                      both perspectives are anecdotal, and therefore, pretty even
                      in reliability as far as evidence goes.

                      > And BTW, excuse the possible lack of humility,
                      > but these classes were all in public community sponsered adult
                      > education programs that were evaluated at the end of each semester
                      > bythe students themselves, as well as by the various schools and
                      > colleges offering the classes, and our ratings of excellence were
                      as
                      > good as or better than any of the other hundreds of courses
                      offered by
                      > the various continuing education programs.
                      >
                      > > I am not arguing for or against. I am arguing for
                      > > refinement.
                      > >
                      > > > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators
                      are "so
                      > > > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in
                      their
                      > > > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists,
                      cardiologists,
                      > > > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients
                      to our
                      > > > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
                      > > > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
                      > > attitude
                      > > > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know
                      of
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > There was in your posts.
                      >
                      > If you read apples when we intended to offer oranges, so be it.

                      If you intended oranges and wrote apples,
                      should I accept responsibility for miscommunication?

                      By the way, who is "we"?

                      > > > (such as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the
                      > > > Sivananda ashrams). In
                      > > > any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
                      > > > mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that
                      bring
                      > > > peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group
                      is
                      > > > helping make these concepts and methods available to those who
                      seek
                      > > > this knowledge.
                      > >
                      > > Good.
                      > >
                      > > Nina
                      >
                      > Yes, the aim of selflessly and freely sharing things of
                      > consciousness evolving potential is "Good", and I know
                      > that's what you also intend.

                      Sure, as long as it is fitting.

                      Nina
                    • medit8ionsociety
                      ... snip ... snip ... Nina, FYI, this was one of the much loved and recently departed Bob Eck s favorite sayings, IE: Hey, we re talking apples here, and
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 27, 2004
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                        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                        <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        snip
                        Bob wrote:
                        > > > > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators
                        > are "so
                        > > > > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in
                        > their
                        > > > > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists,
                        > cardiologists,
                        > > > > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients
                        > to our
                        > > > > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
                        > > > > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
                        > > > attitude
                        > > > > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know
                        > of
                        > > >
                        Nina:
                        > > > There was in your posts.
                        Bob:
                        > > If you read apples when we intended to offer oranges, so be it.
                        Nina:
                        > If you intended oranges and wrote apples,
                        > should I accept responsibility for miscommunication?
                        >
                        > By the way, who is "we"?
                        >
                        snip
                        > > >
                        > > > Nina

                        Nina, FYI, this was one of the much loved and recently departed Bob
                        Eck's favorite sayings, IE:
                        "Hey, we're talking apples here, and you're hearing oranges!" Maybe
                        this saying is just a Philly cliche, but unfortunatly, your
                        defensiveness is universal.
                        Peace and blessings,
                        Bob
                      • Nina
                        ... LOL, you say defensive, I say dismissive, you say facetious, I say capricious, defensive, dismissive, facetious, capricious, let s call the whole thing
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 27, 2004
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                          > Nina, FYI, this was one of the much loved and recently departed Bob
                          > Eck's favorite sayings, IE:
                          > "Hey, we're talking apples here, and you're hearing oranges!" Maybe
                          > this saying is just a Philly cliche, but unfortunatly, your
                          > defensiveness is universal.
                          > Peace and blessings,
                          > Bob

                          LOL, you say defensive, I say dismissive,
                          you say facetious, I say capricious,
                          defensive, dismissive,
                          facetious, capricious,
                          let's call the whole thing off!

                          Or something like that. Maybe they were saying tomatoes
                          instead of apples or oranges. It's still all fruit to me.

                          well-versed in the art of name-calling,
                          Nina
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