Esoteric Yoga® Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here is a summary of the most frequent questions I encountered here in America regarding the yoga course I teach:
What type of yoga do you teach?
None of the common styles you learn in most yoga studios here. I would call it Integrative Yoga, because it puts together information from many traditional branches of yoga, like: Hatha, Kundalini, Laya, Karma, Maha Vidya, Svara and so on. Moving from Romania to US I discovered that most people’s understanding of Yoga here has very little to do with the true science of Yoga. The name is the same and some of the poses, but the whole meaning behind it is lost in the effort to turn it into a profitable type of exotic fitness. It is similar with what is happening with food nowadays: it smells like food, looks like food but you will have a hard time finding any nurturing ingredient in it.
Why do you teach static yoga poses instead of dynamic movements?
There is a huge difference between yoga poses and physical exercise. Each yoga pose is meant to attune us with very specific energies from the Universe, thus amplifying and refining certain aspects of our personality. The longer you hold the pose with proper attention, the bigger the effects are. It is like listening to the radio. You want to stay tuned on one radio station in order to get the whole information. Practicing series of dynamic movements it would be like continually flipping through your radio channels.
I am not flexible. Can I still be successful in practicing yoga?
Yes. Many poses are quite easy to perform even if you are not very flexible. If you pay attention to the energy flow while doing the yoga poses, and also start purifying your body and eating healthy foods, you will discover that soon your flexibility will increase. In Bucharest I had a colleague in my yoga class that was 83 years old. He could barely move at the beginning, but in a few months improved a lot by constant and patient practice. He also benefited immensely from practicing meditation.
Why is your course curriculum so long?
Yoga connects with various spiritual traditions, mathematics, molecular physics, astronomy, astrology, holistic therapies, psychology, chemistry, alchemy and so on. Yoga is not just a simple accumulation of physical abilities, but an in-depth process of improving everything that we are and finding practical answers to life’s essential questions and challenges. This takes time. You study mathematics in school for 12 years just to get the basics. Imagine something that encompasses so much more.
It is too big of a commitment to come weekly to a yoga course that extends for a year or more. Why can’t you make this course shorter?
I do not think that commitment is the problem. Most people are able to go to the gym 3-5 times a week for many years, or watch TV for hours every day. I think the problem is that most people do not understand the necessity or value of spiritual practice and transformation. They simply do not relate it yet with immediate practical benefits for their life.
There is a big trend nowadays which I call “Fast Spirituality”. Just like Fast Food, people want to consume it as fast as possible so they can move on to the next exciting thing. I put in this category all courses aiming at self improvement that promise you perfection in a month or two. There has never been such a thing as “quick enlightenment” in the history of spirituality. You need to work hard and for many years to become a competitive athlete for example. Likewise, you need long term commitment to develop and perfect every aspect of your body, mind and emotional side. The beauty is in the journey.
I do not have time to practice yoga at home. I have a crazy schedule. What shall I do?
Do you have time to be sick, depressed, tired, sad or angry? Can you afford to spend twice more time than necessary on each project, because you cannot focus your mind? Or feel drained because you cannot sleep properly at night, or have to deal with flu and allergies every season? Do you have time to spend in endless arguments with your spouse and be frustrated because of an unfulfilling sex life? Constant yoga practice can help you with all of these, and even more. You will actually save a lot of time.
Do you allow people of all ages into your yoga course?
There is no upper age limit for participating. If children want to come, they need to be at least 7 years old, and accompanied by their parents. However they will not be allowed to come into few of the classes that discuss sexuality. They will also not be allowed to practice some of the techniques that are not suitable for such a young age.
Is yoga a religion? Will it conflict with the religion I am embracing?
Yoga is not a religion, but a precise science of personal transformation. When practiced correctly, yoga can actually help you deepen your understanding of your own religion. Yoga uses terminology from the Hindu culture and religion because this is where it first appeared. However its teachings are universal, just like mathematics or physics. Mircea Eliade, the great historian of religions, used to define yoga as “The Science of All Religions”. Yoga will help you see the common spiritual foundation of all religions.
I suffer from high blood pressure/ heart disease/ diabetes. Can yoga be dangerous for me?
Everything can be dangerous if it is done in a mindless or excessive way. You are advised to consult with your doctor before engaging in yoga practice. Also, for each technique that I teach, I will mention the contraindications. If you recognize yourself in the situations when the technique is not recommended, you will simply avoid practicing it. There will be many others exercises you can practice safely.
I am an energy healer. Can yoga help me in any way to improve my healing skills?
Absolutely. Yoga can teach you how to increase your own energy and how to control or use it in any way you want. Moreover, you will learn how to integrate your healing in such a way as to not get affected by people’s problems. As you grow in knowledge and spiritual experience, you will also be able to guide people towards healing themselves and realizing the real causes of their ailments. Otherwise they will keep coming back with the same problem over and over.
I will travel abroad for a while. I don’t like to miss the yoga classes, though. What can I do?
This yoga course is being taught following the same curriculum in many countries around the world, where our parent yoga school, MISA, has branches nowadays. This gives you the unmatched opportunity to can continue your yoga practice and attend a similar training in many popular travel destinations. Even in the situation when there is no similar course where you are, you can still receive the weekly handouts for the period you are missing. That will allow you to catch up with the information very easy.
I have practiced yoga before. Do I still need to come to the beginner class or I can move straight to your advanced courses?
You still need to come to the beginner class. My classes build upon each other and I need to make sure you are familiar with previous information before approaching more advanced techniques.
I have searched online to find out more information about MISA, the yoga school where you studied in Romania and about your yoga teacher, Gregorian Bivolaru. I found a great deal of contradictory information. What is going on?
I highly appreciate this open question. To properly answer it, I have to introduce you to the political and social situation of my home country. In Romania, up to December 1989 when the communist regime fell, Yoga and meditation were illegal practices. Plainly, you would have been put in jail for owning a yoga book or practicing yoga techniques. Philosophy and religion were also suppressed and the freedom of information was non-existent, i.e. it was illegal to listen to foreign radio-stations. Traveling abroad was forbidden, aside for very special circumstances. All of this was enforced by the communists in order to keep the people under control.
Our yoga school, MISA, started in 1990. Even if now the country was called “democratic”, the same people where holding the political power, using the same secret services and the same communist mentality of controlling the masses. As our yoga school grew larger, our activities started to be perceived as a threat to this “total control” policy. Due to their increased mental and spiritual awakening, yoga practitioners are less and less influenced by political indoctrination, commercials and mass media campaigns, and they also tend to break aside from the mainstream medical and food chains, in search of better and healthier options.
We couldn’t be put in jail like in the communist times, therefore other strategies were adopted. The main one has been using mass media (which is completely politically controlled in Romania) to denigrate the school and its activities. There are also highly paid agents that maintain blogs and websites full of very skilled lies regarding our activities, in a desire to prevent people from accessing the very powerful information provided by our yoga classes. The Romanian government escalated this oppression to the point of bringing anti-terrorist troops in our main yoga studio in Bucharest and many other highly abusive measures. Our teacher had to find political asylum in Sweden, due to the constant threats to his life.
I personally see this campaign and strong opposition as a validation of the tremendous transformational value of MISA’s yoga teachings. If we would only teach stretching and some chanting, no one would bother to pay millions of dollars to fabricate such an extensive denigrating campaign against this school. My best advice for you is to analyze the information you receive in my classes, observe the effects of practicing it and form your own opinion based on your personal experience.
If you still believe in the freedom of information and in an independent mass media or law system, it’s about time to start analyzing the world around you with a questioning mind. You will see that always in the history of humanity when a truly awakening movement or individual appeared, they were suppressed heavily by those trying to maintain the status quo and preserve their political, social or financial advantages.