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Does Kriya Cure AIDS? The Art of Health Orientation TTC

September 24, 2010

Well, if you read this presentation, leaked to Wikipedia some time ago (and then removed), there is seemingly no end to the good things the sudarshan kriya does for you.

I certainly hope they haven’t  presented it to any real scientists. That would be very embarrasing for AOL, as it is nothing but pseudo-scientific gobbledygook mostly in the form of Guru-quotes, combined with references to some of the very poor studies done on sudarshan kriya. I am not saying kriya does not have a beneficial effect on some conditions, for some people. I am merely stating the fact that it has not been clearly demonstrated yet, in a scientific way.

The whole presentation reeks of a True Devotees’ pumped-up confidence and blind faith in his/her guru: “The Master has told me this is so. Therefore, let me concoct a presentation to present to the world The Truth, as my Guru tells it.”

This is bad science. Let me quote:

Study on AIDS in the USA: Viruses cannot thrive in the 02 rich environment produced by sudarshan kriya.

When the mind is free of fear, free of anger, more clear, you can heal your system of anything.
-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Do you see where this is leading? I wonder who have been on the receiving end of this presentation. Chronically ill people? AIDS patients, cancer patients? I find it deeply disturbing and highly immoral that the AOL spreads a message of false hope to weak and vulnerable people. And I can’t help but wonder why.

Do miracles happen? Yes, apparently. The litterature describes cases where severely handicapped or terminally ill people are spontaneously cured, for no obvious scientific reason. But these cases are extremely rare. And there seems to be no connection to prayer, Grace or strong faith; when it happens, it happens also to people without faith, religion or gurus. Also, it seems to happen only to those “invisible” diseases and handicaps; have you ever heard stories of amputated legs growing back, or scar tissue disapperaring? This suggests that miracles happen in cases where the disease has a strong psycho-somatic component. Or maybe the patient was misdiagnosed to begin with.

The field of integral and holistic medicine is growing fast, and it is deeply fascinating. Yes, mind and body are connected, and the state of your mind affects your ability to heal and get better, if you are ill. But the concept of the mind “healing your system of anything” just leaves the really sick with a feeling of shame and guilt, when the miracle doesn’t happen.

Then suddently yesterday, this mail was forwarded to me, and all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place: It is of course the first Art of Health Orientation TTC coming up! And what is the aim of this new adventure? I quote: “It is expected (…) that this work will result in very positive effects for the apparently healthy population at large as it will greatly increase our outreach capabilities.” Watch out! You are only apparently healthy, if you do not practice kriya! In fact, you are doomed to disease and misery, if you do not join the precious AOL.

This is just another cynical sales plot by AOL. Shame on you, Ravi, for exploiting the sick!

Dear All,

It is a pleasure to invite you to the first ever Art of Health Orientation TTC to be held in Bad Antagost 16.-19. December, 2010.

The goal of this orientation TTC only for Art of Living active teachers, with the blessings of Guruji, is to train you, who would have a medical/health/science background and/or very keen to facilitate the expansion of our programs into the health sector, in becoming competent  for teaching special AoL Art of Breathing courses for Depression and Cancer patients (to be held in hospitals), be able to give professional presentations to the medical community, facilitation of research, and obtaining of grant funding for these programs. Our aim is to build a team that will have a major focus on these activities in Europe so that more and more people with medical needs could take advantage of our programs, funded by governments and insurance agencies. It is expected, however, that this work will result in very positive effects for the apparently healthy population at large as it will greatly increase our outreach capabilities.

During this training, you will learn from the success stories in Europe on this endeavour, find out about the current research and implementation projects, become proficient in making science-based presentations to the authorities by mastering the literature on some main tenets of the mind-body literature, and find ways to contribute based on your unique background and connections. Please note that all the participants will be requested, in order to make best use of the time spend in the TTC, to read some selected chapters form two books (“The network of Life” author Fritjof Capra; “The end of Stress as We Know It” author Bruce Mc Ewen) and some articles chosen by Fahri and Christian.

This TTC is by personal invitation only. If you feel that someone else should join this program, please feel free to connect them with us. Space is very limited, so please apply early.

For further info regarding registrations, course fee etc
please feel free to contact us.

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39 Comments
  1. Peaceful Warrior permalink
    September 24, 2010 7:25 pm

    There is a growing field of integral and holistic medicine – which AOL wants a pie of. The quality of data and experiments simply is not good enough to give professional presentations. It would be interesting to see how they present their material to scientists – those people are pretty good at smelling bullshit artists – particularly those that are prone to hyperbole.

  2. European Ex permalink
    September 24, 2010 8:01 pm

    Off course you have to pay for TTC and be vary proud that they have sent you invitation letter personally!! But why only in Europe?! Are we more naive to belive that SK can and will cure us?! And yeah, I didn’t know that I am “apparently healthy”.

  3. freethinker permalink
    September 24, 2010 8:49 pm

    It is pathetic AOL tends to claim anything and doesn’t have to be substantiated, it can hide under spiritual organization and doesn’t have to be accountable for anything. When you ask for any accountability all you get from lackeys is: “Oh well people like doctors, scientist, engineers from over 151 counties are followers of Guruji, do you think they are all fools?”

  4. freethinker permalink
    September 24, 2010 9:07 pm

    And I wonder why SK didn’t help Dinesh who is a senior teacher of AOL doing SK for years? Had to stay in hospital for 12 days for Salmonella infection?

    • goneagain permalink
      September 25, 2010 3:02 am

      That is in fact a great testimonial on AOL lies and deceit, if Sr AOL teacher can’t get rid off Salmonella with SK – how they hell they are suggesting that they have cure AIDS with that? SK may have few benefits for some people but if you claim it can do everything for everyone then it is all going to fall like house of cards.

  5. Sincere Seeker permalink
    September 24, 2010 11:50 pm

    Here we go…time for Navratri money collection/corruption again!

    These are the figures for the LA Navratri puja “Sankalpas”. This tradition is being misused and abused by AoL. See cut and paste from the following website:

    http://secure.artofliving.org/event_details.aspx?event_id=6490

    “Navaratri is a time to honor the divinity around us, soak in the sanctity of the chants and to get rid of obstacles in our lives through Sanklapas. Sankalpa is the ancient tradition of offering an intention to the universe and receiving a blessing for its manifestation. If you would like to be a part of this sacred occasion but will be unable to make it physically, please note that there are sankalpas available that can be taken remotely.

    $1008 Sankalpa (Oct 13 & 14 only) – name, birthstar and lineage of person will be invoked during the homa.
    (Note: When you go to Buy Tickets it shows for Ganapathi, Chandi and Durga Homa)

    $351 Sankalpa- person’s name will be offered. ”

    Navratri is being presided by Swami Suryapada, mentioned on these blogs before with a history of sex abuse and exposed in the Kannada newspaper Agni. Now being glorified by the Art of Living.

    It would be good to see how much is being collected in India this year, perhaps close to Rs 100,000 per sankalpa.

    Who’s going to stop them? Lot of brain washed people going to give their hard earned money to fill the Ravi Shankar treasury.

    • Independent Observer permalink
      September 25, 2010 12:38 am

      Oh !!!! We care for the world. We care for you. We share. Its all or none. (Hidden message and implied meaning…..don’t worry if the whole world does not want you, you have us…..come to the Guru and you have the AOL family backing you…). BTW “conditions apply”

      They are…..”if you missed sending us the draft for US$ 351, and fill out a detailed application form with your name, DOB, Time of birth, palce of birth, DNA sample analysis and pledge your life to being a good slave, we may may just miss out on mentioning your name during the pooja. And boy imagine if you missed out on the blessings….your life is going to be damned. Even worse, all your friends that are going to pay the US$ 351 and the many who will pay the 1008 will now get even more Grace and luck into their lives…..YOU WILL BE LEFT BEHIND…

      Ouch !!!….did I just say that we care for everyone….and that we will take everyone with us….???

  6. Guru-ouch permalink
    September 24, 2010 11:55 pm

    I wonder how any intellect could not see through the serious and laughable flaws in the presentation. This presentation must have been aimed at a more of an educated audience, which (going by any normal distribution) should have medicos or basic science researchers or even a person with basic understanding of how human body functions and despite of it, if they did not raise a voice against it, tells to me that brain-washing of the topmost degree. I wonder if they add some drugs to the food that goes around in AOL sessions.

  7. Doreen permalink
    September 25, 2010 1:04 am

    Facts:

    – It is very common in India to pay to have a puja done in one’s name for festivals like Navaratri.
    – This is done all over India and in Hindu temples all over the world.
    – This is not specific to AOL.

    • goneagain permalink
      September 25, 2010 2:46 am

      Well not in hundreds of $$$, that is only AOL. Hindu temples they do charge few bucks. AOL cult company collects millions of $$$ and claim that is for charity while it goes to private/family businesses.

      • bajjar permalink
        May 10, 2012 6:36 pm

        @goneagain: This is plain slanderous. Their accounts books are open to public and the money raised through donations and courses are used to run hundreds of schools for tribal children and pay for their daily lunches in India.

        AOL is now the world’s largest volunteer based organization and has spread to over 150 countries touching over 40 million lives through their breathing exercises and free trauma relief programs in disaster struck areas. This takes money.

        Just go online to watch and confirm all I have said.
        http://www.artofliving.org
        http://srisri.org
        http://iahv.org

      • Jr. permalink
        May 10, 2012 9:31 pm

        And the website links you provide are unbiased sources?

    • Sincere Seeker permalink
      September 25, 2010 2:51 am

      Yes it’s common to have pujas in India. Due to the corruption in the religious system, pujaris, pundits, temples, have started fleecing people of money. Frankly it is a very bad experience going to a temple or having a puja when you end up with a greedy corrupt priest.
      Asking for such large amounts of money in the name of religion and puja is NOT Hindu or something traditional. It is misusing this tradition for self gain.
      People should get more educated on the Agamas, Viddhis, and ancient Vedic ways which were very pure.

      • abhilash shastry permalink
        September 25, 2010 6:04 am

        >> Yes it’s common to have pujas in India. Due to the corruption in the religious system, pujaris, pundits, temples, have started fleecing people of money.

        Even then they are more honest than SSRS. They are clear that their rituals are for sale. They don’t pretend that the money collected from the sale of rituals will be utilized for saving the world. People buying their services also know that the money given to the priest goes to his personal kitty. It is only AOL that fleeces money in the name of philanthropy.

        And anyway why a non-sectarian, one world family organization is engaged in the sale of Hindu religious rituals? This is not even related with their core business, unless they are bent upon whoring every facet of Hinduism for their profiteering.

      • Bling Bling permalink
        September 26, 2010 3:50 pm

        Abhilash “And anyway why a non-sectarian, one world family organization is engaged in the sale of Hindu religious rituals? This is not even related with their core business, unless they are bent upon whoring every facet of Hinduism for their profiteering.”

        This is a valid question which someone should forward or ask SSRS. What is the validity of these pujas which were practiced according to the Hindu calendar to people in the USA and Europe ?

        Bawa gave some puerile explanation of Guru Poornima on his blog (its in July because of the monsoon!) but was unable to answer a question from a US-based devotee regarding the relevance to North America where the seasons are different.
        See http://bawandinesh.name/knowledge-from-guru-poornima-2010/

  8. Anon permalink
    September 25, 2010 5:14 am

    Here is another fund raising campaign in SF bay area, using Pandit Jasraj.

    https://secure.artofliving.org/event_reg.aspx?event_id=6420&country_id=1

    • Anonymous permalink
      September 25, 2010 2:24 pm

      Yes this benefit concert is how major fund raising started in US. It is how it made Kalpana Singh chairperson of Art of Living. Now you will see that Kalpana’s good friend Jasbir Singh is also in the board, he probably donated a lot of money. Ashwani Dhall is also in the board perhaps because he did $1 million fund raising for bay area center/ashram. They may be good human being, however from SSRS and AoL perspective the criteria is how much money do you give or raise.

      For this concert however the money will stay locally, maybe the local NCRB has been reading this blog and realized if the money goes to national it will then travel to India and then to who knows where…

      I am really saddened that AoL and SSRS is using Navratri commercially and fleecing people of money. Just like they charge so much to teach the Puja course. And yes Art of Living is supposed to be secular 🙂

      Most people in AoL are unaware and unexposed to other noble, honest hindu orgs like Chinmaya, Ramakrishna, and the thousands of humble, sincere spiritual people with great knowledge and practice it. I will write a separate article on my thoughts on this.

  9. Thanks for saving me permalink
    September 25, 2010 5:12 pm

    Its one and same thing with AOL, money, money and more money. They have used yoga, pranayam, hinu festivals and whatnot to generate jus one single thing MONEY in USD or any other currency.
    I am so sad because lots of other thing they teach have value, like, SK, asanans, mudra pranayam, guided medtations, and even music but all the good things get clubbed and overpowered in the desire to earn more USD. I think it is time the top brass of AOL goes though Asthavakra Gita without any body’s commentary and hope they will realise what flawed version they have been propgated so far. And I hope after that this chase of unreal (USD) just disappears.

    bye

    • Abhilash Shastry permalink
      September 26, 2010 2:17 am

      Exactly my thoughts!

      The problem is not with the things most of the new age babaji-s, swami-s, rishi-s etc. are selling. The problem is with their deception. As a Hindu whatever I have been taught to value has been put on sale by these spiritual pedllers. Nothing is sacred anymore. Everything is on sale.

      Having said that I would not put SK in the same category as asanas, mudras or pranayams. The latter have been practiced and tested in this country for centuries. Their benefits as well as risks are well known and well documented. In contrast, SK is something new that was ‘revealed’ to SSRS in samadhi. We have SSRS’s word for the truth of his claim. Even taking his word on face value that SK was revealed to him in a state of samadhi, does not mean that it was sent by divine. People often fall into hallucinations during meditation. How do we know that SSRS was not hallucinating?

      It will take a while before we have enough impartial and objective back up data to really know about SK’s worth. May be it is better than other kriya-s. May be not. We don’t really know. So, my advice to anyone interested in pranayama would be to stick to the time tested kriya-s. Why take risk with something which is still in the process of getting established?

      • Thanks for saving me permalink
        September 26, 2010 12:57 pm

        I think SK is basically three stage traditional Bhastrika pranayam(not AOL variety) with three different speeds/ rthythm. Probably beacuse of these three cycles, certain sense of stillness of mind is achieved. Even otherwise simple Bhastrika or deep beathing produces stillness. I believe thats why persons with stage fear are asked to take 3-4 deep breath before they start delivering their talk/ speech. As a beginner in Yoga I also used to experiment with different pranayam with different speed specially Kapalbhati. If one does that also in three similar cycles similar sense of stillness is achieved.

        Having said that you are quite right that we don’t have any documented evidence of its good or bad effects, therefore trying it for a long time may lead to unknown effects on body and mind. In my case, in short time of my experience, it has helped me in controlling anger, though I don’t do it regularly.

      • Ashtavakra Kumara permalink
        September 27, 2010 6:00 am

        Yes I agree that SK is just a variation of Bhastrika.
        Swami Ramdev who teaches traditional pranayama has infact clearly mentioned a similar technique like Sudarshan Kriya while describing Bhastrika. Basically he talks about Bhastrika to be done in three rhythms – fast, medium and slow. Of course he does not talk of 20-40-40. So SK is not such an innovative idea. It is just the marketing hype that was built around it.
        Unfortunately the other aspect is that there are contra indictations for people with some ailments and body constituitons against practising bhastrika and other vigorous breathing. This warning is completely ignored in AOL. hence you find many senior people in AOL who have several physical and psychological disorders. These are the people who have ignored their body intelligence and warning signals. They have brought into the idea that the bad effects of SK are a purification process. The clever lot or those who preach sudarshan kriya but does not practise it. Over a period of one time AOL itself has added many other yoga and meditation sequence portfolios like Sri Sri yoga, padma sadhana, suryanamaskara and mudra pranayam. Many of these traditional practices can be practiced safely unlike SK.

  10. Svetana permalink
    September 25, 2010 6:30 pm

    “They have used yoga, pranayam, hinu festivals and whatnot to generate jus one single thing MONEY in USD or any other currency.
    I am so sad because lots of other thing they teach have value, like, SK, asanans, mudra pranayam, guided medtations, and even music but all the good things get clubbed and overpowered in the desire to earn more USD.”

    “Thanks for saving me”, I understand so well what you feel and what many sincere seekers should feel about corruption of the very source of Hindu spiritual traditions. All this perversion, spiritual junk and global deceit is produced by Sri Sri and the like, who represent India itself. Whatever was valued by generations in this country is put on sale, because these people have so much greed and are so much in love with MONEY. Even thinking about their inner world makes one shudder. Spiritual teachers indeed…

  11. coward permalink
    September 25, 2010 6:43 pm

    Artofliving Institute for Domestication of Souls. Physical AIDS is nothing as compare to inflict a free born soul with wrong concept of dharma.

  12. Conscience permalink
    September 26, 2010 3:44 am

    Sudarshan Kriya is good. Bhastrika and KapalBhathi is also good. Generally all Pranayamas are good and effective for health benefits.

    i saw this blog when i was looking for art of living on the web. i sincerely hope Art of Living take note of all written here and if there is any truth in it. Art of Living is the asset of India. it is good to keep the name untainted.

    but there is always 2 sides to a coin – 2 sides to a story.

  13. Researcher permalink
    September 27, 2010 4:19 pm

    Here’s what I wrote on Bawa’s blog now. I’m betting it will never see the light of day:

    How come a long-time teacher and practitioner of all the Sri Sri techniques and Kriya has to stay at a hospital for weeks to get cured of a salmonella problem using “allopathic” medicine, when kriya is pushed as the be-all and end-all miracle treatment for even cancer and aids? Why are the fantastic medicines from Sri Sri Ayurveda not providing any relief?

    Don’t give me that past life karma story or tell me he needed more faith in the guru to invoke his grace. Pretty much any pseudo-system that doesn’t work can be explained away using that fuzzy logic.

    There can only be two explanations. One – Dinesh doesn’t walk the talk, he never practices kriya. Two – kriya doesn’t cure such illnesses. Could be both. So… what is it?

  14. Practitioner permalink
    September 29, 2010 4:57 pm

    I was stationed at Bhagalpur for many years, and at Bokaro and Jamshedpur afterwards for about 15 years. Bhagalpur was very close to Munger where you can find the Bihar school of Yoga (BSY). Though my father was never spiritual or theistic, my uncle was a devoted practitioner of yoga, and through him I had the good fortune of being introduced to the teachings.

    I was introduced to the teachings at BSY. Living about 60 km from Munger, we would often take a bus or ride down to the ashram on weekends. When I later became serious about Yoga, I attended residential programs that were rigorous, deep and thorough.

    When I moved to Bangalore with my family in the 2000’s, AOL caught my attention and I attended some programs (basic and advanced courses) that I thought would give a little boost to my practice.

    AOL pranayam and other breathing seemed to be derived from some yoga methods but some of the techniques are not meant for everyone, and some other methods are done in a wrong way. Bhastrika is traditionally done a little differently, more gently and for longer period of time, and there are many variations. The way AOL teaches it is very vigorous and can cause worsening of some health problems.

    In advanced course you learn about the locks (bandha) after bhastrika. Most people feel a pressure in the head, slight dissonance and a funny feeling if you keep the lock for more than a few seconds, but in AOL we are instructed to hold it for as long as we can. This is because you are breathing **in**, holding the breath and compressing your neck and stomach, that puts pressure on some wrong areas of the body specially towards the head. The traditional way we were taught this lock is like this – breathe **out** completely, then apply the lock by lowering the head so that the chin touches the chest, suck in the stomach completely and also lock the perineum region. If you observe the sensations, you will feel more natural this way.

    All along, I have been taught that any practice or posture that creates uncomfortable, dizzy, spaced out or light headed sensations may mean it is not meant for you, or you are doing it wrong, or you are not breathing properly. Here in AOL, the powerful bhastrika itself and later the locks can be very dangerous to some people.

    20-40-40 kriya itself seems to be one of two things. Traditional bhastrika is sometimes done this way at varying speeds, this kriya seems to be a derivative of that. I don’t have a BSY video, but the bhastrika that Ramdev does on his TV and youtube shows is similar. When I went back to one of my teachers at BSY and inquired about 20-40-40, he listened patiently and gave me a variant. Instead of the deep and forceful breathing we learn in AOL for the kriya, he told me to try the opposite way – do the 20-40-40, but breathe so gently, without any effort, the air is just floating in and out of your nose, there is a lot of awareness on the whole body. He also cautioned me to fine-tune this practice to suit **my** body type. We don’t just do 20-40-40 all the time, I was taught how to listen to and sense the body’s requirements all the time, and vary the breathing speed and depth as needed at the time.

    I find that if I breathe this way, I am almost not even breathing, but the in-out breath is happening. There is a tremendous awareness, you have a very deep sensation of the subtle energies and changes happening in the head region and the open palms and later the whole body. Once the practice is done, I feel far more sensitive towards the body, very clear headed and refreshed. Thinking, reasoning and intellect are functioning at heightened awareness. It is very different from the slightly dazed or zombie type feeling after powerful bhastrika, wrong bandhas and long kriya.

    My old BSY teacher also helped me clear some other conflicts. I asked about the crazy experiences of people screaming, crying and howling during their first kriya. He said he has seen similar problems when newcomers are rushed through some practices instead of gradually becoming accustomed to the practice in a gentle way. The example he gave me was someone who lives a sedentary life suddenly running a 42km marathon without practicing regular short distance runs before the event. I have never seen this happen in other proper yoga practices.

    While I see that kriya helps many, from my experience I feel that it is very wrong to make every course participant do kriya and bandhas without knowing about their health in detail. Even then, the exact practice **must** be customised for the person depending on body type and health conditions. The way the bhastrika and kriya is taught in AOL seems to be a derivative work without much study about its long term effects. It is also very wrong to attribute any problem, pain or emotional upheaval to “detoxing” or “cleansing” as they say in AOL courses, as the AOL teachers do not seem to be trained or qualified to even understand all these symptoms and help them. I would advise people to be very cautious of blindly practicing it.

    • Roopali permalink
      October 1, 2010 5:41 am

      ractioner,
      I completely agree with your post based on my experience. I did the Long kriya for the first two days and I started getting headaches and felt dizzy. I told this to my teacher Chayapathi (Swami Suryapada) and he said it is good sign of purification. He told me to do pranayama and short kriya for 40 days, long kriya on sundays and do not stop in between. I did this and throughout this period I had problems like dizziness, heart palpitation, eye pain and nervousness . When i told this to aol teachers they checked with me on the kriya rhythms in the long kriya and said I am doing all the rhythms just fine. After forty days I continued for some more months on pranayama and short kriya but my health and mental state only worsened. Chayapathi also suggested silent meditation and Sahaj. That helped a bit but still there was discomfort. I did not realize that the main culprit here was the sudarshan kriya.
      It is thanks to divine grace that I met the yoga master Shrishachandra Vasu in bangalore. He told me that I should not be doing the kriya and it will cause long term harm if I continue this further. He prescribed to me a set of gentle yoga exercise, ujjayi breathing without retention, humming breath, alternate nostril breathing and silent meditation. Within the first few days of this practice, I could see a well being, peace abd bliss. I have continued on this practise with guidance from my yoga teacher and I have never felt better. I have got things which AOL advertises but never delivered to me. A smile from the bottom of my heart.
      I agree that AOL teachings can be helpful for some people but for most people like me it has been dangerous. Had I listened to the aol teachers and continued I would have become a physical and mental wreck. I think it is important that people should be cautioned against some of the bad aspects of these practices as it can lead to harm. Yoga is a gentle art and it requires sensitivity to teach and learn. Just breathing like mad people is not yoga. It can be sensational to attract people but it will only harm them in the long run.

      • Thanks for saving me permalink
        October 1, 2010 7:39 am

        I agree that the way Bhastrika pranayam, SK and Bandha are taught in AOL, they could be dangerous. The secrecy all around it does not allow much of research on these practices.

      • Nithya Sadhana permalink
        October 2, 2010 4:47 am

        Rupali
        I had a somewhat similar effect from sudarshan kriya. I started getting heat boils and mouth ulcers due to sudarshan kriya. Apart from that I never felt meditative, centered and relaxed as I previously used to feel when I was practicing other techniques. When I told this to Guruji Ravishankar, he mentioned to me not to practice sudarshan kriya and do padmasadhana and sahaj instead. I have found this practice of padmasadhana and sahaj beneficial over last three years. Earlier I had practiced TM for 4 years and in a way it is a continuation of the same practice.
        It is not that sudarshan kriya is beneficial always. But unfortunately there are overzealous teachers who of their way in the propoganda and cause harm to some people. Always listen to your body and energy.

      • Researcher permalink
        October 4, 2010 2:21 pm

        Roopali, if a practice consistently gives you headaches, palpitations, dizziness, eye pain, etc, then common sense tells us something is wrong and that it does not agree with you. It is the duty of any good yoga or pranayam teacher to figure that out in no time, and change the practice for you. Only someone who is ignorant and untrained would have asked you to continue just because they learnt it that way in the TTC.

        As people have stressed, there is no “one yoga fits all” as AOL preaches. Kriya has benefited some and caused problems for others. AOL denies that. Therein lies the problem.

  15. 2bit permalink
    October 1, 2010 3:57 pm

    Effect of anything is never uniform, some get rubbed the right way (in terms of health, wealth, peace, joy) and some get rubbed the wrong way. All votes counted, does AOL do greater good (perhaps even at the cost few profiteers), or generally do greater harm? Anyone up for an objective evaluation of this aspect?

    • Achyut permalink
      October 2, 2010 4:38 am

      Let’s start the evaluation of benefits and harm from home turf – udipalya. The village from where Ravi Ravi usurped many acres of land from the poor villagers for his ashram. These poor fellows got benefitted through the ten sewing machines donated by pitaji.

    • The Doctor permalink
      October 2, 2010 9:13 am

      @2bit,

      […] does AOL do greater good (perhaps even at the cost few profiteers), or generally do greater harm?

      I would have to ask the question: why on earth is AoL, a purported spiritual organization, doing any amount of harm to people and to the world in general? Is this really acceptable given what they sell themselves to be, especially as they are denying doing any harm whatsoever and only telling the world about the all the good that they are doing?

  16. Observer permalink
    October 2, 2010 12:41 pm

    All votes counted, does AOL do greater good (perhaps even at the cost few profiteers), or generally do greater harm?

    Even if we go by your method, how can we fairly “count all votes”, if information reg. what aol does is always manipulated, exaggerated, etc.?
    Having said that, what aol does may be *still* be acceptable to some (doing some good whatever be the cost, is it worth it? certainly it is not to me!)…

  17. Trueaoldevotee permalink
    October 3, 2010 9:38 pm

    Talking about navrathri have u guys noticed how the fee for th the pujas increase every year

    always wondered why until now

  18. The Doctor permalink
    October 10, 2010 9:24 pm

    As fate would have it, I met a young lady this weekend who told me two very interesting things I want to share with you.

    1) Some time ago, she started the AoL basic course, but on the second day she felt a little cough and a cold, and phoned up the teacher to tell him that she wasn’t feeling well. The teacher persuaded her to come in, insisting that the practices they were going to do that day would be of benefit to her, especially in this condition. So she listened to him, and went to the course.

    They did the 3-stage pranayams, during which she didn’t feel too comfortable, but it was when she did bhastrika that she felt really nauseous at the end of it. When the teacher asked how everyone felt, my friend told him exactly what she was feeling, but the teacher completely ignored her and went on to the next person. My friend spent the whole of the next week feeling just as nauseous and her cold worsened. It took her several weeks to recover from this. She was horrified that the teacher had made these claims in the first place, and worse still that she made no attempt to acknowledge the mistake or admit any fault on his part.

    I explained to my friend that in the past whenever I had a cold, I was told to especially do bhastrika as it would really help my conditon. My friend, who is a qualified yoga teacher from a very reputable school, told me that this was really bad advice and that you should avoid doing any pranayams when you have a cold. She said the only reason she went along to the class was that she had faith that the teacher was going to teach her something which really might help her condition.

    She also mentioned that she got the impression the teacher knew very little about what she was actually teaching, especially as an exercise as rigorous as bhastrika needs people to be prepared for it, and the version taught in AoL shouldn’t just be taught to everybody. I told her of a lot of the things on this blog and she said that she wasn’t surprised at all.

    2) We got to talking more about the bandas (locks) that are taught in the Advanced Course. I demonstrated to her exactly what we were taught to do, 20 rounds of bhastrika, followed by holding the breath in, then applying all 3 locks (sphincter, stomach and head), and she just started shaking her head. I asked her why, and she told me that you shouldn’t hold your breath and apply the stomach lock at the same time, they are two completely contradictory things and in fact it’s very difficult to do. I told her that I had thought this the very first time I had applied them, but then somehow I had forced myself to do it and found a way.

    She told me that it was very dangerous and I could harm myself like that. She also mentioned that holding the breath in for more than a few seconds wasn’t good for you either, and she made a special point of mentioning that her instructors had taught her that the bandas should only be applied under instruction of a qualified teacher and in an environment where sattvic food was prepared, e.g. on the retreats she had been on, and they recommended not to try them at home.

    From both of these accounts I would conclude:

    1) AoL teachers are not experienced enough to be teaching these techniques
    2) The techniques taught by AoL can cause serious health issues to people

  19. Anonymous permalink
    July 26, 2011 7:17 pm

    Sri Sri can can kiss kiss my my ass ass twice twice..This jerk needs to be imprisoned for live for spreading fictitious information. No different from Scientology in my opinion. This fu***d up AOL is also a cult.

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