Practice in the tradition
What is the advantage of traditional yoga practice? What to choose: style or tradition, and what is the difference?
As a rule, the style is created by one person and is characterized by clear sequences of exercises so that anyone can practice independently or with an instructor. In view of such an orientation towards the masses, the deep aspects of yoga are usually not laid in the style, its true goals are veiled, and what the consumer society wants is at the forefront – a beautiful body, relaxation, health. This is not bad, but it confuses and misleads people who want to really advance in yoga, which from time immemorial has always been associated with spiritual practice, the development of the Soul.
In tradition everything is a little different. It involves the transmission of teachings and experiences along the chain of disciplic succession over many centuries. There is no single author here – many practitioners devoted to the highest ideals of yoga have been adding and refining methods of self-realization for centuries, enriching the tradition with their experience. These methods reach us, tested by at least several generations of yogis, because everything that is wrong or useless does not pass the test for centuries, it disappears as unnecessary, only the most effective remains.
Practitioners in the tradition rely on recognized texts and on the authority of the Guru, who teaches the student individually, helps to form the correct guidelines in sadhana and the inner core.
The Natha Tradition, called the Natha Sampradaya in India, is a yogic tradition that has existed for about 2000 years, maybe more. The teachers of this tradition have authored more than 50 yogic texts, including the famous Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Goraksha Shataka and many others. Moreover, the very hatha yoga that has become so popular now originally appeared and developed in the Natha Tradition.
It is believed that this tradition was bestowed on the world by Shiva Adinath, and then he, incarnating in the human form of Gorakshanath, spread the teachings of yoga throughout the Indian subcontinent. Mahayogi Gorakshanath is the ideal of a yogi that every nath strives for, he is an ideal disciple and an ideal Guru, therefore he is worshiped and meditated on by all natha yogis, regardless of religious preferences.
Yoga-sadhana of nathas can be different, since it largely depends on what one or another Guru advises a particular disciple to do. But the common thing is the yogic way of life, following the Guru and the highest spiritual guidelines. The most important thing is that the practice leads to true purity, to deep inner peace (the disappearance of the disturbances of the mind) and the opening of the natural state (the elimination of ignorance and limitations). The natural state of man is being in his true form, in the Atman. These are the primary guidelines for the practitioner in the Natha Sampradaya.
" Immortality primarily means that the world in which you live is the greatest blessing for you, the greatest happiness, with everything that is and will be in it. And there is everything in the world: wars, shocking nightmares, and what many consider unfair and disgusting."
Guru Yogi Matsyendranath Maharaj
" Knowledge of the true nature is manifested through the purity of abhyasa, calmness, service to the Guru - [and it happens] by the grace of the Guru. "
Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati