The Science of Yoga. Dialogue between Eddie Stern and Deepak Chopra
well thanks Jim and thank you everyone for being here and ready thanks for being here to share your knowledge thanks mister with me it is one of my teachers and reviewer all his teachings and I've been a practitioner of
yogafor several decades but reading this book actually gave me a new practice even though I'm doing the same asanas just reading the book changed the way I do them awesome thank you very much and we have about 50 minutes right now to solve the mystery of our existence we won't waste any time
scienceof consciousness and the only
scienceof consciousness so Eddy I may be a decade and a half older than you so when I came to this country the Vietnam War was coming to an end the plays on Broadway were hair and okay cut off women were burning their bras in Harvard Square the women's movement was coming on Greenpeace was there we thought the world was changing you know that soon everybody would be enlightened
Yogawould be your designs we had the Aquarian age I have a new paradigm change where were they right no can we regress even 50 years so your book is very timely can you share in a few moments a few minutes how you got to be the
yogamaster you are because you nice New York City boy yep I don't know about the nice part but I'm the New York City boy that's for sure and definitely don't know about the
yogamaster part but um I was at a summer camp when US about 15 or so and they had
yogaas one of the offerings and so...
I did the one or two weeks of
yogaand at the end of every class we did the shavasana or the deep relaxation and in that relaxation I would go into absolute blank void and it was it sort of started answering questions for me or giving me an inkling of my existence was maybe something more than than I thought it was and I wanted to practice when I went back home but I thought that when you went into that deep relaxation state that there was a secret trick to wake you up and I thought the
yogateacher knew the trick to wake us up out of the shavasana and that if they didn't use that trick to wake us up we would just stay in the void forever and I thought what if I practiced
yogaand I was like lying on my floor at home and my parents came in and my mom came in and saw me lying there and like this death State and didn't know how to wake me up would I disappear forever so I didn't practice when I went home and then a couple of years later I found a
yogateacher in Manhattan when I was about 18 or 19 so what I was afraid to do it I thought it would just be swallowed up into the void maybe I should have been then I could have been enlightened and I'd be done in so you spent 20 years going back and forth you know it is one person who knows Sanskrit better than a lot of Sanskrit scholars I know I'm not exaggerating he's going to he's very modest and he's going to deny that you spent 20 years going back and forth you studied all of
affiliate disciplines just for our audience you know define
Yogahas two main meanings the first is Ujiri
Yogais Union and the second was you jelsa model which means
yogais concentration so
yogahas concentration means it's a particular state where the mind becomes absorbed and the thing that it's both focusing upon so much to the point where it takes on the form of what you're meditating and in that state you enter into Samadhi which is union with your higher nature so it's both concentration as a means to attaining Union and in that Union you are one with everything so the word huge in Sanskrit means union it's related to the English word yoke and when Jesus Christ in the New Testament says my yoke is easy and my burden is light I think he's talking about
Yogais connection to the source of all experience right yeah the source of all experience yeah which is consciousness yes so Ashtanga
Yogathe eight limbs of
yogaI mean today of course people think that's a particular brand of
yogayeah but it is Ashtanga
Yogais the original
yogaat least as expounded by Patanjali when did Patanjali live some people say that he lived about 2,500 years ago right now the leading consensus as he lived somewhere between 200 and 600 AD in that in that area still fairly long time so let's just briefly we have as I said 50 minutes to solve the mystery of existence and we're halfway there so we can have a lot of time...
to quest go over the eight limbs I'd say how I understand the mechanics expound on them so the way I understand Yama is observances okay is that correct yeah there are the observances of our interpersonal relationships and how we consciously decide to interact with the people around us and these are hamsa which is kindness such care which is honesty astaire which means not taking things that belong to others including their ideas Brahm Acharya is sexual responsibility in a pedigree AHA is being content with the things that you have and not thinking that by getting more will it add something additional to your sense of self that's the observances yama restricts new Yama are the restraints and the restraints are the personal disciplines that we apply to ourselves and cleanliness of body and mind contentment again with the things we have tapas which are spiritual disciplines so the things we do to apply a little bit of friction within us because friction leads to transformation swadhyaya is the repetition of mantras or study of text and then each what a prana Donna is surrender to the unknown if you don't believe in God and surrender to God if you do believe in God okay and if you believe in God surrendering to God is better than surrendering to something else okay so you know as you can see already there are so many translations and versions of the even the eight limbs my background with Mary she he avoided the word conservation he said focused awareness because...
concentration gives you a headache yes he also I were great okay I try not to concentrate as often as possible he would also say the yamas and niyamas shouldn't be taken as moral injunctions but as natural outcomes as you get in touch with your source because imposed moralities jealousy with a hill oh yeah you know yes not you agreed that the yamas and niyamas so natural consequently I'm getting in touch with the source yeah there the spontaneous expression of your highest self when the filtrations are being cleared away to the side limb number three asana which is usually translated as postures but the word asana means seat you're all sitting in a sauna right now and as I understood in
yogaseats of awareness so all these different hundreds of asanas are meant to give you an insight into a particular aspect of awareness would you explain just a little bit more yes so the word asanas from broken up into two parts the word us means to sit it's a verbal root in an amines breath so in an all so now you're literally sitting with your breath and when you sit with your breath you sit in awareness and so one of the things about the nature of the world and its forms is it forms are changing all the time one form changes to another our bodies are decaying eventually well die I will turn into something else perhaps and that the idea within
yogais that even though forms change the underlying awareness never changes so you remain present in all the different asanas...
that you do and you do many different Alcinous to understand that even though my body is changing form my awareness is staying present and not changing it's so beautifully said so again it's not meant to take you back to the source to the Sun which is awareness yeah pranayama and actually Eddy is one of the experts in the world on pranayama pranayama is it's frequently called there are hundreds of programs for all kinds of purposes to energize the body to slow down the metabolic rate to evoke creativity etc etc but you've actually emphasize pranayam even more than us now and meditation recently with your breathing AB etc which you helped Iran which I kind of participated in but explained the whole emphasis on prana which which is so effective so fast and so immediate even more so than
yogaand meditation at least from whatever understood from your teachings okay um so pranayama is basically the balancing of the branches of our nervous system we every time we inhale in exhale we're affecting different branches particularly sympathetic and parasympathetic in our society today and in societies going back many thousands of years as as soon as society collected in a particular place and started building cities and they started having problems and those problems were stressful that's why
yogawas created a long time ago because there was stress thousands of years ago just like we have now so the practice of pranayama and the controlling of breath down...
regulates the sympathetic response and allows the parasympathetic response to be more present the sympathetic response is moving towards being in a defensive mode in perceiving everything as a threat and parasympathetic is when we have rest digest repair and restoration but most importantly we begin living in a non defensive state and in a non defensive state we're open to pro-social interaction we are more open to connecting with ourself on a deeper level because we don't perceive the things in our own psyche as a threat so our shadow for example we can begin to integrate and we don't perceive the things in the world around us as a threat either so we don't act out against things constantly so that's why it's so important to down regulate the sympathetic to bring us into a non defensive mode of being openness openness yeah pratyahara withdrawal of the senses so right now we're still in the top five top five heat limbs I've become recently very familiar with the whole language of interception so perception is when you see the world outside interception is when you get intimate with your inner world including the immateriality of your body and mind so say few words do you first of all subscribe to this idea that interception when we can talk later about what it does to the brain but is is pratyahara in a sense as you would draw to the senses and you explore the inner world of body mind and viscera as well I definitely think so primarily because...
so in extra section all of our energy is going out through the sense organs when we're looking at things listening to things tasting things sensing the air change around us this is all and that's the word for this extra section is the contact of our sense organs with the world around us for the sake of perception when we are engaged in that our sympathetic nervous system is driving that outflow of perceptive energy or the metabolic energy used for the sense organs to perceive things when we begin to be interoceptive and bring our awareness inward to feeling what our bones feel like and sensing the internal organs in the state of our brain in the state of our nervous system and our emotions this interoception then activates the parasympathetic nervous system and allows that same power of perception rather to move outwardly and lose energy to move inwardly and gain energy so you literally not only in word regain energy but you get knowledge of what is happening inside your body you begin to get ready yes very clear level you know more than say I would get out of even a class in anatomy and physiology I know what the level of feeling and level of knowing everything that's happening in my body now I have a practice that I do a form of
yoganidra at night and I would say
YogaNidra is kind of a window into Protea would you say agreed yeah and I think also just to follow up on what you're saying that you speak a lot about listening to the wisdom of your body mm-hmm...
and to listen to the wisdom of the body is to practice interoception to listen to what your body is telling you about how you feel about something you know how you're thinking about something if something is dangerous if you should maybe you like go in a different direction with your life let's try something right now close your eyes and just be aware of your body just for this is going to last only a few seconds so be aware of your body and right now as you close your eyes and you practice awareness of your body I think your experience will be there are islands of sensation there are islands of sensation intermittent sensations in a sea of formless being or bliss now you can open your eyes did you get some hint of what I was trying to suggest that the only experience when you close your eyes and feel your body is these islands of sensation in a formless sea of being and this is your those are islands of sensation are the places where there's in entropy the rest the formless sea of being is our true nature so the ultimate goal of Plataea Hara would be to not feel your body as a physical entity or even a perceptual experience but as pure consciousness as an experience as an experience yeah as pure consciousness your body becomes pure consciousness so I again that's the fifth limb of Ashtanga
Yogathe six is dharna dhaarana as from the verbal root which means to place her to hold and so with dhaarana you're allowing your focused attention or awareness to...
rest upon a particular point so that your mind begins to unscared and become colossal in that sense what you were calling conservation or focused awareness yeah I'm just avoiding the word concentration now I know that's a beautiful word for some people it's just my bias that I had a teacher who okay I'm very fond of biases okay so that's the hardener and then the last two limbs are behind the flow of the hardener which becomes meditation yeah please okay so in quite often in the literature they give an example that with tirana or the first step of concentration it's like if you're pouring water from this vessel out into a glass and little drops of water will spread out in splatter everywhere that's the that flow is like a flow of concentration and a flow of meditation it's like this is filled with honey or oil and you're pouring it from here into another cup and there's no drop spilling anywhere you have a continuous flow of awareness moving towards the object the you are meditating on so you're going from subject object split to the ultimate unification of subject object which is called Samadhi which is transcendence which is the eight limbs of
yogaso you can see this is a complete
sciencewith only one goal is to get in touch with the source of all experience which we call the self and then we can go later into how that self of the individual is also ultimately it turns out the self of the universe...
would you agree there or not agree that one of the reasons why
yoga's call the
sciences because like any scientific endeavor it's replicable by all the different people who practice it I would agree now I happen to be in an ecosystem of scientists with very contentious and of course they're talking now about the
scienceof consciousness and my only objection to the whole terminologies
scienceis in consciousness so when we say
scienceof consciousness we kind of yes play together we start to spit again so you know it's the closest thing we can say
scienceof consciousness but
scienceis a system of thought just like philosophy is a system of thought or theology is a system of thought or or thinking as a system of thought oh yeah but all the things that we've believed in since humans began to think have evolved from mythology to religion to theology to philosophy and now
scienceall systems of thought without recognizing that
Yogais actually not a system of thought you guys getting you beyond all systems of thought so there's a little bit of contention whether we should call it the
yogabut it's the closest thing we have to
scienceactually yeah because it transcends all systems of thought okay so those are the eight limbs of
yoganow as I read Edie's book and I said you know as the book being very familiar with the philosophy being very familiar with the practice myself there were insights here that actually influenced...
my own practice in a very amazing way so I want to share some of those insights and when I'm gonna quote from the book where you say what's a correct asana and hey
Eddiesays when the mind is quiet the asana is correct yes that's something my teacher said it's so beautiful okay so if you're straining in the asana and though it's uncomfortable in the beginning it is but when you get to that place where your mind is quiet and that's the asana for you okay and then as you keep practicing and you can get to more intense postures but the goal is the cordoning of the mind which is the whole process of
yogais to go beyond the mind to the source of the mind okay yeah yo guys taking you to the source of the mind there's a source of all experience but also the source of part the other thing that and it really got me changing my practice is when you spoke about the combination of asana vinyasa and and was the thirsting and drifting so asanas seats of awareness and vinyasa is the flow from one to the other and Drishti is gaze and by the way i've been doing that now and it's exhilarating so please explain this combination to everyone because we've all heard these words vinyasa right but how does this combination of Drishti vinyasa and steep ease yeah great okay so the personal I'm glad that it's working so this is my biggest success story right here the they were basically three facets that we're working with with our with our whole...
organism when we do a practice we're working with our body we're working with our nervous system we're working with the mind for most of us in our daily life these three things are going in different directions so for example say you know you're you're catching up on all your social media one night because you're very active and you have a thousand Facebook messages to reply to and a million Instagram direct messages and you know you're going through them in your body is saying to you I'm really tired I need to go to sleep and your mind says to you just answer a few more direct messages and then your nervous system is stuck in the middle and has to obey what your mind is telling it to do because the nervous system is following the dictate of the mind and the intention and then the body is is debilitated because of it so what we want to do in any
yogapractice is we want to get the body and the nervous system in the mind all in the same communication system so they're all agreeing about what should be happening at any given moment and we also want all of them to come to the same place at the same time so instead of my mind being here answering my messages and my nervous system struggling to keep up and my body getting really tired we want everyone to be agreeing and be at the same place at the same time which is a type of a union so with the asanas we are addressing the body with breathing in the vinyasas within the movement we're...
balancing the nervous system so we establish communication between the body breath and movement which is vinyasa and then with the mind we established that agreement of I'm allowing my mind to be present with the confines of my body as I practice so for example there are nine different Drishti as you asked me about those before and those are basically looking between the eyebrows looking at the nose looking at the navel looking at your right hand or left hand and looking at your feet there's also one unfettered arrestee which is looking up which can also be defined as looking inward so all of these nine Trish T's are basically confined to our body so now we're using this mental energy to be thought to be present with our body rather than present with going off in different directions that's how it all comes together complicated no it's not it's beautiful actually that just in my own practice let's say I'm doing Sun Salutation right all these duties come yes you play all these Drishti is come into play and as you're practicing Sun Salutation you're moving from one posture to the other you're also focusing on the in-breath and the out-breath in the in-breath on one poison the output as you move to the second part of the pose and at the same time your Drishti is changing and the complete system of
yogapostures it takes everything into account right sitting postures twists standing postures forward bends backward burns and when you...
combine that shift with the flow of vinyasa at the same time and drish teas in combination it changes your practice altogether you know one of the things because I'm such a disciplinarian myself is I have to do my
yogapractice no matter how busy my days but I'd noticed that I was wanting to I was in a hurry you know with just the whole point of it defeats the whole purpose of
yogayou want to get it always good but when I started to introduce these three aspects to my practice I'm not in a hurry anymore amazing you know I want to enjoy every single phase of that beautiful and so I want to thank you for that particular insight in the book and you know indices as well one one thing on that also is you don't quite often we hear on something for the body something for the mind something for the nervous system actually we want something to integrate all of those together together and then you can experience the joy of that yeah other thing I can see I'm experiencing the joy yeah beautiful right now thanks to me definitely not thanks to me no you're welcome the other thing is you play a lot of attention to which I breathing of all the pranayams give people a little demonstration have them participate in our India trip you also showed us a little bit of bhramari mm-hmm and the reason I'm saying asking you to give a little demonstration and have them participate in this is as we get to the polyvagal theory I want to kind of emphasize why this is such a...
interesting aspect of the whole polyvagal stimulation okay great so I'm not going to tell you why we're doing this I'm gonna let you tell them why we're doing this and you can maybe trust me for the moment so if you haven't done this breathing practice before it's quite simple we're gonna extend your exhale very slightly so you hear a whispering sound but the way that you're first gonna do it is you're gonna hold your hand and in front of your mouth pretending that your hand is a mirror and you're gonna exhale out from your mouth pretending that you're gonna fog a mirror okay and don't feel like that you should have brushed your teeth before this it's fine so go can everyone feel your breath on your hand yep do that one more time okay so now you can do the same thing but you're not going to do it through your mouth you're gonna send that same sound through your nose which is a little bit weird the first time so inhale through your nose and go you can put your hand down Nick as my brother and here one more time can you all hear how you make like yours a little compression in the throat and you make a steady smooth sound so now what you want to do is you want to make a very gentle sound on your inhale and soften the throat throat a little and make that same gentle sound as you exhale and it'll sound kind of like this go ahead and try it okay so that's the guy breath maybe you figured it out maybe you...
didn't but by the way just so I can add a little bit of experience with this thirty years ago I was working with Olympic marathon runners and chiropractor a friend of mine said when you practice which I breath it's mainly your diaphragm that's moving and if you tell these marathon runners to do this while they're running they'll increase their endurance and sure enough you know it became almost a fad with one of these guys that their endurance for running went up like twice Wow and so that is because you're selectively using your diaphragm while you're running and also the breathing slows down so you deep breathe deeper oxygenation goes out so Prime I've I'd now do this during my practice okay you should
yogathe vinyasa yeah okay bhramari bhramari okay so anytime you eat something really good can you demonstrate for me with the yummy sound is like in Young Frankenstein exactly so now just say that for longer and now make it a little higher pitched take a long inhale and save for as long as you can this is Bauer close your eyes and do it and feel your body and especially send that vibration to all those islands of discomfort in the ocean of bliss exactly close your eyes feel your body okay so now these days everybody is talking about energy medicine kinesiology Reiki you name it this is the best vibratory energy medicine you can do every day feel your body do a few minutes of bhramari send the vibration into these islands of discomfort...
and have as your intention the ultimate experience that your body is not physical but a modified form of consciousness which is what it is now interestingly there are over a hundred of these pronouns can you imagine how impress a thousand mm of these brawny arms all with very specific outcomes we're just touching the surface okay what else did I want to ask you do you want to talk about the
scienceof those planning on us at all like what they do to you relating yeah what I what talk to Disney let's jump right to the last part of the book okay the whole book is fantastic but chapter 11 goes into
sciencesomething that we are both interested in and I would like to start by saying that in at least the ea
sternwisdom traditions in
yogayour body is a projection of your soul your body is and your mind is a projection of your soul if my soul we mean core being core consciousness which is the confluence of everything that gives you meaning context relationship and your own archetypal stories this is the product right and if you want to know what's going happening inside a person's inner life then all you have to do is look at the eye movements and the clarity of their eyes their facial expressions are they happier they said the tone of their voice does it feel threatening or loving or kind gestures are they open or that they contracted in just the whole Gestalt of the body language as a combination of eye movements tone of voice facial expression and whether the...
body is relaxed and open or not this is a projection of what's happening in your interior life now as I studied this book and I also came to your conference and we had this great scientist dr. Steven Borges he emphasized that this is all influenced by the vagus nerve the vagal tone of your body Eddy already spoke about sympathetic nervous system as that is the inflammatory system the system that helps you deal with the challenges of the world and the world right now is inflamed and sympathetic overdrive and what we need to do is balance that with the parasympathetic nervous system and it turns out this vagus nerve which is the tenth cranial nerve which has bi-directional traffic so it goes from your brain and it influences everything that I've spoken of facial expression tone of voice I movements heart rate variability diaphragmatic movement and it enters goes through the diaphragm goes to all the visceral organs and so it's the healing nerve of the body and what we are learning now through the polyvagal theory is that the tenth cranial nerve is in fact the healing nerve in our body and
yogain every aspect of
yogastimulates the vagus nerve and selectively its branches I recently met with the R&D chief of a big pharmaceutical company he said all our pharmaceutical drugs are now failing and we have to come to a new way to look at how to heal the body so they are experimenting with something called bio electrical medicine and the story and I'll finish with...
the story very quickly because I want to hear
Eddiethe way it evolved is that the FDA approved vagal stimulation with electrical implants for one disease intractable epilepsy so if you put a electrical implant in the vagus nerve and you stimulate it through device you could have a iPhone stimulated it stimulates the vagus nerve and epilepsy patients respond but what they found was that people who had arthritis rheumatoid arthritis the arthritis in some cases disappeared they had asthma the asthma disappeared they had the cancer and went into remission in some cases so he and I had this conversation I said first of all you don't need an electrical implant you can use a magnet because magnets and electricity is the same thing and you don't have to be invasive and then you can do it simply with a handheld device but I said you know
yogastimulates all these different branches anyway he said we know that but how do we make money out of it okay story huh I said becoming
yogateacher become a
yogateacher and fund the research it's a very good marketing business talk about the polyvagal theory I have given a long introduction but this is the most interesting
sciencethat is now at the cutting edge of where
yoganeeds to be understood so explained okay the polyvagal theory was proposed by dr. Steven Porges and what he said was that we they're all this branch of our parasympathetic nervous system which is evolutionarily it's the oldest part of our brain in the...
brainstem about 320 million years old is made primarily of parasympathetic nerves about 80% of it 20% are sympathetic which means it from the gut going up to the brain we have this messaging system which is directing 80% of the information up towards the brain telling the brain to tell the body what to do and then 20% of that information coming through the vagus nerve is sensory which is the direction of motor activity so basically what happens is when the flow of information is interrupted through anxiety or stress or anger it begins to affect our different physiological systems and so when the flow of information through the vagus gets say impeded or is unable to perform its functions as well as it would like to the first thing it begins to affect is the heart rate variability the beat could be difference in the heart rate and then the heart stops responding to other flows of information like an inhale and an exhale so when we inhale the heart should speed up when we exhale the heart should slow down that's why the heart rate variability is the best way to measure whether you're stressed or whether in flow yeah exactly and so wet but when we're stressed out the breath pattern or when we have a cardiovascular problem the breath pattern is not going to change the heart rate variability you some even with your stress you can feel that your heart rate doesn't change even when you try to calm down another thing that will happen with information flows being...
impeded our digestive problems problems with secretion of insulin from the pancreas which can lead to diabetes and then the other cancer problems and things like that these are all inflammatory things because one thing the vagus does is it controls inflammation inflammation so as the inflammatory response gets compromised a chain reaction of events can happen wherever our weakest link happens to be so the best thing we can do for that is we can strengthen these pathways where information flows are occurring and so dr. Steven Portis has said that four ways that are common across all even in religious traditions of doing that are number through posture because he been sitting up straight is going to stimulate the baroreceptors that wrap around the carotid arteries which were monitoring blood pressure and the next is breathing because that is going to send messages of rhythmicity from the abdomen in the diaphragm up to the brain telling the parasympathetic nervous system everything's okay you're safe you're you're good vocalization positive vocalization like singing or chanting ohm speaker Murray yep speaking kind words as well our mantra will balance the tone of the vagus passing through the larynx and the last is behavior which are the Yama's basically in new yama so social interaction interpersonal neurobiology appreciation kindness gratitude things like that all strengthen the vagal tone so these are the four basic things posture breathing vocalization in...
behavior all strengthened vagal tone and when you look to the
yogapractices we use also gnosis posture we use pranayama for breathing we use chanting mantras for vocalization and we have Yama and niyama for behavior into wisdom yes so all the first four limbs what they do is they're directly impacting the vagal tone of those flows of information so we can remain in a non defensive state to access higher levels of brain activity limbic system and the cortical regions where we express compassion and empathy so we can have fully coherent brain function rather than the fractured brain function that we quite often experience during the day so this is now being validated too and you've all heard these words neuroplasticity and epigenetics so your vagus nerve by the way also gets information from your microbiome which is two million extra genes that you have in addition to the 25,000 human genes that you got from your parents only 25,000 genes are human 2 million to 20 million are bacteria the microbiome technically speaking we are all bacterial colonies few human cells hanging on to these bacterial colonies I like to think that we are the awakening of bacterial consciousness okay so now as I was looking at the other right now that's more likely than the awakening of human consciousness I was looking at the other cranial nerves by the way and I'm looking at all these other nerves I'm realizing they all have bi-directional traffic this whole idea that this...
afferent and these are afferent it's partially not true you know especially when we start looking at the nerves there's information coming in there's information back claude there's a feedback and there's self-regulation yeah and this is what is happening all the time except we're interfering with it yes
Yogais a way to actually accelerate that whole process of healing the word healing comes from the word holy healing holy health wholeness healing is the return of the memory of wholeness and the eight limbs are taking us there before we conclude with the higher consciousness enlightenment I hope we do prana it's such a commonly used word and misunderstood word vital energy prana breath of course they're all related and the five types of prana and of course then the five types of prana have their subdivisions it gets very complex if we want to be a scholar but right now practically speaking you know because this has to do with the Bundys and the kriyas and all these things which are part of our
yogapractice can you say a little bit about prana yeah two words on product and the five types sure so prana is again as with every word in Sanskrit it's made up of a bunch of different compounds so that means that which comes before on that means breath similar to asana and that which comes before breath is the impulse to breathe or the impulse to life the impulse to manifestation so the idea of breath is like where does breath first start like...
when a baby is your physician you know you probably delivered babies like what causes something to breathe is it just atmospheric pressure or is it something deeper than that so Gordon being breathe we are being breathed exactly and there has to be some impulse to cause that breathing this to happen and so that impulse is called prana then we latch on to it and we think it's our own breath and we start to form identities because if we don't breathe for a few minutes then we really feel that our identity is in compromise and then breathe please quickly so with prana we have this idea of this impulse is an incoming nourishment to experience the whatever we view of reality so it's the incoming nourishment of experience and then with every incoming nourishment something has to leave also so that leaving is called apana that's what we don't need or what we haven't digested for every experience which we are bringing in we have to assimilate it and digest it and that's called Samana and then that assimilation of experience needs to be transported to every single cell in our body so our whole body can have this unified assimilation of experience whether its food or something that happens to us and that's called viana which is the spreading out of energy that's come in and assimilated and then the last thing is we act on that in the world we have to express it through either vocalization or through action or burping or coughing or whatever it comes...
out through the throat and so that acting on is is the Oh Donna is he acting so this is a very general expression there are a lot of ways wrong now you can think of breathing in Aparna breathing anything out someone digestion and metabolism well this is me assimilation is oxygen exchange and also the balancing of blood pH okay and biana the circulatory system distribution who Donna is the upward is the expression yes the experience and then the same as food with for food for experience for everything all these five prAna's are in play for every aspect of our existence not just in handle many times of life the complete
scienceof existence so that was my interview with you where does this lead us to because the ultimate goal I think is for lack of a better word self-realization freedom moksha can we talk about the four goals of life very quickly and then yes you know Dharma artha kama and Moksa dharma artha kama and moksha so these are in order in sequence yet Dharma artha kama Moksa so harm eyes purpose and aligning the elements and forces in your own microcosm with the macrocosm our top believe it or not means material success money don't be ashamed of making money kama is sensual pleasure including sexuality and moksha is freedom from all of it is it a good summary yes fabulous so let's go to moksha no okay good I had a few questions for you we have a just three minutes so I can go for admin we can go five minutes okay first when we were in India in February you...
spoke about the Shiva sutras which is one of the ancient and important texts on Kashmir Shaivism and about ultimate consciousness and I said to you after we were going into Rishikesh that day and I said oh there's a good book store in Rishikesh I'm gonna pick up a copy of the Shiva sutras and you said Oh pick me up one too so I did and so I have a gift for you here too which is and copying guide ever sings the shiva sutras Wow and so I just want to thank you in front of everybody to acknowledge that now I know you have to listen to this for a minute you know we met in 2011 2012 when I was just starting to get into doing research and the a lot of the people that you've introduced me to including neo thief's and merely doraswamy and Subash and Don Hoffman and what you've tutored me in and how you've mentored me sir through certain things a lot of that a whole lot of that has gone into the creation of that book and has really influenced my thought processes on the topics in there and the end of the book I love you well I love you as well I do so I want to thank you for for that mentorship and for that inspiration and the final part where we talked about where I talk about the clashes existing in the brainstem and in the releasing of that you'll have to read the book I'm sorry to get to that point I remember I called you on the phone one day and I was walking on Elizabeth Street and I said um you know I was having this thought about the clashes...
existing in the brainstem in how especially with the the survival mechanisms of the brainstem respiration and heart rate and digestion sexual reproduction and sleep these are all the things that the Yogi's were doing in their austerities to transcend so I think the clashes must be contained in our biology and we can access higher states of consciousness by thinning McLeish's through physical practices and you said sounds good you should write it up and I did so thank you how many people are familiar with this word ecclesia okay so cliche is roughly translated as causes of human suffering causes of human existence all suffering animals are not subject to pleasure except in a very primitive form but we human beings at some point know we want to know why do we exist what's the purpose of our existence what is the meaning of death does God exist even if God exists why should he care about a little microbe in a speck of dust in the junkyard of infinity if there are two trillion galaxies out there so the five pleasures are number one not knowing who you really are confusing yourself with your self-image number two grasping and clinging at experience because experience is transient it happens the experience that we're having now is be over in two minutes or five minutes or 15 minutes but it will be over the experience of your body and your mind will be over one day the third is similar fear of impermanence the fourth is being attached to the ego and the fifth is the...
fear of death and they're all interrelated they're all totally interrelated they're all connected so the ultimate goal of our
yogapractice is to transcend the glaciers while we are enjoying the experience so the four goals we mentioned Dharma artha kama Moksa sensual pleasure sexual pleasure all of that making lots of money if you repress that it gets stronger try to repress anything it gets wrong okay it's the only cure is to ultimately transcend that by finding your true self which is what you guys about okay so if I were to ask you a simple question right now are you here right now are you here right now yes of course you're here you know am I going to ask you the same question but don't answer it till I raise my hand okay are you here right now yes so the first question is a thought the answer is a thought you are the awareness between thoughts you are the awareness between perceptions you're the awareness between every experience you have that awareness in its pure form is not only the self of the individual it's the self of the universe when we enjoy experience but at the same time we are not imprisoned by it we have moved from karma to freedom it's that simple so I'm asking you again are you here right now don't answer it just be aware of that which is listening this still presents is your ticket to freedom that's all it's not that complicated it's just one simple thing thank you so so much for those of you...
joining us on Facebook we are experiencing the joy of being here right now and also at the Rubin Museum of Art listening to ashtanga
yogateacher ed Ea
sternwhere the integrative medicine pioneer dr.
Chopratalking about yes one simple thing the
yogaand this whole year at the Rubin were exploring the whole nature of power and we've been exploring tonight the sort of power that we have within ourselves to actually forged change that can actually help us navigate what is outside these doors and so now we're going to exchange a little bit of power to you to ask questions of these two gentlemen for the next 20 minutes or so so if you have a question and a nice succinctly one would be great just place your hand up and we'll try and get the microphone to you in good order yes we have one in the first row Laura thank you so much anybody else on that side of the house yes right back there thank you hello hi so my question is related to how we can understand spiritual awakening through
yogabecause I work with an organization that we basically trained therapists and coaches and spiritual directors to work with people who are having usually spontaneous awakening experiences and have trouble integrating them and they often get completed with mental health and as
yogais becoming more and more popular here I think people are having these awakenings and I don't hear many studios talking about how we can address the needs and I'm just wondering if you...
could speak to that need or perhaps the
scienceof awakening be curious to hear your thoughts on a start you stuff that means that neither of us quite know what to say no that's it's a very good question and I think that and that's what people say when they don't know what to say also we it can be very difficult to integrate a new when you see we have filtration systems going full-on all through the day which are which are keeping us grounded in who we think we need to be to get the things done that we have to do and when those filtration systems begin to be removed a little bit we start to see things about ourselves or see the world in a way that we haven't seen before and when those filtration systems become weakened or they get moved out of the way it can be unsettling it can be scary it can be disorienting and it can allow us to not know which narrative we should be holding on to should we struggle to recapture the narrative we had before where we weren't necessarily very happy or should we try to stick with this newfound narrative which is little may be unsettling or ungrounded and one of the things that can be helpful with this is to have a disciplined but not too intense practice of doing something physical whether it's
yogaor Tai Chi or some exercise sometimes not all the time but sometimes people also need the support of therapy because there might be something else going on in their lives that is coming out from doing
incidences in early childhood or or at any time in their lives that their reappearance ingapirca sees that make them think that they're having a spiritual experience where really they're having a trigger of a traumatic event so sometimes therapy is needed in in those situations and I highly support that modality with
yogaglad I'd like to support everything Eddy said people are not clear about what spirituality is so if you want to be very simple about it spirituality self awareness period self awareness now when people start these practices think coming from with their conditioning is economic conditioning cultural conditioning religious conditioning historical conditioning etc so each of them will have their own issues take them where they are in their practice somebody only wants to give up smoking let's pay attention to that if they start to have awakening experiences and they're confused tell them you're in a good group a motley group of sages I psychotics and geniuses the only important people in the world okay so you're in a good group don't worry these are experiences that have occurred for thousands of years and it's good that you're having this because you're tapping into what people know or call the unknown or the divine and be with them at whatever stage they are okay next question good evening dr.
Chopraand I'm sorry I'm
Eddiethe master the master thank you very much for your talk I actually was not...
going to ask a question except dr.
ChopraI'm going to ask you specifically because at the very end you were making a statement about awareness and then karma and whatever reason it moved me to tears and I don't understand what happened so I was just wondering if you could elaborate just a bit I know we're a shorter time on what you were saying about the Karma so maybe I could do some research and do some introspection about that later so karma is being imprisoned by or bound by experience it's a it's addiction karma is addiction to be in a human body is to be addicted to some experience always okay whether it's physical it's emotional or it's psychological and yet our life is a continuum of experiences in very simple terms your life story is woven around car which has past experiences conditioning your mind memory which is called vaasana' samskaara sorry I'm sitting in front of a Sanskrit scholar so santa-san SCARA is memory of the seed of memory and then barsa now is the seed of desire or intention this in simple terms would be the software of your soul the story of your life the meaning context relationships and the stories that govern your existence from birth to death we are all prisoners of karma all prisoners of karma don't think of it as bad good it's the conditioned mind so Rumi has a beautiful poem he says why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open and the door is the door of pure awareness that I can be...
aware of this experience and I can have the fullness of this experience whatever the experiences I can be fully here for the experience and not be bound by it not be imprisoned by it so which is the inherent nature of awareness awareness the right now when you feel your body or you think of a thought it's just passing through on the screen of your awareness but if you selectively get attached to it then you have become chemically imprisoned or bound and liberation is to have the fullness of experience in every moment and move on not the awareness of an experience is intrinsically free of the experience just remember this the awareness of the thought is not a thought therefore the awareness of a thought is intrinsically free of a thought the awareness of a perception or any experience is not the experience therefore it is inherently free of that experience when I asked you to be aware I said are you here now at that moment you were free of karma that moment make that your reference point so this is a perfect description of karma
yogawhich is to do an action without the expectation of a result of that action what you just described is a perfect explanation of that and we at the Rubin have exactly the opposite of that I don't know if you haven't been here before you should know that upstairs up in the spiral galleries there's all these other tools by which one can register being totally aware it's called art here in this company but they were of course...
functioning as meditation and awareness tools and not as cultural signifiers of course when they were created but we have commissioned a wheel of intention in the base of the spiral staircase and that wheel of intention is imitating the Tibetan prayer wheel in some form because in the dependent prayer will you insert your prayers inside this barrel and you spin it and that centrifugal energy that force generates that intention that prayer out in the world and manifests it in some way but with here of course it's well instead just say one more thing that came to my mind so you've heard these words in Christian doctrine I'm in the world and not of it or de Chardin we are spiritual beings having a human experience or you can say if you want to be hip you can say we are non-local beings having a local experience in space and time and Tim gave a beautiful quote last time on that would you repeat that no I can't because you've got the memory and I haven't Tim was quoting one of the Upanishads it says space begins when we have a body time begins when we start thinking causality begins when we impose limitations freedom from karma is freedom from space time and causality mm-hmm that's the true self and the way dr.
Choprais able to transmit that shows why he is always elected one most influential thinkers of our time to transmit what is complex into such transparent simplicity so that's the real treasure so type and that intention in that wheel of...
intention tonight and spin it on the spiral staircase and magic is going to happen so who would like to raise a hand for the next two questions it's right in the back Thank You Cecilia anybody else yes I'm right here thank you good we'll come back to you yeah thank you thank you so much my question is what advice do you have for sharing these concepts and this information with young people and with children at a young age to start indoctrinating these concepts in their in their consciousness thank you I'm of the opinion that for young people for kids for youth the best way to do any of the
yogathings is just to play around with it you shouldn't be too serious about the discipline of
yogauntil you really need it when you start to suffer when you get older and I think generally speaking the best thing we can try to teach our kids are to be kind and be thoughtful into this and to be creative and express themselves and the I mean my mother and father are here and what they told me all the time was we you know don't really care how well you do in school or in your life as long as you try really hard and in frankly in school I never tried all that hard but and I didn't do that well either though both of those things came true so those are my basic thoughts I think all the general things that we would want a human being to grow into would we should encourage them to do that and not to grow into miniature versions of ourselves because we as we all know...
are trying to find a word which is not an expletive but they you know we have a lot of problems and we don't want to impose those they the people that were we're raising in the world whether they're our own kids or other people's children as well so those and I believe over the years I've done a lot of teaching in public education for kids and one of the things that we've done over the years is we've removed the word
yogameditation and mindfulness from this completely because
yogais a philosophy and we don't want to impose those types of things on kids what do we want them to we want them to be able to self-regulate to have emotional intelligence and all of these things are sort of universal principles and practices it if you have a good tool say breathing or pausing before you say something mean these are simple things and they don't need to be called
yogaso the basic things I try to abide by but if you watch babies they go spontaneously into us nuts yep some of these are sons we call happy baby exactly right child pose so they're they're fun in their natural fun and natural and traditions of awareness and when they do them encourage them and say how did you do that yes oh I think yeah yeah there was a question this young man yes it will come to yes hi so I'm a novice when it comes to doing
yogaand I've heard from many people that people from India when they see us doing
yogain the West they make fun of us thing saying...
that we're not doing it right or it's not the traditional so I'm I guess my question is when you talk about the
yogawhat type of
yogaare you talking about and like how do we know we're doing it right and I think you might have spoke about it earlier about actually I would say that there are more Yogi's authentic Yogi's in New York City right now and most of India so don't buy that you know there were luminaries in India but you know you can't say gravity belongs to the English gravity bloom belongs to Newton if it's a
scienceand it works it belongs to everyone yes hello so I think I am speaking as one of the youngest people in the audience and a student and someone going through what had he mentioned as those more tumultuous times and I was someone who discovered
yogavery unusually it sort of organically neither my parents had any sort of spiritual practices and I wasn't really exposed to any formal teaching I just sort of discovered movement entered the world of personal training and then transitioned into my current career as a story television journalist and there were a lot of my interactions with my classmates my peers I see a lot of the effects of mass media and the imposition and certainly the informations that they experienced trying to differentiate themselves from their peers and they feel this inherent pressure to do so and the ones that I see that are most successful are the ones that are able to reduce that...
inflammation and I try and encourage my younger colleagues and also try and encourage myself every once in a while to reduce that inflammation and I was wondering if there was anything that you would especially recommend for other young people like myself as maybe a jumping-off point you know certainly you speak in the book about your nutritional practices your breathing practices but maybe just some guiding thoughts for those who are a little more pressured especially as Millennials Gen Z so on to try and maybe step away from what is the predominant culture okay I'll say if I had to pick one practice to do for though I was on stuck on a desert island and I was only allowed to do one practice for the rest of my life I'd do something called resonant breathing which is where you inhale and exhale for an equal length and you slow the ratio of your breath down to about five to seven breaths per minute normally we breathe between fifteen to eighteen breaths per minute the resident breathing you slow it down in half and what this does is it brings a sympathetic and parasympathetic into a perfect equilibrium and at that point the homeostatic functions of the body begin to reset and it has a chain reaction through the rest of our physiology I find it the single most effective easy simple straightforward practice to do you can do it for five or ten minutes a day and and that's pretty much enough and anything else after that it's like an added benefit but the resident...
breathing I find to be really the most effective and with the ug breathing quote unquote a Jai breathing which is done during the Austen to practice your inhale and exhale is supposed to be equal also and you're also supposed to slow your breath down gradually to a very slow rate when Tibetan monks and Yogi's were brought into research centers and wired up and measured while they were meditating one of the things the researchers noticed was that their breathing cycle or their breath cycle slowed down to five to seven breaths per minute naturally no matter what meditation practice they were doing and so through doing this resonant breathing slowing the breath down to that cycle we also enter naturally into a meditative straight state without trying to meditate so for many people say I've tried meditation I can't meditate or I don't like it I know I should but I hate it doing this kind of a breath cycle is the way of meditating without meditating and there's an app for that there is it's got the breathing and it's free and it's free I see a hundred and thirty of you holding a book like this in your lap right now so that means we'll want to give time for any to assign all these copies afterwards so we've got for maybe two more questions in this room but of course as you meet with that you'll be able to ask your own questions directly so we've got a question right in the first row anybody else this is your last opportunity yes...
hello what are your thoughts about the use of psychedelics my parents are here so supervision with a guide and with ritual they have tremendous values because there they go they make you question your habitual certainties and occasionally transcend we started both of us our journey would you say that in front of your parents and I'd even say it in front of my daughter yeah I had a tremendous value in some early psychedelic experiences with LSD and with mushrooms but around the same time I started learning about
yogaand meditation and discovered from the readings I was doing that the states I'd experienced from psychedelics were the same states being described in the
yogatexts and I thought I can do this without having to take anything external I don't have to feel terrible the next day I don't have to destroy my brain cells I don't have to spend money all positive things as far as I was concerned and so I stopped doing everything and only did
yogaand and decided you know fairly soon that
yogawas something that I could practice once or twice a day with great results and great benefits but psychedelics are not something you can practice twice a day it doesn't work like that and it's not good for you and also they stopped working but
yogaand meditation pretty much never stopped working but anything which is playing with your brain chemistry after a while is going to stop working or have a bad effect a lot of people watching us now on Facebook and...
you know they're questioning what we are saying so I would say selectively there's a very good reason to use them selectively it opens the window but it's not a solution dr.
Chopraand Ed Ea
sternare not condoning or endorsing any other psychoactive substance giorgia feeling guilty if you've tried dr.
Chopraa question for you then we've got dr. Jill Blake way coming in ten days time to talk about energy medicine particularly acupuncture which draws upon a tradition north of the Himalayas acupuncture
yogado do they go hand in hand oh yeah acupuncture marmot therapy any of the energy therapies Reiki and the martial arts you know tai chi chi-gong these are all actually mind-body techniques to get to the same place and they don't if you if you practice them both at the same time you they don't actually countertop okay that's helpful to know great so see you all here on April the 10th yes final question I guess in the second row thank you hello thank you so much um in my own work the last three years I've had to study quite a bit about climate change and I have been trying to take this very dire news in deeply I think I have taken it in quite deeply over the last three years and it's not easy at all and so I'd love to hear your thoughts about it thank you great question one word that would summarize all the suffering in the world right now collective suffering is inflammation our minds are inflamed our bodies are inflamed our...
brain is inflamed our behavior is inflamed eco destruction as a result of inflammation climate change is a result of inflammation in our body mind system so unless we have a spiritual shift unless we can see that those trees are our lungs unless we can see that the air is our breath and the earth is recycling as our body and the rivers and waters are our circulation and stars our molecules and atoms in our body that we have a personal body we have a universal body they're both equally ours that shift is not going to happen it has to be a spiritual shift number one number two technologies already exist we change the way we do agriculture we change the way we produce food we harness wind and solar energy we harness tidal waves and we can get there but there has to be collective intent and there has to be collective shift that's why these conversations are so important if it happens we'll be redeemed if it doesn't then the human experiment will have failed and it's okay nature will come up with something else and here with me without your casino I said it might be without us but it is an interesting experiment it's not the only experiment that the universe is up to and
Eddie's first appearance here was in a series in 2015 when we're exploring the whole notion of karma and climate change and do you onstage with Chris Martin come hele service yes and great to have you back I lied we have one other question in the house hello formative and very...
inspiring I have the privilege of teaching
yogato veterans so there's a lot I'm excited to take with me my class on Wednesday morning so we've talked a lot or you both have talked a lot about like the individual aspect of
yogaand I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about the collective aspect so whether you think there's any benefit when you have bodies in a room practicing together as opposed to practicing alone yes definitely the you know when you have as Jesus said when you have two or more gathered together in my name then I'm present with you and what this means is a magnification of energy so when like-minded people to get together and they do a like-minded practice not just for themselves but for the feeling that they are doing it for the collective then that energy begins to collect on develop and have a rippling out effect so practicing
yogaby yourself is very important because you develop discipline inward focus and you learn things about yourself but practicing in groups of people means that you're magnifying the power of the practices that you're doing and whatever those practices are whether they're forgiveness practices compassion practices concentration practices physical practices that have a sense of healing about them the energy of the collective gets magnified and the same way that we have any group think that can go negative or groupthink that can go positive
yogashould be a positive group think that sends...
us forward in these positive directions towards all the things that we mentioned love compassion understanding listening inward listening and outward listening as well and all of those together lead towards creating a healing environment and so then when others come into that circle they also can experience the impact of that healing environment and that energetic level too so both are very important to do I think so tonight Eddy demonstrated the greatest essence of humanity and that wasn't necessarily doing a breathing exercise with us or or telling us about an arsenal although there's a part of it he gave a gift to