Interview with Danilo Hernández: "The 21st century will be the century of meditation"

The renowned master Swami Digambarananda Saraswati explains his vision technique that has consecrated his life, as well as on the necessary and often difficult balance between tradition and modernity when it comes to keeping the flame of the powerful tool of transformation that is yoga well alive, without distorting its essence. You interview the teacher of yoga Daniel Gomis.

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With the seed of the yoga bidding from an age well early with force in its interior, Danilo Hernandez (Madrid, 1954) began to exercise the practice of self-taught at the age of 16, and from there, did not deepen and advance the discipline of the hand of recognized masters as André Van Lysebeth, Swami Niranjanananda or Paramahamsa Satyananda, who received the name of Swami Digambarananda Saraswati.

From 1984 remains linked to the Bihar School of Yoga of Munger, India, where was recognized as Yogacharya (master of yoga) and continues coming periodically to perfect their knowledge and deepen in the teachings.

Which certainly is currently one of the major connoisseurs and diffusers of the yoga in West, directs the Bindu Yoga school in Madrid and regularly teaches courses in many Spanish cities and in South America, thus developing the important meaning of the vocation of service to the tireless way. Hernández is also the author of one of the titles that should not be missing in the library of all good lover and student of yoga: Keys of Yoga. Theory and practice (Ed. (The Hare in March).

What is yoga for you?

Yoga is a system that was designed with the objective that the human being could achieve health and total harmony in all aspects of his personality. In my case, and after many years of practice, it has become my way of life. Consciousness in every moment and spirit of service, are the principles of yoga than attempt to apply in my daily life.

How much does of science, much of philosophy and spirituality?

I would say that it includes the three aspects in equal proportion. On the one hand, it is a science that uses the body-mind as a laboratory. An empirical system of transformation whose results and benefits have been noted throughout history and proven by modern science from decades ago. On the other hand, the yoga is an of the six Darshanas or schools philosophical of the India. It is not a philosophy to Western-style that is based on speculation. Is rather a philosophy to the style of them ancient schools Greek that is based in the experience direct to get to the understanding of the reality last. Also, the yoga is also a way spiritual for all those that want to discover his true identity and his unit with all.

What you pushed the path of yoga?

When he was six years old I used to sit on the beach with crossed legs and remained silent long while my brothers and other children were playing. My mother is worried about much and came again to tell me that played with my brothers... Now I know that experienced States meditative of way spontaneous. I think that yoga was inherent in my nature since the beginning of my life. At the age of thirteen, flipping through a book that my father was reading, I found the word "yoga" and although he did not know its meaning it caused me a great impact. I sensed that behind that word was hiding something huge. The word yoga was fully engraved in my mind. To those sixteen years, fell in my hands the first book of yoga and immediately I put to practice Asana and relaxation. Found me something very familiar and enjoyed it very much. For three years he practiced self-taught and from there began my training with renowned teachers.

How has gone to evolve your relationship with this technical along the years?

At first I saw it as a series of exercises that helped me have good health and achieve excellent physical shape. Then it became in a search, in a Sadhana. It became a priority in my life. A process of autoestudio that entailed the purification of the mind and the learning of their management right. To the make me teacher of yoga, acquired a dimension far more social. The maturation of this process finally resulted in my "way of life" which is the service to others.

And how you've seen it evolve in our social environment?

At the beginning of the 70 were very few which we approached to the yoga. In your atmosphere they breathed much authenticity and camaraderie. The yoga in that era was something "rare" for the society and until lifted certain suspected... At times, we felt a bit clandestine. The majority of the population was unaware of what is was. With them years, its broadcasting was in progressive increase up to the impressive popularity that has reached today.

It is wonderful that so many people can benefit from yoga in our days. But it is also a pity so abusive marketing that it is occurring and that it is reducing it to one article more than consumption. Today, in the "scene" of yoga abound merchants and specialists in marketing that are implementing a simplistic, fragmented and often very distorted vision. The "industrial" of the yoga are spreading an image where predominates a yoga of "meshes, fitness and Pirouette". It is also true that every day there are more people interested in deepen into genuine yoga. This last allows us to glimpse a very optimistic future horizon.

What basic requirements. do you consider that it should meet a practitioner to take a good advantage of your practice?

The Yoga Sutras Patanjali's masterfully summary the qualities that should accompany the practice, and therefore have the practitioner. These are Abhyasa and Vairagya. Abhyasa represents constancy, regularity and determination. Vairagya is the attitude of non-attachment, the absence of expectations regarding the results of the practice.

And what should be the main virtues of a good teacher?

A good teacher, first and foremost, has to be a good practitioner. A key point is to have a good preparation, i.e. a knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of yoga. Some of the qualities that define a good Professor are: generosity, honesty, humility, realism and common sense, not to be dogmatic or sectarian, the spirit of service, the desire to overcome, patience, etc. And if has a good sense of the humor, best that best. You would also be able to get into the skin of the student and understand what their real needs and how to help you meet them. And of course, it should be a person determined to keep learning, growing and helping.

In your experience, other obstacles besides the fickleness and expectations can distort the essence of yoga?

As far as practice is concerned, lack of discernment)Viveka) can be a big obstacle. The practitioner must develop an overall understanding of the exercises performed and attitude proposed yoga when making them. Another obstacle that destroys the yoga is the practice of mechanical.

In general, it seems that in practice, we take a very small percentage of everything you can offer us yoga... How do you feel?

The yoga genuine promotes a transformation deep and full of the person. If we refer to the practice of some mere safe exercises that we will obtain some benefits but not the development of all our potential. So yoga report us all their benefits it is very important to their principles and attitudes to integrate them in our daily lives.

What can be wrong if the practice does not lead to a State of harmony and happiness?

Maybe what is failing is the attitude of the practitioner. The entire process of yoga is based on the pillar of ethical codes of Yama and Niyama. If these attitudes are ignored which unfortunately is very common, the profound effects of yoga difficulties. If we practice yoga as a technical that are going to provide such or benefits, we are turning it into a mechanical process. We will thus feel good temporarily, but in terms of us confronted with life back into trouble. Typical is the case of people who have practiced yoga for years and the first change in normal situations of life, is destabilizing.

A bad very common... How can solve it?

I think that this is the result of a practice surface and that not is has integrated in her life everyday. Happens because the practice of exercises stripped of the attitude proper can improve our form physical but not produced growth or transformation. Sometimes stays in a mere "cult of the body". Of there, the importance of combining the practice of the Hatha Yoga with others ways as the Raja Yoga, Gnana Yoga, Karma Yoga or Bhakti Yoga. This is what recommends the ancient tradition of yoga. In this mode, the yoga not will be a simple practice of exercises and is converted in a "style of life". It is the expression of attitude yoga in daily life which provides true harmony and happiness.

How to find the balance between a healthy discipline and not rigidity?

Is frequent that the beginner is back rigid in the first steps in his career in the yoga. Tends to be very worried get same and need hold on is to the practices, objectives and results. Sometimes the topic is taken too seriously and to the tremendous... It is normal that over time will be relaxing and understands that true discipline is not a matter of imposing railway attitudes but to a proper and harmonious channel their energies. The balance that you mention appears when is mature and is develops a true discernment. As a result, appear the qualities of naturalness and spontaneity that are inherent to the authentic process of the growth personal.

Is take more seriously the importance of breath one of the great unfinished business?

In an interview with an Argentine radio journalist asked me if the breathing was the backbone of the yoga. The response that came immediately to mind was the backbone of the yoga is consciousness and breathing is the backbone of the life... Life and breath are the same. Breathing interconnects all aspects of personality so that you can breathe as well as live. Live healthy and happy depends on that I will be able to breathe properly. Yoga helps us to rehabilitate the incorrect or poor breathing and teaches us how to get optimal benefits of this vital and essential role. Without a doubt, we have to give you to breath the importance that it deserves. Find out what the proper breathing patterns should be part of the basic culture of every individual. In this way, many illnesses and imbalances would be avoided and very significantly improve the health and quality of life of the population in general.

And you think we walk to work on the mind? Do we walk very lame of Raja Yoga?

This is the great unresolved issue. It is true that mental yoga has not had the boom that deserves but it is also true that the situation is changing and We are witnessing today a flourishing of the Raja Yoga which seems unstoppable. We are entering the era of meditation. Buddha and Patanjali agree that the root of the sufferings of the human being is in the mind. Their teachings put the accent in them codes of attitudes ethical and in the methodology of the meditation that performs the purification of the mind and the wake of all its potential.

It seems that in the West we have not it too clear...

The Western mind is very superficial and has prioritized the bodily aspects of the yogic practices. However, all the followers that delve into the body work, sooner or later sooner lead to the practice of meditation. It is a natural evolutionary process. Yoga and meditation are words synonymous. Meditation is the background and essence of all avenues of yoga. The future of all practitioner that is decided to deepen in the transformation of itself same will be the immersion in the meditation.

Would how should be the process of work in the way of the Gnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga to get to the development integral of the person?

All paths of yoga have their dangers if not properly addressed. The Gnana Yoga has the danger of convert is in a via purely intellectual. When the process of the Gnana Yoga is managed of mode right appear the discernment and the understanding of the unit of all. From this experience, it sprouts then naturally the loving feeling of Bhakti Yoga. And from here, it flourishes spontaneously the attitude of selfless service of Karma Yoga. However, as they say, "all roads lead to Rome...", so each person must follow the path of yoga to have more affinity. In the measure in which the practitioner matures will be integrating naturally other avenues of yoga.

These three aspects are still quite unknown to many practitioners who have not deepened in the tradition...

The Bhagavad Gita represents the quintessence of yoga and describes the three trails that allow Liberation: Gnana Yoga (via the discernimiento-sabiduria), Bhakti Yoga (via the amor-devocion) and Karma Yoga (via the accion-servicio). It gives us an overview of yoga in which the three trails converge and integrate resulting in the balance between the head, heart and hands, the harmonization of all aspects of the human personality.

Although are three paths different that contain their own methods, in some sense, are a same and unique trail and lead to a same end. As I have said earlier, regardless of the path that is followed, it is normal that other avenues be integrated naturally as a consequence of the process of transformation and maturation of the practitioner. The three trails end up melting is in one. This entails the unification and harmonization of the three areas of the individual: "intelecto-sentimiento - action" and represents the vision and development of yoga.

How Orient is today if is wants to start to practice or deepen in the essence, before the crowd of proposals of yoga prevailing?

To which want to begin to practice yoga them would recommend that read some good book where is describe the yoga genuine and its true dimension. This will prevent that then give them "cat eyes". The second is to seek a good school near your home so they will have no need for the long haul and will ensure a practice more regular. If the teachings or the teacher do not convince them they will have to keep looking... The Professor have to perceive a person honest, humble, competent, flexible, non-dogmatic and if possible be linked to a school or recognized teachings. I would also say that avoid the teachers with symptoms of "yoga-star" or Vedettes, expressing the yoga in the form of indoctrination, the centers which emit a commercial tufo; "Mcyogas", "Yogashops", "Yogafitness"... and schools who abuse the marketing and propaganda. In any case, they will have to develop their discernment and find the style of yoga and the Professor is more akin. And for those who want to delve into the essence of yoga, it is imposed the study of traditional texts, such as the Yoga Sutras Patanjali, the Bhagavad Guitathe Hatha Yoga Pradipika, etc.

What do you think that there is increasingly more practices using techniques or aspects isolated from yoga?

Better use isolated of yoga techniques that do not use anything. This will enrich their systems of remarkable way. That would be fine, that they have the honesty to recognize that yoga has brought to their systems and do not take ownership of yoga as if they had invented it. In this sense is that a shameful prey abounds...

How do you see the whole issue concerning the current will of regularization of the profession of yoga?

Not agree to the day of how March this process of regularization. The regularization of the yoga teacher profession seems a logical and very necessary matter. Thus you may avoid intrusiveness, the poor quality of education, and many other problems as the current proliferation of courses of teachers, some of whom are pure business-oriented and raised great suspicion as to the strength of the formation. For example; have seen terrible things as ads for make is Professor of yoga in fifteen days. In short, there are plenty of comments...

Not is absurd, in a field as this, the struggle that seems that is can be giving to impose a certain vision?

Be yoga so wide and varied universe is a complex issue. Also, to the be a cake very tasty, is is seeing how are many who want to take your piece in this prosperous business. They are not only merchants and the opportunistic on duty. Also be are pointing city councils, autonomous communities, University entities and, ultimately, many who are unaware of or ignore the philosophy and ethical codes of yoga and only are interested in "plundering cacho". It would be great that teachers and schools of yoga could lead in this process. Now well, We should reach a consensus on the whole of the country ensuring the preparation and professionalism of teachers of yoga and its legal normality.

Up to what point think that the figure of mentor or guru is necessary today?

It cannot be emphatic on this issue and there are all possibilities. But from a point of view realistic, there is that recognize that very few people are capable of guiding is to itself same in the process of the development personal. It is clear that having the help of a teacher is a great advantage. I would say that to practice yoga it is enough to have a good teacher. Now, if you are interested in go to fund the path of yoga certainly that the relationship with someone who has traveled the trail will be needed at some point. There is a phase in this road that requires confronting is with the problematic that is drag of the last and purify all the facets of our personality. In those moments, having someone who can guide us is an immense help.

The protégé relationship seems that it has been running quite blurred in modern societies...

The relationship teacher-student or disciple is a universal archetype. It has historically existed in all cultures, including the animal Kingdom, where hatchlings are taught by their parents in the art of survival. Humans, throughout life, have mentors in school, the office, University, etc. Therefore, it is logical and normal to have also a teacher in the process of personal development.

In the tradition of yoga, this relationship is critical and has always been the axis of the transmission of the teachings. Many of the profound teachings are exposed in the classical texts in a way very economical in words, sometimes incomprehensible, and need to be interpreted and transmitted directly by the master to the disciple. This relationship ends when the disciple becomes his own master. In any case, I do not worry about this issue. Already it knows what says the tradition: "when the disciple is prepared appears the master...".

To be a good Yogi should to travel once to the India?

At all. But in another sense, I would recommend visiting this wonderful country at least one time. The great variety of information and contrasts that brings the culture of the India can enrich much our vision of the life. Between others many things, can get us of our ethnocentrism cultural and make us understand that the happiness authentic not has that see with the amount of things that earn and itself with a form of life simple and without complexities unnecessary.

What future do auguras you to yoga?

The horizon future of the yoga me seems very promising. Genuine yoga has more than six thousand years old and in very good health. Currently a part of his teachings has been absorbed by the social culture. In some countries the practice of yoga is being incorporated within many companies and in all types of institutions. It is also being integrated into the education system. The latter is especially relevant. Is the seed of the flowering of future generations of individuals more conscious, ethical, creative, healthy and harmonious. In short, a great transformation and enrichment for society.

From another perspective, the 20TH century has been the century of the Renaissance and dissemination of Hatha Yoga in the world. Is evident, that the century XXI will be the century of the meditation.

When the current merchants of yoga and the pseudo-yogas that thrive in these days have fallen by your own foot and are no longer here, genuine yoga will continue spreading and being one of the engines of the evolution of human consciousness. It is likely that also remains a commercial version of yoga. Let those who want to an simplistic yoga also have it, why not... And devote ourselves to preserving the authentic yoga, developing it and adapting it to the new needs that arise.

Daniel Gomis is Professor entitled of Kundalini Yoga and has training in Yoga Integral. With vocational training recognized and accredited by the Generalitat de Catalunya, leads for years numerous groups of Yoga in Barcelona and vicinity. Degree in Hispanic philology and journalism, he combines classes with transformative communication and is the promoter of the project Altermonconscience for change.

Coordinator of the magazine Kalma, publication on Yoga, health, and personal growth.

Co-responsible for Surya, Center of art therapy and Yoga, and President of the Association Yoga & creativity.

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By • Jul 7, 2016 • section: Interview