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EST, Yoga Marathons & Large Group Behavior Modification

Large Group Yoga Marathon 

The initial mass hysteria feel-good frenzy was hours ago and now the minds of this large group have been softened up in a yoga marathon of grueling repetitions that the teachers cannot and do not perform.  Now this stress-bonded group are ready for behavioral modification similar to the rigorous methods once employed by EST.  In the hands of the unscrupulous these marathon methods can be used to subtly convert students to new belief systems by adding the right ritual clothing, incense and singing or chanting.    

WIKIPEDIA | Erhard Seminars Training | Participants agreed to follow the ground rules which included not wearing watches, not talking until called upon, not talking to one’s neighbors, not eating at or leaving their seats to go to the bathroom except during breaks separated by many hours. Participants who were on medication were exempt from these rules, and had to sit in the back row, so that they would not interfere with the other participants.[10] 

How many kundalini students in this photograph are just sitting there with their hands down and not doing the kriya?  You can see four or five people with their hands down because they have been there all day and they are worn-out with their muscles aching and burning.  There are probably a few kids in back who are also exhausted and maybe even laying down. The female teacher is just standing there on the left and she may not have even performed one set of exercises to demonstrate. 

It is surprising to even see a photograph of a Bhajanist teacher actually standing up during class.  Usually the teacher just sits there telling the students what to do and not demonstrating.  Kundalini yoga teachers often do not demonstrate they just sit there and say: “Do this and do that,” while the class just sits there looking around at the veterans picking-up the work.  

The front row are veteran teachers taking KYTT for the umpteenth time, dressed totally in white who spaced their mats a respectfully secure distance away from Guru Singh because they were allowed to enter long before first time students packet together in the rear of Yoga West.  It appears as though the studio was posed for an intentional promotional photograph.  

Altered States of Consciousness

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training uses the large group yoga marathon technique to wear-down the student and create an altered state of consciousness.  The participant is worn down with an endless series of long, grueling and repetitive kriyas for an entire weekend.   The really outstanding feature of yoga as taught by the Yogi Bhajanists is that there is no emphasis on breathing except for breath of fire.  Breath of fire puts the student into an altered state of consciousness whereby she is receptive to anything.  Then when the chanting is introduced the altered state of consciousness gets accelerated into overdrive. 

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Yoga Breathing

Most kundalini yoga classes use Cat Cow as a warm up and that is great.  But if the teacher does demonstrate this easy beginner asana, she does not breath in and out in the correct yoga method.  It is crucial to breath in and out fully, one breath one movement.  My body and my consciousness have been transformed by correct breathing and I got that from Josie Kramer not kundalini yoga.  I have discussed proper breathing elsewhere on this website and there are very good articles out there by real yoga teachers.  Bhajanist kundalini yoga only uses breath of fire.  You need a broader range of breathing for a truly transformational yoga practice. 

Sterling Men’s Weekend Marathon Melt-Down

Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training weekend one begins on Friday evening when you get your books and materials. By the time Saturday evening rolls around you will do anything just to get out of there because you know you have to be back again Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. sharp to even get a spot for your yoga marathon mat.  I think I pissed-off the celebrity Bhajanists because I just put my mat in a good spot like I owned the joint. 

I never did EST but I did the Sterling Men’s Weekend which also employs the marathon wear-down technique.  We couldn’t even leave the auditorium to go pee, we had to use a humiliating out-house rigged up inside the auditorium.  I was really young and held my pee but it really distracted from the whole thing.  At least in KYTT you can leave to use the restroom or whatever before you get too pissed off.