audio / visual / kinetic / spiritual craftsman
January 18th, 2013

New Light on Yoga – is yoga as we know it really that old?


New Light on Yoga

 From loincloths to leotards, yoga has come a long way in 5,000 years. But is yoga as we know it really that old?
By Anne Cushman

“Tradition” is a word that gets tossed around a lot in yoga circles. We’re taught the “traditional” way to do poses: “The feet are hip-width apart in Downward-Facing Dog.” We’re taught the “traditional” way to string them together: “Headstand comes before Shoulderstand.” We take comfort in believing that we’re the heirs to an ancient treasury of knowledge, the latest bead in a mala that stretches back, unbroken, for generations. In rootless, amnesiac American culture—where “traditions,” like lipstick colors, change every season—the very antiquity of yoga gives it instant cachet, as evidenced by the jackets of yoga videos advertising a “5,000-year-old exercise system.”

Modern yoga masters present us with a whole galaxy of different poses, or asanas—Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (Schocken Books, 1995), the modern illustrated Bible of asana practice, depicts more than 200. And most new yoga students accept it as an article of faith that these poses have been practiced—in more or less this form—for centuries. As we fold into Downward-Facing Dog, arch into Upward Bow, or spiral into a spinal twist named for an ancient sage, we believe that we are molding our bodies into archetypal shapes whose precise effect on the body, mind, and nervous system has been charted over generations of practice.

read the full article…


by admin | Posted in Philosophy/History | No Comments » |


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by Wordpress using the theme bbv1