Friday, September 23, 2011

Ancient Yoga?

In Yoga Journal Mark Singleton shared his experience of discovering the lineage of prominent yoga asanas. 
He found how the modern movement, while seemingly referencing an ancient art form, actually advocates asanas which are far more modern and in fact inspired by Western physical health practices from the early 1900s. In fact, the movements of yoga were not easily found in the ancient texts.
He writes; Scoutring these primary texts, it was obvious to me that asana was rarely, if ever, the primary feature of the significant yoga traditions in India. Postures ... were not the dominant component. They were subordinate to other practices like pranayama (expansion of vital energy by means of breath), dharana (focus, or placement of the mental faculty), and nada (sound), and did not have health and fitness as their chief aim. (Yoga Journal May/June 2011 p 56).
This is a timely article, given the boom in asana practice without consideration or commitment to the more subtle and indeed more challenging components of yoga. Those which encourage your to encounter the Self and to create a relationship with the Soul through knowing your body and understanding the nature of your mind.
Miyoga Club has remained a small operation because it has never moved away from these core aims, aims which challenge and create deep change and in ways (that is disciplines) that society is craving.
The beauty of yoga is a private and inward journey. While sometimes sitting with the breath, making unusual sounds and holding focus on the mind may seem impossible - the rewards are immense.
It is nice to know that you have a choice!

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