A Hard Look at the History of Yoga

Popmatters.com has posted a very provocative piece on Yoga – it’s both ancient and contemporary, tracking the introduction of much theory and practice considered “essential” to innovations introduced a mere 150 years ago, some by the Yoga popularizer Swami Vivekananda — some being influenced by beliefs held by the Theosophical Society. To wit:

“The modern phrase has been engineered to conjure up an image of a longhaired yogi in saffron robes sitting in lotus position on a hillside many thousands of years ago in blissful contemplation of the cosmos. He’s an ancestor in an unbroken chain of metaphysical enlightenment that links him to the group in spandex assuming the “downward dog” pose at the corner gym.

“If this image sounds a little farfetched, that’s because it’s patently false. We know this in part because of the work of scholars like David Gordon White, a leader in the field, who has published numerous books exploring the history of yoga and tantra. With White’s research in hand, it’s possible to see through the smoke and mirrors of the $30 billion global yoga industry.”

Read the entire article here



Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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