Asanas through the Ages.

Via on Jun 25, 2012

Many yoga poses have evolved over time. The two touchstones of comparisons that I used are the Hatha Yoga Pradapika, written during the 14th century, and Light on Yoga, written in 1966.

About Joseph Boquiren

Joseph Boquiren is a cat (figuratively speaking) who practices a little Zen, teaches a little yoga, writes comics, and makes his home with his lovely wife in Portland, Oregon. The goal of Samadhi Pants (if there is one) is to make yoga and mindful living safe, fun(ny) and accessible for both beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. Joseph Boquiren is available for portraits and private commissions. Contact him at jboquiren@comcast.net. Previous work is available for viewing on his website and Facebook page.

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8 Responses to “Asanas through the Ages.”

  1. Sonyata says:

    I still come across differences between the Ashtanga camp, the Iyengar camp, and the Bikram camp on a number of rather common asanas.

  2. Eric Shaw Eric Shaw says:

    This story is infinitely complex because the urge toward standardization and institutionalization, so common in the West, is more of a go-by in India. Poses evolved willy-nilly in "garage band' settings–in little guru-kula groups, throughout the yoga backwoods of India over thousands of years (probably before the dawn of Hatha Yoga proper in c. 13th century). Knowledge was transmitted in single "lineages" (not deltas) and, just for further confusion's sake, Indians love to give many, many names to one thing and the same name to many, many different things (a cursory study of Sanskrit or the Lalita Sahasranama–The thousand names of the Goddess. or any time spent in India, gives some clue to this). Even in the modern period, as Sonyata (above) suggests, the major styles diverge in their architectures and names (for more thorough divergences, look at the work the Bihar School or some of the other, more obscure Indian traditions). Rough approximations of a basic pose vocabulary began with the spontaneous postures prompted by Kundalini or pranic "kriyas" (life energy eruptions), so there is some prehistoric science to this code. In creating asanas anew, one only need follow some particular aim–to open fascia, to train nerves and muscle, or to stimulate/direct/contain prana, to get a modern pose act going properly.

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