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Published by: thepretender on Nov 01, 2007
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Yoga comes from the 5,000 year old Indian school of metaphysics known as Darsana, “a
certain way of seeing”. Its specific objective was to explore deeper and clearer ways of
seeing the world, life and the whole.

The written lineage of Yoga is doubtful at best. Pattanjali’s Yoga Sutra, written in Sanskrit
in about 150 BC, has been the subject of huge study and interpretation. The first translation
was some 300 years after it was written; a period most historians agree causes significant
interpretation errors.

An even older text is referred to, The Sastitantra, but no manuscript remains.

Hatha Yoga’s first noted text is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written between 1400 and
1800 AD. There were only 15 asanas in the Pradipika and no asanas in the Yoga Sutra. It
would appear that the original intent of asana was to make it possible for people to sit in
meditation for long periods of time comfortably.

Khrishnamacharia, a magnificent student and teacher of Yoga, undertook the most thorough
exploration of Hatha Yoga in modern times. He was a great master of the physical, medical,
remedial and metaphysical elements of the Yoga practice. His four most renowned students
were Indira Devi, Desikachar, B.K.S Iyengar and Sri K Pattabhi Jois.

Each student was taught by the same teacher , yet each has gone on to teach a vastly
different methodology of Yoga with fundamentally the same asanas. Each has birthed their
own lineage of asana practice and has become a spiritual and commercial success in their
own right.

The Ashtanga Yoga System, as described in detail in the book, was reconstructed from a
mysterious manuscript written on a bundle of palm leaves, the Yoga Korunta. This
collection of verses on Hatha Yoga was discovered in the 1930’s by Krishnamacharya and
his disciple Sri K Patthabi Jois while searching Sanskrit texts at a Calcutta University
library. The manuscript is dated to be around 1500 years old.

Krishnamacharia and Jois translated and re constructed the Ashtanga Yoga series (six
sequences of postures) and Patthabi Jois with the encouragement of Krishnamacharya,
took the instructions as the basis of his practice and teaching. He is still teaching this method
today in Mysore at the age of 83.

Yoga; A Way of Life

Awakening the Body-Mind

Page 35

Yoga; A Way of Life

Awakening the Body-Mind

Page 36

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