So I started this blog a couple days ago and didn’t finish just because of lack of motivation. I love learning about yoga, especially in different areas, so every time I go to do a blog I spend all my time researching without actually writing any blogs.
But, right now I ironically feel motivated to and just got back from yoga. I said this in an earlier blog, but sometimes after I come back from yoga I am genuinely excited to do work, which is exciting for me because it’s a very rare occurrence. After I do yoga I feel more connected to myself, my ideas, morals and life. In college you are surrounded by so many different interesting people and sometimes get caught up in their lifestyles and forget yours. There is so much offered on campus and it’s hard to do what you personally want when your friends want to do something else because spending time with friends/experiencing new things is important. People need to remember to follow their values though throughout all these distractions. Yoga is a time when you focus on yourself; so right now I remember what I should be doing and what is good for myself.
Okayyyyy so back to some research that I finally have written a blog on! It’s on the transition of postural yoga.
Posture practices in yoga are a combination of gymnastics and some selective principles from hath yoga. In the early twentieth century, postural yoga practices were used in Europe for exercise classes and gymnastics, which were originally practiced in India. What defined yoga at the time was a mixture of many different factors. It was very fluid and people did many different positions. It seemed more of a practice for discovering what type of yoga they wanted to practice. Some of the practices were lost but some were highly enjoyed and influenced others. Examples include Shri Yogendra, Swami Kuvalayananda, and T. Krishnamacharya (who has become very influential in the West, of course, through his students B. K. S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, T. K. V. Desikachar, Srivatsa Ramaswami etc.). A lot was going on during the time and a lot of people were enjoying there opportunities.
There was then another change with postural yoga…as you can see yoga continually changes. In India during the early twentieth century people were informed by Western’s scientific research and models on the body. They learned how it benefited your body and how to incorporate that with yoga. After Indians learned from Westerns about this, Westerns started practicing their yoga practices.
So how beneficial is posture yoga according to Mark Singleton?
He’s the man I wrote a previous blog on and is the author of Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. His point is that the posture practice in yoga is very beneficial for people and is important for millions of people globally. Although it does benefit people, it could be more beneficial because the type that most westerns practice includes a small portion of positions.
Singleton states, “However, it may also be useful to recognize that we are dealing with a very restricted color palette here. The yoga traditions are far vaster than our modern translations usually give them credit for. And the range of benefits are also far wider.”
Don’t be hopeless about the lack of authenticity! It’s not a theme of globalization all the time
So you want to find meaning through this globalized practice of yoga? You can! I have and I know there is so much to be found and experience. One step is looking further into the practice you are doing. Also by looking outside of how most westerners view yoga you will discover more about your body. Most people that practice yoga are only thinking of it from an exercise perspective, but if you try and see it from a new position you will discover more. I agree with Singleton that knowing where yoga comes from is very beneficial. Many people’s lives are greatly affected by yoga; therefore knowing why this happens will help you understand them, their lives and their time period. Also it can help broaden your perspective on your life. There is so much behind it that changes the way people think, and can be you too.
Maier-Moul, Susan. “Mark Singleton, Part Two.” I The Magazine of Yoga. The Magazine of Yoga, LLC., 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://themagazineofyoga.com/blog/2010/10/13/mark-singleton-part-two/>.