Three Rivers of the Spine in Dog Pose

Ganga, Yamuna, & Saraswati The images of river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna (Jamuna in Hindi) often flank the entrances of Hindu temples.[1] Just as the sacred Ganges River flows from its source in the Himalayas to irrigate its plains, so has Mother Ganga descended from Heaven to give life to […]

Provenance — Where Does Yoga Asana Come From?

Some Western scholars have contended that modern asana practice is not rooted in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (2nd c. B.C.E.), and that claiming so is a false, self-justifying, claim of provenance. I know the arguments well: only eleven asanas are described in Vyasa’s fifth century commentary on Patanjali (half of which […]

Samkhya Cosmogeny in Asana

Introduction to Samkhya Metaphysics India is a land of diverse opinions and divergent viewpoints. Its culture has been described as a “salad bowl” (as opposed to our “melting pot”) containing many ingredients that remain uniquely distinct within the whole. At the core of this diversity are the six different schools […]

Prana & Prajna in the Yogic Path

Paraphrase of BKS Iyengar 2013 Guru Purnima Address — 22 July 2013 Transcribed by Bruce M. Roger +6.45 Yoga practice conquers weakness.. The purpose of yoga practice is to purge the citta by conquering the weaknesses of greed, anger, and delusion: vitarkah himsadayah… pratipaksha-bhavanam [PYS II.34].[1] Yoga is a discipline […]