Have you heard that yoga is a 5,000 year old tradition? Well, that’s partly true! However, asana (posture practice) is a really modern invention in the yoga repertoire. Bust through some theories on this podcast and learn the true history (and relevance) of yoga postures as a (very) modern day practice.
So I think that I felt lied to, when I first found out that yoga was actually a very recent creation in yogas History, I had been doing yoga Ana for probably a decade at the point that I realized this and it felt like I had been duped. I had always been told that you was a 5000 year old tradition, and I guess I had just assumed that that meant all of yogas practices, but in fact it doesn’t. I happen to be leading a teacher training program in Bali, Indonesia when one of my colleagues started talking to me about the true history of us and I think he said something quite like “Oh you know, we’re all just making this shit up and they laughed. I said, “What are you talking about? ancient sages, and princes, used to do sun salutation and he said, No, my friends do your research, so I did and I’ll actually point you to a couple of different places where I found some great research. The first really is called “Yoga body, it’s a book by Mark Singleton, and this is where the news really broke to the world that also into his old as we may have once thought that’s a powerful book and I would highly suggest it. It’s gonna outline and go more deeply into some of the things I’ll talk about here with you today, but let’s start with the ancient practices of yoga.
Yes, yoga is 5000 years old, but it didn’t look like what we do now.
Yes, yoga is 5000 years old, but it didn’t look like what we do now, 5000 years ago.
So 5000 years ago, it wasn’t necessarily called Yoga, these were just the ancient spiritual practices of the Vedic tradition, the tradition in the Indus Valley which today we call India. And it wasn’t necessarily a ritualized practice amongst groups, as we do it today. It would have been mainly for the priestly elevated cast-or class at that time in that place, and the things that they were doing 5000 years ago were chanting meditation and ritual. Those are the elements of yoga practice that are actually probably 5000 or so years old, we do have chance in Nevada, we do have rituals outlined in the “vaas we do have evidence of meditation practice being done and talked about in the Vedas, so that is where the roots of our yoga tradition comes from.
That wasn’t necessarily called Yoga for another couple of thousand years, but the same roots apply, we really see yoga coming into its own and being called Yoga around 2500 years ago with texts like the Upanishads which are a collection of spiritual texts, which essentially were distillation of the vast text of the VAs, so the “vaas contained five books, their huge enormous… It would be impossible to read them all, probably in one’s lifetime.
Resources mentioned on this podcast: