Historically yoga postures have been practiced to develop power, insight and freedom by activating a physical and mental construction of the ‘yoga body’.
The yogic bodies of energetic pathways and vortices have been explored in the Indian tradition for thousands of years. Yogic body models map the space between physical and mental. Not merely descriptive, they invite manipulation through techniques – posture, breath, energetic locks and mental focus. The intention is transcendence of the ordinary physical and mental sphere.
This workshop will present the history of yoga postures through both lecture and practice. Ruth will outline the key historical developments in the history of postures (āsana) from sitting to extreme mortifications, and from static contortions to flowing sequences. Ruth will contextualise these practices against the backdrop of the yogic body and the intentions of practitioners. We will get on our mats and explore history through our own bodies.
This workshop offers
• a clear chronology of the historical development of postures
• contextualisation of postures via explanations of the yogic body and the aspirations of yogis
• an opportunity to practice postures by reconstructing textual instructions
• integration of the most recent historical research
• discussion of the relevance and purpose of yoga postures in our lives
• rich illustrations and resources for further study