Yoga students are trained in developing moment-to-moment awareness of body, breath and mind. Studying history and philosophy can appear at odds with, even irrelevant to embodied practice. In this lecture Ruth will put the case for the history of yoga as a practice of yoga. She will suggest there are illuminating links between contemporary critical theory and Indian philosophy. Finally, she will suggest the practice of history illuminates our practices as tapestry or bricolage, indicating the enmeshment of tradition and modernity.
Studying the history of yoga is a practice of yoga because it enables us to see the present afresh. Looking at practices of yoga and the intentions of practitioners in different historical and cultural contexts turns the spotlight on the present. It requires us to be self-reflective, to notice afresh our own viewpoints and ideologies, and explore the worldviews underpinning our practices.