What exactly is yoga? How did it evolve from a meditative way of transcending the world to a global industry worth billions of dollars?
This talk explores the meaning of yoga in multiple contexts: from ancient ascetics who never sat down to modern stretching for affluent urbanites. Despite what Hindu nationalists claim, there is no such thing as “One True Yoga.” Sometimes, it indicates union. However, in the best-known yogic text – the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali – the aim is separation, isolating consciousness from matter.
Early yogis renounced worldly life to sit in silence. Traditional texts have little to say about social engagement, except for warning about distractions from meditation. Few Western practitioners look at things this way. Does this mean that yoga has changed? Is modern western yoga a bastardisation?
Come and find out more with Daniel Simpson. Daniel teaches yoga philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and holds a Master’s degree from SOAS, University of London, where he studied with some of the world’s leading scholars of yoga. He writes about yoga for magazines and on his website: http://danielsimpson.info