There’s no doubt yoga is a popular subject around the world. In fact, there are more yoga festivals today than music festivals. But as its popularity increases, many people start asking: Where did this practice come from?
In this episode of Yogic Paths, we explain the Origins of Modern Yoga, tracing the evolution of postural yoga and how its present form evolved with all its distinct approaches to the hatha asanas.
Modern postural yoga encompasses a vast array of disciplines and has become a worldwide phenomenon over recent decades. Its origins are often credited to Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, which lays forth a map for how to fix the dilemma of human life. From this work we see the beginnings of Krishnamacharya. Considered the father of modern yoga, Krishnamacharya was the teacher of some of the most well-known lineage founders of modern 20th century yoga - BKS Iyengar, TKV Desikachar, Patthabi Jois, and Indra Devi.
Krishnamacharya created a synthesis of different practices in order to help people access the power of yoga. Today, many styles of yoga are doing the same thing. Of course, with the focus often on consumerism and business, teachers and students of yoga can lose sight of the heart of the practice, focusing on the fruits rather than the roots. But even so, the goal of yoga remains the same - to cultivate awareness, to discover the soul, and to find freedom from the physical body and mind.