The roots of yoga
Author: Mallinson - Singleton
The enormous popularity that yoga enjoys today all over the world has led to a sort of metamorphosis: adapting to sociocultural conditions very far from those in which it originated, it has ended up taking on a life of its own, detached from its Indian roots. The almost total hegemony of a small number of systems based on postural practice has resulted in a narrow and monochromatic vision of what yoga is and how it works, and this is even more evident if we compare this vision with the broad spectrum of yoga. practices presented in premodern texts. This anthology intends to make accessible to the non-specialist reader a wide range of texts, many of which are little known, dating back to an era ranging from 1000 BC. C. to the XNUMXth century. Although most of the translated passages come from Sanskrit sources, it also includes material from sources in languages such as Tibetan, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Tamil, and so on. This chronological and linguistic range reveals patterns and traits of continuity that contribute to a better understanding of the developments of yoga, both within individual traditions and between one tradition and another. The material presented here is mainly practical, not philosophical in nature. Although traditional yoga is never separated from a particular religious and doctrinal context, or only rarely is, focusing on yoga as it was commonly understood in the various systems allows us to give a picture of the actual practices followed by most traditions. The eleven chapters that make up the book are ordered according to specific themes in order to reflect the most important practices of yoga (postures, breath control, seals, mantras, meditation) and their results (yogic powers and liberation ).