Philosophy Session History And Development Of Yoga


Awesome great so let’s begin our session for today sit comfortably wherever you are keep your back and neck straight and when you feel ready very gently close your eyes start connecting with your breath watch the natural flow of your breathing as you inhale and as you exhale okay you are unable to hear how is it now is it a little

better i can’t hear you okay okay great awesome so just sit comfortably close your eyes and connect with your breathing now gently shift your attention to your body become aware of your posture adjust your body so that your spine is straight and

you are both comfortable and stable come back to your breathing and now begin to deepen the breath go for slow long and deep inhalations slow long and deep exhalations

We will open today’s session by chanting um three times followed by the guru mantra so if you know the chanting you can sing along with me or else you can just listen to the chanting will chant om first three times together take a deep breath in for om
GururBrahma GururVishnu GururDevo Maheshwaraha
Guru Saakshaat ParaBrahma Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha
Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha

Take a deep breath for om
Shanti Shanti Shanti’h

feel the vibrations join both your palms together and now begin to rub your palms together keep them on the ice very slowly while blinking and looking at your palms begin to open up your eyes coming back with a big smile on your face namaste and om shanti.

Let us begin our session for today so in the previous class we had actually talked about the uh you know we were talking about yoga and we had talk covered the origination of yog right why did it originate where did it originate from this was the major topic of discussion in the previous class all right

so we will begin with today’s session so last time in our previous session we had talked about and discussed deeply about the origination of yoga why yoga came into existence and what we can understand what can be the sources from which this entire process and you can say school or system was derived okay and today we are

going to understand the history and development of yoga and i will tell you why this is important so these few topics in the beginning they might seem as if you know it’s just not very relevant but in fact these are very very relevant uh topics right so initially

to a beginner they might seem a little bit like um a very um you know not very interesting topics but history and development especially right uh will lead you to the uh changing of the intention for your practice

okay because you will understand why this practice was developed right and you can also trace back how it was practiced and it can also provide your route to understand why yoga is practiced in the way it is today okay so whenever you study the history

and development of something you see that same thing change with time and adjusting to the needs of the people at that time right so today yoga is practiced in a certain way and it is adjusting to the requirements of the modern society right but

what it originally uh came up for right and how it was practiced in ancient times will help you to eventually nudge your practice towards that right so let’s begin with the timelines okay so the timelines i will provided they are generally agreed timelines

right by historians right you can find some up and down when you do your own research and it’s nothing to get worried about right overall the breakdown of the time period is like this only right so a very important text in the beginning of the classes also i have emphasized there is a very important text called the patanjal yoke sutra

right and patanjali sutra or very shortly also known as the yog sutra right yoga sutras in english right so they were the systematization right so or before everything was existing but it was not systematized and during this time period yoga as a school was systematized ok

so before that period that time period is called pre-classical period right pre-classical period in the history of yoga right so before the systematization there was still the existence of yog so you need to understand this thing that yoga has always existed it is still existing and it will always exist right it is just one form right and one philosophy

one way of understanding how you can free yourself right so these practices have existed long before we were here and they will exist long after we would have been gone so this time period is pre-classical time period is generally said to have existed till the 500 bc okay 500 bc so till that time period the school of yogurt wasn’t

systematized so everything was basically scattered okay so in the beginning also in first lecture only i told you about the vedas v e d a s veda so these are our basic or base foundational scriptures okay which gave rise to all the schools of like the schools of the indian philosophy right so these form the base so these scriptures

right all of the knowledge of yog like like asan practice of pranayama meditation all of these were present in the vedas okay these scriptures but they were scattered here and there so there are total four vedas and they are very very elaborate they are very very long so all of this information was existing but again in a very very scattered

form okay so when this information was existing in a scattered form of course the understanding of the processes was there but how you have to go about them it was not that easy to understand and in fact in the vedas there is no direct definition of yoga that is given right so when i give you the definition also i refer to other texts

right so there is no proper direct definition also given but these form the roots the bases so earlier the vedas were studied they were understood and vedas were also hard to understand right so in this time period vedas and then all the vedas they their

sense was captured in other texts they were famously known as upanishads so this is not very relevant right some names that i will take they are not very very relevant but yes if you know about them it’s okay right so the upanishads they captured the essence of the vedas and then people started to you know study those because

vedas sorry the upanishads they were in story form right so when i also tell you stories or when you hear uh learn about something through stories the narration of stories it you know sticks and it was mostly in conversation form right upanishads are in conversation form so when two people are talking interacting again you tend to remember the information more easily right so from vedas the essence was derived

upanishads came in right and then from here on there were two epics also in this time period which got very very famous right one of them we will be uh studying a little bit about so one was called the mahabharata right and one was called the

ramayana right so again names uh are not very very uh important it’s just the understanding how people at that time were understanding yoga right we just need to get a glimpse into that so mahabharata one portion of mahabharata is bhagavad-gita which we will have a separate class on

where again once again i will elaborate more on what mahabharata actually is right what bhagavad-gita actually is right so i will be talking on this scripture separately as well and then we have another epic which is the ramayana right so basically both of

them are stories where you know you understand how to deal with life right how you can navigate through life right it is um you know showing the example where you know uh the situations weren’t easy right but the action that had to be taken it had to

be taken right so setting the ideal example setting the example of especially the rules and regulations right so how you interact with society what is the right way of interaction with your own self this was elaborated upon in these epics to a great

extent right so they formed a very major portion of people understanding how to imbibe yoga in their day-to-day life right in the kinds of decisions they make how they make their decisions how they act and finally in this time as well the two schools which became very very famous right and which were practiced initially by um people

in the indian subcontinent and then eventually it spread even outside they were the schools of buddhism and jainism okay buddhism and jainism so buddhism is very very famous i think at least you would have heard this term one time in your life right if if you have been to some place where buddhism is practiced maybe you would have even practiced that so buddhism is more prevalent than jainism right so these

two again philosophies you can say they started to prevail a lot right the teachings of buddha especially gained a lot of light and a lot of people you know in his time they came under his uh you know guidance and uh they were able to walk on the path of yoga right so before the systematization everything was going on in this manner only

from one source or the other source there were some parts that you could get from one source other parts you could get from another source so this is how the whole knowledge was transmitted and again uh in ancient times of course the information was also transmitted by word of mouth from one generation to the other right so this is how it was being practiced in whatever capacity you could be practiced right then

we come to a very major shift in the history of yoga right this was a very major turning point because at this point of time there was a very great stage maharishi patanjali that he came in and he you know systematized yoga okay so his time period when he existed or is believed to have existed that time period is actually

called the classical period right so on the basis of the classical period only we either divided into pre-classical and or post-classical right so you need to observe this thing during the pre-classical period also uh a lot of meditative practices meditation was a very very major uh and substantial practice that was done by the people right and

then as we even move to the classical period right when we talk of the classical period we are talking of the timeline uh around 500 bc to 880 right this timeline is considered to be the time when yog got systematized so at this point of time when maharishi patanjali he came in he you know picked up these specific things which

you know could uh you know give you a path how to walk on the path of you right now suppose my body is constantly moving right i’m not able to sit stably so it becomes very difficult for me to practice meditation right if my body is constantly moving then how will i do the meditation right i have to focus on something right first

develop my concentration on that thing and then it converts into meditation so when this thing was seen that i could not practice meditation first and then practice asana right i had to gain the stability in my body through the practice of asana first and then i can move to an advanced practice like meditation right so this kind of

systematization so now the information was not scattered anymore and he gave a very precise text so he gave a very very short text and in that only he gave the step-by-step process right like maybe some place which is not developed earlier you just have to walk up just like that right and then you know eventually the construction

takes place and then there are stairs in that area right so what patanjali did he created the steps the stairs taking one step at a time you reach the final point right so he systematized yoga all together and he gave a proper from the beginning till the end with proper order how you have to walk on the path right so this became a very

very big major turning point why because earlier people were still experimenting earlier people were still understanding how you can be practiced and of course they were also able to reach the final goal of yoke but then again there was a lack of understanding of the system right so at this point of time this text came in and this is

also a very important text of raj yog right so we will have a separate class on raj yoga as well so you don’t need to worry i will explain everything in that class what raj yoga is but basically speaking again meditation remained a very very substantial part of the practice of yoga right so till the time of patanjali right till 880 the practices of raj yoga were very very prevalent right and rajyo you know meditation doesn’t have to

do with anything with the physical world around you you are trying to observe a very subtle reality okay after the time of patanjali now what started happening was the environment was changing right the everything you know everything around us was changing right like it is today as well right so if you watch the pollution levels 10 years

back they would be totally different today the scenario is totally different so constantly the environment the air the water food quality everything you know has an impact on you right so like that in that time period the environment was very conducive for meditation okay when the pre classical and classical period these were going on it

was very very conducive for practices like meditation even the system of the society you know it supported the meditative practices the kids used to you know go and live with the teacher for years and years okay and ah this was seen as a priority more of a priority than today you know we are very career oriented we want uh secure jobs

and uh we are very career driven right so our entire society is functioning on this basis only that we get educated in the right way so that we can earn a living for ourselves right but earlier the system of the society was also very different so now coming to the from the pre classical to the classical period to the post classical

period so the timeline after your 880 that is called the post classical period and this goes on till 1700 right so 1700 is not that far off if you are thinking of thousands and thousands years back then 1700 still seems a timeline which is more like close to our current existence so from uh the 880 till 1700s you know this time period is called the

post classical time period now in this time period like i said the environment was already changing a lot so practices now people started shifting all right so now the focus shifted on the physical right in the sense movement of the body so you will see in the post classical period right tantra yoga tantra is like um a form of you which is you know basically uh a way through the body only right into the deeper states right

so tantra you hot yoga the variation of which you are practicing in your asan class every day you know vinyasa flow ashtanga flow these are all variations of heart flow right so this was the time when the hut yogic practices the tantra yoga practices these all developed a lot and gained a lot of light right at this point of time even

bhakti-yoga gained a lot of like light bhakti yoga is again we are going to have a separate class on it but it’s mainly the devotion you know when you devote yourself to a particular god right so these practices you know they started gaining more and more momentum right so now people who highly focused on doing the asana practices trying to keep their body healthy right doing pranayama you know wanting

to have a more like you know uh sustainable way of even breathing or how the breath regulation can take place right and other hearty weak practices also shut karma which is cleansing right so when the cleansing of the body has to take place

right then you practice asana then you practice pranayama right so hot yoga specifically i will focus on in this time period why because you are currently also doing some practices of fatigue right when you attend your pranayama class when you attend your asan class and these are hot yogic practices so hat yoga you know

by this time as well because the society has had changed so drastically right following certain sets of rules and regulations first became difficult for us right so suppose i’m asked to eat only satwik food right very common example right so i’m asked to eat only subject food when i’m doing my yogic practices right so now one

day i have immense amount of craving and i end up eating junk food okay and i’m not supposed to eat that right so what started happening in people was first thing they were not able to stick to the rules and regulations which earlier acted as a

prerequisite for you to even practice okay second thing that was happening when they were unable to stick they were also unable to let go of this incapability right so there was a lot of guilt that was generated and you know if you take your own example if you miss your one day practice right you end up feeling guilty about it and

guilt is your biggest enemy right why because once you start feeling guilty that one day gets converted into five days eight days one month you don’t know then you lose track and listen until you are unable to pull yourself out of this emotion right so be careful of guilt right so in this point at this point of time people because they were

unable to stick to the rules and regulations they started feeling very guilty which hampered with their practice so what specifically hat yoga did was it removed these rules and regulations right and it said that a certain amount of willpower needs to be developed before these rules and regulations can be adopted right so now suppose you have been practicing you for some time so now your willpower will be more know

when you go out the next time suppose somebody orders something you used to like a lot but it was not good for your health so when you sit outside now you have more willpower you can say that no i don’t want to eat this right before maybe when you were just beginning your practices what would have happened you would have gone

out and you would have eaten that food item right so slowly slowly as you develop your practice your will also develops right to avoid the necessary things right to maintain your discipline even maintaining the discipline and practice is very very hard to do right these days so at that point of time also this thing was going on so the

rules and regulations they got pushed ahead first the focus was thrown on the cleansing of the body because already everything around was overall generating more toxins in the body okay cleansing of the body practice of asana so that the physical body can remain healthy right otherwise disease also started coming up right then also working on the pranayama practices working on other hot yogic

practices like mudras right so these all things you know they came they got more hold in that during that time because rules and regulations were very hard to stick to right so main focus came on the physical world on the physical body right now slowly we come to the timeline of 1700 to 1900 right so now this comes very very close to

our own time of existence right 1700 to 1900 again there was good shift in the environment right so modern uh period this is also called this timeline 1700 to 1900 this is called the modern time period okay so this time period right over here now you know the modern yogis started coming in so these yogis they’re not that far off when

you you know look at the timeline right so um yogis like swami vivekananda right or even shri orobindo so these people came in and they again you know introduced the idea of raj yoke somewhere right raj yoga is again focused on the meditative practices right so if you look at swami vivekananda he went around the world so

earlier yoga was mostly restricted to indian subcontinent only right but now with the modern ubis coming in two things started to happen one raj yogic practices were again thrown light upon right the meditative form and then second thing now yoke spread throughout the world right so the modern yogis especially if you google such

swami vivekananda he went to a lot of places and he had conferences he had conducted conferences and you know uh people of the west they get got to know about uh the various practices of you you know that is when even in the western world yoga started picking up as a practice right because the entire idea was very

fascinating first thing and second thing of course it was very freeing in its approach right it was not a restrictive kind of idea yoga is never restrictive it will always free you right your suffering will get less only if you go into the practices right so now what started happening joke started seeing this another turning point in the journey of yoga right where this revolution kind of thing happened yoke spread greatly to the

outside world and people of the west they were more open as well right to take this information in okay so uh at this point of time various schools of york so not only raj yog other schools of youth were also you know the main focus was to push the practices of yoga ahead right so other schools like karmic so swami vivekananda has talked on all the four major schools of yoga he has talked of the school of action he

has talked about the school of devotion right the school of wisdom and then the school of this uh you know the highest part which i was saying raj yog right so this is the school of the working with the mind right the understanding of the mind that is the main focus right so these started to gain again

momentum right and after that like in this timeline when the propagation of yog started to happen so much it led us eventually into the contemporary period from 1900s the timeline of yoga is considered to be the contemporary period okay so we have discussed i will elaborate more on contemporary period but so far we have

discussed the pre classical period which is before 500 bc right then the classical period which is from 500 bc to 800 a d then the post classical period which is from ah your 880 till the 1700s the modern period which is the fourth division that is from 1700 to 1900s right and then after the 1900s the um you know time of the

contemporary period started right so now the names i will take most likely would have heard of these names and now yogi is like pata by joyce bks i younger right so you practice a lot of these practices only right uh t krishna machade so pata by joyce he gave uh your ashtanga flow right t krishna machadi he gave the vinyasa flow that

you guys practice in your classes right and then uh your bksi anger he has greatly contributed to a very major variation in the yogic practices which are being adopted by a lot of people today right then uh you know teachers like osho teachers like uh

you know shri ravi shankar sakuru sn gohankaji right so what these people did was now coming to the contemporary times you know what kind of environment we are around right you know what kind of what is the quality of the water you are consumed the quality of the food that you are consuming right all of this you know

has an impact on your body right whatever i eat it has an impact on the body the kind of water i drink again it has the an impact on my body my mind right and of course my flexibility levels everything is impacted by these things right so modern yogis they approached yoga in a way that it could serve sorry these contemporary people they you know um approached yoga in a way uh that we could embrace it right in pre-

classical period it was more about how it’s implemented in life but today you know you take out time separately to come on your mat and do the asana practice right so now it’s it is a part of your life but it’s not becoming a part of how you do each and everything right you separately take out time on the mat to you know just have a

more more proper routine overall right so now in contemporary times yoga is seen in two forms one where only the physical aspect and the very surface level physical aspect so these days asanas have the main light okay asan practice and second thing therapy form of yoga right so sometimes you know students have these

questions they ask that you know we have heard that you cannot be practiced on this and until you are ready to a certain level right which is true but then it is also true from the perspective of raj yoga right but hot yoga most of the people are practicing today right then variations in hot yoga that have come in like a rashtang your vinyasa

flu right so these were majorly developed for western people only right because in india we have an environment or the climate is such that we sweat very easily right so what yogi practices you will see they are not that dynamic right they are more about going into the asana and just holding but uh invest in like uh if especially if you

live you know in um you know u.s canada these areas right so these areas they require more movement for the same amount of sweating right sweating so sweating is a very big toxin of the body which needs to get released so that and the more you sweat you know the better your flexibility gets because toxins are getting released so pata by joyce t krishnamacharya they taught outside a lot right to outside people a lot

and for them this kind of movement was very very important right too much movement basically so that sweat could be generated because they are living in temperatures which which are very like you know very cold temperature right so it takes a while for us if we just practice hata we just move our body uh slightly right we

start sweating over here right so even our winters are not as harsh as the winters that are seen outside right so these styles were majorly developed keeping in mind the kind of area you are existing in right so now the practices also became more area specific more uh

purpose specific so ashtanga vinyasa these you know they will keep your body very very healthy in fact right if you are able to do the primary series if you are able to do the vinyasa flow means your body is quite you know good right doing good in it’s good it’s in good shape right so ashtanga and vinyasa then osho has given so many

practices related to meditation related to all the other things as well if you see satguru so he has given so many and like hot yogic his even the physical movement practices are there they are very different he has come up with his own style right and then if you look at shishi ravi shankar also he has also come up with his own style so art of living if you have heard of that so he is he has also changed the

practices the traditional practices only he has you know added something subtracted certain things or changed the way of practice in certain ways right if you look at all of these modern gurus in general right so they have molded the practices in such a way that if we can imbibe them right we meaning the common healthy person right but in

the current the most current times you can see yoga is used as a therapy right most of the people they are ill all the asan practices that are given right most of the people cannot do those so when you practice over here in the classes right you would want to achieve maybe head stand handstand you will work towards it but you are you are working towards it because your students of you right but when you teach your

students you will see so many people come to you come with like so many conditions that they already have right and if you are able to do the forward fold they will not even be able to reach half of the forward fold right that is how much you know in disease their body has gone right so these practices are again they are good for

you but then again you need to understand how you can give it to the other person also right so when you become teachers right so this thing should be on your mind how you will pass on the practice right so yoga came as a form of therapy because we are struggling a lot with our health especially with covet coming in you know a lot

of people they got a very good wake-up call that now they need to you know start working on their health and second thing for diseases yog is seen as a holistic approach right so i’m not saying leave your allopathy medicines if you’re currently

going through some conditions but yes if you start the practice of yoga right uh with variations with the suitable variations you will see that the allopathy that you are taking that dose will begin to reduce right and this is not something i am saying this is actually happening people who have adopted yog into their daily lives they have

seen that their you know medicines have gone down their overall well-being has gone up right so currently the most important form of yoga is actually therapy only because people are looking to come back to the normal health right now in today’s world so the you know meditative practices all of these they are very far off for us

why because currently we are just struggling with our physical health only or maybe just our mental health only right so meditation is very very far off right in its purest form it is far off right so i am not saying you cannot practice meditation today but it is quite a journey you will take your time to reach there right so now where we are

currently where yoga is being used as a therapy now we slowly this will help you to change your intention right so slowly you will move towards a healthy body once you establish a healthy body a healthy mind right then you can slowly move towards the original practices which are mostly concerned with meditation only right so you will

not see ancient yogis you know standing on the head or standing on their hand right you will see them just sitting right with closed eyes and doing meditation right because that is what you are moving towards right and meditation again it’s a an advanced practice right so eventually this entire class basically is aimed to just put this to the light right that yoga is not merely asan’s right so don’t get stuck in asana

practice that i’m not able to achieve full split i’m not able to achieve head stand handstand so i have to do it right the entire world is going on in this madness only right so they forget that asana is just a stepping stone rather rather they think that is the whole practice of yoga right so you for you this understanding is important so that

you can make asante practice a stepping stone so that the stability of the body the health of the body is there so that you can sit for meditation so that you can sit for concentration right sit for these practices you are preparing for them when you do all

of these practices so this is your overall history and development of yoke through the ages right through the time periods as they changed any questions doubts or queries any difficulties in understanding why we are currently practicing yoga the way we are

any difficulties hello yeah hello i can hear you can you hear me yes yes yes no vinyasa is different ashtanga is different both of them were given see ashtanga is fixed flow it is given in a series only and you practice in that series only vinyasa you can change according to your understanding so you can place one asana after the

other if it is fitting certain like it is fulfilling certain conditions but ashtanga series has been given in a particular way and you have to practice it in that way only right so after maybe your you know triangle pose you go for the revolved triangle pose only right you cannot go for extended side angle pose so it is given in a particular series

and you have to follow that only so sun salutation b cannot come before sun salutation a first you have to do sun salutation a these many number of times then you go to sun salutation b these number of times then you begin the asana practice and you go about it in a series yo we will have a separate class on it where i will

deeply explain the concept of hat yoga and the various practices right so asana practice is only a part of hat yoga right the one that you are talking about where there is pressure and it’s more about uh like um it’s a more limited kind of practice how to uh let the like in the future we will have one class on hat you so just attend that and see if you find the answer to this right all right all right

so we will close today’s session we’ll just chant om followed by the shanti mantra so just sit comfortably gently close your eyes take a deep inhalation for om
sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ
sarve santu nirāmayāḥ
sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu mā kaścidduḥ khabhāgbhaveta।
mā kaścidduḥ khabhāgbhaveta

Take a deep breath for om
Shanti Shanti Shanti’h

Feel the vibrations join your palms together and gently bow down begin to rub your palms together keep them on your eyes very slowly while blinking and looking at your palms begin to open up your eyes coming back with a big smile on your face om shanti namaste to everyone.

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