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I read an article in the Daily Telegraph today regarding the teaching of yoga in the West. About how it is often just an exercise class where people compete to be the most bendy, with the most fashionable leggings.

Yoga comes from India and is part of a very ancient philosophical system. I have long been interested in the different philosophies that originated around spiritual belief in India. I would recommend the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Online for anybody who is interested in studying this vast subject. Link:

I am not an expert on the philosophy behind yoga so would happily stand corrected. But what I understand is that the asanas (postures) in yoga are supposed to help the mind towards an experience of oneness with all that is. Pranayama (breathing exercises) are normally combined with this. This can then be taken much further, to much greater depth, and can be linked to the practice of Tantra. But this would only be taught in an ashram.

I have no idea why, in the west, we have tried to detach the meaning of yoga from the practice. It's beating heart comes from India and is very ancient.

Once again, Swami Sivadasananda's yoga class teaches from this perspective. I would imagine because he has spent his life as a yogi in an ashram.


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