However the book is principally about how precisely yoga transformed in India it self in the last 150 years. How yoga’s main, modern proponents-T. Krishnamacharya and his students, K. Patttabhi Jois and B. K. S. Iyengar-mixed their homegrown hatha yoga techniques with European gymnastics.
This was exactly how many Indian 10 minute yoga for beginners coped with modernity: Rather than outstanding in the caves of the Himalayas, they transferred to the city and embraced the oncoming European cultural trends. They particularly embraced their more “esoteric kinds of stuff,” including the important Swedish methods of Ling (1766-1839).
Singleton uses the word yoga as a homonym to describe the main goal of his thesis. That is, he highlights that the word yoga has numerous meanings, based on who employs the term.
This emphasis is by itself a worthy enterprise for students of everything yoga; to understand and take your yoga might not be the same kind of yoga as my yoga. Just, that there are many paths of yoga.
Because regard, Steve Buddy is completely proper: this is by far the most extensive study of the lifestyle and record of the powerful yoga lineage that operates from T. Krishnamacharya’s damp and warm palace business in Mysore to Bikram’s artificially heated studio in Hollywood.
Singleton’s study on “postural yoga” makes up the bulk of the book. But he also devotes some pages to outline the annals of “traditional” yoga, from Patanjali to the Shaiva Tantrics who, based on much earlier yoga traditions, collected the hatha yoga tradition in the middle ages and penned the popular yoga text books the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Geranda Samhita.
It is while performing these examinations that Singleton enters water significantly hotter than a Bikram sweat. Ergo I hesitate in giving Singleton a direct A for his otherwise excellent dissertation.
Singleton claims his task is solely the study of contemporary position yoga. If he’d caught to that particular challenge alone, his guide would have been great and acquired only accolades. But however, he commits exactly the same blunder so many modern hatha yogis do.
All yoga types are fine, these hatha yogis say. All homonyms are equally great and valid, they claim. Except that homonym, that the national relativist hatha yogis comprehend being an pompous edition of yoga. Why? Since their adherents, the traditionalists, claim it’s a greater, more spiritual and standard from of yoga.
This sort of ranking, thinks Singleton, is counterproductive and a spend of time.
Georg Feuerstein disagrees. Undoubtedly the absolute most prolific and well-respected yoga scholar outside India nowadays, he is one particular traditionalists who holds yoga to be an intrinsic practice-a human body, mind, spirit practice. So how does Feuerstein’s integral yoga homonym differ from the non-integral modern pose yoga homonym presented to us by Singleton?
In other words, Feuerstein’s outstanding articles on yoga have centered on the holistic practice of yoga. Generally shebang of practices that standard yoga created within the last 5000 plus decades: asanas, pranayama (breathing exercises), chakra (subtle energy centers), kundalini (spiritual energy), bandhas (advanced body locks), mantras, mudras (hand gestures), etc.
Thus, while position yoga largely is targeted on the bodily body, on doing postures, built-in yoga involves both physical and the refined human anatomy and requires a complete variety of bodily, psychological and spiritual practices seldom used in any of today’s modern yoga studios.
I would not have troubled to bring all of this up had it not been for the fact that Singleton mentioned Feuerstein in a crucial light in his book’s “Concluding Reflections.” Put simply, it’s strategically very important to Singleton to critique Feuerstein’s interpretation of yoga, a questionnaire of yoga which happens to virtually correspond with my own.