Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hatha and Ashtanga - Further Thoughts

Having said that Ashtanga Yoga is not Hatha Yoga, certainly some elements of Hatha Yoga are also found in Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Pattabhi Jois and in the teachings of T Krishnamacharya. In fact, Krishnamacharya used a wide variety of techniques and taught the Hatha texts as well as Patanjali Yoga and many other subjects, whereas Guruji tended to favor fewer techniques and a concentration on the Patanjali Yoga and Advaita Vedanta.

Guruji saw yoga as one. Different techniques for different people in different circumstances. But he was clear that what he was teaching was Patanjali Yoga - so any Hatha techniques he utilized were in the pursuit of that goal rather than vice versa. In fact, although the Hatha texts state that the purpose of Hatha Yoga is Raja Yoga and some passing lip service is paid to the angas of Ashtanga, the development of practice and practices as well as the the culmination of the goal are clearly significantly different.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ashtanga Yoga is not Hatha Yoga

There has been much debate about the origin and development of Pattabhi Jois' system of asanas over the years. There has been much less interest in placing his asana system in the context of ashtanga yoga as a whole, or indeed, the yoga darshana as a whole.

Guruji used to say that his teaching was "original Patanjali Yoga." 

What are the implications of this?