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Origin - History of Power Yoga


Some of the History of this has been compiled from books on the subject such as Iyengar's Light on Yoga - and Yoga Journal - The Yoga Tradition of The Mysore Palace by NE Sjoman. Also, other texts I have come across over the years and my personal experience traveling in India itself to research the subject.

Starting back in time with the History of Yoga itself is daunting so my main focus will be on we now call Ashtanga and its influence on my personal style of Yoga called Earths Power Yoga. On this I will go to my notes that I use in my Power Yoga teacher training.

Obviously trying to do a perfect time line on Power Yoga is impossible so I will start by saying that this is and probably will always remain a somewhat open topic of discussion.

People always discuss the creation of Buddhism as if it is "only this way" This article is more of a viewpoint on the subject pulling from many years of experience and varied yet trusted sources of literature.

India and the history of Yoga that lead to what is now Power Yoga

History of Power Yoga Theory One

One of the main theories that I have heard and believe is just like today some the main creators of Physical Yoga was first practiced by the ancient writers of Vedanta. The classical Hindu texts on the subject of spiritual wisdom. were of course written by the Ancient Sadhus of India. We know that writing has a very adverse effect on the spine especially after writing for many hours. So asanas were created to assist the ancient scribes of India to relieve back pain associated with writing for many hours on end. Then of course they found that it also helped improve their meditation as well hence physical Yoga postures came into existence.

History and origin of Power Yoga Theory Two

We know that Martial training has influenced many forms of training around the world so a second theory is that back in time Armies were bought by the wealthier invaders of any land. Of course if there is a strong moral code then that helps to create loyalty and in some cases might help prevent the buying out of an opposing forces army if you combine the teachings of morality heavily mixed in with martial arts and physical training. In the past many wars were won by the invading force not always by brute force but other means of persuasion. So combining spirituality the King would help insure that his army was not for hire. This is nothing new under the Sun.

This makes a lot of sense due to the name of the Yoga positions in the series at the root of Mysore Ashtanga. Warrior one, Warrior two etc... These are sword fighting stances and many of them cross over and parallel many of the other martial arts stances and or as they are often called "forms".

History of Power Yoga Theory Three
Some of the history of Physical Yoga is literally etched in stone. The Khajuraho temples and The Shiva temple in Belur South India are standing monuments, some of which still have Yoga postures etched in the stone walls of the temples. Shiva is known by many as the God of Yoga. Some date as far back as 950 AD. That is old enough in my book as a testament to standing the test of time.

To be continued... Krishnamacharya and the History of the Mysore Palace Yoga patronage

It should be noted that Krishnamcharya would most likely refer to himself as a Yogi and or Yoga teacher, the term Power Yoga is really a western term that we in the west relate to.


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