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Thinking in Āsana

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Thinking in Āsana is an exploration of three popular lineages of modern postural yoga – Viniyoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga. The book describes in detail the different styles of yoga practice advocated within the three lineages, and traces the influence of this practice on the corresponding “yoga philosophies”. While Viniyoga, Iyengar Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga name the yoga of Patañjali as the source of their teachings, the interpretations of Patañjali’s system differ significantly between the three lineages. A careful examination suggests that these differences can be accounted for by referring to the differences in the kinds of movement experienced during yoga practice. Linguistic theories of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson provide methodological groundwork for such examination. By deconstructing the experience of movement specific to modern postural yoga practice, and by juxtaposing it to a linguistic analysis of a textual corpus, Thinking in Āsana argues that there is a systematic relation between how yoga is practiced and how yoga philosophy is understood. In doing so, the book not only gives a detailed, insightful look at modern postural yoga in practice and theory, but it also emphasises the role of movement in human meaning-making activity.

Published: Jun 1, 2022