Earliest-recognized Canine And Cat Poses

06 May 2018, 10:27am -

Health Advice

- About Nina Zolotow
by Nina

Yesterday I found out about a blog theluminescent.blogspot.co.ukthat contains quite a bit of interesting information about the history of yoga. There are two contributors: Dr. Jason Birch and Jacqueline Hargreaves. Jason Birch has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) from Oxford University, under the Supervision of Professor Alexis Sanderson (2013). He says that as a scholar of yoga, his special interest is in "the medieval yoga traditions of India, particularly those known as Haṭha and the Rājayoga." Jacqueline Hargreaves, E-RYT, is a yoga teacher with has a special interest in Indian Yoga traditions and Japanese Zen. She says that she researches "the contemporary meeting place between historical practices and their application in a modern therapeutic environment."


While poking around there, I found a couple of short articles you might find intriguing and that speak to my topic of yesterday, myths about yoga. While most of us seem to be getting clearer about the actual age of many of the yoga poses we practice today, which were developed only recently by Indian yoga teachers, such as Krishnamacharya, in the early 20th century, for older poses—and there are many older ones—we often don’t realize that the reality of what the pose was is like back in the day is quite different than what we do today.

So, from The Luminescent, here is an illustration of the earliest-known Dog pose (to date) borrowed from the post The Earliest Known Dog Pose. According to Jacqueline, so far the earliest-known description of a Dog pose is Śvottānāsana (Up-turned Dog Pose) in the text Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati from the 17th - 18th century.
And here is an illustration of the earliest-known Cat pose (to date) borrowed from the post The Earliest Known Cat Pose. According to Jacqueline, so far the earliest-known description of a Cat pose is called Mārjārottānāsana (Upturned Cat Pose), which is described in the yoga text called the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati from the17th - 18th century.
In his book Original Yoga, Richard Rosen describes many other older poses and provides instructions for practicing them. And if you’re lucky enough to take a class with him, as I have, you’ll find that he mixes them in with modern poses, which is quite fun!

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