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History and Lineage of Yoga with Eric Shaw

itunesart.finalnewsizejpgMarch2016Eric Shaw Podcast – Yoga Historian and Yoga Teacher. Eric studied and trained in yoga for more than twenty years. He has five academic degrees, and did his primary yoga training with Shandor Remete, Matt Huish and Arkady Shirin. Eric is currently working with Rod Stryker and his Parayoga form.

Eric is an enthusiastic learned student of the history of yoga and the lineage of the styles now prevalent in the United States.

Eric has cultivated his own yoga style and teaches Prasana Yoga  (www.prsanayoga.com) – Derived from his studies Shandor Remete. Prasana yoga emphasizes patterns and forms in yoga. Aesthetics of movement, flow and connective style through transitions. Graceful to the eye. Creative choreography.

Eric Shaw teaches daily in Taipei and is working with Pure Yoga. He will be traveling to the U.S., see schedule below.


Outline of our podcast Discussion about the history and lineage of Yoga

Myth – Yoga poses were invented in the 1930’s – Mark Singleton’s quote, from his book Yoga Body is misinterpreted

Yoga history

  • Images of yoga postures as far back as 5000 years ago.
  • Text from middle ages describing postures and images.
  • Vinyasa systems describe around 200 AD.

1893 Swami Vivekananda brought yoga to the United States. The uniqueness about this new chapter in yoga history was that the students did not pledge to a (Guru)teacher and learn yoga one-on-one in a confidential relationship.

Swami Vivekananda taught yoga and meditation for the first time in a group session to Americans.

Much of the history of the styles practiced in the United States stem from intense activity in the kingdom of Mysore in the 1930’s ruled by King Wadiyar 4th – Very wealthy man and a proponent of physical exercise – Also involved in the creation of the YMCA

T. Krishnamacharya – born in 1888 – Started a yoga school for King Wadiyar 4th.

Krishnamacharya taught many students including B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of Ashtanga yoga. Krishnamacharya’s son Desikachar studied with his father and opened a school to teach Yoga Therapy.

Eric strongly rejects any notion that yoga was appropriated from India.

Eric believes that the spread of yoga around the world was purposeful, a natural evolution or sorts and is very beneficial.

Evolution of Bikram Yoga – Bikram Choudhury – born in 1947

  • Bikram was a student of Bishnu Ghosh.
  • Bishnu Ghosh was a body builder and the brother of Yogananda.
  • Bishnu Ghosh and Krishnamacharya were contemporaries and Krishnamacharya knew of Bishnu’s Guru, Sri Yukteshwar.
  • Bikram’s first taught in the U.S. in a studio in Hawaii.
  • Bishnu Ghosh taught yoga postures to Swami Sivananda.
  • B.K.S. Iyengar was a judge at a yoga competition where Bikram was one of the contestants.

Kundalini yoga

  • Swami Bhajan Came to the United States in the 1960’s.
  • Created Kundalini as his signature style – blended several yoga schools of thought.
  • Criticized by Indian teachers for integrating tantric sexual practices that were eventually dropped as the Kundalini practice evolved in the United States.
  • Intense breathing practices.

Iyengar and meeting Pope Paul

Is yoga a religion, an ethical discipline?

  • Eric has a podcast on this subject.
  • Eric is a firm believer in the deep philosophical principles of yoga.
  • Eric embraces eastern religious ideology.
  • Managing life force with yoga and religion.
  • Similarities in eastern and western spiritual practices.

Eric Shaw’s thoughts about the evolution of yoga:

Large companies offering yoga around the world is growing at a very rapid rate. Eric on a work assignment for Pure.

Yoga is finding yoga spread like this to be a very positive force. Teacher are putting their hearts into the practice, helping to lead people to self-understanding, helping people to develop their bodies as a way to develop their minds.

Eric sees the continuation of senior teachers like Rod Stryker and Shiva Rea being sought out by experienced students to learn more and go deeper into practice.

Yoga is moving to a social context. Yoga was not originally designed to be social

  • Prisoners and drug addict.
  • Acro Yoga.
  • Social activism – Sean Korn.
  • Role of yoga as a positive force in corporate social conscious.

Eric’s personal practice

Make time to meditate. Separate from the constant activity of your mind, step away in meditation to access your higher decision capacity.

http://www.prasanayoga.com Eric Shaw is based in Taipei.

See his US event page here, Eric will be in Aptos Ca. August 6th, Chicago, IL 8/14-16 and Rochester MN 8/18-20.

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