Iyengar And The Invention Of Yoga

08/25/2014 08:28 am ET | Updated Aug 25, 2014
  • Michelle Goldberg The New Yorker
Dominik Ketz via Getty Images

In contemporary yoga classes, teachers often speak of Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutras,” a philosophical text compiled around two thousand years ago, as the wellspring of the practice. This requires an imaginative leap, because the yoga sutras say next to nothing about physical poses; their overriding concern is the workings of the mind. Yoga, the sutras say, “is the restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness.” The total of their guidance about posture is that it should be “steady and comfortable.”

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