Initiated in India over 2,500 years ago, yoga has since touched nearly every aspect of contemporary global consciousness. Over the centuries, it has responded to the practical and philosophical needs of seekers in myriad ways that has kept alive its freshness and relevance.
In India, the traditional form of preserving a body of knowledge has always been through its transmission from master to student.
From its exposition by the Lord himself to the human aspirant in the Bhagavad Gita, yoga has been codified, ratified, rejuvenated, and increasingly transmitted to the larger world through the works and teachings of Patanjali, Buddha, Paramahansa Yogananda and the Himalayan yogis, and Swami Sivananda Saraswati. Paradoxically perhaps, the names of masters such as Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, K. Pattabhi Jois. B.K.S. Iyengar, Bikram Choudhury, T.K.V. Desikachar and Master Kamal may be better known today outside India. Their classes continue to attract increasing numbers of students of hatha yoga, pranayama and meditation.
The living, dynamic nature of yoga can be seen from how it has changed through time, reinterpreted and transmuted by each master according to the needs of the age.
This book seeks to trace the path of yoga from its earliest historical mentions, and down through its interpretations by the Indian masters of subsequent centuries.