The Yogi’s Knowledge of the Body
There are a great number of religious and mystical movements that profess to liberate an individual’s essence from the body. Theories on essenceâ vary from one movement to another. However, we do not need to enter into the multiple Hindu theories on this topic.
Yoga subscribes to this enterprise. Its originality is to have explored, in a particularly exhaustive way, the tools the body places at the disposal of those who attempt to influence the soul by voluntarily manipulating the bodily dimension.
The bodily methods of hatha yoga are centered on the notion of the postures, designated in the yogi’s vocabulary by the term asana. I do not know of another movement that has gathered such an extensive knowledge of what posture and respiration allow in terms of the transformation of a human being. Physical therapists, sports trainers, martial arts instructors, orthopedic surgeons, and psychotherapists continue to have confidence in this approach. They often recommend the postural and respiratory exercises of hatha yoga and of pranayama, independently from their original context (the eight pillars).
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