How old is your downward-facing dog? What about the tree pose? Salutations to the sun? This talk will offer an accessible overview of the latest scholarly research on the history of yogic postures (āsana) in premodern India—as understood through Sanskrit and vernacular texts, sculptures, paintings, and more.
We will see that while Indian yogis and ascetics have been disciplining their bodies in physical shapes for thousands of year, many of the more familiar standing, balancing, and dynamic yogic āsanas are of more recent development.