Yoga Philosophy talk by Daniel Simpson, Lit and Phil, 29th January 2019
Apparently there is no yoga philosophy! End of talk!
To summarize very briefly: What we know about yoga comes from the Indian Vedas, Buddhism and many inter-related philosophies over 3000 or more years.
While yoga as union with the universe and transcendence of the self is mentioned in the Upanishads and other classic Indian texts, the mainly physical yoga we practice today comes from the Tantras around the 16th century. In Tantric belief the body is the vehicle of the divine, and is treated as such. Before the Tantras physical postures were only a small part of yoga.
Interestingly ‘Hatha’ does not mean sun and moon as I always believed. It actually means ‘force’. Sanskrit is open to many subtle and nuanced interpretations. In Hatha yoga we harness the ‘force’ of the sun and moon within the body, usually through the breath.