Yoga Philosophy 

Aiko Ota Podcast -- Yoga Philosophy 

In this episode, I speak again with Tim Kenty, whom you may remember from the episode about spiritual bypassing.  This time, we discuss an intriguing quote from Carl Jung about the practice of yoga in the western world. It may sound controversial to western yogis, but Carl Jung was not someone whose words are to be taken lightly.

Out of deep appreciation for yoga and deep understanding of western culture he stated that the west is the worst possible soil for yoga practice.  This is because it is barbarously one-sided in its thinking whereas eastern spirituality is thousands of years ahead in its evolution. He said, though, that over the course of the centuries, the west will produce its own yoga. In his reflections, Tim commented that collectively what’s going on now is that the west is gradually making friends with yoga and other forms of spirituality, a relationship that will deepen over time.

A surprising twist is that he gives a literal take on Jung’s soil analogy, speaking of how the literal soil of India is more potent and favorable for yoga practice than that of the west, given the fact that so many yogis have walked barefoot on those lands over millennia.  Get ready for a plunge in the ocean of wisdom, as Tim Kenty unpacks Jung’s statement, and travels back in time to the pre-Socratic philosophers who communed with Mother Nature.

See links at the bottom.  In this episode, yoga teacher and blogger, Ambika di Maria, speaks about karma yoga, the art of dedicating your sense of agency in this world for a higher purpose and letting go of the outcome. We will first get to hear the interesting story of how Ambika came in touch with her yoga teachers through serendipitous events.

Then the discussion turns into being about the importance of the connection between karma yoga and bhakti yoga, karma yoga meaning, as indicated above, to dedicate one's actions, whereas bhakti yoga means coming to the point of dedicating one's sense of self.

Facebook: Ambika Yoga
Instagram: yoga.ambika  
Twitter: @LinaDiMaria1    

In this episode, Tim Kenty, spiritual coach and healer, speaks about spiritual bypassing, which is when we use spirituality as an excuse not to deal with things we need to deal with. It may seem scary to face our issues, but developing integrity will not only become its own reward. It will also attract blessings far beyond what we could ever imagine.

Tim describes the inner meaning of the word “yoga”: The union of the feminine and masculine, the union of the yin and yang, the push and pull, everything that exists, the inner polarity of being, and many more layers of definition.  

See links at the bottom.    In this episode, Krisangi, co-founder of award-winning yoga magazine Ananda, speaks about how yoga came into her life.  Krisangi was born with a serious foot deformation and later chose to have her feet amputated.

During her childhood, she used to be angry at God for what she perceived as an injustice. She couldn't understand why she had to suffer in that way. But when she learned about yoga philosophy and the teaching about karma, everything started making sense, and she had answers to questions she had never dared to ask.

I'm amazed at how she has formed her professional life around things she loves to do, such as biking the world and drawing comics, and how she is a hundred times more physically active than I am, and I was wondering where she gets all the power from. You will have to listen to the episode to hear the answer. 🙂  

Check out Krisangi and her husbands latest book at:  
Her yoga teacher Lori:

See links at the bottom.

In this episode, special guest Måns Broo, professor of religion, Sanskrit scholar, yoga practitioner, and philosophy teacher, talks on the definitions of yoga in ancient Indian scriptures.  His main argument, and the main takeaway from this episode, is that although yoga has always been changing and adapting to new circumstances if it is to have value beyond mere entertainment, its roots need to be kept in mind. The main texts he refers to are the Vedas, the Yoga-sutras, and the Bhagavad-gita.

Måns says that the system of yoga can be seen as a map. On a map, you need to find out where you are and where you are going. When you have ascertained both, the path ahead of you will be clear.

In this episode, special guest Swami Padmanabha, traveling monk, and yoga philosophy teacher for 20 years speaks on the first three restraints of astanga-yoga: non-violence, truthfulness, and non-stealing.  Astanga-yoga means the eight-limbed path of yoga.

Swami Padmanabha gives a brief description of the eight limbs:  yama - restraints  niyama - observances  asana - posture  pranayama - regulation of breath  pratyahara - sense withdrawal  dharana - concentration  dhyana - meditation  samadhi – complete absorption  He then goes on to comment on the first three yamas:  ahimsa – non-violence  satya – truthfulness  asteya – non-stealing  Since ahimsa comes first it has a prominence, and this means that the following principles are guided by this one.

For example, you are asked to be truthful. But since you are first of all asked to be non-violent, you need to be mindful about speaking the truth in a way that is not hurtful.  Stealing goes beyond stealing physical things. Punctuality is also part of asteya, since you’re otherwise stealing people’s time. Swami is careful to point out, however, that we’re not expected to be mastering these principles at once. We need to start somewhere and find a healthy pace of growth from there.  We also get to hear Swami’s reflections on practicing these principles in community life, a situation where one is continually challenged in this regard.

He advises the listeners to reflect on, hear about, and keep the company of others who are likewise interested to be able to make this a part of one’s life.

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