Tantra and the Origins of Yoga

By Kat Rodriguez on October 28, 2013 in Practice

Tantra-The Origins of Yoga

The teachings from the Vedas, Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras are often considered the linear path to our modern Hatha Yoga.  But in actuality, the yoga we practice today stems from ancient tantric philosophies, a truth quietly swept under the rug considering Tantra’s association with controversial sexual practices.

The Tantra movement originated in India during the opening centuries of the first millennium.  It came about as a reaction to the dualistic and renunciate practices taught in the Vedas and Upanishads and later codified in the Yoga Sutras.  These first philosophies expressed the necessity to withdraw from normal human experiences in order to reach enlightenment.  Tantra took the exact opposite approach, believing enlightenment could be found through experiencing the Devine within all experiences.

It is from these teachings that the core yoga tenet was born -harmony and self-realization are discovered through the union of mind, body and spirit.

“In this expression of being we are embracing the fullness of all of our energy, to be this one thing, not to be in distinction, not to be anything but the space where everything is alive.  As we go into practice, we find liberation from the ego, from dualistic thinking, experiencing and viscerally comprehending that we are this beautiful space, this amazing wholeness.” Mark Stephens



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