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    erikJ's Avatar
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    Yoga, 5000 years old, Primal??

    Primal Fuel
    So I've been doing yoga for about 10 years and have studied much of the philosophies of that make up the whole of modern yoga (Hinduism, Brahmanism, Tantra, Ayurveda.) and something kind of clicked for me when I recently went primal. For one, Yoga has been traced to the Indus valley civilization 5000 years ago. This was a culture that was eating lots of wild animal, elephant and rhino (mmmm rhino), lots of fish and were one of the first societies to begin the cultivation of agriculture. For one this meant that yogi's were not vegetarian as is currently the expected norm according to mainstream yoga communities. It also meant they were probably eating small amounts of grains, as part of the society, But still very little by modern comparisons. Combine this with a culture of walking barefoot and a physical discipline of moving slowly and learning to relax the mind, and you get some pretty primal folks.
    I wonder about the actual use of grains by yogi's as they were usually relegated to the outskirts of society thus were probably not participating in the day to day activities of the culture, i.e. farming and milling rice etc.
    I'm really curious to learn more about this as I have noticed my yoga practice is getting much stronger and more flexible due to the lack of inflammation, Not to mention I recover so much faster, important as I practice 6 days a week (good for flexibility and fine if done slowly)
    Any other yogi's gone primal?

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    Hidee Ho, Erik!

    Yogini (and former vegetarian as a result), as well as a former resident of San Fran, here.

    I was quite dismayed to learn that the originators of yoga ate meat! We were never taught that. I struggled mightily with eating meat because of the spiritual (karmic) as well as ethical (again, karmic!) implications....despite my hair falling out like crazy.

    I do feel Primal when doing yoga as well as dancing. Doing yoga outside is especially wonderful. No, you're not the only one who has increased strength, reduced inflammation, and increased recovery times.

    Cheers,
    Ginger
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    I love doing yoga. It's not necessarily primal in that it was the product of a post-agriculture civilization but I do think it has primal benefits, namely hormonal regulation and de-stressing.

    It's too bad that it's associated so strongly with vegetarianism. I stayed at an 'ayurvedic weight loss' facility in India for a few weeks once, and they had the BEST yoga classes, but the diet was shit - no meat, blandly cooked vegetables, and whole wheat flatbread. Sometimes fruit. My current favorite yoga instructor gives me the following dietary advice: low-fat milk, lots of lentils, no rice, whole wheat flatbread, chicken in moderation, up to two egg yolks a week. LOL! I don't follow it (obviously) but I don't really get into it with her either. She also thinks I should take up jogging once I lose more weight, but I definitely don't plan to do that. She's in ridiculously good shape though--slim with a good proportion of lean body mass and body fat--and looks much younger than her age, although I think part of this is due to genetic luck. I'm a little scared to think of how (frankly) hot she would be with a primal diet and no chronic cardio!
    Last edited by spakesneaker; 11-05-2010 at 03:15 PM.

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    erikJ's Avatar
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    I love doing yoga. It's not necessarily primal in that it was the product of a post-agriculture civilization .
    I wonder about that part, That perhaps it was created as a reaction to post-agriculture civilization, rather than a product of it. I imagine a bunch of wise old men looking around going "whats wrong with these kids today, all weak and tired?"
    The Karmic idea to me is bunk because a full understanding of karma is that the killing of an animal for food is justifiable as it is in harmony with the rest of the natural world. That every death is , in a karmic sense, supposed to happen exactly how it happens. Humans determining what is right or wrong based on karma is just judgmental and leaves a lot of room for abuse. not sure this is the place for that discussion so i'll leave it at that. =)

    The ultimate goal of yoga is union and harmony with the universe/god/nature etc, so it seems eating in harmony with the way your body works would be true wisdom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erikJ View Post
    I wonder about that part, That perhaps it was created as a reaction to post-agriculture civilization, rather than a product of it. I imagine a bunch of wise old men looking around going "whats wrong with these kids today, all weak and tired?"
    That's an interesting thought. But in the way that it was created as part of an organized system of religious/philosophical beliefs--Hinduism--and involved writing and reading, teachers and students, I think that it could only have come about with the advent of an agricultural civilization. Society would not have been stratified into teachers and students or the holy wise men and the student without agriculture. I agree it could have also been a reaction to settling down and wanting to conserve health, but I think it was also part of a religious system that went hand-in-hand with the other social and cultural aspects of an agricultural society. But yeah, seemed to have worked better back when they ate tons of meat.

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    My first (and most beloved) teacher -- you know that one you will always have in your heart as "my teacher" -- told me way back when that not everyone was cut out to be vegetarian -- that different body types and blood types required different things. She ate meat and felt zero guilt about it. (I must admit that I still do feel guilt sometimes, and there are some types of meat that I can't abide.)

    I would sit at my teacher's feet long after class and she would talk to me about everything/anything. I remember her telling me, matter of factly, "You DO know Jesus was a yogi, right?"
    "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates

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    Love love love yoga but have only done the power yoga types. I need to start exploring the more spiritual versions.

    I do think yoga is primal - more primal than lifting kettle bells or using gym equipment. Nothing that makes you feel that good afterwards could be considered anything but organic. Did Grok do down-dog? Maybe. I know he did Warrior 2 - he's the ispiration for the pose.

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    Well, Hinduism and yoga aren't necessarily the same. Hinduism has no one defining feature, Its more of a large collection of cults organized by a very general philosophy in how they relate to god and or the environment. i.e. they all center around vishnu, shiva or brahma, but not in one form. Yoga is more of a philosophy and has quite a few different influences, It actually predates hinduism. The thing I have always loved in fact was that it is not dependent on a set religious dogma nor does it have a religious leader. The guru, disciple relationship has traditionally been one on one teaching and not the big celebrity guru thing you have now, I think that could have easily predated agriculture based civilizations, Shaman's, hermits, etc. Hell some yogis STILL live in caves. super primal. =)

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    erikJ's Avatar
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    "You DO know Jesus was a yogi, right?"
    I think I saw a show about how some think that the three wise men from the east were actually yogi's or buddhist monks. The essenne (sp?) and gnostic texts sound alot like early yogic ideas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erikJ View Post
    Well, Hinduism and yoga aren't necessarily the same. Hinduism has no one defining feature, Its more of a large collection of cults organized by a very general philosophy in how they relate to god and or the environment. i.e. they all center around vishnu, shiva or brahma, but not in one form. Yoga is more of a philosophy and has quite a few different influences, It actually predates hinduism. The thing I have always loved in fact was that it is not dependent on a set religious dogma nor does it have a religious leader. The guru, disciple relationship has traditionally been one on one teaching and not the big celebrity guru thing you have now, I think that could have easily predated agriculture based civilizations, Shaman's, hermits, etc. Hell some yogis STILL live in caves. super primal. =)
    Hinduism isn't an organized religion in the sense that the Abrahamic religions are, that's true. But it could also be considered a combination of monotheism and polytheism--the 'cults,' meaning devotional sects, that you mentioned. I think it's important not to divorce yoga from its roots in the Hindu/Jain/Buddhist tradition, even if it only connects to part of that tradition because the tradition is just so varied. Concepts and practices such as using breathing to control a 'life force,' non-violence (hence the interpretation of yoga as associated with vegetarianism), taking the body to extremes as a method of achieving purity, sun salutations are surya namaskaras literally 'welcoming the Sun [god]' etc. - all religious concepts. I don't think you can say that it 'predates' Hinduism when Hinduism was never really a religion that was 'invented' by humans at a specific point in history, and it was given a label only a few centuries ago. I also haven't seen any evidence to support that idea previously. Then again I guess it doesn't really matter... what matters is that yoga can be an integral part of a primal lifestyle.

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