Maybe one of the most experienced yogis to ever grace this podcast in past or future, Yoganand Michael Carroll is a treasure trove of amazing stories and yoga philosophy. A must listen for anyone interested in the history of yoga and its philosophy!
- How he had an appetite for spirituality that was not sated by his strict fundamentalist Christian family, but found a spiritual path at Kripalu when it was still an ashram
- Yoganand was at the ashram when Amrit Desai, Kripalu’s founder, was asked to leave when it was revealed that he was having extra-marital affairs with students (who were all supposed to be practicing celibacy)
- What yoga has lost by going mainstream, but what it’s gained, too, given the guru culture of India and early-American yoga
- Finding a clear path toward balance, and how our understanding of spirituality and psychology are nuanced
- Practicing the Shat Kriya (six rites/cleansing rituals), and confrontational practices like dhauti (cloth swallowing) from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika
- What excites and interests Yoganand about the Pradipika and scholarship on Hatha Yoga’s arrival in the 10th century, contextualized to the Sutras and Gita
- The variety of definitions of yoga in the Bhagavad Gita and how Krishna was using them to help prepare Arjuna
- How yoga student/teacher guidance used to work before texts were widely available
- How texts used to be written in purposefully obscured language
- Can Kundalini energy be raised with ease or is it only for the enlightened?
- The limitations of the rational mind to understand metaphor for conveying spiritual concepts
- How we stress the body just the right amount to get stronger, and how in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika there’s energetic and physical recommendations of stress to apply for growth
- Chakras have changed, and how they weren’t coloured or associated to musical notes, etc in history, and how you don’t have chakras – you create them
- We conclude with the consolation that there has never been a time where there was a universally agreed upon definition of yoga
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