triyoga talks episode 4: Richard Rosen on authenticity, yoga’s evolution + the purpose of asana

Subscribe: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

Richard Rosen has been a student of yoga for nearly 40 years. He trained at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in the 1980s and, in 1987, co-founded the Piedmont Yoga Studio with Rodney Yee. He has also written four authoritative books on breath, pranayama and the traditional practices of yoga. In the latest podcast in our triyoga talks series, he talks with Genny Wilkinson Priest about yoga in the modern world, how traditional practices have evolved over the centuries, and whether there is really any such thing as authentic yoga.

When asked whether yoga’s popularity opens it up to distortion, he says, “Westerners are often accused by traditionalists of distorting yoga. But the fact is that what we received was already a distorted version of the practice to begin with; although we were told differently and we didn’t really know what we were getting.

“And the question is, why did this happen? The Indian teachers who reinvented yoga, they found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Regarding the practice, the one thing that they valued most was age and tradition. The older something was, they believed the more authority it had. So they distrusted innovation and newness. The problem was then that what they had in their hands was an entirely new form of yoga, which by their own standards lacked authority.”

On the purpose of asana and whether it matters why we practice, he adds, “I think it matters more how you practise yoga than why. You can probably practise yoga for self-aggrandisement or to profit off it in some way. Even practising for the wrong reasons, we might reserve judgment to see if the practice changes the student’s purpose. Despite all its shortcomings, modern yoga can have a really transformative effect, even if you’re not really expecting it. In yoga, it is really important how you practise, with attention and with dedication.”

Richard will be teaching an online workshop with Annie Carpenter entitled ‘the evolving practice’ on 8th September 2020. Click here to learn how to sustainably evolve your practice over the years from this pair of incredibly experienced international teachers.  

Listen to our other podcasts in the ‘triyoga talks’ series here.

Click here to read Richard’s follow up to the podcast, with more on Vedic secrecy, the sutras and God.

pilates equipment offer

new to equipment pilates?

get started with a 60 minute one-on-one starter assessment for just £50

buy now

introductory offer

new to triyoga?

enjoy 7 days unlimited online classes for just £25

find out more

online

join us online

sign up for classes, workshops + treatments

find out more

concession clinic

are you a senior,
receive government benefits or a student?

enjoy a selection of treatments at special prices
in camden starting from £30 for 30 minutes

learn more

equipment pilates rehabilitation package

are you injured or in pain?

pilates rehabilitation packages combine 3 x 60min massage + 3 x private pilates for just £365

learn more
follow us on instagram
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.