Through inclusive discourse, study shows that privilege, class, and caste has historically underpinned the path of yoga from its inception in the medieval era. Let us not forget, that the yoga to which I am referring, is not the yoga that is practised by the global mass market of today.
Early in yoga history we see the ‘ancient rebels’ sramanas and yoga shamans predominantly in India but not entirely, literally come off the grid and denouncing any material wealth and move into the forests for some ‘real’ practice, to cease the painful, rebirths of the soul, into samsara. With much sacrifice, will and commitment, saddhus, ascetics and shamans turned away from Brahmanical concepts and traditions, instead, practising radical self-mortification techniques of devotion and denouncing the embedded caste system in Hindu philosophy, along with the Buddha.
Even here the history is contested, quite aggressively at times. Why is this? Researchers are finding more and more evidence that challenges former conceptuality around Southeast Asia and its spiritual, religious practises, we are finding that a similar corpus of practise has been traced to Pakistan, in Punjab regions and in some Muslim communities. We know that yoga postures, or rather those that we define as such, are found in the pyramids of ancient Egypt, but here again there is a distortion in dates, creating much speculation about who was where, and when.
We are building a community of like minds and compassionate souls to share experiences as practitioners, teachers, students, educators, policy makers, change makers, researcher scholars, journalists, and historians. I have a vision that unites community with research, bringing together a broader symposium, that is inclusive and diverse, in a decolonised solidarity within contemporary yoga in the UK.
I am keen to discuss through a more open interpretation to this problem that is underpinned by some real facts and findings, that can be proved and not to dismiss, that which cannot be scientifically proved, like the effect of spirituality on human consciousness.
I am walking away from a caste system as I would apartheid, Jim Crow as well as white supremacist colonialism to which my countries of origin Africa and Jamaica post slavery, have been a major part in forming, that unfortunate part of British history.