this is my letter to the editor at YJ, we’ll see if they publish it.
I appreciate the historical perspective of sun salutations Kelly McGonigal presents in her article “Shine on Me” in the March edition of Yoga Journal. And while it is nice to consider the origins of various yoga practices, I think a fuller picture might have been presented. The article doesn’t mention Swami Sivananda – and yet he taught his own version of surya namaskar. Should we assume that he first went to Mysore to study with Krishnamacharya and learn British gymnastic exercises? And what about the mantras that Swami Satyananda (Bihar School) attributes to the practice in Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha? Did Sivananda or Satyananda introduce these mantras or are they part of a more ancient practice? Are they are as relevant to this practice as the Savitur Rg? Then there are the Tibetan Buddhists. Sitting under the famous tree in Bodhagaya, one can witness practitioners engaging in very athletic prostrations that look a bit, surprise, like sun salutations! While the teachings of Sri Krishnamacharya are certainly admirable, clearly they are not the whole picture. Research into practices originating from a wider range of traditions would be greatly appreciated.
Kristine Kaoverii Weber