Uncovering Vyāyāma in Yoga
This chapter aims to show how the 19th-century revival of vyāyāma became a source for modern yoga to emerge in India during the first half of the 20th century. In order to do so it will look at the contents of four exercise texts: Gymnastics Part One (1874); Gymnastics Part Two, Vyāyāma Śikṣak (1875); Vyāyāma Dīpike (1896); and Vyāyāma Śikṣak (1904). It will examine these texts alongside a broad historical understanding of the vyāyāma traditions of India in the classical and medieval periods, and will explore the cross-currents of vyāyāma in haṭhayoga and modern yoga. The research will lead us to understand how the syncretic nature of today’s globalised yoga is nothing new. This feature is common throughout the historical development of physical yoga, both in the formative period of modern yoga and the amalgamation process of haṭhayoga over past centuries.