Just as competing traditions dismissed Samkhya because it was dualistic, Classical Yoga too was considered flawed. It suffered the same problems as Samkhya. How could there be all these purushas floating about the universe, omnipotent and infinite, but separate? The rise of Buddhism, and its emphasis on the middle path, also created problems for Classical Yoga. Classical Yoga was fierce, its renunciation achievable by only a few. How could yoga ever be a spiritual practice for everyone, when it demanded such sacrifice? The Buddha tried earlier versions of Classical Yoga, mastered them, and dismissed these approaches.

Other yogis began to think in new ways. They began to ask, “If we can become liberated only through working while in our bodies, how can our bodies be part of the problem?” Surely the body must be part of the solution. The body should not be destroyed in order to achieve liberation; it must be honored, in the same way a temple is honored. In fact, the body is the temple in which we do our practice. This was the dawning of a new, radically different form of yoga. This was the beginning of Tantra Yoga.

(Next: Tantra )