“Threads of Yoga” by Matthew Remski should be on the reading list of every yoga teacher training. It is rich, inspirational – and to use Remski’s own term, “fleshy.” This is a luscious, succulent, unpacking and updating of Patanjali’s sutras.
Remski uses several tools to dissect Patanjali’s threads and poetically reassemble them into a coherent elucidation. First, he analyzes them through the lenses of Husserl, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Derrida. Then he employs the lens of Western psychology to study the primacy that we place on thinking rather than regarding the “flesh” (body and mind) as an independent yet interdependent mechanism. Finally, Remski adds an Eastern understanding of the nature of consciousness into the mix and describes how yoga functions as an antidote to all that afflicts us. His presentation of the purusa and prakriti Samkya is particularly pertinent.
Most importantly, Remski’s final layer regards the sutras through a modern anthropological lens: “Yoga tends to show up wherever the dominant paradigm is wearing thin and creating internal conflict, wherever the emperor is losing his clothes, wherever people begin to say: ‘What I have been taught is not working: I need to find my own answers, together with those who speak to my heart.’”
This passionate, poetic, self-reflective “remix” of The Yoga Sutras will inspire the next generation of yogis to expand their paradigms.