There were many other Indian body oriented institutions that could have used and refined asana. Like the ancient Greeks, the Indians also had gymnasiums for bodily exercises – the vyayamasalas. Most probably they practised stretching poses as a part of a body regime. It is interesting that many of these events and places were run by ascetic orders.
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There was also the festival of the wandering ascetics – the kumbhamela. There people met and exchanged ideas and practices. Or asana/stretching posture advances might have happened within Indian medicine – ayurveda.
Again, asana could have been refined into therapeutic and medical tools. Or the martial arts tradition of Kerala could have developed asana to increase their flexibility and strength. So Sjoman concludes that we can easily trace a range of interacting body oriented institutions having refined asana.
Later on, as British rule spread slowly over India, we know that British military training had a great influence on the indigenous soldier training systems, especially as Western gymnastics using ropes, parallel bars and trapezes started to emerge at the end of the period.
British military gymnastics were a further strong input to all the Indian body traditions inspiring them to re-develop their original techniques. Sjoman found this clearly documented in the Mysore libraries.
For more on this, see B.Gutkin and G Yoga jewelry.
B.Ermentrout, Spikes too kinky in the cortex? Nature 440 [April 20 Yoga jewelry, 2006]: 999-1000. The word originates from the Greek syn together and hapto to clasp.
Synovial fluid The yellowish white fluid that bathes each joint. This fluid serves three essential purposes: it is a first-class lubricant; it brings oxygen, food, and protein-building blocks to the cartilage of the joint; and it protects the joint from many mechanical and biological causes of disruption. Synovial membrane A membrane, similar to a gasket, that seals the synovial fluid in the joint.