Let us once more return to the beginning of the diffusion process and follow – as they say in semiotics – how the new signified’ of yoga (the mental meaning) was created. In 1947 fresh from India came Indra Devi – an eastern European woman recently trained in a postural yoga style by Krishnamacharya, the innovator. She went to Los Angeles and started to offer yoga training and was soon followed by more. Devi – like Pierre Bernard twenty to thirty years earlier – targeted her hatha-yoga at a milieu of stars, celebrities and the media world. She framed it – signified it – within the Hollywood discourse of health, celebrity and beauty, but she did not, like Bernard, link her regiment to Tantra and mysticism. Like her Indian teacher she kept it – the signified – much more within accepted modernist outlooks and her genius was to link the yoga sign strongly and directly with beauty. Hence Devi collaborated with Elizabeth Arden and her beauty farms and she worked with the diet and health star adviser Paul Bragg (Syman 2010). Devi further befriended, taught and collaborated with the celebrity actress Gloria Swanson. In their books and promotions they signified hatha-yoga with youth and beauty (Syman 2010), which of course gave yoga immense symbolic value: yoga increasing the capital value of the body.
Contraindications: None. Props: A yoga mat, a Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose Yoga bolster, and two blankets. Avoiding pitfalls: Take the time to set up the props Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose Yoga so you are comfortable. Fold one blanket into a long rectangle and place it on your mat where your upper chest will be when you lie down on your back. Leaving a space for your shoulders to rest, place another blanket down toward the top of your mat. Make a long roll with the side of it to provide support for your neck. What is left, after making this roll will pad your head on the floor. The size of the roll should be determined by level of comfort under the curve of your neck.
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