Use-value and symbolic-value of yoga in MBh
We can see from this short overview that the Moksha-dharma (MD), where the main yoga discussions are found in the MBh, only adds a limited amount to the technical understanding about yoga already gained from the Upanishads, leaving aside that the Upanishads orientate yoga by a different sign system. The issue is that we still have no comprehensive and systematic doctrine and are often left with open-ended notions like dhyana, dharana, samadhi, ekagrata. No-one knows today the practical and specific difference between such notions and one wonders if people actually knew that at that time. The discussions only allow us to conclude that there was a vibrant discourse arena focussing on release of the self, generating a range of theoria and praxis systems, whose contours and differences we can only vaguely define.
Overall, one can cautiously generalise that the meditative yoga technologies in the MD in general are about harnessing the body-mind system – the self or the senses’ – which consists of various elements (tattvas). If successful, this leads to a merger/union with undifferentiated consciousness. This will lead to salvation, conquering of death’ and access to realms beyond change’ (Schreiner 1999). This could give us the impression that these various systems were mostly part of death rituals: yoga as a multitude of systems of preparation for death.
UTTHITA TRIKONASANA Triangle Pose Purpose: To strengthen and stretch the Yoga for men legs, hips, and spine. Contraindications: Imbalance, pubic fracture. Props: A Yoga for men yoga mat, a wall, and a block. Avoiding pitfalls: The wider your stance, the more freedom you will have in the hips, but do not go so wide as to lose stability. The knees may want to bend and the upper body tends to shift forward. Keep your legs straight, and your torso lined up directly above your legs and parallel to the wall behind you. Stand with your back to the wall, raise your arms to shoulder height, and step your feet apart the same width as your outstretched arms. Turn the right foot and leg parallel to the wall, but face your torso straight out from the wall.