Support the bent elbow with your other hand. Inhale and Yoga mat target firm your arm muscles, retracting your raised arm back into the shoulder socket. Keep full Yoga mat target contact with the wall as you turn toward that arm until you feel a stretch across the back of your shoulder. Adjust your feet to neutralize any body torque. Stay in the stretch for several breaths. Release and repeat on the other side. This pose constricts the front of the shoulder, but stretches the back. Purpose: To stretch the deltoid, triceps, and pectoralis, which are three major shoulder muscles, expanding range of motion.
The many styles of meditation
Meditation, informed and orientated by the Axial Age karma discourse, seems to take a central place in proto-yoga, especially seen in the context of the cultural field of assisting the dying. However meditation, in the early Sramana discourse, had many names, significations and applications. It could for instance also mean pondering over’, which seems to be very different, if not opposite, from stopping the mind’. Meditation could also be a question of sensory withdrawal’. Further, meditation was sometimes described as a process, consisting of different degrees ofabsorption’ and/or concentration’. The Jains developed four stages and the Brahmins developed similar element meditation’ . All this indicates that the technique (the referent) and the signification of meditation were a broad discourse field. Based on that we should not jump to the conclusion that meditation for the Sramanas was only connected to death ritual and their preparation.
Still-mind-meditation was, in summary, emerging out of various cross-fertilising ascetic disciplines, rituals, fields, milieus and institutions – Sramanic, Kshatriya and Brahmin . Slowly meditation in its various forms moved to the centre of various ascetic techniques and milieus. This happened also in the Upanishads. In some pre-yoga Upanishads – Chandogya and Prasna Upanishad – we see ascetic meditative practices mentioned such as fixing of the senses, suppressing breath, controlling movements (Jacobsen 2005, Bronkhorst 1996).
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