If your knees are higher than your pelvic rim, place Yoga pants a firm support under your hips until the knees and hips are level. When you are Yoga pants using a folded blanket, it helps to sit on the corner of the blanket, with your sitting bones fully supported but each thigh free from the edge of the blanket. This support will allow your pelvis to tilt slightly forward and your knees to drop lower. If your knees are high off the floor, support them with blocks as shown. Place a folded towel under both ankles and heels as shown. This is important for the alignment of the ankle and foot. The ankles will be higher off the floor than the toes. a Manually widen your upper thighs and buttocks.
It was at this point that the proto-Sramana became a Sramana as he turned a ritual undergoing change into a philosophical based way of living. The aim of his life was to prepare for his own death. The more labour he invested in this aim, the more he accumulated symbolic capital . The adept who through a laborious process had prepared his body and mind for death simultaneously became a living legend – a superhuman loaded with Axial Age wisdom; a high ranking ethical person with no worldly interests; a living but almost dead totem radiating eminent symbols; a screen for projections guided and orientated by the code and habitus embodied in asceticism.
Asceticism, meditation and liberation together: proto-yoga
With this we have sketched the context and dynamic of the crystallisation of early-yoga practices and ideas before they even had a collective name. Emerging yoga or rather protoyoga defined as pre-Axial ascetic practices and discourses combined with Axial Age wisdom discourses about abstract transcendent ontological entities, insight, individuality, happiness and ethical living.
In summary we have, finally, all the elements of my proto-type definition of yoga coming together to form a coherent sign system. This happened among the early Sramanas – especially the Jains – as they turned an existing institution of ritual death into a cultural field. Here, within this cultural field , asceticism, meditation (stilling the mind) and liberation (of the immovable soul) were developed and brought together by a new species of specialists – the Sramanas. Here a cluster of signs defined and gave meaning to each other within an overall sign system. Implicit semiotic code and habitus enabled (death) specialists in the field to accumulate symbolic capital.
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