Vivekananda propagated the meditative techniques of yoga (now named raja-yoga) plus some pranayama techniques as the tools for finding the spiritual within. Despite the fact that he imported some Tantric and hatha-yoga ideas and concepts – like the crucial sign of the snake god Kundalini – he did not hold much with hatha-yoga. He rather saw Patanjali’s meditative yoga as the real yoga, while hatha-yoga at best was an inferior yoga form (Singleton 2010). This attitude was similar to those of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP) of Svatmarama. This late Medieval text displayed similar attitudes as it subordinated hatha-yoga in a meditative raja-yoga discourse. With Vivekananda it seems that Tantric and hatha-yoga concepts have no other purpose but to invigorate what was basically a Gnostic meditative discourse.
He became enormously influential in India. In 1893 he went to the USA and became popular, especially in esoteric circles who felt he delivered exactly what they needed: practical tools for finding the spiritual divine. This modernist re-constructed spiritual scientific yoga – a mirror image of Western modernist protestant and romanticist discourse -had returned to the West. Westerners believed they were enlightened with original ancient wisdom, but the package was in large part a re-exported reflection of their own habitus of Western esotericism and Protestantism (Brekke 2002, de Michelis 2004).
Retract your shoulder blades toward the spine and begin to reach Yoga workout your arms behind you. Inhale and vigorously lift your heart. Reach for the chair seat Yoga workout or legs with your hands. Slowly and sequentially arch your midback, upper back, and chest. Move your ears back, then slowly arch your neck and head back. These things will support and guide you; your lower legs press into the floor, your tailbone presses forward, your heart lifts up, and your breathing centers you. 1To exit the pose, lift your head and shoulders upright, then sit down on your heels. Purpose: To laterally stretch the torso and one leg, improving lateral flexion.
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