The works of the Orientalists – discovering, translating, historical dating, classifying and explaining historical sources – are not only one of today’s main historical sources for Indian culture, but also became a main source for the understanding of Indian religious history among the Indian colonial middle classes. The Orientalist discourse was the initial driver in constructing notions like Hindu religion’, Classical yoga’ and Tantrism’ (Viswanathan 2005, Sweetman2003, Urban 2003).
The yoga sign which the Orientalists in the 19 century excavated and constructed from ancient scriptures was a high caste or high culture yoga, an elite yoga abstracted from texts mainly created and controlled by a single caste – the Brahmins . In this way the Orientalists unconsciously reinvigorated Brahmin ideology. The Brahmin texts, their concepts, practices and identities were given a central place in Indian history, because this was of course where Brahmin discourse situated itself. Brahmin notions became mixed with the European – often Protestant based – imagination. Hence in the Orientalist discourse, the yogi identity became the holy monk we know today: a loving pious sage, deeply spiritual and concerned with peace within and in the world. Gandhi would become a vivid example.
Avoiding pitfalls: Lift up strongly before arching your back. Yoga worksKneel with your back to a chair, with your legs hip-width apart and your Yoga worksfeet under the chair seat. Align your calves and feet straight back and parallel. Lean forward slightly and widen your thighs apart, as in Pressure Cooker see 73. Come upright again and pull your tailbone down. Lift up through the mid-torso, but hold the sides of the waist back. This is Anusara Yoga’s Kidney Loop see Appendix III. It helps to prevent compression of the lumbar vertebrae during back bends.