The dream of recreating the yoga past
Many yoga popularisers find popular yoga’s present situation extremely unfortunate and disgraceful. They would like to bring the modernist yoga discourse back to its original roots’ by means of new translations and interpretations of old yoga texts. However as we investigate the multitude of pre-modern and Colonial yoga cultures and as we realise how each of them represents different historical and cultural contexts, we have to ask: which of all these contradicting yoga cultures can meaningfully be linked to modernist yoga? We will see how the signified’ (meaning) of the yoga signifier’ (the sound) is utterly unstable and constantly re-configured by various historical contexts and signs. So any definition of the yoga signified would in the end be a choice and hence subjective.
We have been here before. The old Orientalists also embarked on such a search for the roots of yoga and they did not realise that instead of excavating an ancient yoga they had instead re-constructed a hybrid one. The idea of finding a single and stable meaning of the yoga sign in the past is in the view of my cultural studies a romantic fantasy. Such honourable efforts in the end are inseparable from defining and constructing a new hybrid modernist yoga sign based on intensive reading of ancient texts. From the Orientalists’ philosophical mistakes today’s yoga discourse could learn much: you cannot recreate the past and whatever you create will be a hybrid of old and new.
Purpose: To stretch the legs, hips, and side Yoga yelp of the torso. Contraindications: Absolute: pregnancy. Relative: fractured vertebra or rib, Yoga yelpcolostomy. With scoliosis, do this pose only when the leg Yoga yelp on the convex side is straight. Refrain from doing this pose on the other side. Yoga yelp Props: A mat and possibly a belt. Avoiding pitfalls: Go into the pose in several careful stages. Sit with your legs extended forward in front of you.