Move the sides of your neck back and up, lengthening Yoga yoga north the neck before arching it. 1Exhale, and arch back with your shoulders and head over Yoga yoga north the front of the chair. Rest your head on a pile of cushions, or let it hang if this is comfortable. Your hands can stay on the backrest, and even push lightly to increase the opening of your chest. 1Push into the wall with your feet, straightening your legs. The chair may slide away from the wall a little. Use that action of your legs to support a large expansion in your chest as it arches back. 1Extend through the whole length of your body.
From about 1750 – as the Mughal Empire crumbled and European colonial powers rooted themselves in India – a huge project was commenced by Europeans to translate the ancient scriptures of India and to identify their historical sources. For the British, this knowledge was important in order to control the Indian colony (early translations were therefore about Hindu law) (van der Veer 2001). For the French, it became a part of the Enlightenment’s combat with L ‘Ancien Regime (Clarke 1997). For the Germans, Indian religio-philosophy became a crucial part of romanticist discourse and national identity building (Herling 2006, Watson 2010). Chairs of Sanskrit and Indian studies were established at major European universities – the first in Bonn in 1818. Some of the pioneers translating ancient Sanskrit texts were people like William Jones, Thomas Colebrooke and Max Mueller, the Orientalists.
Between the lines of their writings and translations one can often see that many of the Orientalists shared an admiration of what they understood (or constructed) as the different and mystical orient’.80 They often contrasted the Eastern with the Western identity: we were rational, materialistic and male and they were mystical, idealist and female. Some Orientalists thought that the Hindu culture’ possessed something that we needed in the materialistic west: spirituality’. Some Orientalists were part of Western cultural currents of Romanticism (Wikipedia link) or were critical of institutional Christianity, and were looking for what they termed Natural Religion’ (a common denominator of all religions).