Modernity on the other hand meant a big change in the economical relations surrounding the transfer of yoga knowledge. In late colonial India yoga teaching became a commercial product – a service a student bought from a teacher or guru. This happened as yoga moved into popular culture in the 1920s. The intimate relationship between the guru, his student and the local community was replaced with the market place. Let us investigate some examples.
The new yoga ashrams of late colonial India can for instance be seen as corporations providing privatised education camps, similar to the colleges and universities of the USA. The guru was the capitalist CEO of the ashram offering religio-educational services to the public. The teacher and assistants were low paid workers. The commodification of yoga teaching was especially prominent within the Mysore tradition. In commercial terms Krishnamacharya – one of the great pioneers of asana yoga – was employed by the Mysore Raja to undertake product research and development; to train the court and its soldiers and to reform the public.
Later in life he lived as a self-employed instructor offering therapeutic yoga to Indian elites. His student Iyengar was the one of the first to offer yoga classes, enabling him to break out of the economical restrictions of one-to-one teaching. This de-personalisation in commercial terms gave him new opportunities to increase turnover and to reach less well-off people. Other modernist yoga pioneers like Sri Yogendra chose to sell the yoga product (medical/therapeutic scientific yoga ) in a new and different way: he wrote yoga self-help manuals for the educated metropolitan citizen, creating a new market.
Place your feet hip width apart and parallel. Place a Lotus Pose Yoga block between your upper thighs. Adjust your stance so that you can root the four corners Lotus Pose Yoga of each foot into the floor the big toe mound will tend to lift up. This is Foundation. Lift your toes up to engage the muscular strength of your lower legs. Squeeze the shins in toward the midline. This is Muscular Energy. With the shins firm, squeeze the block with your thighs, then move it back.