It is my observation that in these post-war sub-cultures there was a psychological need to be different. So these groups’ understanding of yoga – strongly coloured by romanticism and esotericism – was used to construct a sense of being the different other.56 Practising yoga asana was like vegetarianism, long hair, smoking dope, strange rituals, rock music, the ring in the ear, yin-yang food, ecology, animal rights, non-violence and so, all signs of you being not one of them’: symbols to gather around – symbols communicating your protest to the world, symbols of who you were and what values you represented.
Now the New Age spirituality should not be reduced to a sub-culture. 57 On the contrary, as we have seen, New Age culture reaches much more widely. It forms a part of modernist religiosity. It is nonetheless interesting that many of the yoga instructors and popularisers of the 1970s and 1980s came from sub-cultures like the counterculture and New Age groups58. Why is this so?
The preparations are numerous but worth it! Make a belt Mountain Pose Yoga loop that will encircle your lower legs, to keep them hip-width apart. Put Mountain Pose Yoga it on just below the knees, around the thicker part of your calves. Lie on your stomach with a blanket spread beneath you for cushioning under your pelvis. Lift one leg up an inch and pull it back. Repeat with the other leg. This is to keep a good length in the lower back. Roll your legs so that the heels, thighs, and pelvis widen in the back, as you did in Tadasana with Block 198. Push out strongly enough to feel the restraint of the belt.