When? It turned out that a national television network needed Yoga poses how to someone to do a follow-up story on the efforts of UNICEF on behalf of children Yoga poses how to throughout the region. We decided to angle our story on girls and young women, who were, for the first time in several years, now free to partake in their human right to receive an education along with males in the society. We arrived in Kabul on January 20, 2002. I had gone there deliberately with little expectation, because I know how a place can change over time and with familiarity. Also, I don’t watch a lot of mainstream television so as to preserve a somewhat unbiased opinion of world events, but these days it has been nearly impossible to avoid all of the images and attitudes surrounding the events post 9/11. Coming from New York, the extremes between the ways of living were surreal. The population of Kabul hovers around four million. New York City’s is seven and a half million.
We mainly obtain our initial knowledge about yoga mainly from Brahmin scriptures called the Upanishads closely followed by the Dharma-sutras and the MahabharataI have chosen to call it early-yoga. Early-yoga took numerous forms and emerged in close interaction with various Buddhist schools. This chapter focsuses on the Upanishads and the Dharma-sutras. The Mahabharata is primarily discussed in the following chapter on Theistic yoga as central parts of it were under the influence of monotheism . Early yoga probably emerged primarily among the Kshatriyas – the ruling warrior classes – in a mixed milieu of householders and ascetic vagrants.
My aim in presenting these first yoga texts, as found in the Upanishads and the Dharmasutras, is to give first of all a critical and general – but I hope not too controversial overview of the technical meaning of yoga, as it appeared as a discourse of liberation. As a part of this, it is my aim to show how proto-yoga notions entered an Upanishad sign system and became reconfigured by a dissimilar sign world of Brahmin mysticism. This ongoing historical adaptation, re-contextualising, re-orientation or hybridisation of the yoga discourse is a central theme of this book.