Modernist yoga – re-constructing the yoga discourse
Even if Orientalist researchers like Max Mueller claimed that they were scientists (often philologists – the combination of literary studies, history and linguistics), they did not describe yoga itself as a science81. Rather, they stood in a humanist tradition of performing historical investigations of religio-cultural issues. In other words they investigated the historical, philosophical, metaphysical aspects of yoga in what they conceived was a scientific manner – trying to analyse, understand and give meaning to the West.
Based on their intellectual habitus they were occupied by the past as represented in holy’ (!) scriptures, but gave readers very little insight into yoga’s actual situation in India. They were occupied by issues such as: what is mind, what are the limits of consciousness, how can we transcend consciousness? They were preoccupied with yoga as rational philosophical system and ignored yoga as ritual, as exorcism, as caste purification, politics, chanting, demon management and alchemy. Especially yoga signified as a meditative system’ held their interest. Accomplishing this, they constructed yoga as a timeless mystical system’ enabling us to transcend the self/ego’ and our human condition (making us into something extra-human). They would tell us that this mystical yoga’ cannot be understood – it can only be experienced. Yoga for them became an a-historical event, a phenomenon not anchored in society, but free floating above it, transcending culture and time. A symbol charged and associated with religious imagination and symbols – for instance the sacral’.
Step your right foot forward between your hands. Raise your Yoga vs pilates upper body. Place your hands on your hips. Inhale, firm your leg muscles to Yoga vs pilates stabilize the legs, and lift up your torso. Exhale, bend forward, twist, and place your left, elbow outside the right knee. Pull your right hip crease back with your right hand. For the next few breaths, lengthen the spine with inhalation, twist more to the right as you exhale. Move into the pose more deeply with each exhalation.