Place your right foot under the chair seat. Your right hand Yoga wear rests on the chair seat, your left hand on your hip. Keep your left hip Yoga wear and knee aligned vertically. With a deep breath in, firm your leg muscles and lengthen through your spine. Pull your shoulders back. Exhale and curve your spine to the right. For more intensity, stretch your left arm overhead with the palm facing to the right and down. Maintain a stretch through your legs, spine, and arms for a few breaths.
In the last few years, there have emerged some young scholars who came to yoga through encountering popular yoga in society. During this process, as they matured they probably turned their love and interest for yoga into an academic study and commenced an academic profession. Their aim is often to establish a bridge between the two cultural fields. We should welcome their efforts.
The need for cultural sociology and discourse analysis
Based on my methodological criticism, I believe it is really time for historians, sociologist and cultural theorists to turn their gaze again on yoga and religion as did Weber and Durkheim a century ago. This does not mean that the great writings and insights of the many great yoga scholars have to be dismissed. On the contrary. We need instead to understand the limitations of existing methodology and filtering – the influence of our modernist habitus. My suggestion is that to the too often apologetic research of the later part of the 20 century -exemplified and defined by Eliade some 50 years ago – there needs to be added some of the first sociologists’ provocative and stimulating investigations and theorising.