So why do I employ a definition – a so-called proto-definition124? I want to use my prototype definition to guide and tell me what to look for when searching for what preceded or conditioned the early-yoga discourse. We need to find something which looks like the first yoga practice and rhetoric but was yet not called yoga: something similar to the yoga sign as it appeared for the first time. So we will separately trace these principles to a time before early-yoga. We will see how they were brought together within specific institutions and cultural practices and we will see how this very act of combining meant that a new cultural field surfaced. The arrival of the yoga signifier – an umbrella word – was a late-comer in this process.
As we progress we will find that the three principles can be categorised more precisely. We will find that asceticism can meaningfully be framed as a code or habitus – a cultural grammar -, which in Northern India informed and took the historically specific form of the tapas discourse. We will spend much time on this parameter because without the codes underlying asceticism, yoga would not have been acceptable, understandable or even thinkable for its contemporary society. Meditation – the second parameter – on the other hand seems to be a genuinely new physical practice. One could frame meditation as a new variety of asceticism or one could see it as something genuinely new emerging out of the current social transformations. Finally, the parameter of liberation, a revolutionary new and different discourse, a discourse, which defined and became a cornerstone of a new cultural field. This parameter clearly points to the up and coming Axial Age way of thinking – the episteme (Wikipedia link) of the Axial Age. By episteme is understood a fundamental way of thinking which conditions (defines the limits, possibilities and interest of) the actual thinking and knowledge of a given culture. The Axial Age episteme is characterised by issues like thinking about thinking, transcendence, the priority of knowledge (wisdom discourses), ethics and individuality.
She admitted that when she had tried driving, she kept Adho Mukha Svanasana Yoga looking out the side windows checking for oncoming cars. In talking about it, Laura realized Adho Mukha Svanasana Yoga that overchecking was not making her safer; quite the opposite. She agreed to keep her eyes on the road ahead except when checking was appropriate and she put a small sticker on the window to remind herself. By the fourth session, Laura’s anxiety improved. Her nightmares and fear of driving had resolved completely as she continued her Ujjayi breathing. Laura complained of recurring residual moderate anxiety and muscle tension. She appeared to worry excessively and to overreact to events and minor stressors. Although acupuncture ameliorated the tension and anxiety, there were still times when she would worry excessively and escalate her state of distress.
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