Yoga bolster

The different forms of yoga discourse lead to different goals – or different mystical experiences. This conclusion follows directly from the claim that stimuli and preunderstanding cannot be separated. Thus the different yoga discourses identified in this book represent competing discourses or sign systems leading to diverse experiences or goals. Thus there is no pure ASC’ but various types of ASCs. Each version of ASC is configured by the combination of techniques and discourses applied. In summary, various yoga discourses fundamentally perceive the world differently using different techniques to achieve different purposes and therefore construct different experiences.

From this analysis follows a third controversial conclusion in relation to many contemporary yogis. Today many serious yoga practitioners believe that by stringently following a given yoga system – which often is a derivative of colonial modernist yoga forms they can realise the experiences described in ancient scriptures! Some ambitious practitioners devote large parts of their lives to the achievement of these promising goals. However according to constructionism such yogis are – of necessity – enmeshed in modernist worldviews (i.e. pre-understandings). This leads Katz to the following conclusion, which might upset many dedicated modern yogis:

Avoiding pitfalls: If you have a complex curve involving the Yoga bolster left lumbar and right thoracocervical spine, then lift the right arm and leg. Lift the Yoga bolster left arm and leg if the curve involves the right lumbar and left thoracocervical spine. Breathe continuously, elongate your neck and tailbone; retract your shoulders. Fully engage your legs. Carefully balance between pulling in and stretching out, which happen simultaneously when you are in the pose. Lie facedown on a mat. Place your forehead on the floor and extend your arms out alongside your ears, palms facing in. If this starting position is uncomfortable for your lower back, neck, or shoulders, put a folded blanket or pillow under your chest and pelvis.

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