Symbolic-value as social fuel
Let us now address the issue of the dynamic, circulation and popularity of yoga. The perspective of ASC and use-value as opposed to symbolic-value opens up a new way to approach yoga. For example we saw that modernist Western popular yoga forms attracted many women due to the symbolic-value that yoga radiated. But we also realised that when yoga amateurs first came into contact with these ASC generators, their motivation could gradually change. Many truly became fascinated by the effect the yoga ASC had on their individual well-being, self-perception, existential concerns and social functioning. Or they merely valued the ASC experiences as such as pleasant states of being – something to which the old Buddhist texts gave much consideration. Others found inspiration and comfort in the ethics and lifestyle that yoga philosophy offered them.
The public can and will primarily approach yoga based on the inter-subjective perception dominant at that moment in history. They are initially drawn in mainly by the social symbolic-value – by its promises of authority, difference and superiority. However, as people start to practise, some of the novices might be attracted to the ASC outcomes and the yoga philosophy. This sometimes becomes the basis for a yogic life committed to practice. Often – as in the case of Buddha – this turns into a missionary life and a profession, where the virtuoso – for instance the modernist yoga populariser – wants the world to gain the perceived benefits of the ASC and its surrounding discourses – in the case of Buddha: his teachings (dharma). The virtuoso then exchanges and trades his skills and knowledge – his cultural and symbolic capital – with society.
Purpose: To stretch the hip abductors and shoulder flexors and Yoga east extensors, and move rib-sternal connections. Contraindications: Absolute: total hip replacement. Yoga east Relative: knee tightness, instability, or previous injury; ischial bursitis. Props: A mat, one or two folded blankets, and a belt. Avoiding pitfalls: If this pose is a challenge, practice the arms and legs separately first see s 283 and 127. Use enough height under your hips to sit up straight with your pelvis vertical, not sloping back. Place the folded blankets on the mat, with one corner pointing forward. Sit on the front corner of the blankets as shown, with your left knee pointing forward and your right knee up.