From the above we realise that it seems characteristic of the yoga discourse that use- and symbolic value flow seamlessly into each other. It turns usage into symbols and symbols into usage. Let me discuss another example to illustrate this. If the yogi claims that his practice has enabled him in death to achieve some metaphysical benefits (like not being re-born, non-dual realisation, union with a god) we have a case which is not easy to classify: is it use- or symbolic value? It certainly seems not very tangible as it all happens in death. For the yogi a union with god in death would of course be of high individual value even if neither he nor we were able to verify it.
Crucially however history shows us that as soon as a yoga virtuoso claimed to have achieved jivan-mukti (that is, he was a liberated person, who, when he chose to die, would achieve union with god in the afterlife) that process immediately gave him high status in society. A jivan-mukti was a powerful saint in the eyes of society. So seen in context this aim of yoga – that the adept is able to unite with god in the afterlife – clearly generates symbolic-value, but seen on the individual level the text promises individual use-value. The yoga discourse is a device for turning use-value into symbolic-value – and vice versa.
Fully stretch your arm up beside your head and bend your Yoga everyday elbow, the hand coming behind your head. Grasp the belt or reach your fingers down Yoga everyday . 1Bring your left arm to the side, thumb down, and move the very top of the arm back any amount you can. You will feel your shoulder blade slide toward the spine as you do this. 1Reach your left arm up behind your back and grasp the belt or your other hand. 1Lift and widen the front of your chest and look straight ahead. 1Be as content and centered as possible as you maintain the pose. 1Release.
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