Myth and reality of the jogi
In summary the history and sociology of the millions of itinerant sadhus that we witness today, wandering all over India is mainly a product of the conditions of British colonial rule. This milieu is not an expression of an old tradition of yogis, as many are led to believe. They represent, rather, a specific historical institution, where a mainly rural surplus population through an institution of professional holy men created a niche of survival. Through the Christian and British discourse they acquired a strongly negative image in European and connected Indian elite communities.
As the label jogi or fakir was often used as a common denominator for these groups, it meant that the yogi for a long period – maybe from the early 19 Century to about the 1920 yoga renaissance – became a heavily stigmatised label with which very few people liked to be identified. It became the task of this modernist yoga discourse to find the real yoga’ – the ancient classical yoga tradition’ – which so sadly had degenerated’ with this itinerant jogi impostor’ – to excavate what yoga really was and ought to be and isolate that from what it had actually become (Singleton 2010). In this way the only real jogi we have encountered was now defined as fake, while the yogi sage, made of myth, was defined as real.
The mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire FIQ from 70.1 to Yoga poses arm balances 37. Mean Beck Depression Inventory BDI from 24.3 to 8.3. At Yoga poses arm balances three-month follow up, some symptoms increased, but continued to be much better than at baseline. Two subjects reported complete remission Chen, Hassett, Hou, Staller, & Lichtbroun, 2006. Although this was a small study, the large effect size supports the significance.
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