The lack of yoga institutions and boundaries
Thus it seems that a decisive factor in the history of the yoga memory is the lack of institutionalisation. Over time – maybe over the first millennium of its existence – there was a very slow build up of written yoga discourse. The main thing these texts revealed about yoga discourse – often found in epics or stories – was that there was little agreement about yoga’s DNA. Reading the texts it seems fair to conclude that whatever there would have been of use-value-based transmission of yoga it must primarily have been orally based. There was apparently no emergence of yoga institutions or canon in this period.
Until the Brahmin Vedantic revolution in the medieval era there was very little institutional support for textual storing and transmitting the use-value of yoga. The half-hearted and me-tooâ incorporation of Samkhya yoga into Brahmin Vedantic canon did not lead to any real canonisation and fixation of the specific version of yoga memory on which the Brahmins chose to standardise. Due to this lack of interest the Brahmins soon lost their understanding of their new yoga canon and it became a symbolic relic. The then lukewarm Brahmin yoga canon reflecting a specific historical situation seemed not much occupied with replicating yoga know-how – the use-value of yoga. This was not its raison d’etre. Most yoga texts were, as we shall see, instead primarily social symbols constructing and charging cultural specialists with power and difference.
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