Yoga everywhere

I recently got caught up in a discussion about ‘Egyptian Yoga’ and whether ancient representations of the human body in various shapes depict yoga asana. I know this is a fashionable idea in some circles as yogis seem to desperately seek some ancient validation of modern postural yoga. It’s a nice idea, but intellectually dishonest, I think, with arguments usually relying on stringing together various forms of evidence that are centuries if not millennia apart, from different cultures, without any consideration of the cultural context or local signifiance.

Once I’d rained on everyone’s parade in this discussion, I’m happy myself to see yoga everywhere. I mean, I know it isn’t yoga… but I can’t help read the human body in terms of yoga shapes and I see them everywhere even when I know it’s nothing to do with yoga really. It’s the way I view things now. It’s a bit of a game.

Since Hubby and I are currently on holiday we are spending quite some time in museums doing the cultural thing. He makes a beeline for the artefacts he’s interested in for his work and while he’s more seriously occupied I amuse myself spotting ‘yoga poses’ everywhere.

I’m sure here’s a half hanumanasana (albeit with a hammer in the head!) and a compass pose or an astavakrasana in the making!

I’m also intrigued by depictions of human anatomy in general (mostly wondering whoever has abs like that?) and indulging my obsession with hands and feet in particular. These peripheries of the body are so important in balancing and in personal expression; they are often a focus in my own practice.
I’m finding that Italian museum guards are much more forgiving that their Greek counterparts in tolerating me sitting or lying on the floor to study a sculpture at different angles. The biggest danger in Rome is not getting ejected from the museum or ancient site by an irate guard, it’s getting trampled underfoot by the hordes of other tourists!

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