Śavāsana: The Gesture of Death

Hans-Georg Gadamer, in his monumental Truth and Method (1960) describes philosophical hermeneutics as a process of self-understanding; a play between the strange and the familiar, where all interpretation tells us as much about ourselves as it does about anything else. Gadamer’s work is concerned with the interpretation of texts, but here I want to examine this play between familiarity and strangeness in relation to yogic-tantric practice known as śavāsana.1

Yoga is an activity which has become familiar to most of us. Today it is a household word, everyone knows what yoga is. It is found in gyms and health clubs, in spas and studios, and we see image

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