Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

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Oxford University Press, 10 de fev de 2010 - 272 páginas
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Yoga is so prevalent in the modern world--practiced by pop stars, taught in schools, and offered in yoga centers, health clubs, and even shopping malls--that we take its presence, and its meaning, for granted. But how did the current yoga boom happen? And is it really rooted in ancient Indian practices, as many of its adherents claim? In this groundbreaking book, Mark Singleton calls into question many commonly held beliefs about the nature and origins of postural yoga (asana) and suggests a radically new way of understanding the meaning of yoga as it is practiced by millions of people across the world today. Singleton shows that, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence in the Indian tradition for the kind of health and fitness-oriented asana practice that dominates the global yoga scene of the twenty-first century. Singleton's surprising--and surely controversial--thesis is that yoga as it is popularly practiced today owes a greater debt to modern Indian nationalism and, even more surprisingly, to the spiritual aspirations of European bodybuilding and early 20th-century women's gymnastic movements of Europe and America, than it does to any ancient Indian yoga tradition. This discovery enables Singleton to explain, as no one has done before, how the most prevalent forms of postural yoga, like Ashtanga, Bikram and "Hatha" yoga, came to be the hugely popular phenomena they are today. Drawing on a wealth of rare documents from archives in India, the UK and the USA, as well as interviews with the few remaining, now very elderly figures in the 1930s Mysore asana revival, Yoga Body turns the conventional wisdom about yoga on its head.
 

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Comentário do usuário  - gratefulyoga - LibraryThing

A book full of remarkable revelations about the history of modern yoga. It makes it clear that much of what we consider "ancient tradition" (with regards to the postures, at least) was actually ... Ler resenha completa

Conteúdo

Introduction
3
1 A Brief Overview of Yoga in the Indian Tradition
25
2 Fakirs Yogins Europeans
35
3 Popular Portrayals of the Yogin
55
4 India and the International Physical Culture Movement
81
Degeneracy and Experimentation
95
Strength and Vigor
113
Harmonial Gymnastics and Esoteric Dance
143
Visual Reproduction and the 256sana Revival
163
9 T Krishnamacharya and the Mysore 256sana Revival
175
Notes
211
Bibliography
225
Index
257
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Sobre o autor (2010)

Mark Singleton is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS, University of London. He is the editor, with Jean Byrne, of Yoga in the Modern World: Contemporary Perspectives. He lives in London.

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