Yoga in Modern India: The Body between Science and Philosophy / Edition 1

Yoga in Modern India: The Body between Science and Philosophy / Edition 1

by Joseph S. Alter
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691118744

ISBN-13: 9780691118741

Pub. Date: 08/30/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, and it is widely regarded as being timeless and unchanging. Based on extensive ethnographic research and an analysis of both ancient and modern texts, Yoga in Modern India challenges this popular view by examining the history of yoga, focusing on its emergence in modern India and its

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Overview

Yoga has come to be an icon of Indian culture and civilization, and it is widely regarded as being timeless and unchanging. Based on extensive ethnographic research and an analysis of both ancient and modern texts, Yoga in Modern India challenges this popular view by examining the history of yoga, focusing on its emergence in modern India and its dramatically changing form and significance in the twentieth century. Joseph Alter argues that yoga's transformation into a popular activity idolized for its health value is based on modern ideas about science and medicine.

Alter centers his analysis on an interpretation of the seminal work of Swami Kuvalayananda, one of the chief architects of the Yoga Renaissance in the early twentieth century. From this point of orientation he explores current interpretations of yoga and considers how practitioners of yogic medicine and fitness combine the ideas of biology, physiology, and anatomy with those of metaphysics, transcendence, and magical power.

The first serious ethnographic history of modern yoga in India, this fluently written book is must reading not only for students and scholars but also practitioners who seek a deeper understanding of how yoga developed over time into the exceedingly popular phenomenon it is today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691118741
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/30/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

PART 1 INTRODUCTION AND ORIENTATION

chapter 1 Historicizing Yoga: The Life and Times of Liberated Souls 3

CHAPTER 2 Yoga and the Supramental Being: Materialism, Metaphysics, and Social Reality 32

PART 2 YOGA'S MODERN HISTORY AND PRACTICE

CHAPTER 3 Swami Kuvalayananda: Science, Yoga, and Global Modernity 73

CHAPTER 4 Birth of the Anti-Clinic: Naturopathic Yoga in a Post-Gandhian, Postcolonial State 109

CHAPTER 5 Dr. Karandikar, Dr. Pal, and the RSS: Purification, Subtle Gymnastics, and Man Making 142

PART 3 CONCLUSION 6

Auto-Urine Therapy--The Elixir of Life: Yoga, A yurveda, and Self-Perfection 181

CHAPTER 7 Mimetic Skepticism and Yoga: Moving beyond the Problem of Culture and Relativism 211

Notes 247

Glossary 273

References 283

Index 309

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