Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

by Mark Singleton

Paperback

$16.49 $17.95 Save 8% Current price is $16.49, Original price is $17.95. You Save 8%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Wednesday, October 25 , Order now and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 
    Details

Overview

Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice by Mark Singleton

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195395341
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 02/10/2010
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 520,203
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews