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Singleton, Mark (2015) 'Yoga and physical culture: Transnational history and blurred discursive contexts.' In: Jacobsen, Knut A., (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India. London: Routledge, pp. 172-184.

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Abstract

We might consider yoga in contemporary India under three rubrics: 1) non-English speaking renouncer traditions, such as the Nāths, Rāmānandīs or Daśanāmi Saṃnyāsins, in which yoga sādhana plays a greater or lesser role and in which foreigners are rare; 2) modern, urban Indian schools of yoga open to householders and the general public in which Hindi or another Indian vernacular may be spoken, sometimes alongside English (e.g. Kaivalyadhama in Lonavla, or Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s Bihar Yoga Bharati in Munghir, Bihar); and 3) schools and individual teachers catering almost exclusively for foreign students, who may adapt their teachings to the expectations of these students by teaching yoga forms popular in the West (perhaps most concentrated around Rishikesh in the state of Uttarakhand). In practice, there may be considerable overlap between these three groups. For example, foreigners may sometimes join a traditional sampradāya in which some yoga is practised; urban Indians increasingly partake in yoga classes aimed at foreign tourists; and some sampradāyas may adapt their teachings to reflect contemporary global trends (the Nāths, for example, appear to be foregrounding the practice of āsana in response to the global postural yoga boom and their perceived role as the inventors of haṭhayoga (Mallinson 2014: 174 n.38). The division nevertheless points to fairly distinct constituencies of yoga practitioners and teachers in India.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia
ISBN: 9780415738651
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315682570
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 08:50
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24246

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