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A history of yoga’s transformation from sacred discipline to exercise program to embodied spiritual practice
• Identifies the origin of exercise yoga as India’s response to the mania for exercise sweeping the West in the early 20th century
• Examines yoga’s transformations through the lives and accomplishments of 11 key figures, including Sri Yogendra, K. V. Iyer, Louise Morgan, Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, Indra Devi, and B. K. S. Iyengar
• Draws on more than 10 years of research from rare primary sources and includes 99 illustrations
In The Path of Modern Yoga, Elliott Goldberg shows how yoga was transformed from a sacred practice into a health and fitness regime for middle-class Indians in the early 20th century and then gradually transformed over the course of the 20th century into an embodied spiritual practice--a yoga for our times.
Drawing on more than 10 years of research from rare primary sources as well as recent scholarship, Goldberg tells the sweeping story of modern yoga through the remarkable lives and accomplishments of 11 key figures: six Indian yogis (Sri Yogendra, Swami Kuvalayananda, S. Sundaram, T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, and B. K. S. Iyengar), an Indian bodybuilder (K. V. Iyer), a rajah (Bhavanarao Pant Pratinidhi), an American-born journalist (Louise Morgan), an Indian diplomat (Apa Pant), and a Russian-born yogi trained in India (Indra Devi). The author places their achievements within the context of such Western trends as the physical culture movement, the commodification of exercise, militant nationalism, jazz age popular entertainment, the quest for youth and beauty, and 19th-century New Age religion.
In chronicling how the transformation of yoga from sacred discipline to exercise program allowed for the creation of an embodied spiritual practice, Goldberg presents an original, authoritative, provocative, and illuminating interpretation of the history of modern yoga.
Elliott Goldberg is one of the few scholars in the emerging field of modern yoga studies. He has presented papers at the Modern Yoga Workshop at Cambridge University and at the American Academy of Religion (AAR). He is a fitness trainer in New York City.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Karl Baier, Ph.D.
Part I Divesting Yoga of the Sacred Yogic Physical Culture and Health Cure
1 Shri Yogendra Rejecting the Role of Yoga Guru
2 Shri Yogendra Creating the Profession of Yoga Teacher: The Yoga Class
3 Shri Yogendra Making Yoga into Calisthenics
4 Shri Yogendra Taking Practical Yoga to the New World: Hatha Yoga in America
5 Shri Yogendra Making Yoga Gentle
6 Swami Kuvalayananda Claiming Yoga Is Science
7 Swami Kuvalayananda Promoting Yoga as Health Cure: A Yoga Journal and Yoga Institute
8 Swami Kuvalayananda Investigating the Yogic Phenomena: Yoga Research
9 Swami Kuvalayananda Standing Up Straight: Yoga and Good Posture
10 Swami Kuvalayananda Youthifying the Spine: Yoga and Chiropractic
11 K. V. Iyer Mixing Bodybuilding and Yoga
12 S. Sundaram Publishing a Yoga Manual
13 S. Sundaram Meditating on the Body in Yoga
Part II Making Yoga Dynamic The Sun Salutations as Yogic Exercise