9780374532840

The Subtle Body The Story of Yoga in America

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780374532840

  • ISBN10:

    0374532842

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/24/2011
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

InThe Subtle Body, Stefanie Syman tells the surprising story of yoga's transformation from a centuries-old spiritual discipline to a multibillion-dollar American industry. Yoga's history in America is longer and richer than even its most devoted practitioners realize. It was present in Emerson's New England, and by the turn of the twentieth century it was fashionable among the leisure class. And yet when Americans first learned about yoga, what they learned was that it was a dangerous, alien practice that would corrupt body and soul. A century later, you can find yoga in gyms, malls, and even hospitals, and the arrival of a yoga studio in a neighborhood is a signal of cosmopolitanism. How did it happen? It did so, Stefanie Syman explains, through a succession of charismatic yoga teachers, who risked charges of charlatanism as they promoted yoga in America, and through generations of yoga students, who were deemed unbalanced or even insane for their efforts.The Subtle Bodytells the stories of these people, including Henry David Thoreau, Pierre A. Bernard, Margaret Woodrow Wilson, Christopher Isherwood, Sally Kempton, and Indra Devi. From New England, the book moves to New York City and its new suburbs between the wars, to colonial India, to postwar Los Angeles, to Haight-Ashbury in its heyday, and back to New York City post-9/11. In vivid chapters, it takes in celebrities from Gloria Swanson and George Harrison to Christy Turlington and Madonna. And it offers a fresh view of American society, showing how a seemingly arcane and foreign practice is as deeply rooted here as baseball or ballet. This epic account of yoga's rise is absorbing and often inspiringa major contribution to our understanding of our society.

Author Biography

Stefanie Syman, a literature graduate of Yale, was a founder of Feed, an early, award-winning Web magazine. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Yoga Journal. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and has practiced yoga for fifteen years.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
Brahma?p. 11
Thoreau's Experimentp. 26
The Guru Arrivesp. 37
Swami Vivekananda's Legacyp. 62
The Making of an American Gurup. 80
Theos Bernard s Spiritual Heroismp. 116
Margaret Woodrow Wilson ˘Turns Hindu÷p. 143
Uncovering Reality in Hollywoodp. 160
Hatha Yoga on Sunset Boulevardp. 179
Psychedelic Sagesp. 198
How to Be a Guru Without Really Tryingp. 233
Marshmallow Yogap. 256
The New Penitentsp. 268
Notesp. 295
Selected Bibliographyp. 359
Acknowledgmentsp. 365
Indexp. 367
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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