Yoga in Modern India The Body Between Science and Philosophy

ISBN-10: 0691118744
ISBN-13: 9780691118741
Edition: 2005
Authors: Joseph S. Alter
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Description: 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 Indiachallenges this  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 9/19/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

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 Indiachallenges 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.

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction and Orientation
Historicizing Yoga: The Life and Times of Liberated Souls
Yoga and the Supramental Being: Materialism, Metaphysics, and Social Reality
Yoga's Modern History and Practice
Science, Yoga, and Global Modernity
Birth of the Anti-Clinic: Naturopathic Yoga in a Post-Gandhian, Postcolonial State
and the RSS: Purification, Subtle Gymnastics, and Man Making
Conclusion 6
Auto-Urine Therapy
The Elixir of Life: Yoga, Ayurveda, and Self-Perfection
Mimetic Skepticism and Yoga: Moving beyond the Problem of Culture and Relativism
Notes
Glossary
References
Index

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