Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture


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Jain explores the popularization of yoga in the context of late-twentieth-century consumer culture.

She departs from conventional approaches by undermining essentialist definitions of yoga as well as assumptions that yoga underwent a linear trajectory of increasing popularization. While some studies trivialize popularized yoga systems by reducing them to the mere commodification or corruption of what is perceived as an otherwise fixed, authentic system, Jain suggests that this dichotomy oversimplifies the history of yoga as well as its meanings for contemporary practitioners.

By discussing a wide array of modern yoga types, from Iyengar Yoga to Bikram Yoga, Jain argues that popularized yoga cannot be dismissed--that it has a variety of religious meanings and functions. Yoga brands destabilize the basic utility of yoga commodities and assign to them new meanings that represent the fulfillment of self-developmental needs often deemed sacred in contemporary consumer culture.

Andrea R. Jain

Toggle Dropdown Advanced Search. Status Available. Call number BL Place Hold Ask About This. Barcode N There's some important work here, but I think it is harder to digest since it was written for an academic audience.

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In the history of religions, there are no original ideas of practices, and there are no unchanging essences. Religious phenomena arise in continuous processes of syncretism, appropriation, and hybridization. Yoga is no exception. In short, the problem with any essentialist definition of yoga remains: Who's to say which, if any, yogis have it all wrong?

May 23, Daniel Wise rated it really liked it. A true scholarly examination of modern postural yoga in the West. Who owns yoga?


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Is what we do true yoga? A great lineage of how we came to where we are today in the modern postural systems. A must read for anyone serious practitioners Or any of the millions of new yoga teachers Kudos for the work.

CHITHEADS (#71) // Andrea R. Jain on Cultural Appropriation and Essentializing Yoga

May 18, Frances YSM rated it really liked it. Ashley rated it liked it Oct 18, Matt rated it it was ok Mar 14, Kelsey rated it it was ok Mar 28, Sasha rated it really liked it Feb 13, Jen rated it liked it Nov 01, Amy rated it it was amazing Jul 14, Laura Spaulding rated it it was amazing May 06, Liming Zhu rated it liked it Jul 12, Graham rated it it was amazing Mar 02, Sarah rated it really liked it Jul 13, Erin Stewart rated it liked it Nov 21, Lily Greenwald rated it really liked it Dec 15, A fascinating take on how yoga came to be the international fad that it is today.

Grounded in solid academic research, historical context, and original thought, Selling Yoga is worth the read for those interested in the history of yoga, consumer culture, or globalization. Deniz rated it really liked it May 07, Samantha rated it really liked it Jan 04, Martin Lukanov rated it really liked it Oct 23, Emma rated it really liked it Mar 15, Matt Hahn rated it really liked it Jan 28, May 03, Bookish rated it it was ok. Let me start on a positive note by saying I loved the cover of the book ;- The guy in the sweats with the hand lettered Om Navah Shivaya in front of the ladies in polyester was nicely done.

Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture

I felt it went down hill from there. On the bright side, I did learn two new vocabulary words soteriological and hierophany — Who knew? I tried har Let me start on a positive note by saying I loved the cover of the book ;- The guy in the sweats with the hand lettered Om Navah Shivaya in front of the ladies in polyester was nicely done. I tried hard to look past the obligatory stodgy academic language here, but it just felt like her argument about the commercialization of yoga was never clearly separated from the history piece, or the also interesting but poorly laid out analysis of the transition from mental practice to a body practice, and the forces for and against this.

They make an appearance here, but, I found it dry, colorless and not very well tied to the overall narrative. Even the relatively small part that was specifically about commercializing yoga — which I think could have been really interesting if there had been more context e.

Selling Yoga, From Counterculture to Pop Culture by Andrea Jain | | Booktopia

But things like how did yoga grow, what was the tipping point, how did this rapid expansion lead to the rapid growth of companies like Athleta and Lululemon, and at least at Athleta, really have yoga take over from all other types of athletic gear? What about the role of the teacher training schools, and gym offerings, that while helpful physically to many strip out the meditative and internal aspects?

Maybe if the organization of it was better, it would have. Aspen rated it liked it May 09, Dorothy rated it really liked it Sep 26, Melanie rated it liked it Oct 24, Benjamin McIntosh rated it it was amazing Aug 06, Emma marked it as to-read Dec 21, Annie marked it as to-read Jan 13, Eric added it Feb 07, Ed Malnati marked it as to-read Mar 26, Liz added it Jun 11, Laura B marked it as to-read Jun 29, Aarti marked it as to-read Jan 01, Meggie marked it as to-read Feb 23, Madeleine Jones marked it as to-read Mar 28, Laura marked it as to-read Mar 31, Andrea Graziano marked it as to-read May 22, Jocelyn marked it as to-read May 22, Alyssa marked it as to-read May 22, Ava Sones marked it as to-read May 25, Drew Kunz is currently reading it Jul 10, Erin marked it as to-read Jul 25, Esther Marie marked it as to-read Aug 22, Susan marked it as to-read Aug 23, Heather R marked it as to-read Aug 23,

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Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture
Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture

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