Bill's Reviews > Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice

Yoga Body by Mark Singleton
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's review

really liked it
bookshelves: woo-woo, religion, science-of-mind, philosophy, physical-culture

This book explores the history that produced the posture-based, physical-fitness-oriented, physical-image driven yoga prevalent today. In it, Singleton takes us on a guided tour of the social, political, class, and religious forces and events that have given rise to current "anglophone" yoga practice.

He makes a compelling case that the yoga most of us know today, far from being a rediscovered 5000-year-old practice (as many in e.g. the Ashtanga Yoga or Iyengar Yoga businesses might have us believe), is rather the product of a mixing of ascetic Hatha Yoga contortionism and European gymnastics-based fitness systems brought together in India in the early part of the 20th century in the context of the Indian independence movement.

On the downside, I would have enjoyed more pictures. Also, the book is written in an academic style which makes it a bit of an effort to get through. Then again, I don't know if there is any other way to present this sort of social and historical analysis.

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Reading Progress

August 29, 2015 – Started Reading
August 29, 2015 – Shelved
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: woo-woo
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: religion
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: science-of-mind
September 19, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 20, 2015 – Shelved as: philosophy
September 20, 2015 – Shelved as: physical-culture

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