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Yoga in Modern India : The Body between Science and Philosophy - Joseph S. Alter

Yoga in Modern India

The Body between Science and Philosophy

Paperback Published: 19th September 2004
ISBN: 9780691118741
Number Of Pages: 352

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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 India" challenges 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.

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Winner of the 2006 Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize, South Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies

List of Illustrationsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introduction and Orientation
Historicizing Yoga: The Life and Times of Liberated Soulsp. 3
Yoga and the Supramental Being: Materialism, Metaphysics, and Social Realityp. 32
Yoga's Modern History and Practice
Science, Yoga, and Global Modernityp. 73
Birth of the Anti-Clinic: Naturopathic Yoga in a Post-Gandhian, Postcolonial Statep. 109
and the RSS: Purification, Subtle Gymnastics, and Man Makingp. 142
Conclusion 6
Auto-Urine Therapy
The Elixir of Life: Yoga, Ayurveda, and Self-Perfectionp. 181
Mimetic Skepticism and Yoga: Moving beyond the Problem of Culture and Relativismp. 211
Notesp. 247
Glossaryp. 273
Referencesp. 283
Indexp. 309
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691118741
ISBN-10: 0691118744
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 19th September 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.22 x 15.75  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.49