When the history of yoga becomes an unexplainable series of event - a review of Andrea R. Jain Selling Yoga
Below you will find a link to download a review of A.R. Jain "Selling Yoga". The article is mainly for people interested in the methodology of history writing. It is about how to explain cultural historical developments. Most historians focuses on great cultural personalities in explaining how cultural practices like yoga emerge and transform. They home in on the charismatic genius and spend a lot of time clarifying the brilliant ideas and its implications for history. Doing this they will occasionally borrow sociological concepts and theories to put the cultural hero into perspective. The article puts forward an alternative approach which is build on a historical sociological methodology of how to explain the emergence and settlement of new cultural institutions.
Below you can download a PDF document with a discussion of a reader by M. Singleton and E. Goldberg (eds.): Gurus of Modern Yoga. My essay - The Poverty of Yoga Protestantism - is primarily written for yoga historians and people interested in the philosophy of methodologies. It is about the hidden pitfalls and social biases embedded in much yoga historiography. It compares contemporary yoga historians with 20th Century protestant theologians who were trying to excavate the Christian truth from ancient texts. Doing this yoga scholars - as exemplified in Gurus of Modern Yoga - tend to end up as apologetics and propagators.
In the link below (semioticsyogaart) you will find a review of Debra Diamond (ed.) Yoga – The Art of Transformation .
I investigate some of the methodological limitations of the book and what semiotics could bring to the analysis of yoga illustrations.
Methodology is important – it defines what we see, the way we see it and finally what we can’t see. The review concludes that it in many ways is Yoga The Art of Transformation symptomatic for the academic yoga discourse.
I have been involved with yoga asana on and off since the late 1970s. During those years the role of yoga in society has changed dramatically. This blog aims to create debate and awareness of those changes.