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Yoga BodyThe Origins of Modern Posture Practice$
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Mark Singleton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395358

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395358.001.0001

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Popular Portrayals of the Yogin

Popular Portrayals of the Yogin

(p.55) 3 Popular Portrayals of the Yogin
Yoga Body

Mark Singleton

Oxford University Press

In chapter 3 covers the topos of the performing yogin. As a result of economic and political repression in the late eighteenth century, many haṭha yogins resorted to street performance as a means of livelihood. This, combined with new technologies of photojournalism, made the postural contortions of the yogin a familiar component of the “exotic East.” The late nineteenth‐century yoga syntheses of Vivekananda, Blavatsky, and others betray a profound distaste for the posture‐practicing yogin, and their writings tend to denigrate the value of such practices. It is for this reason that āsana was initially absent from transnational anglophone yogas.

Keywords:   yoga, yogin, haṭha yoga, modern postural yoga, modern yoga, āsana, Vivekananda, Blavatsky

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