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Inhaling Spirit – Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Inhaling Spirit: Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga

Anya P. Foxen


This book follows up on recent findings that modern postural yoga is the outcome of a complex process of transcultural exchange and syncretism and digs even deeper, looking to uncover the disparate but entangled roots of contemporary yoga practice. In doing so, it proposes that some of what we call yoga, especially when it comes to North America and Europe, is only slightly genealogically related to premodern Indian yoga traditions. Rather, they are equally if not more grounded in Hellenistic theories of the subtle body, Western esotericism and magic, premodern European medicine, and late nine ... More

Keywords: yoga, asana, harmonialism, Western esotericism, physical culture, theurgy, modern dance, Orientalism, fitness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190082734
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190082734.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Anya P. Foxen, author
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo