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Inhaling SpiritHarmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga$
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Anya P. Foxen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190082734

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190082734.001.0001

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Adaptations, Appropriations, and Aerobics

Adaptations, Appropriations, and Aerobics

(p.223) 6 Adaptations, Appropriations, and Aerobics
Inhaling Spirit

Anya P. Foxen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines the effect of historical dynamics upon the development of modern yoga practice, in the United States and Europe as well as India. Indian yogis were intimately familiar not only with Western physical culture but also Western metaphysical traditions. For this reason, one finds a diffusion of Western harmonial language into the writings on Indian yogis, where such terms are used to express an entirely different school of metaphysical concepts. This is mirrored by the ways in which Sanskrit terms are being used in Euro-American sources to represent genealogically Western harmonial concepts. The chapter concludes by examining the multiple waves of synthesis affected by later teachers of this hybrid yoga, such as Indra Devi, who found themselves at pains to differentiate between the yogic teachings they brought from India and the naturalized content of the broader harmonial fitness movement.

Keywords:   yoga, yogis, harmonialism, Swami Vivekananda, Yogi Ramacharaka, Sri Yogendra, Paramahansa Yogananda, Indra Devi, fitness, exercise

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