Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture

Andrea R. Jain

Anno: 2015
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 264 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 237 x 163 mm
Peso: 506 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199390236
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When we think of yoga today, we envision spandex-clad, perspiring, toned people brought together in a room filled with yoga mats and engaged in a fitness ritual set apart from day-to-day life. Their aim is to enhance something they all deem sacred: their bodies. In Selling Yoga, Andrea Jain looks at the development of modern, popular yoga and suggests that its practitioners are strategic participants in the contemporary global market for self-developmental products and services. Pre-colonial and early modern yoga systems comprise esoteric techniques that aim at transcendent states of detachment from ordinary and conventional life. In contrast, contemporary popularized yoga aims at immediate self-development through the enhancement of the mind-body complex according to dominant health and fitness paradigms. Postural yoga is prescribed not as an all-encompassing worldview or system of practice, but as one part of self-development that provides increased beauty and flexibility as well as reduced stress; it can be combined with various other worldviews and practices available in the global marketplace. However, Jain argues that yoga systems cannot be reduced to mere commodities-that yoga is, in fact, a religion of consumer culture. It functions as a social ritual that removes individuals from everyday life for the sake of self-development. Yoga brands destabilize the basic utility of yoga commodities and assign to them new meanings that represent the fulfillment of self-developmental needs deemed sacred in contemporary consumer culture.