Episode 200: The Globalization of Yoga with Andrea Jain

On today’s episode, I speak to author and religious studies professor Andrea Jain about her book, Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture. Her book is one of the best I’ve read in terms of tracing the globalization of yoga without oversimplifying it or vilifying modern yoga’s evolution.

We cover a lot of ground in this interview. Here are some highlights:

– Is it true that yoga is of Hindu origin and, if so, does that mean that you should not practice it if you are not Hindu?

– Is the way we practice yoga in the West cultural appropriation?

– How can Western yoga practitioners educate themselves about cultural appropriation and practice in a way that is respectful to the culture where yoga originated?

– Jain makes the case that yoga shouldn’t “belong” to any one group of people.

– We talk about “Godmen” and why the relationship between teacher and student opens the door to abuse of authority in yoga as well as other groups.

– Jain makes the case that yoga as it is practiced today could be considered a religious practice. And we go into the pros and cons of looking at it that way.

– She also gives us an overview of her next book, Peace, Love, Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality, which will be available in September.

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture by Andrea Jain

Peace, Love, Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality by Andrea Jain

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