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Translating, Practicing and Commodifying Yoga in the U.S.

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0025157/00001

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Title: Translating, Practicing and Commodifying Yoga in the U.S.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (240 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Gandhi, Shreena
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: capitalism, commodification, practice, religion, translation, u, yoga
Religion -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Religious Studies thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TRANSLATING, PRACTICING, AND COMMODIFYING YOGA IN THE U.S. By Shreena Niketa Divyakant Gandhi December 2009 Chair: David Hackett Cochair: Vasudha Narayanan Major: Religious Studies This dissertation explores the history of yoga in the U.S. Starting with the Transcendentalists of the mid-nineteenth century the concept of yoga has captured the imagination and attention of some Americans. The importation of yoga from India to the U.S., however, was never a whole transplantation; rather it has always been and continues to be a translation. Throughout out this dissertation s five main-body chapters (Introducing Yoga, Popularizing Yoga, Domesticating Yoga, Communalizing Yoga and Complicating Yoga), I trace this translation and map the effect that it has on the practice and commodification of yoga in the U.S. Through this mapping, I find that yoga is not an uprooted entity, corrupted by the flows of modernity, rather that yoga is and has always been rhizomal, a practice that changes and bends to its context while remaining flexible to the contours of global and North American cultures. The rhizomal quality of yoga means that yoga can be accessed at many points by various actors and interests, which has resulting in a remarkable history and provides point of access to explore the relationship between religion, capitalism and our contemporary everyday lives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shreena Gandhi.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Hackett, David G.
Local: Co-adviser: Narayanan, Vasudha R.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-06-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0025157:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0025157/00001

Material Information

Title: Translating, Practicing and Commodifying Yoga in the U.S.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (240 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Gandhi, Shreena
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: capitalism, commodification, practice, religion, translation, u, yoga
Religion -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Religious Studies thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TRANSLATING, PRACTICING, AND COMMODIFYING YOGA IN THE U.S. By Shreena Niketa Divyakant Gandhi December 2009 Chair: David Hackett Cochair: Vasudha Narayanan Major: Religious Studies This dissertation explores the history of yoga in the U.S. Starting with the Transcendentalists of the mid-nineteenth century the concept of yoga has captured the imagination and attention of some Americans. The importation of yoga from India to the U.S., however, was never a whole transplantation; rather it has always been and continues to be a translation. Throughout out this dissertation s five main-body chapters (Introducing Yoga, Popularizing Yoga, Domesticating Yoga, Communalizing Yoga and Complicating Yoga), I trace this translation and map the effect that it has on the practice and commodification of yoga in the U.S. Through this mapping, I find that yoga is not an uprooted entity, corrupted by the flows of modernity, rather that yoga is and has always been rhizomal, a practice that changes and bends to its context while remaining flexible to the contours of global and North American cultures. The rhizomal quality of yoga means that yoga can be accessed at many points by various actors and interests, which has resulting in a remarkable history and provides point of access to explore the relationship between religion, capitalism and our contemporary everyday lives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shreena Gandhi.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Hackett, David G.
Local: Co-adviser: Narayanan, Vasudha R.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-06-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0025157:00001


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TRANSLATING, PRACTICING AND CO MMODIFYING YOGA IN THE U.S. By SHREENA NIKETA DIVYAKANT GANDHI A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009 1

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2009 Shreena Niketa Divyakant Gandhi 2

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To My Dad and Mom 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I am thankful for a ll the teachers that I have had over the years. Each member of my dissertation co mmittee has been instrum ental in how I have come to think about history and religion. Dr. Jon Sensbach (through Rebecca) has helped me think about the characters that creat e the history; that they are not merely pawns but agents that are embl ematic of their times a nd contexts, which helped me realize that the various yogi characters in my dissertation are not only products but also producers of history. Dr. M anuel Vasquez introduced me to Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the fallacy of a Cartesian outlook especia lly when examining a bodily practice. Far beyond yoga, Dr. Vasudha Narayanan opened my ey es to the richness and variety of my own history, heritage and faith; her words have brought meaning and hope in times of extreme light and darkness over these past six years. Dr. David Hackett has patiently and meticulously worked with me on a variety of subjects; because of his dedicated teaching I have been able to think through and about the commodity and fetish, its place in culture, capitalism and American religious history. Without the guidance and teaching of Dr. Narayanan and Dr. Hackett, I would not be the teacher or the person I am today, and for that I am i mmensely grateful. Beyond my committee I have been lucky to have a group of teachers at the University of Florida, Harvard Divinity Sc hool and Swarthmore College that have all contributed to my overall development and in par ticular, to this disse rtation. First, at UF, I must thank Annie Newman, who has kept me informed of procedures and deadlines; I am convinced that there is no one that knows the intricacies of the university better. Also at UF, three professors in particula r, Dr. Anna Peterson, Dr. Gwynn Kessler and Dr. Richard Foltz all have impacted and influenced my thinking about the history of yoga 4

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in the U.S. Dr. Petersons scholarship is a testament to the im portance of examining practice beyond the world of ritual and in the realm of politics (and economics). Dr. Kessler wisely introduced my peers and I to El aine Scarry and the value of questioning how and why religions are classified. Finally though I never had him as a professor, I did have the privilege of being Dr. Foltzs T.A., during which time he made me rethink the migration, movement and marketing of religions as a constant process through human history, and he made me seriously think about the notion of origins and syncretism. At HDS, I had the fortune of st udying American religious history with Dr. Robert Orsi, Dr. David Hall and Dr. Lowell Livezey. Beyond the obvious lessons of lived religion, these three professors stressed th e importance of anchori ng all my work in primary sources, without which there is no narrative, analysis or theory. At Swarthmore, in the Religion department, was where my curi osity about and love for religious studies was cultivated; and for this I have to thank Dr. Steven Hopkins and Dr. Mark Wallace, whose encouragement, support and confidence in me gave me the courage to pursue further degrees. It was in Dr. Wallaces clas s, first semester of freshman year where I first read Martin Bubers I Thou a book that I conti nually use to make sure that I attempt not to objectify the historical and contempor ary agents in my narrati ves. My love for critical theory was also influenced by Dr Braulio Munoz who not taught me about historical materialism and liberation theology, but also first made me read (using the techniques of hermeneutics) Walter Benjamin and Hans Georg Gademar. Lastly, I would be remiss not to thank Dr. Doug Collar, my high school U.S. History teacher, who first made me realize that I did not have to become a scientist or doctor just because I was Indian. 5

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These past two years of dissertation re search and writing would not have been possible without Carol Anderson, who has been a wonderful mentor, colleague and friend. I am truly grateful that I have a chair who values my presence, genuinely considers my ideas, and helps me think thro ugh my ideas on religion and teaching. I am not sure what I did in a past life to land at a very good, small liberal arts college that is close to my family, but I am sure that I have Carol to thank for this blessing. Deb Pattison has also helped me transition from student to faculty, while also being a dear friend, a rock and a sounding board for all t he dramas, academic and non-academic, in my life. And Liz Smith at the Kalamazoo College library has consistently helped me track down a variety of sources (obscure magazines, microfilms and publishers), and her help in these source-quests has been invaluable. I have also been very lucky to be blessed wi th so many amazing friends who have all been critical in helping me through this process. In particular I want to thank and acknowledge Gayle Lasater, Hilit Surowitz, Kathleen Holscher and BoHee Yoon. Gayle has been at UF with me from day one, Hilit came a year later and completed the Americas Girls Club, and in the process of classes and exams they have become two of my closest friends. Both Gayle and Hil it helped me get through my qualifying exams and have been critical conversation partners throughout all my years at UF, especially these past two years of research of wr iting. Kathleen has also been a valued conversation partner; fate placed Kathleen and I together as roommates our freshman year at Swarthmore and now we are both Am erican religious historians I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have a colleague and friend who not only understands my field, but also who I was then and now. Finally, without the love and 6

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encouragement and support of Bo Hee, I do not know who I would be today; so often, when one is an academic, it is hard to remember to live and develop outside the academy and BoHee has been that reminder. I know I am a better person because of her, and for personal reasons, I dedicate my third chapter to her. Finally, I must thank the Patel side of my family, who are scattered all over the world, from New Zealand to the U.S. All of my aunts, uncles, cousins and my maternal grandmother, Bhanumati Patel keep me grounded and happy. My paternal grandfather, Bhogilal Gandhi, always encouraged my interest in religion, philosophy and meditative practices from a young age. I will always treasure my long walks, conversations and adventures in New York City with my Dadaji it is during these times at a young age when I first became acquainted with Hindu an d Buddhist philosophies. I miss him dearly, but as one light in my life was ex tinguished, another entered my brother Alexander Gandhi, who has brought me infinite joy during these past four years; the very thought of him brings a smile to my face which cannot be underestimated in the process of taking exams and writing a dissert ation. During these years I have also been lucky to receive the additional love, care and support of Maria Gandhi. None of this would be possible, however, without my parent s, Divyakant Gandhi and Ragini Gandhi. I do not know that I will be able to adequately thank them in this lifetime for all the love, all the late nights, all the lis tening, all the times they hav e run to my side and all the sacrifices Last but never least, I want to thank my constant, my best friend and my sister, Aneesha Gandhi, for always belie ving in me and being on my side. 7

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF FI GURES ........................................................................................................ 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUC TION .................................................................................................... 14 Literature Review .................................................................................................... 21 Chapter Ou tline ....................................................................................................... 36 Method & T heory .................................................................................................... 30 Introducing Yoga .............................................................................................. 36 Popularizing Yoga ............................................................................................ 37 Domesticating Yoga ......................................................................................... 39 Communalizi ng Yoga ....................................................................................... 41 Complicating Yoga ........................................................................................... 42 2 INTRODUCIN G YOGA ........................................................................................... 45 What Is Yoga? Meaning and History in India .......................................................... 47 Yoga and the Theos ophists .................................................................................... 54 Yoga and the Transc endentalists ........................................................................... 51 Worlds Parliament of Religions and t he Triumph (?) of Swami Vivekananda ........ 59 Women and Yoga = Mistru st and Sc andal .............................................................. 68 3 POPULARIZING YOGA .......................................................................................... 76 Pierre Bernard (Oom the Omni potent) .................................................................... 77 Theos Ber nard ........................................................................................................ 86 William Walker Atkinson (Yoga Ramachar aka) ...................................................... 81 Paramahansa Yogananda ...................................................................................... 89 Science and Yoga ................................................................................................... 94 4 DOMESTICATING YOGA ..................................................................................... 102 Richard Hittl eman ................................................................................................. 103 Indra Devi ....................................................................................................... 110 Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya: The Mysore School and its Ambassadors ........... 106 B.K.S. Iyen gar ................................................................................................ 113 K. Pattabhi Jois .............................................................................................. 119 Gurus of the Counter culture and Drug Detox ........................................................ 121 Yoga for Heal th ..................................................................................................... 126 5 COMMUNALIZING YOGA .................................................................................... 136 8

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The Yoga Journal and the Creation of a Habitus .................................................. 137 Articles ............................................................................................................ 142 Covers ............................................................................................................ 138 Advertisem ents ............................................................................................... 147 The Yoga Habitus ........................................................................................... 150 Yoga and New Indo-Americ an Community ........................................................... 155 Swami Ram dev .............................................................................................. 159 Yoga Reclaim ed? ........................................................................................... 162 6 COMPLICATING YOGA ....................................................................................... 178 Current Variations of Pr actice and Pr oducts ......................................................... 179 Yoga in the Public Sphere .................................................................................... 194 Muslim, Jewish and Ch ristian Yo ga ...................................................................... 186 Commodification and Yoga ................................................................................... 199 7 CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................... 207 APPENDIX .................................................................................................................. 226 LIST OF YOGIS THAT INFLUENCED PRACTICE IN TH E U.S. ................................ 226 LIST OF REFE RENCES ............................................................................................. 227 BIOGRAPHICAL SK ETCH .......................................................................................... 240 9

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1. White woman prostrating before a yogi, from, A merican Women Victims of Hindu Mysticism, The Washington Post 18 February 1912 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................................... 75 3-1. Theos Bernard demonstrating Uttanakurmakasana picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 61 (picture taken by aut hor). ............................................. 101 3-2. Theos Bernard demonstrating Vrksasana, picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 67 (picture taken by author). .................................................................. 101 3-3. Theos Bernard demonstrating Kukkutasana picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 60 (picture tak en by autho r). .......................................................... 101 4-1. Advertisement for Hittl eman Yoga Class, from the New York Times 2 Jan 1969 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 133 4-2. Advertisement for Gimbe ls India Fortnight, from the New York Times, 17 May 1966 (picture taken by author). ......................................................................... 133 4-3. Advertisement for Hi ttleman classes, from the New York Times 21 February 1966 (picture taken by author). ......................................................................... 133 4-4. Male office worker practicing yoga, picture from Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pren tice Hall, Inc., 1964), 163 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 134 4-5. Female office worker practici ng yoga, picture from Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prenti ce Hall, Inc., 1964), 168-169 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 134 4-6. Iyengar demonstrating Salabhasana picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Schocken Bo oks, 1966), 100 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................................. 134 4-7. Iyengar demonstrating Adho Mukha Svanasana picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Scho cken Books, 1966), 110 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................... 135 4-8. Iyengar demonstrating Pindasana in Sirasana, picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Scho cken Books, 1966), 205 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................... 135 10

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4-9. Jois grandson demonstrating Navasana picture from K. Pattabhi Jois, Yoga Mala trans. Eddie Stern (New York, NY: North Point Press, 1999), 82 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 135 5-1. First Yoga Journal cover March/April 1975 (picture taken by author). .................. 167 5-2. Yoga Journal cover May/June 1977 (picture taken by au thor). ............................ 167 5-3. Yoga Journal cover July/August 1977 (picture taken by aut hor). ......................... 167 5-4. Yoga Journal cover December 1981 (picture taken by author). ........................... 168 5-5. Yoga Journal cover February 1983 (picture taken by aut hor). ............................. 168 5-6. Yoga Journal cover March/April 1985 (pictu re taken by author). ......................... 168 5-7. Yoga Journal cover July/August 1987 (picture taken by aut hor). ......................... 169 5-8. Yoga Journal cover September/October 1989 (pic ture taken by author). ............ 169 5-9. Yoga Journal cover May/June 1994 (picture taken by au thor). ............................ 169 5-10. Yoga Journal cover November/December 1998 (pic ture taken by author). ........ 170 5-11. Yoga Journal cover March/April 1999 (pictu re taken by author). ....................... 170 5-12. Yoga Journal cover August 2005 (picture taken by aut hor). .............................. 170 5-13. Asana feature from first issue of Yoga Journal from Jan Herhold, Yoga Asanas, May 1975, 4 (picture taken by author). .............................................. 171 5-14. Picture comparing characters from Ramayana and Star Wars, from Ramana Das, Two Epic Tales: The Ramayana and Star Wars, Yoga Journal, November/December 1977, 38 (pictu re taken by author). ................................ 171 5-15. Advertisement for Birk enstock and Yoga Clothes, from Yoga Journal July 1975, 25 (picture tak en by autho r). ................................................................... 171 5-16. Advertisement for The Yoga Watch, from Yoga Journal November/December 1976, 26 (picture tak en by autho r). ................................................................... 172 5-17. Advertisement for Sexu al Energy Seminars, from Yoga Journal September/October 1979, 24 (pictu re taken by author). ................................... 172 5-18. Advertisement p age with 7 adverts, from Yoga Journal May 1977, 72-73 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 172 5-19. Career Connection, from Yoga Journal January/February 1997, 133 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................... 173 11

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5-20. Next page of Car eer Connection, from Yoga Journal January/February 1997, 134-135 (picture tak en by autho r). .......................................................... 173 5-21. Vacation advertisements from Yoga Journal September/October 1997, 158 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 173 5-22. Ecos laundry detergent advertisement, from Yoga Journal May/June 2004, 23 (picture taken by author). .................................................................................. 174 5-23. Chopard Om necklaces advert isement from the Yoga Journal, December 2005, 5 (picture take n by autho r). ..................................................................... 174 5-24: Yoga Paws advertisement, from Yoga Journal August 2006, 130 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................... 174 5-25: Advertisement article for Iyengar Backbench, from Ruth Steiger, Take-It-Easy Yoga, Yoga Journal November/December 1987, 68-69 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................................. 175 5-26: Advertisement article for Ashtanga Yoga Mat, from Todd Jones, The Illustrated Mat, Yoga Journal March/April 1999, 21 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................................. 175 5-27. Advertisement article for OMGirl Pl ush Yoga Pants, from Material World, Yoga Journal, May/June 2004, 22 (picture taken by aut hor). ........................... 175 5-28. Indian Cale ndar, from India Abroad 28 December 1973 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................................. 176 5-29. Hindu Calendar, from India Abroad 5 October 1973 (picture taken by author). 176 5-30. A variety of advertisements, from India Abroad 14 March 1980 (picture taken by author). ........................................................................................................ 176 5-31. Travel advertisem ents to India, from India Abroad 5 October 1973 (picture taken by author). ............................................................................................... 177 12

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13 Abstract of Dissertation Pr esented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for t he Degree of Doctor of Philosophy TRANSLATING, PRACTICING, AND CO MMODIFYING YOGA IN THE U.S. By Shreena Niketa Divyakant Gandhi December 2009 Chair: David Hackett Cochair: Vasudha Narayanan Major: Religious Studies This dissertation explores the history of yoga in the U.S. Starting with the Transcendentalists of the mi d-nineteenth century the concept of yoga has captured the imagination and attention of some Americans. The importation of yoga from India to the U.S., however, was never a whole transplantation; rather it has always been and continues to be a translation. Throughout out th is dissertations five main-body chapters (Introducing Yoga, Populariz ing Yoga, Domesticating Y oga, Communalizing Yoga and Complicating Yoga), I trace this translation and m ap the effect that it has on the practice and commodification of yoga in the U.S. Through this mapping, I fi nd that yoga is not an uproot ed entity, corrupted by the flows of modernity, rather that yoga is and has always been rhizomal, a practice that changes and bends to its context while remaini ng flexible to the contours of global and North American cultures. The rhizomal quality of yoga means that yoga can be accessed at many points by various actors and interests, which has resulting in a remarkable history and provides point of a ccess to explore the relationship between religion, capitalism and our contemporary everyday lives.

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION UNDER YOGA SPELL; Wife of a Co llege President Leaves Home and Children. HER HUSBAND IS CRUSHE D Offers to Resign, but Is Urged by Trustees to Serve1 This is a headline from the Washington Post on May 3, 1908. Mrs Victoria Stone, wife of Dr. Winthrop E. Stone, president of Purdue Universi ty, left her family to join a yoga cult in the South Sea Islands. It is a sensation story that made national headlines, and was reported on in the mo st sensational way. Three years prior, Dr. George Moulton taught a class on Yoga in Lafaye tte, which Mrs. Stone attended. Three years after the incident, when Dr. Stone was awarded a divorce, the Chicago Defender reports that Dr. Moulton taught that one of the leading features of this doctrine was that of the withdrawal or separation from kindred and friends Books on the subject were put in the hands of Mrs. Stone and other members of the class, and their interest grew. Radical and revolutionary as were the books of the cult, Dr. Moulton seemed to go st ill beyond them, and evolve a Yoga philosophy of his own. But the member s of the class were warned not to make public any of the private and se cret instructions of how to send telepathic messages, how to hypnotize, how to use the key of Karma Yoga, and how to heal the sick.2 While Dr. Stone attempted to resign his post as President of Purdue University, he and his sons were left devastated. The Washington Post reported that, Dr. Stone revealed his sad story befor e the Presbyterian Church I am utterly crushed, he said. I can scarc ely bear up under it. I want your sympathy and your prayers. I love my wife; I would welcome her back. She is as dear to me as she ever wa s, but I am so sorry for her. I hope 1JOINS YOGA COLONY: Educators Wife Goes to Follow Strange God. Purdues University Head Divorced After Philosophy Is Said to Have Taken Wife to South Sea Islands, The Chicago Defender (Big Weekend Edition) 29 July 1911. 2JOINS YOGA COLONY: Educators Wife Goes to Follow Strange God. Purdues University Head Divorced After Philosophy Is Said to Have Taken Wife to South Sea Islands. 14

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that in a year or two she will come to her senses and return to me and my boys.3 Unfortunately, Mrs. Stone never returned. Four years after her disappearance, Dr. Stone remarried, but it seems his life was al ways to be laced with tragedy: nine years later, he died in a rock climbing accident.4 This story is fascinating for many reasons. Besides the obvious (high-society wife runs away from husband and kids), it is a par t of the colorful history of yoga in the United States. It shows that the welcome mat for yoga was not always extended, and has had its ups and downs. While yoga is ve ry popular among many segments of the American population today, it has not always been the case, and even today, it has its detractors and critics. Y oga has been both embraced and mistrusted since its introduction to the US, but it has still endur ed and grown in popularit y. It was embraced and practiced even at a time when immigrants fr om India were not a llowed, and through racist policies, citizenship was closed to them.5 At a time of heightened xenophobia, when yoga was so mistrusted, when good wiv es were running away from their husbands because of it, why did it survive, even thrive and grow into the phenomenon it is today? Obviously there was something ab out it that appealed to Mrs. Stone, and the many (especially women) who practice yoga today. This dissertation seeks to explain this appeal by specifica lly looking at the translation, practice and commodification of y oga in the United States. Walter Benjamin, 3UNDER YOGA SPELL; Wife of a College Pres ident Leaves Home and Children. HER HUSBAND IS CRUSHED Offers to Resign, but Is Urged by Trustees to Serve, The Washington Post 3 May 1908. 4DR. STONE LOST LIFE AS WIFE LOOKED ON; Purdue University Head Fell Down Canadian Precipice When a Rock Gave Way. SHE TRIED TO REACH HIM But was Marooned on Ledge and Remained There Foodless Eight Days Until Rescued, The New York Times 28 July 1921. 5Jennifer Snow, The Civilization of White Men: The Race of the Hindu in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind in Race, Nation and Religion in the Americas Ed. Henry Goldschmid t & Elizabeth McAlister (New York: Oxford Universi ty Press, 2004), 259-282. 15

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in his seminal essay, The Task of the Trans lator, explains that, while content and language form a certain unity in the original [pie ce of literature], like fruit and its skin, the language of the translation envel ops its content like a royal robe with ample folds.6 The modernist and literary concerns may seem far off from the historical narrative of this dissertation, but Benjamin is fascinated with the messiness of translation and how translations ultimately affect and change lan guage. I hope to look at the messiness of translating yoga into an American context and how this translation has, in its small way, changed the U.S. religious and cultural landscape. While Benjamin was specifically looking at literature and texts in his exami nation of translation, I insist, throughout this dissertation, that translation occurs also in lived, material and practiced cultures. In other words, yoga traveled across borders and was understood in different ways in different cultures, and that process of understanding was and is a cultural translation. Part of this translation involves texts that traveled from India, to England and then on to the U.S., and another part of this translation involves the use of Sanskrit in the practice of yoga, and the translation of those words to E nglish. Text is a part of material culture, which is a part of lived culture, and thus translation touches upon all of these facets. Homi Bhabha, a post-colonialist schol ar, who also builds and departs from Benjamins notion of translation, writes, I am less interested in the metonymic fragmentation of the original. I am more engaged with the foreign element that reveals the interstitial; insists in the text ile superfluity of folds and wrinkles.7 While it is important to understand the preU.S. history of yoga, I am not searching for any original meaning of yoga (unlike Benjamins inte rest in original pieces of literature), but 6Walter Benjamin, The Task of the Translator, in Illuminations trans. Harry Zohn (New York, NY: Schoken Books, 1968), 69. 7Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (New York, NY: Routledge, 1994), 326. 16

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rather this dissertation takes Bhabhas intere st in fragmentation and focuses it on the folds and wrinkles that have emerged as y oga, a foreign Indian import, has translate into an American co d ntext. Part of the process of yoga s translation, is also a trans national project mired in the mud of colonialism, economics and power; in other words, the reasons yoga came to the U.S. and was sold to American consumer s by a parade of Indian yogis is tied up with the colonization of India, the need to raise money and opportunity to combat cultural supremacy. While some of these yogis did travel to the U.K., where yoga is also very popular, their relationship with Great Britain was complicat ed by the British presence in India. Euro-Americans not only had money to spend, a First Amendment that allowed them to experiment with re ligion, and an immense landscape for potential growth, but also, the U.S. did not have an obvious colonial posit ion or interest in India. Indian yogis, who needed to raise money for their various causes in India, and who wished to lift the status of India from under the oppres sive and demeaning thumb of colonialism, were eager to use these Americ an resources of money, religious freedom and room for growth; in other words the U.S. was fertile ground for the translation, idea and practice of yoga. The translation of yoga never just or even primarily involved ideas the center of this translation was always a practice, which in many ways, allowed for the success of yoga in the U.S. This means looking at attempting to discern what people have done and continue to do when they maintain they are practicing yoga. Examining the very actions of practice and how they have changed over time and place is an excavation of the complex translations of yoga. Pierre Bo rdieu reminds the examiner of everyday 17

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practice that practice is always embedded in and informed by the market.8 Thus paying close attention to how yoga has been comm odified, and how this commodification furthers the process of translation and the m odes of practice is also essential. The three main sets of questions emerge when primarily consid ering translation, practice and commodification of yoga in the U.S, and are as follows: How was yoga translated into the American context, and in what ways has it been domesticated and in what ways is it still considered foreign and exotic? What are the many means of practicing yoga that have been introduced and created in the U.S.? And what is the relationship between yoga and the American religious market, and how has that affected the practice and translation of y oga? Combined, these questions lead to some larger questions about religion, culture and capita lism and the very status of yoga at the intersections of these networks: Is yoga religion or is it ju st spiritual? To which culture does yoga belong is it part of the east o r the west and what is the significance of this division? Is it a hierophany or a feti sh? And how does the relationship between yoga and capitalism affect the answers to these questions? If one just takes a moment to observe the pervasiveness of yoga in American popular and religious culture, one quickly sees that yoga is everywhere on television, in gyms and church basements, even at hos pitals. It is clear that yoga has been ingrained into the American religious, ec onomic and cultural landscape. There is something appealing about yoga, and over time in the U.S. a space for yoga has emerged, and this space has been and is still being shaped by a multitude of American and Indian characters and factors. 8Pierre Bordieu, Distinction: A Social Criti que of the Judgment of Taste trans. Richard Nice (New York, NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1984), 100. 18

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This dissertation investigates the va rious American and Indian characters that helped created this distinct space for yoga in the United States, and looks at some of the colonial, economic, political, religious and societal factors also involved in the process of making yoga a part of the Americ an cultural landscape. In order to properly do this, one must start from the time that word and the idea of y oga entered American philosophical and popular discourse. Starti ng with the American Transcendentalists the very concept of yoga captured the imagination of Americans both as a concept and as a practice, and this fits into a larger hist ory of American religion and spirituality. Yoga underwent a transformation, a translation no system is static, and when religious practices migrate and cross boundaries into other cultures, there is bound to be some changes and part of these changes are due to the trans national exchanges that occurred between India and the United St ates starting at the end of the 19th century. While studying the American histories of various yogis, I do not wish to ignore the global dimensions concerning the growth of yoga during the 20th century the very premise of this exercise is that the U.S. is not and never has been in a religious or spiritual vacuum. The early ex porters of yoga thought globally, and this is a trend that continues through today. However, for the sa ke of careful and tight scholarship, my focus will be on the manifestations of th is global phenomenon in the geographic U.S., while still paying attention to yoga globally, and especially in India, when necessary. After surveying some of the historical figures that have helped translate yoga into the American context, attention will also be paid to the print culture and the market that has also influenced the practice of yoga in the U.S. I will tackle the place of yoga in the American religious market today, and attempt to understand the forces that sustain the 19

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practice of yoga and the creativ ity that drives the many y oga variations that have and continue to materialize. What is it about m odern yoga that allows for this diversity and interpretation of a tradition, and what is it about the religious market today that allows for yoga to be a successful product? Further, is th is innovation and creativity or is this contamination and heresy? Rather than come to a conclusion about this question, I am much more interested in how someone ans wers this question, because it could be illustrative of their orientat ion towards the many influences that form Am erican culture today. A recent market study by the Yoga Journal provided some basic statistics about the 15.8 million that practice and the 18.4 million that say t hey will practice yoga in the U.S. today.9 These facts are illuminating because, in some ways, they help focus what is important when examining yoga in the U.S. First, the importance of focusing on the market is justified. This study finds that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products an increase of 87 percent compared to the previous study in 2004almost double of what was previously spent.10 Second, of those that practice, .2 percent are women 71. 4 percent are college educ ated; 27 have postgraduate degrees 44 percent of yogis have household income of $75,000 or more; 24 percent have more than $100,000.11 These statistics show that it is imperative not only to look at how people practice, but also who practice s and why. In other words, why is this practice so dominated by women, the educated and those that possess above average 9I should divulge that later in this dissertation I critique the Yoga Journal. Despite my criticisms, they do have the resources to perform such a study. Furt her it is in their interest to investigate the who and what of yoga in the U.S., for it will help them better market and produce their magazine. 10Yoga Journal, Yoga in America Market Study Press Release 26 February 2008 (accessed 22 August 2009), available from http://www.yogajournal.com/media/or iginals/YJ_PR_YogaAmerica.pdf 11Yoga Journal, Yoga in America Market Study Press Release 20

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salaries? Finally this market study finds that yoga is starting to be used as a tool for medical therapy (not just fo r health benefits). They find t hat million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them.12 Tracing how yoga has been translated from a religious practice, to a scientific process, to a fitness craze and now a prescription needs to be a key part of this narrative in order to have a better understanding of the history of yoga in the United States, such that we can understand how yoga came to be commodified and so popular among a particular demographic. Not only is it an important chapter in the histor y of Hindu traditions in the U.S., but it also provides insight into the relations hip between religion and capitalism. Literature Review There are three fields of literature in which I ground this study in and from which I draw inspiration: 1 the growing scholarsh ip on Hinduism in the United States; 2 the new studies on modern yoga in India and the West; and 3 historical work on spirituality and the commodification of religion in the United States. Due to the growing number of South-Asian immigrants and the increased visibility of their religions, the study of Hinduism, Jain ism, Islam and Sikhism in the United States has also become more popular. Particularly the fast pace of temple building has captured the attention of various scholars. Vasudha Narayanans article, Creating the South Indian Hindu Experience in the United States best illustrates the ways in which Indian Hindus transform the American religious landscape and their re ligion while at the same time attempting to retain and reinforce ties to Hinduism in India. Na rayanan finds that the members of the Sri Vaisnava temple in Penn Hills, PA seek to r eplicate the rituals and atmosphere of other 12Yoga Journal, Yoga in America Market Study Press Release 21

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Sri Vaisnava temples [in India], but also t hey adjust the sacred calendar to coincide more with long weekends in this country.13 Also different in American Hindu temples is the presence of a community hall, where groups can hold classes for Indian music, language, dance, and yoga. N onetheless, Narayanan points out that despite these adaptations, the umbilical cord, t he spiritual life line, tying t he Hindus to the mother land is strengthened and reinforced with every temple built in this country.14 This notion of temple as a home for Hinduism in the United States is also reiterated in Joanne Punzo Waghornes article, The Hindu Gods in a Split-Level World: The Sri Siva-Vishnu Temple in Suburban Wash ington DC, where she stipulates that the American Hindu temple is not unlik e a suburban home, for not only is home ownership the ultimate marker of the American dream, but also the home with its many rooms, staircases, twists and turns is able to hold a very diverse family made up of gods and humans, men and wom en, parents and children, Indians and Americans, while giving them all space to grow.15 Corinne G. Dempsey, in her new book, The Goddess Lives in Upstate New York Breaking Convention and Making Home at a North American Hindu Temple also highlights the importance of temple life for Hindus in t he United States, but adds an important detail to the conversation t he centrality of the guru in American Hindu traditions. Dempsey focuses her study on Aiya, a Sri Lankan Tamil non-Brahmin guru, who is able to provide a necessary link and facilitate the negotiation between temple 13Vasudha Narayanan, Creating the South Indian Hindu Experience in the United States, in A Sacred Thread: Modern Transmission of Hindu Traditions in India and Abroad ed. Raymond Brady Williams (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1996), 148. 14Narayanan, Creating the South Indian Hindu Experience in the United States, 163. 15Joanne Punzo Waghorne, The Hindu Gods in a Split-Level World, in Religion and American Culture: A Reader, 2nd Edition Ed. David Hackett (New York: Routledge), 527 & 533. 22

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worship and progressive ideals, which allow devotees to perform their own rituals. Dempsey also highlights the creativity or p lay of Hindu traditions in the U.S.: Aiya allows women and non-I ndo Hindus to perform rituals, which is indicative of the flexibility of tradition. The focus on gurus is also a theme in Vijay Prashads important book, The Karma of Brown Folk, though Prashad does not have the same positive view of gurus that Dempsey has. Prashad essentially argues that combination of American Orientalism and American selective immigration policies have created an Indo-Amer ican culture that is thought of/believed to be economically dr iven, spiritually superior, conservative, traditional and thus politically do cile. In order to prove all of this Prashad looks at the ways in which Euro-Americans, like Emerson and Whitman, as well as Indian gurus, like Vivekananda and Deepak Chopra, have been orientalist in orientation and aided in the construction of the Indian as intensely spiritual and apolitical, noble but silent, knowledgeable but no cosmopolitana passive character absorbed in the pursuit of pleasure and success without a devel oped social consciousness.16 Thus the South Asian American is perfect: spiritual and cooperative but driven to succeed in commercial terms.17 Prashad is pointing to a trend that I would like to expand on by focusing on modern yoga in the United States that is the construction of India and Indian as innately spiritual (a process and construc tion that both Euro-Americans and IndianAmericans participate in), and the commodity market that emerges due to this construction. I feel that t hat the two processes (the cons truction of spirituality and the 16Vijay Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 68. 17Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk 186. 23

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commodification of this spirituality) are link ed together in the formation of modern yoga. There are several recent books that have al ready discussed the development of modern yoga, but none that have given careful attention to the historical narrative of yoga in the United States. These authors, Joseph S. Alter, Elizabeth de Michelis and Sarah Strauss, are important because they start the important task of how yoga went from an obscure Brahmanical and Tantric exclusive pr actice to a modern practice that has gained much popularity inside and outside of India. In a richly imperative and careful study, Joseph S. Alter focuses his attention on the development of yoga in India during the 20th century. In his book, Yoga in Modern India The Body between Science and Philosophy Alter seeks to problematize the idea that yoga is an eternal and static tradi tion that has seamlessly descended from ancient times into our modern era. Tracing the effects of transnationalism and globalization due to colonializ ation, Alter finds that t here was a move by various nationalists and yoga gurus to construct yo ga as transcendental science, and thus yoga is not only the subject of philosophica l speculation, but also the object of mundane scientific resear ch and investigation.18 Alter is interested in figures that changed the meaning of yoga in India, and t he influence of modern Western science in this change. Another book that also tackles the subject of modern yoga is Elizabeth de Michelis A History of Modern Yoga Published in the same year (2004) as Alters text, de Michelis book is less theoretical, but no le ss historically rich. Rather than making qualitative judgments on the st ate of yoga in modern times, de Michelis is more 18Joseph S. Alter, Yoga in Modern India: The Body between Science and Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 34. 24

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interested in chronicling the history of y oga how it developed in and outside India during colonial and post-colonial times. In particular, her focuse s are the transnational intellectual connections betw een India and the United Kingdom that led to a four-fold typology of modern yoga in the w est. With Swami Vivekanandas Raja Yoga as the base for modern yoga, de Michelis argues that four types of yoga emerged subsequently: Modern Psychosomatic Y oga (MPsY), Modern Denominational Yoga (MDY), Modern Postural Yoga (MPY) and Modern Meditational Yoga (MMY). De Michelis admits that this categorization is not exhaustive and that there are groups that overlap, but it is most helpful in tracing the various pat hs that yoga has taken outside of India. For De Michelis, it is Modern Postural Yoga (MPY) that has found a place in the secular West (United Kingdom specifically); she finds that, indeed, in colloquial English, yoga has come to mean a session of MPY.19 She argues that MPY yoga is able to adapt itself to a my riad of situations, across the boundaries of various religious traditions, thus, even if prac titioners commitments and beliefs are differently structured, it is likely that MPY will be able to offer some solace, physical, psychological or spiritual, in a world where solace and reassurance are sometimes elusive.20 Whereas De Michelis does a broad histor y of modern yoga with a minor focus on Iyengar yoga, Sarah Strauss, in her book, Positioning Yoga Balancing Acts Across Cultures focuses specifically on Swami Sivan anda and the Divine Life Society. Strauss combines history and heavy ethnography to ill ustrate how the Divine Life Society emerges across cultures as a transnational movement. Strauss finds that yoga is a cultural product that is a result of the pizza effect, that is 19Elizabeth, De Michelis, A History of Modern Yoga (London: Continuum, 2004), 248. 20De Michelis, A History of Modern Yoga 260. 25

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Many objects, processes or ideas t hat are generally i dentified as the product of a particular people, culture, or place, such as pizza for Italy, were in fact developed or elaborated upon in a very different context of by very different people than those who supposedly originated the thing in question.21 Thus for her, it is imperative to follow the tr ansnational trajectories of the Divine Life Society through careful ethnographic research Through her research she finds three reasons why yoga has become so compelli ng and popular in India, Europe and the United States: first, the focus of y oga became freedom and health; second, yoga became an indigenous strategy to re-imagi ne and reassert the colonial body; and third yoga is a modern practice which was origin ally Indian, but now thoroughly global.22 What binds the three texts of Alter, de Michelis and Str auss together is their focus on the ability of those that sought to spr ead yoga to find the common denominator that allowed them to translate an ancient Indian/ Hindu system into a different environment and modern context. These common denominator s were making or reformulating yoga into a system of health, which was easily marketable with spirit ual benefits. The marketing and quest for spirituality are also persi stent themes in the religious history of the U.S., and have been best clarified by t he scholarship of T. J. Jackson Lears, R. Laurence Moore, Leigh Eric Schmidt and Catherine Albanese. In his landmark book, No Place of Grace Antimo dernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 T.J. Jackson Lears argues that intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic were becoming incr easingly dissatisfied and disillusioned with modernism and capitalism, which lead to the formation of an anti-modern culture. What signified this anti-modern cultur e was a search for meaning, or authentic alternatives 21Sarah Strauss, Positioning Yoga: Balancing Acts Across Cultures (Oxford: Berg 2005), 8. 22Strauss, Positioning Yoga: Balancing Acts Across Cultures 7. 26

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to the apparent unreality of modern existence.23 This involved an increasing curiosity in medieval aesthetics, Catholic sacrament a nd Oriental spiritualities, and a search for a physical understanding of the body with a rise in craft and athletic hobbies. These new interests were not rooted in a need to escape from modern society, but rather to heal society and themselves. Unfortunately, Lears concludes that the antimodern longings for authentic experience and pr omotion of the therapeutic world-view served to aid the very thing that these anti-modernists wished to undermine that is the emerging consumer culture and capitalism.24 Whereas Lears is weary and critical on effects of capitalism on American spirituality, R. Laurenc e Moore has a less severe reading of the market. Rather, in his book, Selling God American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture Moore sees the emergence of the American relig ious market as a space for invention and creativity on the part of religions. Starting his historical inquiry after the American Revolution and the increasing reach of the Tract society and print culture, Moore traces how religion fought to stay relevant in American culture using t he forces of capitalism to aid their cause. Moore stylishly observes: I n American life, religion had to become a commodity, but that did not make it peanut butter.25 Unlike Lears, Moores chooses not to focus on intellectuals, but on popular figures, who des erve more credit as major architects of American experience, and like po liticians, made religion lively and relevant to national life by reflecting popular taste.26 Moore feels that the turn to the market by religious 23Jackson T. J. Lears, No Place of Grace Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1981), 5. 24Lears, No Place of Grace 303. 25R. Laurence Moore, Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994) 145. 26Moore, Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture 275. 27

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actors should not be seen as selling out, bur rather as a creative and innovation move that is intrinsically American. In his book, Restless Souls The Making of American Spirituality Leigh Eric Schmidt also argues for the creativity and innov ation of religious and spiritual actors. Further he feels that the search for spirituality is not a soci ological inquiry, but rather a historical one. He finds that there is a long history in the United States of seekers who drew from a large array of sources to understand their place in the world. Schmidt ties together thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, W.E.B. DuBois, Vivekananda, Annie Besant, William James and Barack Obama to s how that central to the history of spirituality in the Unit ed States is creativity and resourcefu lness. What all these thinkers have in common is that they draw on a vast a rray of diverse traditions to construct their philosophies and approaches to life. Schmidt traces the ability of these thinkers to follow this path to the rise and flourishing in the nineteenth century of re ligious liberalism, saying that the seeking of spirituality is an artifact of re ligious liberalism.27 Thinkers that believed in this religious liberalism held the Worlds Parliament of Religions in 1893 which paved the way for Vivekananda to affe ct the religious landscape of the United States, and bring yoga to a new level of popul arity. This modern y oga that Vivekananda introduced to the United States laid the base for later gurus and practices to really take hold. Recently, Catherine Albanese has publis hed a book that also addresses the creativity of American spir ituality. In her 2006 book, A Republic of Mind and Spirit A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion Albanese veers away from the term 27Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality (New York: Harper, 2005), 6-7. 28

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spirituality towards the term metaphysical, wh ich she defines as a religious orientation that focuses on the mind, connections to the past, energy of and between individuals and lastly the goal of healing through therapeutic means. For Albanese, the act of recovering the narrative of American metaphysical religions sets the stage for a new reversionary account of all of American relig ious history that privileges the study of contact and combinations a way to chronicle a profusely rich and hybrid series of contacts among religious peoples, ideas and practices.28 Albanese effectively moves the discussion away from religious boundaries to religious appropriation and creativity. Her chapter, Metaphysical Asia is most usef ul, for it not only gives a great overview narrative of the different yogis that tr anslated yoga into an American metaphysical practice, but it also exposes the various cont acts and combinations that are an integral part of the this narrative. What these books all have in common is t hat they provide us with broad histories that are essential monographs that allow for me to focus on a specific tradition in a particular context and time period. Lears, Moore, Schmidt and Albanese show that spirituality (or metaphysics), and the process of drawing from a diverse array of traditions to construct that spirituality is not a modern phenomenon, rather it and its place in an American religious ma rket has a long history. Alter, De Michelis and Strauss give us a good overview of how modern y oga came to be, and gives a means of categorizing modern yoga today Narayanan, Waghorne, and Dempsey present us with essential scholarship on the history and devel opment of Hinduism in the United States after 1965, with their focus on temple and devo tional culture. Prashad presents the pre28Catherine Albanese, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 17-18. 29

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1965 history, which helps us understand why Hinduism has become part of the American religious market today, and further, he warns us t hat we must be skeptical and question why Hindu traditions, such as yoga, have been gi ven a favorable reception in the U.S. I believe my research draws much insp iration and is heavily indebted to this scholarship, and I want my dissertation to fo rce the intersection of these three fields. This needs to be done in order to properly under stand yoga in the U.S. Not only is yoga part of the larger history of Hindu traditions in the U.S., but also due to the processes of global capitalism and colonialism, it has become modern and a global phenomenon, and also an integral part of the larger hist ory of spirituality and t he religious market in the U.S. Method & Theory This is a dissertation that will be historical with special attention to how this history has affected the practice of yoga today; t hus I have used a wide variety of primary sources to tell this story. This covers a large array of materials. The writings many of the major yoga figures have been preserved. Th roughout the first thre e chapters I lean heavily on the writings of Ralph Waldo Em erson, Henry David Thoreau, William Quan Judge, Swami Vivekananda, W illiam Atkinson, Theos Bernard, Swami Yogananda, Richard Hittleman, Indra Devi, B.K.S. Iyengar and Prattabhi Jois. I also felt it was important to investigate the reception of t he ideas and practices of yoga as they were introduced to Americans via Indian and American yoga teachers. Using the databases at the University of Florida, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College and Michigan State University, I searched the Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Francisco 30

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Chronicle, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post as far back as the mid-nineteenth century, and was able to find many articles that helped piece my na rrative together. Primary sources extend beyond the writings of and about yoga and yoga teachers. In 1975 the Yoga Journal was started, and after its succ ess, more magazines followed suite in the 1980s and 1990s. Unfortunately, the Library of Congress only had Yoga Journal issues 62-78 and 80 through present (fro m May 1985 with a few missing from 1988). While I searched various library databas es from New York to San Francisco, it was the library at Michigan State University t hat had the most extensive collection of the Yoga Journal, but they did not have the years fr om 1975-1983. I considered these years to be the most important, because I felt they would show the evolution of the Yoga Journal from a newsletter to a glossy magazine. I was also very interested to see what topics were covered, and what products were advertised in comparison to the topics and adverts of the mid-80s, the 90s and the early 2000s. While the Yoga Journal was unwilling to let me see their archives, I was able to find one of the ear ly founders of the Yoga Journal, Judith Lasater, who was willing to let me look at her early Yoga Journals Though I only had 2 hours to look through about 10 years worth of magazines, she did let me take pictures and these early iss ues have been most illuminating. This print culture provides a key insight into how yoga started to seep into mainstream culture. Another tremendous resource for me has been India Abroad a weekly newspaper circular that has been a serving the Indian community in North America since 1970. I was fortunate enough to be granted access to see copies of India Abroad from 1972present at the library of Michigan State University, but unfor tunately I have not been able to find hard copies of the first two years of India Abroad anywhere. 31

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My reasons for pursuing this approach to this topic are connected to the way in which yoga has stretched from an Indian ph ilosophical system into a global practice. This dissertation is both an intellectual hist ory and the history of a cultural phenomenon and lived practice I think that the comb ination of philosophical writings, newspaper articles and full magazines dedicated to the pr actice of yoga encapsulate the intellectual and cultural history of yoga in the US. A quick survey of the various yoga magaz ines today show that yoga is far more than an ancient Indian philosophy or physical and mental practice it is also a way to live ones life. These magazines sell a yoga lifestyle and advertisers and companies have invented a large array of products to supplement and enhance this particular lifestyle. Robert A. Orsi, writes, the emphas is in the study of lived religion is on embodied practice and imagination, as men, wo men, and children exist in and move through their built and found environments.29 Lived religion points to the ways in which the body interacts with its social and material location. In his book, Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty argues that t he body anchors one in the world and is the pivot of the world: I know that objects have several facets because I could make a tour of inspection of them, and in that s ense I am conscious of the world through the medium of my body.30 Merleau-Ponty is interested in the place of the body in the world, and the dialectic between the body and natural and cultural world it is at this intersection that we are able to observe and understand how religion is lived, practiced and embodied. 29Robert A. Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 2nd ed., (New Haven: Yale Un iversity Press, 2002), xxi. 30Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception trans. by Colin Smith (New York, NY: Routledge, 2002), 94-95. 32

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Though there has a slight shift from intelle ctual and textual history in the past few years, I do not wish to downp lay the importance of printed material and the robust intellectual debates surrounding the introducti on of a Hindu philosophy and practice to the United States. In his recent book, Theology in America E. Brooks Holifield writes, Combining religious fervor with egalitarian social protest, they [American populists] often broke away from est ablished denominations and created alternative institutions insisting that the right of private judgment made everyone a theologian.31 Holifield is arguing that intellectual discourse is not limited to the realm of academia people outside this profession have opinions that are informed, changed and challenged by what is occurring in the intellectual sphere of society. In turn, those that are in business of theology or philosophy are informed, ch anged and challenged by what is occurring in the streets, farms and neighborhoods. In other worlds t here is a healthy dialectic that creates the intellectual discourse, and it is through this intellectual discourse that yoga is first introduced to the United Stat es, and thus cannot be ignored. Following Orsi, that that study of lived religion is not about practice rather than ideas, but ideas, gestures, imaginings, all as media of engagement with the world, I hope to decipher the ways in which intellectual debate and lived practice intersect in the history of yoga in the United States.32 Involved in this investigation is employing archival methods which has helped in understanding both the intellectual and lived history of yoga in the United States. While spending time looking through stacks of newspaper articles, various autobiographical writ ings and advertisements, I realized that studyin g this history might 31E. Brooks Holifield, Theology in America Christian Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), 18. 32Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street xxi. 33

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have implications beyond hi storiography; that I was struggling with the questions regarding the cultural and religious status of yoga. This research has forced me to look how religion and culture moves, and ask to whom does a parti cular religion or culture belong. For theoretical guidance on these ques tions, I turned to Jean Baudrillard and started to think of yoga a ty pe of post-modern simulacrum t hat continues to replicate without any reference to any reality.33 Yet, a simulacrum involves a process, one that starts with a reflection of a profound reality.34 While yoga today obviously has many forms and means many different things to different people, casting yoga as a simulacrum might assume a single origin or reality. Whereas yoga might not have had as many manifestations in ancient India as it does today, I am not convinced that yoga ever had a single origin. Given that yoga has migrated quite we ll over time and boundaries, and given that yoga seems to have sprouted up from multiple and perhaps unknowable sources in ancient India, it seems that perhaps it might be better to see yoga as rhizomatic, rather than as a simulacra. In their book, a thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari write, The rhizome is reducible neither or t he One nor the multiple. It is not the One that becomes two or even directly three, four, five, etc. It is not a multiple derived from the One, or to which One is added ( n + 1) It has neither beginning not end, but always a middle ( milieu ) from which it grows and which it overspills It is a short-term memory or antimemory. The rhizome operates by variati on, expansion, conquest, capture, offshoots a map that is always detac hable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entryways and exits and its own lines of flight.35 33Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation trans. Shelia Faria Glaser (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 1994), 6. 34Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation 6. 35Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, a thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, MN: Universi ty of Minnesota Press, 1987), 21. 34

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What Deleuze and Guattari ar e concerned with is the nature of culture, and they are giving an answer to question of cultural origin s essentially they are arguing that origins are impossible to trace for cu lture rhizomatic. While they are not arguing against the project of history, they do call into question the uses of historical inquiry. Further, imagining yoga as a rhizome, ra ther than a simulacrum, helps in better understanding why it has translated so well across cultural contexts. The goal is to delve into the folds and wrinkles that emer ge during the processes of translation. The trope of the rhizome enables an understanding of why this process is messy and complex; it is because the rhizome itself is messy and complex and this is because culture is not neat and easy. Once we divorc e ourselves from the idea and comfort of origins, and embrace the uneasi ness of rhizomes, the easier it becomes to understand that cultures and practice constantly transla te to create even more folds and wrinkles for rhizomes to navigate into, out of and over in different times and places. The concept of the rhizome also helps explain why y oga has been so easily commodified; capitalism serves to deterritorialize everything it come s into contact with, and thus helps a rhizome (practice of yoga) translat e into different contexts.36 The problem with this theor etical outlook is that it could be seen as justifying cultural appropriation, an issue that c oncerns some postcolonial citizens and scholarship. Yet as I put toget her the pieces of my rese arch, it seemed that this theoretical framework best fit my narrative, and even came to explain why cultural (and religious) appropriation is such a slippery subject, and one that is so difficult to adjudicate. As I navigate through the history of yoga in United States, I hope to show 36Deleuze and Guattari, a thousand plateaus 454-455. 35

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that one of the reasons that yoga is so translatable, so practicable and so commodifiable in the context of the United St ates is because of its rhizomatic qualities. That is, yoga is impossible to trace to one point ( n is unknowable), that it is easily malleable and changed, and thus can be accessed by various actors in a myriad of ways for a myriad of reasons and possibilities. Chapter Outline I have chosen to break this dissertation into seven chapters. Besides an introduction and conclusion, there are five mi ddle chapters, each of which loosely focus on a time period and what makes that time in the history of yoga interesting. These sections are briefly summarized below. Introducing Yoga While taking seriously the idea that yoga is a rhizome, this first chapter starts out by briefly looking into the histories of yoga in India. In some way this might explain why yoga so captured the imagination of Henry Da vid Thoreau, a Transcendentalist thinker, wrote, rude and careless as I am, I would fain practice the yoga faithfully.37 While the Transcendentalists and Theosophists were ent hralled with Indian te xts and ideas, there is no evidence that they knew how to practice The first to bring the practice of yoga to the United States was Swam i Vivekananda who came to participate in the Worlds Parliament of Religions in 1893. He wa s among the more popular delegates at the meeting, and was able to stay longer fo r the purpose of raising money for his Ramakrishna Mission and Math in India, as well as plant the seeds for establishing Vedanta Centers in the United States. Though he gained many followers he also 37Henry David Thoreau, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau ed. Bradford Torrey (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1906) 403-4. 36

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created a lot of controversy. Within a decade of publishing Raja Yoga one of the foundational texts for modern yoga, there appeared both s upporters and detractors of Vivekananda. This first chapter is an attempt to lay out this early histor y and tease out the inherent tensions that existed the confusion between accepting the exotic and spiritual and rejecting the menacing and forbidden ot her. While yoga might be the anti-modern answer to the dilemma of modernism posited by Lears, it still is scary, for it is the modern forces of capitalism and globalization that expose Americans to yoga. In particular, yoga is distrusted because it attr acted so many white women, which caused some scandal and hysteria in the papers. Popularizing Yoga This next chapter focuses on four figures: Pierre and Theos Bernard, William Atkinson and Yogananda. The Progressive Era, the Roaring Tw enties, the Great Depression and World War II was in teresting in the history of yoga for it is in this time period that yoga becomes more of a gl obal phenomenon, and marks a time when yoga started to become less foreign and more indigeni zed to the context of the United States. In other words, some Americ ans started to make yoga thei r own. Pierre Bernard, who was dogged by scandal at first, started his own yoga school and retreat. Inspired by his uncle, Theos Bernard went to South Asia in 1936 traveling all over from Tibet to Sri Lanka. When he returned from Indi a, he wrote his dissertation, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience which was published and was, fo r many years, a popular source book on the practice of yoga, on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time Vedanta Centers were being set up in the US, a Euro-American by the name of William Atkinson started publishing best-selling books under the 37

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pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka. These books were on yoga, and while there is no evidence that he never went to India or had any contact with any yoga instruction, they were nonetheless taken as authentic and read by many even today! Understanding the phenomenon and success of William Atkinson is perhaps a key to understanding why yoga had staying power in the United States. Despite the emergence of American yoga teachers, Indian gurus still garnered much popularity in the United States. In particular, the figure and philosophies of Paramahansa Yogananda best embodies the gur u of the 1920s, 30s, 40s & 50s. Born in the same year that Vivekananda ca me to the United States, Yogananda espoused the practice of Kriya Yoga (a meditative practice which stresses the connection between the mind and breath), and spent his early life teaching throughout India. In 1920 he was invited by the Unitarians to speak at a Bo ston conference on the Science of Religion, which fit Yoganandas philosophy for he drew fr om contemporary ideas in science to explain that Kriya Yoga was a technique to recharge the body with spiritual energy. Yogananda is best known for his 1946 book, Autobiography of a Yogi This book braids the adventures of Yoganandas ex traordinary life with a spiritual journey, thus it became very popular, not only in the U.S., but the world over (i t has been translated into 18 languages). This book also appealed to a broad audience because Yogananda drew from a broad range of sp iritual traditions, including Christianity, in order to spread his message, thus aptly fitting into the history of spiritual borrowing in the U.S. as told by Schmidt. What is interesting about this period is that we see how yoga is starting to become more of a global movement and how the global is manifested in the U.S. (one could say 38

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to create a glocal movement). It is at this point that y oga starts to transform from a primarily meditative practice to a physica l practice with bodily benefits, and yoga is starting to take its place in the American market. In Indi a and the U.S. the connection between yoga and science is explored; all four of the historical figures in this chapter use and emphasize this connection to make yoga more appealing to a certain part of the American population. Domesticating Yoga Theos Bernard is not the only American to go to India, only to return and become a major conduit of information. Richard Hittl eman, whose books are still vastly popular today, came back to the United States from India in 1950, and by 1961 he was teaching yoga on television sets. Combined with his very popular book, The Twenty-Eight Day Yoga Plan Hittleman reached millions of Americans. An important guru in India, Tirumalai Kr ishnamacharya also influenced the practice of yoga in the U.S. through three of his students: Indra Devi, Be llur Krishnamachar Sundararaja (B. K. S) Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. Russian by birth, American during life and Argentine at death, Indra Devi went to India and studied with Sri Krishnamacharya and published three books on yoga, which reac hed a wide audience of women all over the U.S. Iyengar stressed the physicality of Krishnamacharyas yoga practice, and introduced the importance of bodily alignment and the use of props to aid in that alignment. With the help of American vio linist Yehudi Menuhin, Iyengar came to the United States in 1956, but reached immense popul arity after the publication of this book Light on Yoga The Bible of Modern Yoga in 1966. What is significant about this book is that it focuses on the asanas of that made Iyengar yoga so popular, but also introduces the American public to a techni cal Hindu vocabulary. Iyengar and Menuhin 39

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traveled all over Europe and the United States together, making this form of yoga one of the most popular of the time and even today Another of Krishnam acharyas students, Pattabhi Jois, focused on the flow between asanas and the centrality of the Surya Namaskara in practice. This type of yoga was more aerobic in nature and attracted a following of practitioners that wanted more exercise. In the cultural turmoil/upheaval/revolution of the 1960s, and particularly in the U.S. with the popularity of the counter-culture, the fight for civil rights and the disillusionment of the Vietnam War, yoga became very attrac tive, especially to the hippies. This population also had a drug problem and two yoga gurus of this era, Yogi Bhajan and Swami Satchidananda, used yoga to combat this problem. Along with importing their version of yoga, they also created drug r ehabilitation programs, which aided in their popularity. Yogi Bhajan introduced Kundalini Yoga to the United States, and in 1969 established the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization (3HO) in New Mexico. Swami Satchidananda, a student of Swami Sivananda who opened the Woodstock festival in 1969, founded the Integral Yoga Institute and the ashram Yogaville. Both these organizations are thriving today and provide re fuge for those seeking an alternative to mainstream life. Simultaneously yoga really started to be seen as a means for better physical health, not just spiritual health, and all the ma jor figures of this chapter capitalized on this trend. The pragmatic benef its of yoga made it appealing to those outside of the counter-culture, and the importance of health was a growing concern in the U.S. This chapter will not only try to make sense of all the different yogas that were introduced to the U.S., but also to understand their parti cular philosophy, their presence in the 40

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religious market, and to explore how they all appealed to Americans (particularly women) via the conduit of health. Communalizing Yoga This chapter examines the battle over yoga and community by turning attention to the history of the Yoga Journal and the relationship between the Hindu Indo-Americans and yoga. To serve the growing interest in y oga, in 1975 the Calif ornia Yoga Teachers Association started the Yoga Journal Their first issue was distributed to 300 people, however, they claim that today each of t heir issues reaches about one million people, and have increased their output to eight issues a year. This magazine sells yoga as part of a particular lifestyle, and helps to popularize the practice of modern yoga. Looking, in particular, at the Yoga Journal there is much evidence to show the process of how yoga became a lifestyle, and how yoga became divorced or separated from religion. Combined, the covers, articles and advertisements, cast yoga a spiritual practice, one that is separate from Hinduism ( but not from India) and thus practiced by anyone. The Yoga Journal helped create a habitus around yoga, and made it common property for all to participate. With the presence of the Yoga Journal and so many schools of yoga practice in the United States, one might im agine that the new Indian immigrant population might immediately embrace t he practice of yoga. The majori ty of these immigrants were urban, educated and middle-class, thus many of them had already been exposed to modern yoga when they came to the Unit ed States, the presence of yoga was not entirely unfamiliar and strange. Yet, taking a closer look at these immigrants early devotional practices and the stor ies about religion covered by India Abroad it does not 41

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seem that yoga was first practice embraced by this new community. They brought with them their more materi al and ethnic practices rituals, fasts, dances, and it was not too long after their arrival that Hindu temples started to dot the American landscape and sacralize the states as sa cred Hindu ground. This type of Hinduism, with its elaborate rituals, material embodiments of divinity and sectarian divisions stood in stark contrast to the austere, simple and ecumenical Hinduism that the early Indian yoga gurus introduced to the US. It was not until the 1990s that new Hindu immigrants started to fully embrace the practice of yoga, and part of this involved embracing a yoga guru of their own, Swami Ramdev. Ramdev caters pr imarily to Indians in India and around the globe and is one guru that is not afraid of the Hindu label, thus encouraging those that wish to claim to yoga as essentially Hindu. It is this dynamic between Euro-Americ an yoga practitioners and Hindu immigrants that shows part of the rhizom atic nature of yoga; that it can accessed by different groups in different ways and for different purposes. The question that must be answered, is why ownership or communalizing of yoga important? Complicating Yoga This chapter continues to explore the emergence of yoga as a force in the religious market in the United States, and the wa ys in which it is mixing into the market, other religions and civic spaces. Yoga classes are becoming more varied and expensive, more products (mats, props, yoga pants) are needed to practice y oga, and there seems to be a yoga product for every facet of a yogis life. This immense proliferation is somewhat due to the participation of yoga in t he American capitalist market how does this change the practice of yoga? Whereas Moore would point to the creativity that is involved in this 42

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process, Lears and other Marxists would stress the alienation that this causes. It seems that both hold true when examining this merging. Further, non-Hindu religious groups as means for prayer now utilize yoga; despite pr otest from some, the merging of yoga with Abrahamic faiths is becoming increasingly popular. This variation on the practice of yoga, begs the question: is yoga essentially Hindu? If not, can it be used to practice other religions? If yoga is not Hindu (and thus not part of a religion), can it be taught in pubic schools and can the state regulate yoga st udios? Given the existence of the First Amendment, the place of yoga in public schools and the attempt to regulate yoga studios and teacher training programs has gar nered some controversy. If yoga is not religious or part of any one tradition, what is the harm in teaching it to children at school? And if it is a merely secular pursuit, then should the state not regulate it as they regulate businesses and vocational schools? These three controversies over the mi xing of yoga with t he market, with other religions and with public spaces about the relig ious identity of yoga show how the place of yoga in the U.S. has become increasingly complicated since its arrival in the mid-19th century. Part of the reason for this complic ation is that yoga has become a commodity, and when a rhizome becomes a commodity, it re fracts in as many directions as the market can sustain. * With a focus on translation, practice and comm odification, I hope to tell a story that adds to a larger narrative of North American religious history. While the narrative itself is most interesting, and even at times, amusing, the topic of yoga allows access to some of the larger foundational questions in religious studies today: What is religion? How does 43

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44 religion and culture move or migrate, and how does this movement change religion and culture? What is the relationship between re ligion and capitalism? The study of yoga touches on all these questions. There is much debate over whether yoga is a religion or a secular practice. Further, yoga is a practice that has come from India, and tracing this movement and the accompanying changes a llows us to better understand the consequences of global flows. Finally yoga has a presence in the market today, and examining that presence may help in be tter understanding the relationship between religion and capitalism. This dissertation is a history of yoga in the United States. It follows the idea and practice of yoga from the time of the Transcendentalists to its presence in the American religious market today. The history of yoga in the United States fits into larger narrative of U.S. re ligious history, and illu minates the process of how a foreign religion becomes American. I also hope to answer some questions and perhaps shed some understanding on the puzzle that is religion, culture and capitalism. I want to try to comprehend why humans categorize the way they do and what these categories say about perception of religion, place, meaning and history (with particular attention to yoga). Perhaps looking specifically at the case study of yoga, we can better understand how culture commodifies, embodies moves, translates and still remains ever flexible to its changing contexts. Using the themes of translation, practi ce and commodification, I hope to bring an analysis of the history of yoga that brings further under standing and nuance to these larger issues in religious studies.

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CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCING YOGA The Bhagavad Gita; New English Tran slation of the Great Vedantic Poem Illumination Commentary, Historical, Philosophical and Philosophical and Philological, by Translator; KNOWLEDGE NEW AND OLD; Adumbrations of Modern Thought in Page of Book 2,500 Years Old1 Like the headline from the introduction, this headline also appeared in 1908, but on August 15 and in the New York Times. This review, written by Joseph Hornor Coates is largely celebratory of the translati on and exhibits a genuine enthusiasm for Hindu philosophy. While Coates describes the re viewed translation by Charles Johnston as the best English version, he also thin ks it important to be familiar with the Bhagavad Gita because it contains proof that human beings were thra shing out problems very like those which are confronting us to-day and sometimes along lines of though quite similar to those the twentieth century is pursuing.2 The Bhagavad Gita is one Hindu text that is a huge part of the history of yoga in India and in the United States. While it is in no way a point of origin, rather point of entrance into this narrative and further understanding, the Bhagavad Gita weaves in and out of this history, espec ially in the early years of encounter between the U.S. and yoga. This chapter will chronicle these early years, from the time of the Transcendentalists of New England through the middle of the American Progressive Era: a period in American hist ory when some (liberal) Protestants started to question the inerrancy of the Bible and read the Bible as a historical document. This interpretive 1Joseph Hornor Coates, The Bhagavad Gita; New Eng lish Translation of the Great Vedantic Poem Illumination Commentary, Historical, Philosophical and Philosophical and Philological, by Translator; KNOWLEDGE NEW AND OLD; Adumbrations of Modern Thought in Page of Book 2,500 Years Old, The New York Times 15 August 1908. 2Coates, The Bhagavad Gita; New English Translat ion of the Great Vedantic Poem Illumination Commentary, Historical, Philosophical and Philosophi cal and Philological, by Translator; KNOWLEDGE NEW AND OLD; Adumbrations of Modern Th ought in Page of Book 2,500 Years Old. 45

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position helped make these American Prot estants more open to ideas and practices from other religions, and from the beginning of this ope nness yoga captured American imaginations. It is tempting to ask why and how did yoga start, and to these questions there seems to be no satisfying answer; nonetheless, the first section of this chapter will briefly outline the history of yoga in India, which will assist in providing a better understanding of yoga in the United States. The next secti on of this chapter will be on the Transcendentalist movement, and in parti cular will focus on Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The Transcendenta lists were introduced to translated religious texts from India, and found in them a philosophy to help them cope with and fight the disillusionments of their day, and the practice of y oga was part of that philosophy. While Transcendentalism was an Am erican movement influenced by global forces, the Theosophical Soci ety was a transnational movem ent largely based on ideas from Indian texts that found a home in the United States. The next section explores the history of Theosophy, and pays particular attenti on to its history in the United States and the way they thought about yoga. T he Transcendentalist movement and the Theosophical Society helped introduce yoga to the United States, but this early introduction was mainly confined to New England and New York City. The Worlds Parliament of Religions in 1893, the focus of this chapters fourth section, is the event that provided a national stage for yoga. It wa s covered in all types of newspapers (with the help of the Associated Press, small to wn and big city), and introduced interested Americans to Swami Vivekananda, the firs t yoga missionary from India. In turn, Vivekananda introduced Americans to a systemi zed means of practicing yoga, primarily 46

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through pranayama While Vivekananda was quite popular, the attention he and yoga in general, garnered from whit e women became troubling to some, and was hence scandalously scrutinized in the national press. This early controversy surrounding yoga shows that the translation of yoga into an American practice was not completely seamless and the American public never immedi ately or wholly embraced yoga; this uneasiness and mistrust manifested itself vi a concern for white womens bodies. Once yoga started to gain popularity, a cloud of suspic ion arose over it, and this part of U.S. yoga history is important to unearth, because suspicion and fear of foreignness threads through this history to today. Taken together, the five sect ions of this chapter (on t he history of yoga in India, the Transcendentalists, the Theosophical Society, The Worlds Parliament of Religions and Vivekananda, and finally on yoga, scandal and women) will show how the practice of yoga started to tr anslate into an American context. This translation was not always neat, was not always accepted, and certai nly made headlines, but is nonetheless important to better understand why yoga became so popular in later decades. What Is Yoga? Meaning and History in India Technically, translated from Sanskrit, yoga means to yoke together or union, but it can also mean discipline or technique. It is more than a word, and thus difficult to translate and it shows up in various texts and at various times and in various forms from the beginning yoga exhi bited rhizomatic qualities. While this dissertation is geographically confined to the United States, it is still important to understand yoga, its various meanings and its long history. While t he origin of yoga maybe in India, even there it is impossible to trace yoga to one point; just as in the US, in ancient India yoga never had one purpose or even one meaning. 47

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The Bhagavad Gita which is dated between the 2nd century B.C.E. and the 2nd century C.E., is but a section of a much larger epic, the Mahabharata, which poses more questions than gives answers on t he nature of life and purpose through the narrative of two warring fact ions of the same family.3 At one point during the great battle, one of the good brothers, Arjuna, struggles with t he task of having to members of his family on the battlefield. His char ioteer, Krishna, consul s Arjuna on what he should do and why; it is thes e verses that make up the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna that he should follo w the path laid out for him, and that inaction is not an option. Through yoga (discipline) one is able to act with detachment, which leads to liberation. There are three yoga options which may lead to liberation, that Krishna lays out in the Bhagavad Gita : karma yoga (action), jnana yoga (knowledge), and bhakti yoga (devotion). It is clearly laid out in the Gita that in order to gai n liberation through yoga one must practice by living an ethical life, making ethical decisions and following ones path. Yoga in the Gita does not involve postures, but rather is a code for how one should strive to live. Yoga not only shows up in the Bhagavad Gita but is also the name of one of the six classical Indian schools of philosophy.4 The text that is most identified today with the Yoga school of philosophy is the Yoga Sutras attributed to Patanjali, which is earliest known systematic statement of the philosophical insights and practical psychology that define yoga.5 Written around the third century C. E., and heavily influenced by the 3Barbara Stoler Miller, Introduction, to The Bhagavad Gita trans., by Barbara Stoler Miller (New York, NY: Bantam Books 1986), 3. 4These six schools are: Sankhya Yoga Nyaya Vaisheshika Mimamsa and Vedanta In ancient times the Yoga school was most associated with the dualism or Sankhya ; today the practice of yoga is often identified with Vedanta the school of philosophy that is most popular today. 5Barbara Stoler Miller, Introduction, to Yoga: Discipline of Freedom trans., Barbara Stoler Miller (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1995), 1. 48

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Bhagavad Gita as well as Buddhism and Jainism, the Yoga Sutras is a guide to liberation composed of eight limbs or practices: moral principles (yama ), observances ( niyama ), posture ( asana ), breath control ( pranayama ), withdrawal of senses ( pratyahara), concentration ( dharana ), meditation ( dhyana), and pure contemplation ( samadhi ).6 Understanding that the yoga presented by Patanjali had eight components is important for understanding how yoga has changed, for yoga practiced today mostly involves asanas and some pranayama Perhaps pranayama and asana were latched onto by modern yoga exporters for they were easiest to translate into a modern ethos one that focused on health and physical wellbeing. Another important, but much younger, text that bears importance on the history of yoga in the U.S. is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Swatmarama. This text was most likely compiled by the sage in the 15th century, and while not much is known about Swatmarama, his text is in many ways the source for many of the popular yoga asanas today. Swatmarama divides his treatise on Hatha Yoga into four parts: Asanas Pranayama Mudras and Samadhi. Swatmarama explains that Hatha Yoga is a stairway to the heights of Raja Yoga, which is a retronym in reference to the yoga of Patanjalis Yoga Sutras .7 Throughout the four sections of his text, Swatmarama describes exactly what one mu st do in order to master Hatha Yoga In detail, Swatmarama explains how to perform various asanas what food to eat (and not to eat), how to practice pranayama which mudras to do in order to combat sickness and old age, and finally how to attain samadhi (union with Atman). Unlike Patanjali, Swatmarama was extremely specific about what a yogi had to do in order to become a 6Yoga: Discipline of Freedom, trans., Barbara Stoler Miller (New York: Bantam Books, 1995), 52. 7Swami Swatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, trans., Brian Dana Akers (Woodstock, NY: Yoga Vidya, 2002), 1. 49

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master of yoga. It is because of this specificit y that it is an extremel y important text for it showed many of the modern yogi s (in India and the U.S.) exactly how to practice yoga, and many of the asanas in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika became the basis for the modern yoga postures taught today. While the Bhagavad Gita Yoga Sutra and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika are all Brahmin Hindu texts, yoga in anc ient and medieval India was a practice that seemed to transcend the religious boundaries between Hin duism, Buddhism and Jainism, and it also was common to Tantra.8 Based on his research of yoga in ancient India, noted historian Thomas Berry argues that yoga is a spirituality rather t han a religion and that it has become intimately associ ated with both Hinduism and Buddhism.9 The categorical separation betw een religion and spirituality can be problematic, especially when applying these Protestant categories to the South As ian context. Categories, like yoga, have histories, and when these categor ies rise out of a European and American and Protestant context, they do not always fi t when translated back to other contexts. Further, it is not all together decided that such a split bet ween religion and spirituality exists, even in Euro-American Protestant circle s. Despite this categorical slipup, Berry is pointing to the innate rh izomatic quality of yoga. It is appar ent that yoga never really fit neatly anywhere, and at anytime. This malleability and boundary crossing is still the case today, and has been the case from th e time yoga entered into the American religious landscape. 8For further information about the history of y oga and its intersections with Tantra, Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism, please see Thomas Berry, Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1996); Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Imortality and Freedom 2nd ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Universi ty Press1990); Georg Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice (Prescott, AZ: Hohm Press, 1998); Yoga: The Indian Tradition ed. Ian Whicher and David Carpenter (London, Eng.: Routledge, 2003). 9Thomas Berry, Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1996), 75. 50

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Yoga and the Transcendentalists In 1785, Sir Charles Wilkins, an employee of the East India Company, translated the Bhagavad Gita into English. This first translation, Bhagvat-geeta, or Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon made its way to the United States and into the hands of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). These two men were part of a larger early nineteenth century, New England-based movement called Transcendentalism, which sought to questi on religion, technology and government. In many ways Emerson was the leader of this movement. Starting in 1836, he set up a weekly meeting for Transcendentalist meetings, and this club later started publishing a journal, The Dial, with their thoughts and causes. Overall, Transcendentalists focused on the potential of the individual within and even without society. In many ways their outlook was mo st utopian, and interest ed in self-liberation and transcendence outside the traditional bounds of New England Prot estantism. Thus, when texts from India started to flow into the prin t culture of New England, the Transcendentalists were an eager audience. Though Emerson did not read Wilkins translation of the Bhagavad Gita until 1845, while a student at Harvard and after, he was made aware of Hindu philosophies via a myriad of secondary sources.10 Along with the Gita Emerson latched onto the H.H. Wilson 1840 translation of the Vishnu Purana and through study of these text s he found that in all nati ons there are minds which incline to dwell in the concept ion of the fundamental Unity. The raptures of prayer and the ecstasy of devotion lose all being in one Being.11 From this, it is apparent that 10Russell B. Goodman, East-West Philosophy in Nineteenth-Century America: Emerson and Hinduism, Journal of the History of Ideas 51:4 (OctoberDecember1990): 625-645. 11Ralph Waldo Emerson, Representative Men: Seven Lectures (Boston, MA: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1850), 50. 51

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Emerson was taken by the idea of union or yoga, but what is not apparent is if he imagined yoga beyond an Asian or Hindu philosophy. Further, Emerson was fixated on the idea of Asia as an almost absolute, tr anshistorical and tran scontextual category, and for Emerson this Asia was feminine and spiritual, while the west was masculine and material.12 This construction of the east versus the west is one to be aware of, for it is replicated by later missionaries of yoga and in many ways, still persists today. For Emerson, what he read in the Gita and Vishnu Purana was what he imagined India to be like, which is akin to an Indian in t he nineteenth century and basing her impressions of the U.S. on the Bible or Book of Mormon It is not quite clear if Emerson ever moved beyond imagining yoga as more than a type of philosophy, one that nicely fit into the ethos of the Transcendentalist movement. The understanding of yoga as a practice becomes more apparent with Thoreau. Though in many ways Emerson and Thoreau we re contemporaries and comrades in the cause of Transcendentalism and though it was Em erson that fully introduced Thoreau to the new world of Asian sacred texts, it could be argued that Thoreau took his appreciation of Hinduism to another level, fo r he used these texts for more than just a tool in the process of reforming or formi ng a philosophy. For Thoreau, these texts were a manual for practices, which would lead to a better life. He wrote, rude and careless as I am, I would fain practice the yoga faithfully.13 The question is, when Thoreau writes of practicing yoga, what exactly was he doing? Was he meditating along the banks of the Walden, imagining he was a yogi on the banks of the Ganges? Was h striking various asana po e ses? 12Malini Johar Schueller, US Orientalisms: Race, Nation and Gender in Literature, 1790-1890 (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press), 165. 13Henry David Thoreau, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau 403-4. 52

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Looking closer at Wilkins translation of the Gita might help a bit in reconstructing Thoreaus actions. In part six of the Gita which Wilson translates as Lecture VI: Of The Exercise of the Soul, Krishna (or Krees hna) explains how one becomes a yogi (or Yogee): He plants his seat firmly on a spot that is undefiled, neither too high nor too low, and sits upon the sacred grass, called Koos covered with a skin and a cloth. There be, whose business is the restraining of passions, should sit with his mind fixed on one ob ject alone in the exercise of devotion for the purification of s oul, keeping his head, neck and body steady without motion; his eyes fixed on the point of nose, looking at no other place around This divine discipline, Arjoon cannot be attained by him, who eats more than enough, or less than that; neither by him who is in the habit of sleeping much, nor by him who sleeps not al all. This discipline, which assuages the pains, is susceptible to him, who is moderate in eating, re creation, action and sleep.14 Did Thoreau sit on the banks of Walden Pond covered only by skin and cloth concentrating on purifying his soul? Was there anything else that he did? We may not be able to fully extrapolate what he meant by practicing the yoga, but what is interesting, is that he imagined y oga to be a practice something that is not necessarily to be simply be thought about, but something to be done. In his 1964 article, Walden and Yoga, Frank Macshane argues that Thoreau thought yoga to be method of liberation, and that Yoga alone offered the possibility of overcoming that feeling of quiet desperation and futility suffered by men divided between the here and how and the ultimate the dualism of modern life.15 Thoreau was thoroughly disenchanted with the changing economic and social landscape of the United States, and recognized that the trials of industrialism produced both material and spiritual hardships for working 14The Bhagvat-Geeta or Dialogues of Kr eeshna and Arjoon In Eighteen Lectures trans. Charles Wilkins (Calcutta, India: Bengal Superior Press, 1845), 23. 15Frank Macshane, Walden and Yoga, The New England Quarterly 37:3 (September 1964): 326. 53

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people.16 His solution was to retreat into nature and attempt to live life according to the texts with which he had become so enchanted. Like Emerson, Thoreau fell into the trap of imagining India (and by extension, yoga) as fixed and pure, which just fueled his disillusionment of his location as capricious and corrupt. Thoreaus exoticism aside, that he was able to use the Bhagavad Gita and the practice of yoga to deal with the alienation of modernism (and capitalism) is demonstrative of yogas translatability across regional, temporal, social and economi c boundaries. Thoreaus glorification and use of yoga was just the beginning; many would follow in their attempts to liberate themselves via the practice of a form of yoga. Yoga and the Theosophists Elena Petrovna Gan (better known as He lena Blavatsky) H enry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. The focus of the Theosophical Society, like the Transcendent alists, was not yoga; nonetheless they incorporated yoga into their spiritua list philosophy and introduced Pantanjalis Yoga Sutra to U.S. The Theosophical Society had three main goals: To form the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction of race, colour, or cre edTo promote the st udy of Aryan and other Scriptures, of the World's relig ion and sciences, and to vindicate the importance of old Asiatic literature, namely, of t he Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian philosophies To inve stigate the hidden mysteries of Nature under every aspect possible, and the psychic and spiritual powers latent in man especially.17 From these three main goals it is obvious that the Theosophists relied heavily on the newly translated scriptures from the British co lonies of South Asia, and they also had a 16Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk 17. 17Helena Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy 3rd ed. (London, U.K.: The Theosophical Publishing Company, 1908), 28. 54

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desire to create a world built upon equality. This wa s essential to the Theosophists for they also felt that all the major world relig ions lead to one destination, and it was their goal to ascertain how and to excavate the esot eric history of the ma jor world religions. It is safe to say that the T heosophists had a certain type of wonder and reverence for the religions of India, and were very much dedica ted to discovery of their many secrets. Blavatsky and Olcott eventually traveled to India and set up headquarters in Bangalore, while Judge stayed and headed the T heosophical Society in the U.S. After Blavatskys death in 1891, Olcott and Judge split over a forgery tiff. Olcott and his successor, Annie Besant, stayed in South Asia, while Judge and his successor, Katherine Tingley, continued to head the Theosophical Society in the U.S. To this day, the Theosophical University Press, which is the publishing arm of the Theosophical Society in the U.S., does not even acknowledge the writings of Olcott or Besant (who is perhaps Theosophys most prolific figure).18 Schisms and disagreements are bound to ar ise within new relig ious movements. While the Transcendentalists were a group that shared a common philosophy, the Theosophical Societys aim was broader and loftier, which probably led to conflict, especially after their main leader, Blavat sky died. Both arms of the Theosophical Society, in the U.S. and in India, conti nued after Blavatskys death and both kept focus on excavating the mysteries of the past encapsulated in various texts from South Asia. 18This is just a brief history of the Theosophical Society in the U.S. For a more detailed history, please see Joseceylen Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994); Paul K. Johnson, The Masters Revealed: Madam Blav atsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge (Albany, NY: State University Press of New York, 1994); and Peter Washington, Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of t he Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits W ho Brought Spiritualism to America (New York, NY: Schocken Publishing, 1996). 55

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Given this focus, it is not surprising that the Theosophical Society stumbled across the practice and philosophy of yoga. In 1889, Judge published an interpretation of Patanjalis Yoga Sutras ; this text was basically a translation of the Yoga Sutras by Indian Theosophist Tookeram Tatya, sprinkled with Judges comments. For example, Judge relates Patanjalis ideas on release from the cycle of rebirt h to the theosophical idea of mahatmas For the Theosophists, mahatmas were great souls and teachers, and from them we have derived all the Theosophical tr uths They are men of great learning They are not ascetics in the ordinary sense, though they ce rtainly remain apart fr om the turmoil and strife of your western world.19 Judge used the theosophical idea of mahatmas to explain Patanjalis notion that practice of yoga leads to the souls perfection and thus liberation from karma Quite simply, Judge was attempting to link the ideas of the Theosophical Society to the anci ent wisdom of Patanjali. He was also attempting to see how the ideas of Patanjali could be used for the benefit of his contemporaries. In particular, it seems that Judge was quite dr awn to the idea of reincarnation and feels that this is a better way of thinking of about the soul than the notion expounded under the frightful dogmas of Christian priestcraft that a soul will enjoy heaven or be damned eternally.20 The best means, for Judge, of releasing the soul from the cycle of reincarnation is Raja Yoga not Hatha Yoga. Judge draws a distinction bet ween the two arguing that even though results in the way of psychic dev elopment are not so immediately seen as in the case of the successful practitioner of Hatha Yoga Raja Yoga is infinitely safer 19Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy 186. 20The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali interpreted by William Q. Judge, 2nd ed. (New York, NY: The Path, 1890), viii. 56

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and is certainly spiritual, which Hatha Yoga is not.21 In an 1891 article, Why Yoga Practice is Dangerous, Judge warns Theosophists that Hatha Yoga slows down the pulse of the heart, thus one who practices needs a guide who is fully acquainted with the subject and that ever y one of these practices requires an antidote for its effects.22 The problem with this article is that Judge does not give much more information beyond that yoga practice slow s down the heart; ther e are no specifics given about what exactly this practice entails. Obviously, Judge did not feel that Hatha Yoga is a step towards mastering Raja Yoga the way Swatmarama did, but the question is, what did Judge mean by practice of Raja Yoga ? This is harder to ascertain. Judges successor, Tingley, did start a Raja Yoga school that was involved in some kidna pping allegations, but t here is no evidence describing what type of yoga was practiced. Similar to suppositions about the Transcendentalists, one is left to piece together what yoga practice by the Theosophists may have looked like. From Judges warnings about Hatha Yoga and hailing of Patanjalis Yoga Sutras he likely felt that one needed to follow the eight practices that lead to liberation as described by Patanjali, but Judge had amendments to Patanjali that would better suit the Wester n student. Looking back at Judge s interpretation of the Yoga Sutras it is clear that Judge places li ttle value on the posture limb of the Yoga Sutras He writes, For the clearing up of the mind of the student it is to be observed that the postures laid down in various systems of Yoga ar e not absolutely essential to the successful pursuit of the practice of concentration and attainment of its ultimate fruits. All su ch postures, as prescribed by Hindu writers, are based upon an accurate knowledge of the physiological 21The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali vii. 22William Quan Judge, Why Yoga Practice is Dangerous, Path Volume V (March 1891): 368. 57

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effects produced by them, but at the present day they are only possible for Hindus, who from their earliest year s are accustomed to assuming them.23 From this interpretation, it seems clear that Judge and his fellow Theosophists imagined yoga as more of a meditative practice that aided in concentration of the mind rather than a physical practice that aided in the health of the body. Like the Transcendentalists, he also drew a distinction between people in t he west and the east, specifically, Hindus. It seems he imagined Hindus doing yoga postures from the time they were young, and thus older Westerners could not assume such positions, because their bodies were not disciplined in a similar manner Yet, the mind could be disci plined and trained via yoga at a later age. This Cartesian outlook is c onsistent with the Theosophical Societys third goal of excavating the latent psychic (not physical) powers within humans, nonetheless it is curious that Judge seemed to think t he mind could be retrained, but that the body could not be. It is important to remember, however, t hat the Theosophical Society (and the Transcendentalists) did not place yoga at the center of their spir itual system. Rather, they used (bent) yoga to fit their ultimate agenda, and the parts that did not fit (postures) were discarded. The Theosophical Society was also most creative in their outlook: they were synthesizing a mountain of new re ligious and textual information that was circulating in the new colonial world. The Theosophists were attempting to decipher truth in a world that had more than one religious text; trying to do yoga was part of this decryption. While they may not have been te rribly successful at the yoga part, they did succeed in introducing the concept of y oga to part of the U.S., and perhaps most importantly introduced a foundational yogic text to a non-academic population. Their 23The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali 23. 58

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willingness to see and accept tr uth beyond Christianity and the Bible helped create a pathway for yoga (and other Asian religions) in U.S. Worlds Parliament of Religions and the Triumph (?) of Swami Vivekananda While the Transcendentalists and the T heosophical Society helped introduce yoga and other Asian religions to t he U.S., it was the World Par liament of Religions in 1893 that gave them a national stage. Neither Emerson nor Thoreau lived long enough to participate in the Worlds Parliament of Religions in 1893, but the American Theosophical Society sent a delegation there. Though Olcott did not attend, he did help sponsor one of the Buddhist attendees, An agarika Dharmapala, a Sinhalese monk. Actual practitioners and leader s of the religions that the Transcendentalists and Theosophists read about and introduced to t he U.S., met in Chicago for about two weeks in September of 1893. Organized by John Henry Barrows, a Presbyterian minister in Chicago, the Worl ds Parliament of Religions was part of a larger event: the Worlds Columbian Exposition, wh ich was to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovery of the New World.24 The goal of the Parliament was to allow Able ministers and laymen of all creeds to set forth the reason s for the faith that is in them and in almost every instance, the address relating to these religion will be given by persons from far-off lands in whic h they hold sway over the consciences of men.25 In many ways it was more an event to show case American and Christian (Liberal Protestant) excepti onalism, and the Parliament of Religions was meant to fit into this construction. As the event was bei ng planned, one of the organizers, Rev. J. 24For a more detailed history of the Worlds Parl iament of Religions in 1893, please see Richard Hughes Seager, The Worlds Parliament of Religions: The East/West Encounter, Chicago 1893 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana Un iversity Press, 1995); and The Dawn of Religious Pluralism: Voices from the Worlds Parliament of Religions, 1893 ed. Richard Hughes Seager (C hicago, IL: Open Court, 1999). 25Parliament of Religions, New York Times 11 September 1893. 59

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R. Morrison said: I do not believe there is any other community in the world able to carry out a program like ours and make it a success. We feel as though it were a new era dawning, and that possible this great gather ing of the nations here in Chicago is to make a turning point in the evangelization of the world.26 Thus, while it was to be a forum for all religions, evangelization (conversion to Christianity) was not off the table for all participants, thus mutual respect wa s not the underlying goal. Further, not all American Christians were thrilled with idea of hosting non-Christians in their country. Rev. Frederick Campbell, another Pr esbyterian minister, argued that Heathen life is in heathen creeds while we force a cessation of polygamy in Utah we are providing t he spectacle of a public religious recognition of the heads of heathen harems, whom we ask to sit with us in frank and friendly conference over the great things of our common spiritual and moral life. The parliament of religions will be in depreciation of Christianity. What the world needs is not more theism, but the recognition of God in the Christ. Christianity contains something vitally distinctive.27 Campbells protests point to the growi ng schisms between liberal and conservative Protestantism that gripped congregations all ov er the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which had an effe ct on peoples willingness to be open to the truths of other people. The liber al Protestant faction in this country, in many ways, owes much to the openness of the Transcendenta lists who sought truth outside the Bible, but this religious outlook, combined with biblical interpretation, embracing of science and social justice just agitated the growing conservative Protestant movement, which preferred edicts of Biblical literalism, creationism, pre-millennialism and a singular Christian truth. 26Parliament of Religions, Chicago Daily Tribune 5 February 1892. 27Opposed to Any But Christians, Chicago Daily Tribune 22 February 1892. 60

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While the Worlds Parliament of Religions may have been a step back for Campbell and his followers it was a triumph for the other si de: that those we have been accustomed to call heathens are not so much heathens as we imagined. Under some of the religions lies the clear idea of divinity Under all lies the clear idea of morality.28 In many ways, this conference was a small step in the direction of plurality and acceptance; at the same ti me it was a huge moment for yoga and Americas first missionary, Swami Vivekananda, who emerged fr om the Parliament a media star whose message became most appealing. While Ch ristian evangelism might not have been taken off the table at this meeting, there was also room for the reverse mission (a technique picked up by Hindu reformers in I ndia from Christian missionaries), and Vivekananda was keen to take ad vantage of the American platform. Vivekananda was well received at the Parliament, partly because of his message and partly because of his delivery style and pr esence. Born in 1863 in Bengal as Narendranath Datta, Vivekananda became a follower of the mystic, Ramakrishna; and after Ramakrishnas death in 1886, Vi vekananda had the daunting task of holding together the disciples of Ramakr ishna while also finding his ow n path of liberation. It is at this time that he learned yoga from Pavhar i Baba, and started plotting his visit to the United States to attend the World Parliament of Religions.29 While there were many interesting figures at the Parliament, Vivekananda was particularly appealing to the liber al Protestant crowd and media. His desire was first to debunk what he perceived as misconceptions about Hinduism. In his speech at the 28Outcome of the Parliament of Religions, Chicago Daily Tribune 24 September 1893. 29 For more on the life of Vivekanandas life in I ndia, please see: George M. Williams, Swami Vivekananda, Religion in Modern India 4th ed., ed. Robert Baird (New Delhi, India: Manohar, 2001), 410439. 61

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Parliament, he said, At the very outs et, I may tell you that there is no polytheism in India.30 That he even felt the necessity to denounce polytheism shows that his categories of religion (good and bad) were info rmed by Protestant ca tegorization; this influence is further demonstrated by paying cl oser attention to how he frames certain Hindu philosophical concepts. In the very same speech in which he denounces polytheism, Vivekananda explains Hindu perfection: the whole object of their system is by constant struggle to become perfect pe rfect even as the Father in Heaven is perfect.31 Using this language might have been hi s way of appeasing his audience and translating Hinduism into understandable terms, but it also served to make Hinduism fit Protestant categories, thus make it less threatening and eas ier to sell via the enterprise of mission. After the Parliament, Vivekananda traveled all over the US and Great Britain on a lecture and teaching tour fo r three years. He gained a de cent following and was well received. He continued to use language that made sense to the people he was talking to, and focus on issues that they could relate too. His travels and talks garnered local and national media attention.32 Vivekananda co-opted the coloni al idea of east/west difference, and thus fell into the same trap of constructing the east as wholly and innately different from the west. He comm ented: When the Oriental wants to learn about machine making, he should sit at the f eet of the Occidental and learn from him. When the Occident wants to learn about the spirit, about God, about the soul, about the 30Swami Vivekananda, Why We Disagree: Lecture Delivered at the World Parliament of Religions on 15 September 1893, in The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 1 5th ed. (Calcutta, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1992), 15. 31Vivekananda, Why We Disagree, 13. 32Vivekanandas followers compiled his writings and lectures in 9 volumes. In many of these volumes, in the last sections, are newspaper clippings from all over the country, from the New York Times to the Iowa State Register All these articles are all positive reviews of Vivekananda, but they do show the extent of his travelin g and are testament to the interest he garnered. 62

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meaning and the mystery of the universe, he must sit at t he feet of the Orient to learn.33 In many ways he took his own advice in setting up religious communities in India and the US. Vivekananda made enough connections across the United States to start forming networks, such that during his second trip to the States in 1899 (after forming the Ramakrishna Mission and Math in India), he st arted Vedanta Societie s in New York City and San Francisco. While the Ramakrishna Mission and Math in India was dedicated to reform Hinduism and social work (somethi ng he picked up from missions in India and exposure to the Benevolent Empire in t he US, as well as the budding Social Gospel Movement), the Vedanta society in the US wa s primarily dedicated to the teachings of Hindu philosophies and the practice of yoga. While Vivekananda and later Swamis placed Ramakrishna at the cent er of both these movements, gone were the practices (pujas for Kali and trance/possession) for wh ich Ramakrishna was known, especially in regard to the Vedanta Society. Rather, Vivekanandas move ments, while pan-Hindu in outlook, had a multi-religious pl atform, and the focus of practi ce was not ritual devotion but yoga, which helped make yoga a practi ce that could be embraced by people of many faiths and a practice that did not hav e to have an explicit reference to any one divine figure. The Vedanta Society constructed itself as open to all religions for obvious reasons. They were trying to attract converts and felt the best way was to offer a path which did not involve total rejection of their former re ligious life. They were so intentional about this that when Swami Trigunat ita, one of Vivekanandas successors, set out to build the 33Swami Vivekananda., My Master: Lecture Delivered in New York in 1896, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 4 5th ed. (Calcutta, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1992), 154. 63

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first Hindu temple in San Francisco, it was done using symbols from other faiths. There were four towers built on top of the temple and the symbols in the four towers of the temple make explicit reference to Christ ianity, Islam, Roman Mythology and various sects of Hinduism. This temple," the pamphlet began, "may be considered as a combination of a Hindu temple, a Christi an church, a Mohammedan mosque, a Hindu math or monastery, and an American residence.34 The Vedanta society was attempting to materially represent their philosophy of inclusion and tolerance, which they saw as key to gaining acceptance and converts in their new land.35 This multi-religious/interfaith ethos still exists today. A few year s ago, when the Vedanta Society of Northern California had a celebration for Sri Sarada Devis 150th birthday, the invited guest speakers from the Vedanta Society, Islam, Judaism, Christi anity and Buddhism.36 The other means by which the Vedanta Soci ety carved a niche for itself in the American religious landscape is by teaching the practice of yoga in an easy to follow manner. According to Nicolo Ruberto, a one-time follower of Vivekananda, one practiced yoga by sitting up straight and engaging in a series of breathing exercises. He explains this involves, closing the ri ght nostril and inhaling through the left.37 This process starts the kundalini, which, according to this ar ticle, is a residual energy, which in normal persons lies dormant in a triangular aperture, giving rise to hallucinations, visions, dream, and other things In order to be a god to rise above the 34Sister Gargi, Swami Trigunatita: His Life and Work (Calcutta, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1997), 198. 35For more on the history of the Vedanta So ciety please see: Carl T. Jackson, Vedanta for the West (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 19 94); Catherine Wessinger, The Vedanta Movement and Self-Realization Fellowship in Americas Alternative Religions ed. Timothy Miller (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995), 173-190; and Peter Van Der Veer, Spirits of the Age, in Imperial Encounters (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Un iversity Press, 2001), 55-82. 36Sri Sarada Devi was the wife and religious counterpart to Sri Ramakrishna. 37How To Be God As Taught By Swami, New York Times 29 May 1911. 64

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things of earth you have to move the kundalini upward until it touches the brain.38 Practicing breathing exercises is the way to awaken this dormant energy and thus become a god. Like Swatmarama and Judge, Vivek ananda retroactively applied the term Raja Yoga to apply to Patanjalis Yoga Sutras and referred to his method of yoga as Raja In his booklet, Raja Yoga Vivekananda wrote, Practice is absolutely necessary. You may sit down and listen to me by the hour every day, but if you do not practise, you will not get one step further We never understand these things until we experience them. We will have to see and feel them for ourselves.39 It is obvious that importance of the Vedanta Society is not placed on the philosophy of yoga, but on the practice and the doing of yoga. To best achieve this Vive kananda suggests having a separate practice room at home, one that was only to be used fo r daily practice, and this daily practice should occur in the morning and in the eveni ng. He does realize, however, that not everyone may have this luxury, so he sugges ts, Those who cannot afford to have a room set apart can practise anywhere they like.40 While yoga practice today often equals some pranayama exercises followed by asanas the early practice and knowledge of y oga in the United States really only involved the practice of pranayama which many thought enc ompassed all the eight limbs of yoga as outlined by Patanjali. In a 1905 Chicago Daily Tribune article, an (unknown) author writes about the two types of yoga best elucidated by Vivekananda.41 38How To Be God As Taught By Swami. 39Swami Vivekananda, Raja Yoga, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 1 5th ed. (Calcutta, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1992),139. 40Vivekananda, Raja Yoga, 154. 41Incidentally, on this same page, the headlining ar ticle is Blondes Highest Type of Human Race, which presents an interesting visual for the reader: on the one had she gets to learn about yoga, a system 65

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For the author, Hatha Yoga is the process by wh ich a yogi is able to completely control the physical body, and the benefits of this are that the Hatha Yogi lives long; he is quite young and fresh when 100, without one hair tu rning gray. But that is all.42 The author goes on to tout Raja Yoga which he understands to include all eight limbs of yoga as described by Patanjali (via Vivekananda), as the system of yoga, which will lead to freeing the soul. Wendell Thomas provides a great participant-observation section of Vivekanandas Raja Yoga in his 1930 book, Hinduism Invades America. Thomas reports that the group practice (which in volved about 15 participants) at the Vedanta Center in New York City first involves relaxing the body and emptying the mind.43 After this, the group followed six meditation steps: (1) Guru-pranama or Salutation to the Master s. Here one may invoke the blessing of his special savi or, or all the saviors at once. The swami chants a Sanskrit mantra or holy affirmation, and then tells us to imagine we are charging the machinery of the body with electricity. We may think of this electricity as a spiritual energy emanating from the divine masters. (2) Asana-suddhi, or Purification of Posture. Here we are told to sit at ease, but quite erect, with the spice, neck and heat in one straight line. We breathe deeply with a slow and measured rhythm. The swami chants again, and then tells us to imagine a holy circle, a pr otecting wall of divine elements surrounding us and keeping us from all harm. (3) Bhuta-suddhi, or Purification of the Subt le Body Elements. This is accomplished by meditation on the astral progress of the Kundalini or serpent-power, from the fire at t he bottom of the spine through the six successive lotus flowers of the Susumna or spinal canal, until it merges in the Infinite Divine Co nsciousness of the sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus, of the brain. All of these elem ents, of course, are not physical, but astral. As the swami gives the cues, we imagine the serpent power mounting, lotus after lotus, supposedly feeling an exaltation and sublimation of our now stimulated animal nature. which is supposed to lead to perfection, and on the ot her she also reads that ones destiny is already determined by biology 42Wonders Of An East Indian Yogi, Daily Chicago Tribune 26 November 1905. 43Wendall Thomas, Hinduism Invades America (New York, NY: The Beacon Press, 1930), 122. 66

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(4) Ista-dhyana and Manas-puja, or Meditation on the Ideal Person and Worship with the Mind. Now I am suppos ed to call up in my mind and image of the god or ideal person I most revere, the most lovely figure I know it may be Siva, Kali, Rama Krishna, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Jesus, Spinoza, my mother, wife or sweet-heart and m entally exchange loving offerings as if my beloved were actually present in form. Again the Sanskrit chant, and again the silent worship. (5) Asirvad, or Blessing. Now that we have reached the peak of spiritual joy and love, let us not be selfish, but send out to all beings, whether plant, animal or human, spiritual blessings, or vibrations of love and best wishes. Again the chant and the worship. (6) Atma-samarpana or Self-Dedication. To escape all trace of selfishness, we now dedicate the fruit of our holy exercises to the deity.44 Thomas then goes to explain that the rest of the one-hour group class consists of a lecture by the swami on Raja Yoga with time for the students to ask questions. Practice, according to Thomas, is not limited to the group, but also must be individually done twice a day at home; this involves the six S teps in Meditation, as well as a routine of prana exercises and the chanting of om .45 Vivekananda also stressed this, and it seems that 30 years after his initial preaching, that structur e of practice was still in place. While this passage is after the particular time period of this chapter, it does provide us with a possible blueprint for the practice regiment that Vivekananda set up for the Vedanta Society. It is also interesting about Thomas participant-observation is that it reaffirms the multi -religious platform of the Vedanta Society and its focus on experience of divinity via the practice of yoga. This participant observation give us a little insight into what followers of Vivekananda and the Vedanta Society did (not just what they were told to do), which is important because it shows that Americans were not just drawn to yoga because of its alternative religious outlook, but also because of the bodily experience it provided. 44Thomas, Hinduism Invades America 122-123. 45Thomas, Hinduism Invades America 125. 67

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Women and Yoga = Mistrust and Scandal While Vivekananda and his successors tried to spread the word about yoga and the benefits of its practice, there was still much misinfo rmation about yoga that captured the imaginations of many Americans who ha d a mixed relationship with the exotic. Back in 1896, Claude Falls Wright delivered a lect ure on yoga in which he explained that yogis in India go to incredible lengths to achieve union with God. The reporter reporting on his lecture writes, Mr. Wright went on to say that various practices were in vogue among different students in order to attain to this. The common, everyday saint begins by mortifying himself, by tryi ng to root out his passions, and often by rendering himself very disagreeabl e to his friends and acquaintances. He puts on a long face and thinks he has cut himself loose from the world. This he believes will do some good fo r him, to make him become one with the Supreme Being. In the East very much more dangerous and exhilarating practices than these are carried on. The Hindu thinks he attains union by having a large hook passed through his side and being swung in the air; by fasti ng for months, or by letting his hair and nails grow long. There are thousands of yogis an d fakirs dotted all over India, who will permit the most terrible things to be done to them in order to prove that they are controlled and united with the Supreme.46 Given that there was much mystery su rrounding Hinduism and yoga, and given that they were both painted in very primitive and heathen ways, it is no surprise that much scandal followed yoga in the media; most es pecially since from the beginning women were the most ardent suppor ters of Vivekananda. One woman, Marie Louse, was initiated by Vivekananda as Swami Abayananda, and in summer of 1897, she lead a group of practitioners to a retreat in west Michigan for pilgrimage and to Practice Queer Rites.47 The article sarcastically notes that the pilgrims will be practicing cross-legged, in true yoga fashion, in the full glare of the 46Mr. Wright Explains Yoga Practices, The New York Times, 13 January 1896. 47Don Yellow Robe? Chicago Daily Tribune 11 July 1897. 68

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morning of midday sun. It is not k nown, however, whether or not corresponding preparations for the speedy treatment of sunstricken patients have been made.48 Another yoga follower, Ida C. Craddock wa s a priestess of the Church of Yoga, and was charged with the crime of distributing improper and ob scene literature. While it is not entirely clear what her relations hip to Swami Vivekananda and the Vedanta Society was, she considered herself a T eacher of Divine Science, and seemingly preferred death to being sentenced to more time in jail (she had already served three months of a year sentence on the same char ge). She killed herself via gas suffocation, and was found by her mother. Craddock left a su icide letter for her mother, which was published in the Washington Post She writes that imprisonm ent would lead to her being forced to recant my religious beliefs or else hypocritically pretend to do so, and that this earth life is illusion.49 Mrs. Ole Bill left $500,000 to the Vedanta society when she died in 1911. Bull first met Vivekananda in 1894, after he had just a ttended the World Parliaments of Religion, and she was mourning t he death of her mother. After her death, the daughter of Bull, Olea, contested her mothers will. She argued that Vivekananda controlled her mother. Apparently, instead of visiting Olea when she wa s sick, Bull traveled to India. Some of her friends considered her in sane: Mrs. Bull was sick in body and mind she said that something had come into her influence, a malign influence whic h had sapped her life, but now she was better and that she had conquered that influence.50 Further alarm 48Don Yellow Robe? 49Her Solace in Death, The Washington Post 27 October 1902. 50Crazed By The Cult, The Washington Post 27 May 1911. 69

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arose because Bull claimed that, Swami Vi vekananda came to me from the spirit world.51 Katherine Tingley, the wo man who headed the Theosophica l Society in the U.S. after the death of Judge had a Raja Yoga School (also run by the Theosophical Society not the Vedanta Society) also got some bad press with which yoga was associated. Gerry Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children sent representatives from New York to California to have children removed from the Raja Yoga School in Point Loma. One mother, Dolores Dias, charged that her son was imprisoned, detained, confined and restrained of his liberty by Katherine Ti ngley and the Raja Yoga School; Dias was in Cuba, but she had lawyers in San Diego to fight on her behalf.52 Another boy, Henry Baron, claimed to be the son of Tingley, but ran away from the Raja Yoga School because he was discouraged and disheartened by the way the poor people are treated there, but then the newspaper article reporti ng this only describes the food students are fed.53 Then there was Mrs. Stone (from the first ch apter), the wife of the President of Purdue who ran away from her family to jo in a yoga cult (also, not associated with Vivekananda or the Vedanta Society). In a 1912 article in The Washington Post a drawing of a while woman prostrating before a dark, mystical yogi figure, questioned why so many Hindus were coming to the U.S. to missionize (see Figure 2-1). The author writes, The truth is that while our Christian churches were spending vast sums coerced from well-meaning donor s for the purpose of Christi an proselytizing in heathen 51Crazed By The Cult. 52Mother vs. Mrs. Tingley In Suit For Child, Los Angeles Times 9 January 1903. 53Young Fugitive Says He Is Son of Mrs. Tingley, Chicago Daily Tribune 18 November 1903. 70

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land, the Hindus execut ed a flank movement.54 Citing the sad cases of Bull and Stone, the author argues, that these Hindu missionaries, with their swarthy faces and dreamy-looking eyes and their mystical t eachings are largely responsible for the deluded women who give away fortunes to t he cause, who give up home and children, and who, breaking down under st rain, become hopeless lunatics.55 It is obvious that much misinformation and suspicion surrounded yoga (especially in regards to womens bodies), it surpri sing that yoga continued to become even more popular in the coming years, because in the fifteen years following the death of Vivekananda, yoga was smeared more than revered in the American press, and often such scandal involved white women and Indian yogis (and this is even more interesting when one takes into account that the majority of yoga practitioners in the U.S. are EuroAmerican women). Looking at these prim ary documents involving women and yoga from the beginning of the 20th century, it is clear that t here is a high-level of discomfort and anxiety regarding the practice of yoga by women. The tone of these documents show that the authors were concerned about these women, and felt that they were being duped and taken advantage of by yogis. In some way, these articles are one means of attempting to protect white or Euro-American women from these Indian men and their practices. These fears regarding the duping and s ubsequent protection of Euro-American women arise out of a particular context. The beginning of the 20th century was a period when women freed themselves of the restrictive clothing of the Edwardian period to take up new tasks, and the fear was that they would shed much of their moral 54American Women Victims of Hindu Mysticism, The Washington Post 18 February 1912. 55American Women Victims of Hindu Mysticism. 71

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decorum as well.56 Womens rights was no longer just about voting, but also equality, and the idea that equality could seep into thei r sexual lives was troubling; European and Euro-American men were readily allowed to have sexual relations with subaltern women, but the reverse was unthinkable. Writing about the relationships between white women and black men in the post-bellum period, historian Martha Hodes explains that liaisons between the two groups put black men and white men on a too-equal footing, illuminating the fact that white men could not always contro l white women, and blurred the lines of racial categories that were so crucial to maintaining the racial hierarchy previously sustained by slavery.57 It seems that the initial resistance to yoga may also have been due to the inability to control the white women who flocked to the practice, and the possibility that the I ndian men who taught it coul d be the equal to white men (who wrote about the scandals). Even though all the men invo lved in these scandals were not Indian (Stone ran away with a whit e yogi), these women were attracted to something foreign, Eastern and not Christi an, and that may have been troubling to some. These yoga men, however, were not lik e former slaves, who at the time were simply deemed as rapists or often lynched, nor were they East Asian laborers who were constructed as a-sexual.58 These men, whether Indian or Euro-American taking on Indian characteristics, were educated, free and they could seduce. They were invited, had spiritual elevation, but they were dangerous because they attracted women to a practice that was foreign, Eastern and not Christian, and that was troubling to some. 56Agnes McLaren, Twentieth-Century Sexuality: A History (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1999), 11. 57Martha Hodes, White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the 19th-Century South (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 207. 58For more information on the asexualized construction of East Asian men, please see Yen Le Espiritu, All Men Are Not Created Equal: Asian Men in U.S. History, in Men's Lives (fourth edition), ed. Michael S. Kimmel and Michael A. Messner. (Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1997), 35-44. 72

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Further, yoga was not simply a set of ideas to which one could prescribe to and think about; it was a practice, which involved a certain sort of disciplining of the body. This meant that the wo men that were drawn to yoga did not just listen (which is what many did in their churches), but also us ed their bodies in new and unknown ways: they sat on the floor, the breathed in new ways and so metimes traveled to exotic locales to pursue the practice. Given the anxiety surro unding womens sexuality during the early 20th century (and throughout the ages), this new practice involving women following men with marked difference was troubling. While some Americans no longer followed a philosophy of Biblical inerrancy, this did not mean that they were totally ready to follow the practices of other religi ons, willing to see multiple truths, no longer xenophobic and less racist. Even today the road to religious tolerance and acceptance is not well paved, and thus it is not difficult to imagine t hat yoga was not immediately embraced upon its first few introductions to various U.S. populations. And yet, despite the early bad press, in later years yoga continued to take hold in the imaginations of Americans, and throughout this history, it is Euro-American women who continue to be the major actors that propelled the popularity of yoga. The participation of Euro-American women in the practice of yoga was their chance to participat e in a practice that was exotic, timeless, foreign and mystical, and this was one means of power and defining their own lives. The potential for participation in an exotic, timeless, foreign and mystical practice continued to fuel interest in yoga, but while it was becoming more popular, efforts were being made to domesticate the practice and make it more palatable to American sensibilities. The trend of focusing on the prac tice of yoga and in many ways ignoring or obscuring the religious philosophies that were braided in with the practice, continued, 73

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and hence yoga started to take on scientific and health-conscious sensibilities. It is clear, however, that at the turn of the century, while the Wo rlds Parliament of Religions opened a venue for religious diversity, when this diversity was no longer mediated on the terms of the liberal Prot estant organizers, such divers ity was not fully tolerated, especially since they involved the disciplin ing of upper class and white womens bodies outside the boundaries of Whit eness and Protestantism. As we will see in the next chapter, yoga continued to be a lightening rod for newspaper scandal, and at the same time yoga began to grow in popularity and acceptance. The focus of yoga was taken aw ay from the Hindu philosophies of yoga, and moved towards the practical, scientific and healthy sensibilities and benefits of yoga. This slow acceptance was due in part to the foundation that Transcendentalists, the Theosophical Society, Vivekananda and his followers (Indian and non-Indian swamis) laid down in the late-19th and early-20th century, which was a part in the larger process of translating the yoga prac tices into an American context. 74

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75 Figure 2-1. White woman prostr ating before a yogi, from, American Women Victims of Hindu Mysticism, The Washington Post 18 February 1912 (picture taken by author).

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CHAPTER 3 POPULARIZING YOGA Wooed As A God; Miss Leo Tells Her Story of Ooms Courtship; Feared, Yet Loved Him Miss Lee testified that she first met Oom [the Omnipotent] in Seattle on June 21, 1909 and he induced her to come East with him by promise to give her free treatment I am not a real man. Gert rude Leo testified Oom told her: I am a god, but I have condescended to put on the habit of a man, that I perform the duties of a yogi, and reveal true religion to the elect of America.1 Oom the Omnipotent or Pierre Bernard is one of the figures who helped popularize yoga at the beginning of the twentieth century, but his road was not smooth and his exploits thematically fi t with the early hysteria su rrounding yoga and womens bodies. From the beginning of the tw entieth century through the end of the World War II, Pierre Bernard, along with two other Euro-Ameri cans, William Walker Atkinson and Theos Bernard, and Indian yoga missionary, Yogananda, brought yoga further into the mainstream of the US culture. This chapter will employ t hese four representative figures to explore the growing popularization of y oga during the early half of the twentieth century. With the exception of Yogananada, these early yoga pioneers are not well known today, but they did help popularize yo ga by highlighting some of yogas more practical applications, and in an age when American pragmatic philosophy was taking hold, practicality was trendier than the philo sophical spiritual, mystical or psychic searches of the Transcendent alists and Theosophists. While Pierre Bernard and yoga may have had a scandalous start, he actually reached affluent New Yorkers that made all things Indian quite fashionable, and gained much publicity for yoga, not only th rough his scandals but also by helping a famous boxer find success in the ring via the practice of yoga. Atkinson, via his 1Wooed As A God, The Washington Post 8 May 1910. 76

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pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka published numer ous books explaining how to practice yoga, which made yoga more accessible; he also explained how yoga could help various bodily functions, which made yoga more desirable. Theos Bernard was the first teacher/writer of yoga in the US that wr ote a book with demonstrat ive pictures, thus making the various postures of yoga more understandable for inquisitive Americans. Of the three, he was the only one to actually ba se his yoga on Sanskrit texts, and he was also the only one of the three who actually w ent to India. Nevertheless, all three turned to India for their inspiration to help legitimate their ventures ; combined, they also started to take focus away from Raja Yoga and towards the more physical Hatha Yoga Indian guru, Yogananda, also became quite popular and helped make yoga more amenable to the liberal Protest ant set by continuing the missi onary standard set by Vivekananda that yoga could supplement other religious (Christian) practices. All four of the figures that will be examined in this chapter held something else in common with Vivekananda in that they all turned to the language of science to explain and popularize the growing practice of yoga in the Unit ed States. The section of the American population that was becoming more open to the practice of yoga (liberal Protestants) was also openly embracing science, thus the two seemed and became an organic match. Pierre Bernard (Oom the Omnipotent) Not too much is known about Pierre Bernard s early life. While later in life he went by Oom the Omnipotent or Pier re Bernard, he was born as Pe rry Arnold Baker either in Iowa or California. It is al so not entirely clear how he wa s introduced to yoga or if he ever went to India to study yoga as he claimed.2 What is clear is that around 1905/6 he 2Figuring out the place of his birth or where he first learned yoga is difficult, because different sources give different answers on this topic. Cather ine Albanese states that he was born in Leon, Iowa 77

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moved to New York City where Bernard established the Tantrik Order in America and published one edition of the International Journal of the Tantrik Order in America .3 Later in 1910 he opened Oriental Sanctum and then a fe w years later New York Sanskrit College, and finally in 1918 he moved his operation to an estate upstate New York.4 During this entire time period he was fo llowed by scandal. Read ing the previous introductory headline and description of Oo m the Omnipotent, one might think of Vishnu, who came to earth as Krishna and revealed himself to Arjuna as more than a mere man on the battlefield of the great war of the Mahabharata. This story, however, does not end particularly well for Oom. It seems he may have shared something else with Krishna his love of women. Oom apparently told Leo tha t, in my sacred capacity I cannot marry, but our nautch girls serve us as wives, thus Gertrude Leo consented to become a sacred nautch girl she jabbed a steel pen into the palm of her left hand and wrote her name in blood on the roster of the order.5 Along with Leo, he also seemed to have a similar effect on Zelia Hopp, whom he promised to cure of her heart trouble. Both Hopp and Leo were frustrated with their sit uation, and conspired with each other to break free of Ooms power with the help of the police. In the spring of 1910, Oom was arrested for kidnapping at his studio on the Upper West Side of New York City while teaching a class. and was first introduced to yoga by a Syrian-Indian man, Sylvais Harnati. Hugh Urban says while one his alias, Peter Coons, was from Iowa, his family was fr om California, and that in his teens he went to Bengal and Kashmir to learn yoga. The problem I find with both is that neither gives a primary source for their information. 3I have tried to get a hold of this source. There is one library in the US that carries it, the Free Library of Philadelphia, but they have lost it. The only source I have for seeing the covers and a few pages is from Hugh Urban, "The Omnipotent Oom: Tantra and its Impact on Modern Western Esotericism," Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies 3 (2001): 218-259. 4Even on this point, Albanese and Urban diver ge. Albanese does not mention the Oriental Sanctum, only the New York Sanskrit College. Nor does she give a year. 5Wooed As A God. 78

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He was actually never convicted of abducti ng Zelia Hopp or Gertrude Leo, for they disappeared (presumably to the state of Wa shington) before they could testify against him.6 After the case against him failed, m ystery and scandal continued to surround Oom. In a 1911 article about hi m, neighbors of his Sanskrit College complained: what my wife and I have seen through the windows of the college is scandalous we saw men and women in various stages of deshabi lle. Womens screams mingled with wild Oriental music. We told the janitor to notif y the police, but the orgies have continued.7 This same article also reports that the Distric t Attorney was also trying to get hold, of a certain red book, or Introduc tion to the Science of Tantrik because it allegedly contained illustrations of a questionable character.8 Mystery and sensation continued to su rround Oom when he moved up to Nyack; and the press seemed to have an odd fascina tion with Oom and all that happened at his country club. For example, when Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Gay celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary at Ooms Clarkstown Count ry Club, the press r eported that coffins were used in the ceremony, though they coul d not ascertain for what purpose because of security. The now-anonymous journalist wr ites, After the coffins had been employed in the more formal part of the ceremony they were turned over and used as tables for serving refreshments. The women guests were garbed to resemble nuns and the men wore fantastic Oriental costumes.9 Later in life, when Oom supposed gave up his religious quests, he was elected the president of the State Bank at Pearl River. The bank board apparently felt that despite 6Oom Out of Prison, The Washington Post 26 August 1910. 7Night Revels Held in Sanskrit College, The New York Times 15 December 1911. 8Night Revels Held in Sanskrit College. 9Two Coffins Used At Wedding Fete, The New York Times 21 December 1925. 79

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his associations elsewhere with strange forms of worship, mysterious rites, sensational charges, the District Attorney, the grand ju ry and the glaring newspaper headlines; his fortunes have prospered nevertheless.10 Perhaps one of the reasons he was able to accumulate so much wealth was that he not only attracted New York elites, but also global elites. Mrs. Ogden Mills (married to US Congressman Ogden Mills), daughter of William Vanderbilt was a follower. As was Sir Paul Dukes, the former head of the British Secret Service. His popularity among the social ites of New York mi ght also explain his presence in the press, but it also point s to he reach and to the fact that he was selling/teaching/exposing something that was of some interest to a section of society with free time and a disposable income. The question is, beyond the suspected orgies what exactly did Bernard teach his disciples. This is not entirely clear. In an article about the nefarious happenings at his Sanskrit College, it is r eported that he apparently employ ed a Brahmin from India, Pandit P. C. Shastri, who gave instruc tion in Yoga and Sanskrit every afternoon.11 In one of his obituaries it is reported that, police raided his placed in 1919, and state troopers found his followers doing simple exercises.12 Apparently he also dressed in a toga-like robe.13 Apparently Bernard helped boxer Lou Nova train for his 1939 fight against Max Baer. Bernard helped Nova by teaching him Pranayama (improved breathing), Asanas (exercise in posture), Agni-sara (contraction of the abdomen), Uddibandi (pulling the lower internal organs up toward the chest), Loukiki (circular rotation of the abdomen, as practiced by hula-hula dancers) and Ana-paana (massaging 10Oom Named Bankhead, The New York Times 15 November 1931. 11Oom Named Bankhead. 12Pierre Bernard, Oom the Omnipotent, Pr omoter and Self-Styled Swami, Dies, The New York Times 28 September 1955. 13Pierre Bernard, Oom the Omnipotent, Pr omoter and Self-Styled Swami, Dies. 80

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the scalp with toes).14 The author of the articl e just made the last item up in our head, but the rest is no kid; nonetheless the list is illustrative in that it gives a bit of insight into what Bernard had his students practice.15 Despite there being little known about Bernard outside of media coverage, he is important to this story ( and this chapter) because he help familiarize part of the American population with yoga and made it appealing to various elites of New York City. Helping a popular boxer also did not hurt hi s legacy, and solidified his place in this history. William Walker Atkinson (Yoga Ramacharaka) While Oom lived his life out through t he media and wrote very little, his contemporary, William Atkinson was never in the newspapers, but left an entire library of books behind. As well as being the editor of the New Thought magazine, Atkinson published numerous works that in many ways defined the New Thought movement of the early twentieth century.16 At the same time, and quite anonymously, Atkinson was also publishing books about y oga under the pseudonym with a completely different persona, Yogi Ramacharaka. While Rama charaka may be a figm ent of Atkinsons imagination, it is important t hat to many he is a real figur e. And while his yoga may not be classical, through his many, many writings, Atkinson helped make yoga more accessible to many Americans, and even seemed to really help some. 14Russell Maloney, The Talk of the Town, Yoga For Nova, The New Yorker 13 May 1939, 13 15Maloney, The Talk of the Town, Yoga For Nova, 13 16For more information on the New Thought Movement, please see: Catherin Albanese, A Republic of Mind and Spirit (New Haven, CT: Yale University Pr ess, 2007); C. Alan Anderson and Deborah Whitehouse, New Thought: A Practical American Spirituality (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2003); Charles Samuel Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 1984); Glenn Mosely, New Thought, Ancient Wisdom (West Consohocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2006). 81

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To Atkinson, Ramacharaka, born in I ndia in 1799, traveled throughout India searching for books to provide the basis for his philosophy. In 1865 he took on a young student, Baba Bharata, who eventually went to the Columbia Exhibition in Chicago to lecture on the philosophy of Ramacharaka. Bharata supposedly met Atkinson during his lectures, and the two collaborat ed to write the down the philosophy of Ramacharaka. This hagiography is obviously very sim ilar to that of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. There is no evidence to prove the narrative (nor to disprove it), but it is fair to say that Atkinson was obviously aware of Vivekananda and his teachings. While the story of Vivekananda may have been lifted, the teachings were different. Atkinsons (or Ramacharakas) yoga was firmly planted in the world of imagined Occultism and New Thought. Reading through At kinsons books on yoga, it becomes quite obvious that yoga is a tool to dem onstrate his New Thought philosophy. On the power or abilities of the yogi, Atkinson writes in the Science of Breath (1905), He can and does use it as a vehicle for sending forth thoughts to others and for attracting to him all those whose thoughts are ke yed in the same vibration.17 For Atkinson, the yogi also has the abilities of telepathy, thought trans ference, mental healin g, mesmerism, etc. which subjects are creating such an interest in the Western world at the present time, but which have been known to Yogis for c enturies, can be greatly increased and augmented if the person sending forth the thought will do so after rhythmic breathing.18 Atkinson placed rhythmic breathing or pranayama at the center of yogic practice, for it 17Yogi Ramacharaka, Science of Breath (Chicago, IL: Yogi Publication Society, 1905), 62. 18Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 62. 82

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will increase the value of mental healing, magnetic healing, etc., several hundred percent.19 Atkinson wrote, The Yogi Co mplete Breath is the fundament al breath of the entire Yogi Science of Breath, and he further remar ks, It will be seen that by this method of breathing all parts of the resp iratory apparatus [are] brought in to action, and all parts of the lungs, including the most re mote air cells, are exercised.20 What sets apart this type of breathing is its fullness or completene ss: One of the most im portant features of this method of breathing, is t he act the respiratory muscles are fully call[ed] into pl whereas in the other forms of breathing only a portion of these muscles are so used. ay, 21 When all the proper muscles are in use, t hen one is completely breathing and thus able to invoke of the power of prana. He explains, The Yogi practices exercises by whic h he attains control of his body and is enabled to send to any organ or part an increased flow of vital force or prana, thereby strengthening and in vigorating the par t or organ. He knows all that his Western scientific brother knows about the physiological effect of correct breathi ng, but he also knows that the air contains more than oxygen and hydrogen and nitrogen, and that something more is accomplished than the mere oxyg enating of the bl ood. He knows something about prana, of which his Western brother is ignorant, and he is fully aware of the nature and manner of handling that gr eat principle of energy.22 For Atkinson, Prana is the name by which we designate a universal principle, which principle is the essence of all motion, force or energy, whether manife sted in gravitation, electricity, the revolution of the planets, and all forms of life, from highest to lowest.23 19Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 62. 20Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 39 & 41. 21Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 37. 22Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 10. 23Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 19. 83

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Atkinson, however, also had a physical dimension to his yoga. In the Science of Breath he lays out a number of exercises for the practitioner to follow. He has a series of exercises that one does afte r mastering correct breathing. For one of the exercises, he commands his readers to, (1) Stand erect with arms straight in fr ont of you. (2) Inhale Complete Breath. (3) Swing arms ar ound in a circle, backward, a few times. Then reverse a few times, retaining the breath all the while. You may vary this by rotating them alternately like the sails of a windmill and all this must be done while exhaling the breath vigorous ly through the mouth.24 In his book, Hatha Yoga (1904), Atkinson suggests that the yoga practitioner also does a loosen-up exercises such as to stand on a cushion, stool or large book and let one leg swing loose and limp from the thigh.25 He has a plethora of what he calls ph ysical exercises. For example he suggest the following for thighs: With hands still on hips place your feet about two feet apart, and then lower the body into a squatting position, pausing a moment and then resuming original positionthis exercise will give well-developed thighs.26 He also has exercises for the rest of the body. What is in teresting about these exer cises is that they are not asanas, but really just exercise s that Atkinson believed to be yoga. The positions he is advocating are active positi ons, not postures that one stays in for an extended time. Atkinson also covers other topics, su ch as solar energy, fresh air, sleep, regeneration, mental attitude, spirit, food, and irrigation (o f the body). These subjects, while important for overall we llbeing, technically fall outsi de the realm of yoga, but not 24Ramacharaka, Science of Breath 58. 25Yogi Ramacharaka, Hatha Yoga (Chicago, IL: The Yogi Publication Society, 1904), 83. 26Ramacharaka, Hatha Yoga, 199. 84

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for Atkinson. He dedicates an entire book to the subject of water, because he feels that the importance of it has been for gotten and ignored. He writes, To think that people should be required to be taught the natural use of water would seem as preposterous to them as that people should need to be taught how to breathe and yet instruction in both of these things have been found by the Western peoples, whose civilization has led them so far away from Nature that they have fo rgotten the first instinctive teachings of the Great Mother of all.27 While, the importance of water may have been forgotten in the West, Atkinson points out that this is not the case for Hindus: To the Hindu-Yogi, water is Natures great Remedy its great Restorative Forcehe regards it as the milk from the breasts of Mother Nature, which she would furnish to her offspring. 28He covers the importance of drinking water, the effects of water on di gestion, and various methods of bathing and using water. He even cites the importance of water for sexual vi tality: Cold Water applied to the outer private parts at night bef ore retiring, or in t he morning upon rising, and then followed by vigorous, stimulati ng rubbing and drying, will be found very invigorating and proof for this is that, in India there are many cases in which sexual vitality has been preserved until very old age, or restored when once apparently lost, by this simple method.29 It seems, that Atkinson was developing a se t of practices for people to follow that would lead them to a healthier life, and that yoga was his m arketing tool, his way of convincing readers that his methods were authentic. Like his predecessors and contemporaries, cloaking practice in the mystic of the East while outlining the practical and rational reasons for this practice was Atki nsons way of presenting and selling his 27Ramacharaka, Hatha Yoga, 121-22. 28Yogi Ramacharaka, The Practical Water Cure: As Practice d in India and Other Oriental Countries (Chicago, IL: The Yogi Publication Society, 1909), 11. 29Ramacharaka, The Practical Water Cure 119-120. 85

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ideas. He was very successful. Atkinson s books written under the pseudonym of Ramacharaka are still published today and made their way across the globe.30 After reading the various books attributed to Rama charaka, it becomes clear that what Atkinson was writing about and doing is very different from Vi vekananda, Bernard (Pierre and Theos, Yogananda and the others that followed, nonetheless, Ramacharaka is still very influential. One recent re ference that I found to him was in a 1988 practitioners profile in the popular Yoga Journal. Nick Duncan, a cowboy from Utah and an avid yoga practitioner became sick at age 62 with rheumatoid arthritis. Rather than succumb to life in a wheelchair, Duncan decided to follow the teachings of Ramacharaka: he used pranayama, visualization, and autosuggestion to heal himself. It worked. He never used the wheelchair, and pitched his cane away. Today at the age of 75 he is a robust mystery to doctors.31 Thus, it seems, Atkinsons imaginative construction has tangible physical effects. Rama charaka is real to some. Little is known about his sources, but he left behind a bevy of print culture, which helped make yoga more popular. Theos Bernard The third Euro-American figure that help popularize yoga in the early twentieth century, Theos Casimir Bernar d, was apparently a distant relative of Pierre Bernard, and was most likely introduced to yoga via his eccentric uncle. While neither Pierre Bernard or Atkinson went to India to learn yoga, Theos Bernard did go to South Asia to learn yoga, and his research became material for his dissertation, Hatha Yoga: The 30I have personally taken yoga classes in India an d England where I was taught to swing my arms around in a circle, and when I asked the teacher where they learned this move, I was told, Yogi Ramacharaka (which lead me to look into him). 31Joanna Joseph, Nick Duncan, Yoga Journal September/October 1988, 60. 86

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Report of a Personal Experience which was published and was, for many years, a popular source book on the practice of yoga, on both sides of the At lantic. Also unlike Pierre Bernard or Atkinson, Theos Be rnard formally studied Indian and Tibetan philosophy at Columbia University, and in doing so earned a masters and doctoral degree. After spending time with his uncle at his compound in Nyack, Theos Bernard married socialite Viola Wertheim (the couple were introduced to each other by Pierre Bernard). Using his wifes money, he went to India in 1936 after completing his masters degree at Columbia. In India he briefly studied under Swami Kuvalayananda and his student, Sri Yogendra. Via these teachers, Bernard was introduced to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a 15th century text on Hatha Yoga. He al so traveled to Tibet, where he was accepted as the incarnation of a Tibetan sa int, and was thus allowed to see various Tibetan ceremonies not seen by an outsider before (this is all documented in his book Land of a Thousand Buddhas (1939)). It was his time with Kuvalayananda and Yogendra that most influenced his dissertation and eventual book, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (1944). Bernard writes, This study is not an attempt to prove the me rits of Yoga or to explain its results, rather he endeavors to p resent a report of my personal experiences in learning and practicing the basic technique s of Hatha Yoga, in order to give the Western reader an account of the conduct of a typical oriental course in that Yoga.32 He also writes, My prin cipal literary guide has been Hatha Yoga Pradipika ; hence I shall adopt its sequence in relating my personal experiences in learning and practicing 32Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 12. 87

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these techniques, and throughout his foot notes he makes reference to Srimat Kuvalayananda and his volumes on Asanas .33 Bernard describes Hatha Yoga as A discipline involving various bodily and mental controls, but central to them all is the regulation of the breath. Hatha is derived from two roots, ha (sun) and tha (moon), which symbol ically refer to the flowing of breath in the right nostril, called the sun breath, and the flowing of breath in the left nostril, call ed the moon breath. Yoga is derived from the root yuj (to join); therefor e, Hatha Yoga is the uniti ng of these two breaths. The effect is believed to induce a mental condition called samadhi.34 He also dedicates the majority of his book to explaining how to execute asanas (with pictures) and outlining their various benefits for the body (see figures 1-3). Bernard makes it clear that each pose takes time (months) to master and must be learned under the tutelage of a teacher, thus unlike Atkinson, his book is not exactly a how-to book (though he does provide numerous pictures). He also found in his study of yoga that there was nothing particularly divine or mystical about it, rather that it is a practice that holds its own rewards. Bernard explains, I mu st say again that during my studies of the science of Yoga I found that it holds no magic, performs no miracles, and reveals nothing supernatural. I was directed at every st age to practice if I wanted to know its secrets.35 While his uncle lived his early life in the newspapers, Bernard found tabloid fame in his death. Upon his second trip to South Asia in 1947, Bernard attempted to go back to Tibet to find more manuscripts. He was ca ught in the middle of Hindu-Muslim riots in Punjab, and while it is not know how he died, his body was never found. In many ways the manner of his death made Bernard even more popular and romantic of a figure. While he may not have had the notoriety of his uncle, in many ways the younger 33Bernard, Hatha Yoga 13. 34Bernard, Hatha Yoga 15. 35Bernard, Hatha Yoga 96. 88

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Bernard had a larger impact and influence on how yoga is practiced today. Showing pictures of himself doing various yoga asanas was visually very powerful. It is one thing to read about how to practice, but quite another to actually see how each pose looks, and the visual makes it much easier to practice. Thus, while Bernard insisted his book was merely a report on his personal exper ience and journey with yoga, showing the pictures helped translate yoga into a much more doable practice and one that could be imitated (even if one did not hav e the luxury of a guru). Paramahansa Yogananda While Pierre Bernard, William Atkinson and Theos Bernard helped popularize yoga via newspaper fodder and books, perhaps the most popular guru of this time period was Paramahansa Yogan anda. Born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh in Bengal in the same year that Vivekananda came to t he United States, Yogan anda espoused the practice of Kriya Yoga or yogoda (a meditative practice which stresses the connection between the mind and breath), and spent his early life teaching throughout India. In 1920 he was invited by the Unitarians to s peak at a Boston conference on the Science of Religion, which fit Yoganan das philosophy for he drew fr om contemporary ideas in science to explain that yoga was a technique to recharge the body with spiritual energy. Also in 1920 Yogananda founded the Self-R ealization Fellowship (SRF), which was basically the Western version of yogoda and currently has center s all over the world. Like Vivekananda, Yogananda was a product of his time, and thus his movement was a global movement spread throughout the world by his followers. While the SRF is a thriving movemen t, Yogananda is best known for his 1946 book, Autobiography of a Yogi. This book braids the adventures of Yoganandas extraordinary life with a spirit ual journey, thus it became very popular, not only in the 89

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United States, but the world over (it has been translated into 18 languages). This book also appealed to a broad audience because Yogananda drew from a broad range of spiritual traditions, including Christianity, in order to spread his message, thus aptly fitting into the history of spirituality in t he United States as told by Leigh Schmidt in Restless Souls In Autobiography of a Yogi Yogananda explains that, Kriya yoga is a simple, psychophysiological method by which the human blood is decarbonized and recharged with oxygen. The atoms of this extra oxygen are converted into life current to rejuvenate the brain and spinal centers. By stopping the accumulation of venous blood, the Yogi is able to lessen or prevent the decay o tissues ; the advanced Yogi transmutes his cells into pure energy. Elijah, Jesus, Kabir, and other prophets were past masters in the use of Kriya or a similar technique by which they caused their bodies to dematerialize at will.36 In a footnote, he cites The noted scientist, Dr George W. Crile of Cleveland, conducted experiments by which he proved that bodily ti ssues are electrically negative, except the brain and nervous system tissues, remain elec trically positive because they take up reviving oxygen at a more rapid rate.37 From the outset, Yogananda defined yoga as something apart from any one religious traditi on and something a part of every religious practice. He continually draws on figures fr om other faiths to prove his point. For example, Yogananda writes, St. Paul knew Kriya yoga or a technique very similar, by which he could switch life currents to and from the s enses. He was therefore able to say: I protest by our rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily By a method of centering inwardly all bodily life forc eSt. Paul experienced daily a true yoga union with the rejoicing (bliss) of Christ consciousness. In that felicitous state, he was consciously aware of being dead to the sensory delusions of Maya .38 36Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi (London, Eng: Rider & Company, 1950), 201. 37Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi 201. 38Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi 203. 90

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His reliance of other faiths to explain yoga did not go unnoticed. While Wendell Thomas has little to say about the practice of yogoda, he does note that, In every way possible Yogananada make s a combinatio n of East and West. In addi tion to morning meditation, he recommends the devotiona l study of the Bible.39 Later, when SRF was celebrating their 50th Anniversary, one of his disciples Sri Dayamata, said, years ago Yogananda predicted a marked increase in Western interest in teachings of the East, but that does not mean we are divisive. She said SRF teaches the Bhagavad-Gita and the New Testament side by side.40 While this may seem most pragmatic, for Yogananada had to sell yoga to a mainly Christian audience, there was much awe for the divine in how he explained his life. Upon hearing about his opportunity to go to the U.S in 1920, Yogananda was questioned as to how he would finance his j ourney to America. Yoganandas reply was The Lord will surely finance me and the next day he was given a check.41 This type of reverence may have appealed to his Christi an audience, and seeing as he wrote this book after spending time in the States, such a sentiment may also have been influenced by the Christian theology of the times. In particular, he may have been exposed to the rising popularity of Pentecostalism. While fo llowers of Pentecosta lism or any other conservative Christian sect would likely not have given much time to Yogananada, he may have heard of them and caught wi nd of their ideas. In his 1925 book, How the Pentecost Came to Los Angeles Frank Bartleman wrote about his mission life and whenever he was short of money, he explai ns that he simply prayed and Jesus 39Thomas, Hinduism Invades America 162. 40Dan L. Thrapp, Self-Realization Group Marks 50th Anniversary, Los Angeles Times 5 July 5, 1970. 41Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi 287. 91

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provided him with his material needs. While Y oganandas circle included more liberal Protestants who envisioned Jesus as a historical figure who provided Christians with a template for making the world a better place, it is not a stre tch to imagine that he may have been also influenced by more conservati ve Christians like Bartleman who relied on divine intervention while waiting for the destr uction of the material world and the second coming of Christ. While these conservative Christians pr obably did not pay much attention to Yogananada, liberal Protest ants did. Thomas argues that Yogananda was more accepted by this population than Vivekana nda because he arrived a generation later when Americans had more exposure to yoga and thus it was more familiar; nonetheless Yogananda still had his share of bad publicity. In 1928, he w as ordered to leave Miami Wednesday for his own safety by Chief Qu igg, who explained that the husbands of more than 200 Miami women were preparing to get the Hindu, and this was because The police officials had been informed by the delegations that the Swami was charging Miami women $25 for each of his so-call ed religious lessons. Since Wednesday the police have been active in protecting Yogananda.42 Another incident that made national headlines was w hen Swami Giri-Dhirananda, one of Yoganandas students from India filed suit agains t Yogananda over the proper tec hniques of how to teach and how to live out Hindu philosophy. In turn Yogananda accused Dhirananda of accepting money in excess of that for bare living expe nses, in violation of the tenets of their teachings, and threatening to ruin him by publicizing these a ccusations.43 42Court Gets Plea from Yogananda: Swami in Miami Seeks to Stay in Town Despite Ire of 200 Husbands, Los Angeles Times 5 February 1928. 43Swamis Accuse Each Other in Legal Battle, Los Angeles Times 12 May 1935. 92

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Despite some bad press, SRF and Yoganan da remained quite popular and spent his time in the States advocating for inter-cultural and economic exchange between the U.S. and India. He is quoted as saying, Both India and America have a one-sided development, and India can give to America a spiritual message, just as America can give to America a material message, Swami Yogananda said.44 And in a letter to the New York Times editor regarding immigration, he argued, American and India can make valuable contributions to each others well-beingas India is the only nation whose best minds for centuries have studied religion as a science, with underlying laws which must be known in order to demonstrate it s truths, it is inevit able that this addition by India to the sum of human knowledge will be investigated more fully in the Western world as time goes on.45 And he also argued against sending religious missionaries to India, arguing that, This country best can benefit India by sending missionaries of industrysend to India the contributions of your Edisons and your Fords, but until the Pope and the Bishop of Canterbury can exchange pulpits, keep your religious missionaries at home.46 Much like his predecessor Vi vekananda, Yogananda felt that Indian men have organized the brain, discipli ned it, taught it contro l, while the men of the Occident have organized the outward, materi al world. Indias propensity, he said, has brought physical laziness, and the parti cular trend of the Western endeavor has brought spiritual blindness.47 Yogananda recruited Euro-Americans to continue SRF. For example, James J. Lynn whom Yogananda renamed Rajasi Janakanananda who took over SRF when 44Swami Brings Message from Spiritual India, Washington Post 9 January 1927. 45Paramhansa Yogananda, Would Lift Indian Ban, The New York Times 18 February 1944. 46Fords, Not Bishops, Need of India, Says Swami Yogananda, Washington Post 10 January 1927. 47Fords, Not Bishops, Need of India, Says Swami Yogananda. 93

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Yogananda died and also gave $1 million to SRF upon his death. Yoganandas died in the States in 1952; his funeral was a two-h our half-Indian, half-Christian ceremony, and included a 30-minute organ recital of Yoganandas favorite tunes including Ave Maria, Ah Sweet Mystery of Life, and people also read verses from the Bible andchanted verses from Indian scripture s and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.48 To add another twist to his life lead in an interfaith manner, he was buried, not cremated. Science and Yoga The four characters in this chapter are all very different. Beside their wildly different backgrounds and personalities, they al so all seemed to have different ideas in regards to the practice of yoga. Whereas Yogananda focused on pranayama and interfaith meditation, Theos Bernards focu s were yoga postures. Atkinson and Pierre Bernards practices of yoga were more piecem eal in that they seemed to patch together what they imagined yoga to be from their dis parate exposure to all things Eastern and their own philosophical outlooks. What they did have in common, however, was a reliance on the language of science, which helped each of them popul arize and legitimize the presence and importance of yoga in t he U.S. All four of these early practitioners and teachers of yoga used either the word or concept of science in their rhetoric. There had to be a reason to practice something from the not-as-advanc ed East, and there had to be a reason to abandon just practicing Christianity. The emer ging popularity of science over irrational mythology was the perfect linguistic vehicle in which to ground yoga; it was but one 48Hundreds Pay Tribute at Rites for Yogananda, Los Angeles Times 12 March 1952. 94

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method of translating yoga into understandable terms for the American public, and it also helped to translate the religious out of yoga. The Bernards, Atkinson and Yogananda were not unique in their reliance on the language of yoga. This trend st arted with Vivekananda, who used science as a way of explaining and selling yoga to his Western audi ence. He writes, The teachers of the science of Yoga declare that religion is not only based upon the experience of ancient times, but that no man can be religious until he has the same perceptions himself. Yoga is the science which teaches us how to get these perceptions.49 From almost the beginning Vivekananda described yoga as a scienc e, for it is a science then it can be practiced along side the faiths of those that he was sel ling to in the West. Besides Vivekananda using the language of science to explain and sell yoga, the rhetoric and popularity of science was becoming more pervasive in the U.S and in India, albeit for different reasons. In the U.S., more Christians were starting to abandon the idea that the Bible was inerrant, and looking closer at the ideas coming out of the scientific world. In her book, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism Susan Jacoby argues that the period from 1875-1914 represents the high-water mark of freethought as an influential movement in American society, which meant an expansion in American exposure to and interest in art, literature and science.50 In particular, Jacoby argues that the t heory of evolution as expl ained by Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species helped drive the Golden Age of Freethought. Darwin garnered much controversy and became a point of disagreement in Americ an Protestantism. Liberal Protestants took to the ideas of evolut ion and science in general because the two 49Vivekananda, Raja Yoga, 127. 50Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, 2004), 151. 95

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seemed to prove a progressive view of history; and if humans could continue and control progress through science, then they we re simply moving closer towards creating the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The idea that humans could be active agents in their lives and society was an outcome of the Se cond Great Awaking and the new ideas of Darwin and science furthered this theology. At the same time, it is important to note that not all Christians liked Darwin, for his theory of natural selection led to the conc lusion that humans evolved from non-humans, and this seemed to reduce humanitys special place in the universe, to dislodge any sense of the special dignity of human beings. It took away any sense of mystery about human existence.51 Further, Darwins theory was a th reat to those who believed that the account of creation in the Bible was an historical event; for them the Bible was inerrant and they found the new field of Bibl ical criticism to be sacrilege. This split between liberal and conservative Protestants came to a head in 1926 with the Scopes Trial, which was over whether evolution shou ld be taught in the classroom. While the anti-evolutionists won the tr ial, the liberals won the public relations war and the established institutions (schools, churc hes, scholarships, etc), which forced the various non-liberal Protestant groups to retr eat and start their own institutions. This small trial in Tennessee garnered much public attention because of the media coverage, which sided with Sc opes. One journalist in particular, H.L. Mencken, was particularly instrumental in garnering bad publicity for the anti-evolutionists. In one scathing column, Homo Neand erthalensis, he writes, The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evoluti on are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the 51Leslie Murray, Liberal Protestantism and Science (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007), 20. 96

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inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge Cert ainly it cannot have gone unnoticed that their membership is recruited, in the over whelming main, from the lower orders that no man of any educ ation or other human dign ity belongs to them Whatever lies above the level of their comprehension is of the devil The hypothesis of evolution is credit ed by all men of education; they themselves can't understand it. Ergo, its teaching must be put down... The inferior man's reasons for hating knowledge are not hard to discern. He hates it because it is complex -because it puts an unbearable burden upon his meager capacity for taking in ideas. Thus his search is always for short cuts. All superstitions are such short cuts. Their aim is to make the unintelligible simple, and ev en obvious The popularity of Fundamentalism among the inferior orders of men is explicable in exactly the same way. The cosmogonies t hat educated men toy with are all inordinately complex But the cosmogon y of Genesis is so simple that even a yokel can grasp it. It is set fort h in a few phrases. It offers, to an ignorant man, the irresistible reasonableness of the nonsensical. So he accepts it with loud hosannas, and has one more excuse for hating his betters.52 Mencken basically drew a line in the sand between those who stood for progress versus those who did not, and acceptance of Darwin and all things scientific was one marker for progress. Given this environment in the U.S., and given that yoga was probably more appealing to the liberals of Protest antism rather than the conservatives, champions of yoga were smart to brand y oga as science and spiritual (but not as Hindu); yoga as a practice that would scientif ically and spiritually better the condition of the body. It is this explicit connection betwe en science and spirituality that made yoga so popular. The idea that science could hel p lead one to a better understanding of spirituality and vice versa, explicitly linke d the two, and this link, for some, was created by yoga. In essence, yoga could lead to progress on two fronts: science (away from irrationality) and spirituality (awa y from organized religion). Science was seen as a vehicle for progress in the U.S., and this was also the case in India, however, in India the embrace of science was not the consequence of a battle 52H.L. Mencken, Homo Neanderthalensis, The Baltimore Evening Sun 29 June 1925. 97

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between liberals and conservatives of a particu lar faith, but rather a means of standing up to the treachery of colonialism. Both Vivekananda and Yogananda felt that India had much to learn from the U.S and Great Britain (their colonizers) in the fields of science and technology. One way to combat this inadequacy was to cast yoga in scientific terms, for while India may not be on par with their colonizers with yoga they could claim both spiritual superiority, and if yoga is a science, then perhaps they were not so far behind after all. One figure that was part of this proce ss was Swami Kuvalayananda, who started practicing yoga in the early twentieth centur y and in 1943 secured the funds to start, Kaivalyadhama Sreeman Madhav a Yoga Mandira Samhiti in Pune; this institute specialized in the medical and scientific investigation of yoga (he also started an ashram, which focused more on the spir itual benefits of y oga). Beyond being an influence on Theos Bernard, Kuvalayananda embarked on a pr oject in India to study yoga as a science, which meant measuring t he effects (via x-ray, breathing machines and blood pressure gages) of yoga on the human body. Joseph Alter writes that Kuvalayandas scientific focus on the human body enabled a translation of a branch of Indian philosophy into a form of practice t hat is, like Modern Science itself, putatively free of cultural baggage while clearly linked to the history of a particular part of the world.53 It is clear that a process of translation was occurring in India and in the U.S., and while Kuvalayananda facilitated this translati on in India, in the U.S., the Bernards, Atkinson and Yogananda helped popularize yoga as a science in the U.S. While yoga was still a site for scandal during this time period, it also gained more popularity and 53Alter, Yoga in Modern India 77. 98

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acceptance because it gained a greater exposure and legitimacy through the Bernards, Atkinson and Yogananda. Relying on science to taut the benefits of yoga on the human body created the path for future yoga gurus to further shift yoga from the realms of the mystical and religious towards the worlds of pragmatism, health and fitness. Further, the idea of yoga as a science and not a religion is one that has much traction in the contemporary period. In a letter to the editor, written in the Washington Post in 1992, the author, Phul genda Sinha is adamant: Yoga is a science. It is rooted in the ancient civilization of Indi a, and its historical record of development from 3000 B.C. to 800 A. D. has not been made available ever y step of yogas practice is scientifically explained.54 She goes onto day that most people in American and also in India are still learning yoga from religious teachers, who relate all its practices with Hinduism and its beliefs.55 It is apparent that in many ways the translation of yoga from religious to secular and scientific was successful; so su ccessful that even the association of yoga with Hinduism is seen as fraudulen t. This is where yoga exhibi ts signs of being rhizomal (and maybe even a bit schizophrenic), for it is able to exist simultaneously as scientific, religious and totally secular. While this may seem contradictory, a rhizome has no roots and thus is able to move and translate frequently, and while there are attempts to give it a rooted history this attempt never quite sticks. While the idea of yoga as science is quite prevalent, it is important to remem ber that the Bernards, Atkinson, Yogananda and even Kuvalayananda, all were quite taken with the mystical side of yoga, thus yoga was able to simultaneously fulfill two progressive pursuits: the scientific and the spiritual. 54Phulgenda Sinha, The Science of Yoga, The Washington Post 31 August 1992. 55Sinha, The Science of Yoga. 99

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This is also true in regards to those in the next chapter that spread the health benefits of yoga in the mid-twentie th century. 100

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101 Figure 3-1. Theos Bernard demonstrating Uttanakurmakasana picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 61 (picture taken by author). Figure 3-2. Theos Bernard demonstrating Vrksasana, picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 67 (picture taken by author). Figure 3-3. Theos Bernard demonstrating Kukkutasana picture from Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950), 60 (picture taken by author).

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CHAPTER 4 DOMESTICATING YOGA The studio set is 1960s Eastern Myst ic Cornball: car peted risers with vaguely Hindu mandalas fl oating on the back wall. Seated cross-legged on the riser, Hittleman explains that Ha tha Yogas goal is to impart to its practitioners the ine scapable appearance of beau ty and poise in all activities. Hittleman does not perfo rm the yoga postures himself. Rather, he explains them as his two helpers, a young man and a young woman in leotard and tights demonstrate. The seco nd half of the pr ogram is devoted to a brief lecture on Eastern philosophic topics, such as karma, and a guided meditation period to soft music. Hittleman urges viewers to float their consciousness into a golden tri angle on the screen. Wishing you yoga and health, he bows his head as the closing credits scroll up the screen.1 This excerpt came from a guide on mornin g exercise programs in the year 1984. In particular, the excerpt is describi ng the long-running yoga program of Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Health Hittleman, along with the students of Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya (Indra Devi, B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois), and also Swami Satchidananda and Yogi Bhajan helped further translate yoga into a domestic American practice and product. They helped navigate y oga through the tumultuous 60s; they all furthered and, in many ways, intensified th e focus on the importance of yoga for human health. While yoga was still imagined as somewhat mystical and Eastern, it starts to be viewed less and less as a religion, more viewed a spiritual or even a completely secular practice, and definitely something a part from any one religious tradition. This chapter will explore how yoga st arts to become an American domestic practice by exploring how Hittleman, Devi, Iyengar Jois, Satchidananda and Bhajan helped define yoga as a practi ce that could easily be d one from home and by anyone for improved health and physical wellbeing. They had the help of Vivekananda, Pierre 1Laura Daltry, Jump! Stretch! Re lax! TVs A.M. Fat Farm, The Los Angeles Times 15 April 15, 1984. 102

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Bernard, Atkinson, Theos Bernard and Yogananda who had all used the language of science and health to popularize yoga. This next generation of yoga teachers became more prolific in selling these points of y oga and molded the benefits of yoga to fit the necessities of the 1960s and 1970s. Richard Hittleman Richard Hittleman, whose books are still vast ly popular today, came back to the United States from India in 1950, start ed the American Academy of Yoga in Miami and by 1961 he was teaching yoga via his nat ionally syndicated television show, Yoga for Health .2 His many popular books reached millions of Americans, and combined with the description of his show, provides insight in to how Hittleman taught and imagined yoga. From the above description of Hittlemans show, it is clear that he explicitly retained an eastern and mystical vision of yoga. Whil e the outer or visual aspect of Hittlemans yoga may have been constructed to appeal to a certain mystical aesthetic, good health and a better body was ultimate goal, thus the journey was mo st pragmatic. Hittleman was lucky enough to be profiled in a 1961 Los Angeles Times twelvepart series by Beverly Wilson and a 1970 Chicago Tribune twelve-part series by Mary Daniels. Wilson and Daniels used Hittlemans teaching to make yoga more accessible to their readers while prov iding free publicity for Hittleman. These two authors helped sell yoga as a perfect tool for Americans to use to better their lives. Wilson concedes that while youll scare your hubby out of his wits when he sees you in some of your more extreme yoga postures, yoga is not a st range rite practiced by an oddball religious sect. Its a serious set of techniques dev eloped by Indian sages centuries ago to 2Segments of this show just became available for purchase, thus demonstr ating his staying power (though this could also be because he left his wife bankrupt upon his death). 103

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produce a healthy body and tranquil mind.3 A decade later, Daniels commented, yoga is the perfect antidote to the tense and frantic American life-style.4 Along with article press, c ourtesy of Wilson and Daniels, Hittleman also advertised his classes in the New York Times. A six-week course at his New York City studio was $42, and promised to help in achieving bette r health and a trimmer body (see Figure 41). This same advertisement also highlights that participation in Hittlemans class means joining Hollywood and Broadway starts. In another adverti sement (see Figure 4-2), Hittleman is a feature of Gimbels (a si nce defunct department stor e) India fortnight; during this time the customer can buy Indi an handicrafts, saris and jewelry, drink Indian tea and learn yoga from Hittleman. This may be the only time that Hittlemans yoga is explicitly tied to India. In general, hi s advertisements focused on the pragmatic, nonspiritual benefits of his classes, such as a trimmer body, less stress and better balance (see Figure 4-3). Even the titles of his many books show his pragmatic approach to yoga. One of his first books, Be Young With Yoga (1942), written before he went to India explored the anti-aging benefits of yoga. His book, Yoga for Physical Fitness (1960) is what he originally based his television show on, and Yoga for Health (1962) covered yoga postures and nutrition. Yoga for Physical Fitness was mainly geared toward the sedentary worker, who is confined to a desk during most of the workday whose work is performed in relatively few positions or whose work consists of a limited number of repetitious movements.5 For these workers, Hittleman feels that yoga is the perfect solution, because In Yoga are included enjoy able, non-strenuous, revitalizing exercises 3Beverly Wilson, Yoga for All: The First Lesson, Los Angeles Times 9 January 1961. 4Mary Daniels, A New You Through Yoga, Chicago Tribune 8 February 1970. 5Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Pr entice Hall, Inc., 1964), 17. 104

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that require a minimum of time and can be done not only before and after the workday but also during the workday in the office, during l unch hour or even the coffee break!6 To further illustrate his point, Hittleman prov ides the reader with pi ctures of sedentary workers, in their office clothes practicing yoga (see Figures 4-4 & 4-5). While most of the pictures are of practiti oners in leotards, Hittleman has eight pages of practitioners in their work clothes; perhaps this was his attemp t to fully illustrate that yoga could be done at work as well as at hom e (while watching his show). His most popular book, Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan (1969), best showcased his blend of pragmatics with the occasional sprinkling of ancient yogic wisdom. In Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan Hittleman outlines a 28 day regimen for anyone (any woman) to follow; each day, a new exercise is introduced, and every fourth day, t here is a review of the previous exercises. The topics range from beauty and weight regulation to nutrition and meditation. Each day introduced t he reader, via photographs, to a new posture, laid out the practice regimen for the day, and then finished with thoughts for the day. Hittlemans thoughts for day attempted to c onnect the practice of yoga to everyday concerns for the American woman. In one se ction, Yoga and the Housewife, Hittleman writes, Housework and all that it entails may not be fun, but it is important and must be accomplished with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.7 Hittleman acknowledges that this is not always easy, thus he suggests to (1) Stretch often during your housework; (2) Make it a rule to always move with poise and balance regardless of how mundane you may think your activities are.8 He is advocating mindfulness, and applying to the 6Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness 18. 7Richard Hittleman, Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan (New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company 1969), 118. 8Hittleman, Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan 118. 105

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context of many mid-20th century women who did have to stay home and do housework. While he advocates daily practice, Hittleman makes yoga particularly accessible to this particular part of the population because he does not tell his audience to practice vigorously he presents yoga as not str enuous and in small manageable parts, which can also help other aspects of their lives. Hittleman died in 1991, and though his popularity may not be as strong as it was in the 1960s (his popularity started to wane in the late-1980s), he did help American workers and housewives imagine yoga as a tool to benefit their everyday lives and thus helped lay the groundwork for yoga to be furt her translated into an American practice. His accessible style is in many ways a depar ture from characters of chapter two Hittleman did not just explain yoga, but he gave practitioners distinct methods on how to practice and explained in concrete ways wh y these practices are beneficial to ones body. Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya: The Mysore School and its Ambassadors Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya, a famous y oga teacher in India, also focused on how yoga could be beneficial to the health of the body. Born in a small town in the Indian state of Karnataka and raised in Mysore (a city in Karnataka), Krishnamacharya traveled all over India in pursuit of educ ation in Hindu philosophy, ayurveda and yoga. His depth and breadth of kno wledge impressed the Maharaj ah of Mysore, who gave him an entire section of his palace in which to start a school for yoga (which only closed down in 1950 since India had won independ ence and the Maharaja was dethroned). After moving from Mysore, Krishnamachar ya eventually found himself in Madras (Chennai), where he lived and continued to t each yoga till he died at the age of one hundred. 106

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The approach that Krishnamacharya took to yoga was different from his contemporaries at the Ramakrishna Math and Mission of Vivekananda, as well as the Yogoda Satsanga of Yogananda. While he shared Vivekanandas and Yoganandas inter-faith platform and taught members of any fa ith yoga, unlike them, Krishnamacharya never left India fo r the U.K. or the U.S; rather it was his students that exported his methods. Krishnamacharya focused on the combination of pranayama with asana practice and meditation. Fernando Pages-Ruiz writes that because Krishnamacharya's pupils were primarily active young boys, he drew on many disciplinesincluding yoga, gymnastics, and Indian wrestlingto develop dynamicallyperformed asana sequences aimed at building physical fitness.9 At the center of his yoga system was the Surya Namaskara (sun salutation), which is a series of poses strung together to honor the sun. While the Surya Namaskara maybe imagined by many yoga practitioners as an ancient series of asanas designed to honor the sun, Joseph Alter traces it back to 1928 and Bhavanrao Srinivasrao Pant Pratin idhi, the Rajah of Aundh, a king from a small kingdom in Maharashtra. In his book, Gandhis Body: Sex, Diet and the Politics of Nationalism Alter argues that Pratinidhi was more concerned with physical health, strength and fitness, rather than with yoga. He developed Surya Namaskara after his conversion from the old sc hool of wrestling and the consumption of unnecessarily fatty foods, and after t en years of body buildi ng done with equipment from the United States, and a fter twenty year of experiment ation, modification and practice.10 He then published his invention in a book (written in English) called Surya Namaskara which quickly sold out and was thus republished many times. Alter finds 9Fernando Pages-Ruiz, Krishnamacharyas Legacy, Yoga Journal May 2001, 100. 10Joseph Alter, Gandhis Body: Sex, Diet and the Politics of Nationalism (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylv ania Press, 2000), 95. 107

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that yoga was not connected to Pratinidhis Surya Namaskara until 1940, and there is no physical evidence of Krishnamacharya purchas ing this book or of meeting Pratinidhi. Krishnamacharyas student, K. Pattabhi Jois, cl aims that the two of them traveled to Calcutta in 1934 and found a lost yoga text, Yoga Korunta which prescribed the asanas for Surya Namaskara but since there is no evidence fo r the existence fo r such a text, this story seems doubtful, and more hagiographical rather than biographical.11 Despite its more secular roots, the Surya Namaskara became the center practice for Krishnamacharyas yoga; thus today this series of moves is associated more with yoga than with a king from Mahar ashtra. Krishnamacharya trans lated Pratinidhis moves into asanas and paired them with Sanskrit verses. He also taught his students to seamlessly move or flow from asana to asana which is now referred to as a Vinyasa style of yoga. Krishnamacharya was also very concerned with how yoga benefited ones health, which is one of the reasons t hat the Maharajah of Mysore, a diabetic, became his patron. Part of this approach meant tailoring practice to the ability and health of the each of his students. Ruisz writ es, a doctor asked him to help a stroke victim. Krishnamacharya manipulated the patient's lifeless limbs into various postures, a kind of yogic physical therapy. As with so many of Krishnamacharya's students, the man's health improved.12 Along with yoga practice, Krishnamacharya would also prescribe ayurveda remedies and focus on t he diet of the patient. He even refused medical treatment on himself when, at age 96, he broke hi s hip. Of the incident, his grandson, Kausthub De sikachar, writes: My grandfather tripped and broke his hi p in the late 1980s. When he fell 11Elizabeth Katedsky, First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance (Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company, 2004), 151. 12Pages-Ruiz, Krishnamacharyas Legacy, 164. 108

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down and could not move my father (TKV Desikachar) called for the family doctor immediately. When he arrived, the doctor knew right away that he had broken his hip, and called for hi s colleague who was a specialist in setting bones. However Krishnamacharya was in no mood to entertain a set of doctors working on him. The moment the specialist arrived, he yelled at them to get out of here. I can handle myself and heal myself and I will prove it to you within three m onths. I dont need your help. Obviously hurt by this comment, the specialist stormed out of our house telling my father dont waste your time on a nine ty-six year old insane man. He is not going to last long. Even at a moment of injury, Krishnamacharya never lost faith in the yoga that he had learnt from his master. His theory was if he could heal at all, then su rely yoga could help him heal more quickly. Around the third month after t he fall, he called my father one day to his room and said, Call that specia list. When my father telephoned the specialist and informed him of Krishnam acharyas request to meet him, the specialist sarcastically remarked, So, now he wants me to come and help him. When he arrived home, Kr ishnamacharya greeted him in his room and said, That day you asked my son not to waste time on me. Look what I can do. With this he began to show the range of movements he could do now, after healing himself with yoga. He demonstrated that he could get up on his own, walk a fe w steps and could do a whole set of postures, that would make even a normal healthy person feel envious. The doctor was speechless and he recommended us to please record these movements on video. Otherwis e, no one will believe this is possible.13 While it maybe easy to dismiss a grandsons aw e of his grandfather, it is nonetheless an amazing story, and one that helped fuel Krishnamacharyas legend in India. It is quite fitting that a man that spent his life creating individual programs for his students to follow, used the very same technique to he lp/heal himself. This story may be more fitting of a hagiography, but it is not har d to imagine that his creation and life-long practice of a physically involved yoga aided in his hip recovery. Beyond developing a style of yoga focus ed on physical strength and bodily health, Krishnamacharyas legacy is also tied to his students and their adapting Krishnamacharyas teaching for a global audienc e. Three of his students in particular, 13Kausthub Desikachar, Faith in Healing Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation, 4 April 2007 (accessed 21 August 2009), http://www.khyf.net/asp/k hyf.asp?Pg=MM3_32&Ref=42 109

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Indra Devi, B.K.S. Iyengar, and K. Pattabhi Jo is, were instrumental in translating the yoga of Krishnamacharya into an American context by stressing the accessibility, practicality and healthiness of yoga practice. Indra Devi Eugenie Peterson, Russian by birth, Am erican during life and Argentine at death, went to India and applied to study with Krishnamacharya. At first Krishnamacharya rebuffed Peterson because apparently he felt he could not teach yoga to women (or foreigners). She continued to request inst ruction; Krishnamacharya gave in and designed a gentle lesson plan for her and trained her as a teacher. Based on his teachings, Peterson published many books on yoga, which reached a wide audience of women all over the United St ates and the world. Often de scribed as an ambassador of yoga, Peterson changed her nam e to Indra Devi and helped introduce yoga to China, Russia, Argentina and the U.S. ; she even convinced (communi st, anti-religious) Soviet officials to legalize yoga, a fter explaining yoga to them. Elizabeth Arden, a leading cosmetic and beauty figure at the time was a patron of Devi, which gave her exposure to quite a few students from Hollywood. Her second husband also built her a compound in New Mexico, where she trained American y oga teachers. Her obituary stated that she took the teachings of Krishnamacharya, a nd built a style of yoga accessible to Westerners. It was characterized by gentleness.14 Devi left the U.S. for Argentina in 1982, and continued to teach yoga there, until her death; she lived to be 102 years old. Like previous yoga masters teaching in the U.S. (save Pierre Bernard), Devi was a prolific writer with ma ny popular books. One of her earliest popular books, Forever 14Douglas Martin, Indra Devi, 102, Dies; Taught Yoga to Stars and Leaders, New York Times, 30 April 2002. 110

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Young, Forever Healthy (1953), was a combination of her spiritual journey (like Yogananda) and a practical guide for health ( like Ramacharaka, Theos Bernard and Hittleman). She published numerous other books, and one of them, Yoga for Americans: A Complete 6 Weeks Course for Home Practice (1959) was (obviously) tailored for her American audience.15 The book was dedicated to her friend and famous American actress, Gloria Swanson, wh ich probably helped wit h book sales and legitimacy in the eyes of her audience, American women. In her Introduction Devi acknowledges the Hindu roots of yoga, but she counters, Many people still think that Yoga is a religion. Others believe it to be a kind of magic. Some associat e Yoga with the robe tri ck, with snake-charming, fire-eating or sitting on nail-beds, ly ing on broken glass, walking on sharp swords, etc. Sometimes it is even link ed to fortune telling, spiritualism, hypnotism and other isms. In reality, Yoga is a method, a system of physical, mental and spiritual development .16 Devi attempts to divorce yoga from some of the more austere or t ouristy practices of Hindu mendicants and entertainers, but is al so attempted to frame yoga as separate from any one religion or any one culture. Giv en that she learned from an Indian in India, this is a bit confusing, but seen in light of that fact that she attempted (successfully) to spread yoga globally, her attempt to take the religious or the India out of yoga makes sense. It was probably easier for Devi to conv ince people to practice yoga, especially in Cold War America, if it wa s presented a universal, scientific, and healthy practice. Thus, she asserts that since yoga is not a religio n, Christians can practice yoga. Devi addresses this in her introduction and her second appendix, which has a sampling of 15This is unique, for I have not found any of her ot her books to be specifically written with one national audience in mind. Also, since this book was published before Hittlemans Yoga: 28 Day Plan, it is conceivable that Hittleman got his idea to break up his lessons into weekly and daily from Devi, though there is not concrete evidence for this. 16Indra Devi, Yoga for Americans: A Complete 6 Weeks Course for Home Practice (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1959), xxiii. 111

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letters from students that have benefited from Dev is instruction. One of these letters is from a Methodist minister, Roy A. Langston, w ho started practicing yoga in his sixties so that he could alleviate stiff ness in his limbs. Yoga helped his pain, and he writes, It is my sincere belief that if I had known and practi ced principles of Yoga many year ago, I could have enjoyed not only a higher degree of good health, but could have given better service to God and man.17 From this good review, it seems that Devi, like Hittleman and her guru, did not completely erase the mystical out of her representation of yoga. For example, she describes prana as a subtle lif e energy existing in the air in fluid form. Everything living, from men to amoebae, from plants to animals is char ged with Prana. Without Prana there is no life.18 While this may seem a lot like t he Force (perhaps George Lucas read Devi), the assertion that all is connected is a type of worldview that also has ethical and practical. In her section, Yama-Niyama and Contemplation she ou tlines ten riles of the Yoga code of morals; Yama consists of (1) inoffensiveness (non-destruction, noninjury); (2) truthfulness; (3 ) non-stealing; (4) non-desire for what belongs to others; (5) continence (frugality in diet, disinclination toward sexual enjoyment and Niyama requires (1) purification; (2) contentmen t; (3) strength of character (abstinence, forbearance, discipline, non-complaint, pati ence, calmness of mine; (4) study; (5) complete self-surrender to the Lord (which includes sharing with others that which has been given to you).19 While she makes it clear later in this section that sexual abstinence is not necessary for the practice of yoga, she takes this seriously when dealing with other beings that she is connect ed to via prana. For example, when she 17Devi, Yoga for Americans 204. 18Devi, Yoga for Americans xxiv. 19Devi, Yoga for Americans 150. 112

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had ants invade her home, she chose to not to kill them, but to talk to them. She asked them to go where they belonged and prom ised to keep some sugar for them outside.20 This, Devi claimed, worked, and is most illustrative of the ethical outlook she follows and wishes for her readers to follow. The thrust of this book is not ethical, however, it is practical (through which one reaches a heightened ethical st ate) and thus the majority of the book describes a series of yoga breathing exercises and postures, whic h the student was to master in a period of six weeks, and she organized it this way because a great number of people her in the United States and elsewhere were anxious to be given an outlines program they could follow day by day.21 Interestingly, Devi does not give instructions for Surya Namaskara even though it was central to Krishnamacharya. This could be because when she learned from him, he thought it might be too st renuous for a woman or because he himself had not learned it yet. Despite this omission, Yoga for Americans proved helpful to many. Beyond learning ho w to properly breathe, various stretching exercises, and yoga postures, Devi provi des her reader with four sample diets ( Cleansing, Health, Reducing, For People Over Thirty-Five ) and a variety of vegetarian recipes. Devis tone and style is easy to follo w, which, like Hittleman, makes her style of yoga accessible, doable and gentle. B.K.S. Iyengar While Indra Devi introduced the physical yoga of Krishnamacharya to the U.S., this physical or asana yoga became most popular under the organization of Bellur Krishnamacharya Sundararaja (B. K. S) Iyen gar. Born in 1918, he started studying with 20Devi, Yoga for Americans 151. 21Devi, Yoga for Americans ix. 113

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Krishnamacharya (who was also his brother-i n-law) when he was 15, and set up his own institute for the study of yoga in Pune, Maharashtra three years later. Iyengar stressed the physicality of Krishnamac haryas yoga practice, and introduced the importance of bodily alignment and the use of props to aid in that alignment. While he may be one of Krishnamacharyas most famous students, he did not like the Vinyasa style of yoga that was taught by Krishnamacharya. In her memoir, First There Is a Mountain, Elizabeth Kadetsky reports that Iyengar seemed to have an intense dislike and rivalry with Jois, and of the Vinyasa style said, I did it like him for a year with my guruji. Realizing the ill effect of it, I said good-bye.22 With the help of American violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Iyengar came to the Unit ed States in 1956, and the two of them traveled all over together, making this form of yoga one of the most popular of the time and even today. Iyengar would hold lectures, during which he would also demonstrate various yogic poses while explaining the vari ous health benefits of each one. Described as a man with a rubber-muscled body who wri thed about the stage in postures that would make a contortionist creak, he nonetheless made yoga accessible.23 Iyengar reached immense popularity afte r the publication of this book Light on Yoga The Bible of Modern Yoga in 1966. What is significant about this book is that it is in many ways the most comprehensive and detailed book on yoga practice the focus is on the asanas that made Iyengar Yoga so popular. He positions his book as the authority in his preface by slighting his co mpetition: Unfortunat ely most of the books published on Yoga in our day have been unworthy of both the subject and its first great 22Katedsky, First There Is a Mountain 270. 23Yoga Has New Twist To It Cant Be Done, The Washington Post 24 July 1956. 114

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exponent, as they are superficial, popular and at times misleading.24 He starts the book out with two prayers The first honors Patanjali, and the second prayer seems to be from Swatmaramas Hatha Yoga Pradipika : I salute Adisvara (the Primeval Lord Siva) who taught first the science of Hatha Yoga a science that stands out as a ladder for those who wish to scale the heights of Raja Yoga.25 After his introduction to yoga, he provides the reader with 369 pages with 592 pictures s howing the reader how to practice 200 different asanas Along with his exhaustive explanations of asanas he also provides the reader with thirteen pranayamas that one should practice either after or separately from asanas (but not before). This dire ction along with the amount of attention given to asanas as opposed to pranayama is demonstrative of how much importance he places on asana practice. All these asanas are demonstrated by Iyengar himsel f, thus providing evidence of his immense flexibility, st rength and limberness at the age of 48 (see Figure 4-6 & 4-8). For each asana that he demonstrates, he provides the reader with variations (if relevant), as well as detailed instructions on how to perform the asana For example, when demonstrating Salabhasana he lists six instructions for one to achieve proper technique: 1. Lie full length on the floor on the stomach, face downwards. Stretch the arms back. 2. Exhale, lift the head, chest and legs of the floor simultaneously as high as possible. The hands should not be plac ed and the ribs should not rest on the flood. Only the abdominal front portion of the body rests on the floor and bears the weight of the body. 3. Contract the buttocks and stretch the thigh muscles. Keep both legs fully extended and straight, touching at the thighs, knees and ankles. 4. Do not bear the wei ght of the body on the hands but stretch them back to exercise the upper porti on of the back muscles. 24B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1966), 15. 25Iyengar, Light on Yoga 9. 115

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5. Stay in the position as long as you can with normal breathing. 6. In the beginning it is difficult to life the chest and the legs off the floor, but this becomes easier as the abdominal muscles grow stronger.26 This detailed list explains what to do and what not to do for co rrect practice. In the first appendix of his book, Iyengar provides the reader with a 300-week course. These weeks are divided into three groups: primary, intermediate and advanced. By designing an almost six year course which may re sult in the mastery of yoga, Iyengar demonstrates that such mastery is not an easy task and one that requires perseverance, discipline and time. Every fe w weeks, Iyengar lists a new sequence of asanas for the student to practice and master. Like Devi, Iyengar omits Surya Namaskara but unlike Devi, because of his location and closeness to Pratinidhi in Maharashtra, it is likely that did know of its existence. Given that Surya Namaskara was central to Krishnamacharya and rival Jois, he might have omitted it as a way to differentiate his style of yoga from that of their Vinyasa style. He does, however, introduce the various asanas that make up Surya Namaskara including, Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog pose), which is a central move in the sequence (see Figure 4-7). Along with these extremely detailed and precise instructions, for every one of the 200 asanas Iyengar also provides t he reader/practitioner with t he various effects that a particular asana will have on ones internal and external body. For Salabhasana Iyengar explains that this particular pose, aids digestion and relieves gastric tr oubles and flatulence. Since the spine is stretched back it becomes elasti c and the pose relieves pain in the sacral and lumbar regions. In my experience, persons suffering from slipped discs have benefit ed by regular practice of this asana without 26Iyengar, Light on Yoga 99-100. 116

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recourse to enforced rest or surg ical treatment. The bladder and the prostrate gland also benefit from the exercise and remain healthy.27 Iyengar is not only concerned with correct form, but also with how these various postures will affect the health of the practitioner. In the second appendix of Light on Yoga Iyengar lists asanas that could be helpful for 87 a ilments or bodily problems. He writes, After working 25 years as a teacher, I am giving groups of asanas for different functional and organic a ilments and diseases.28 The ailments that Iyengar seeks to aid range from digestive difficulty and circulatory problems to muscle aches, fertility issues and loss of memory. He cautions the seeker of a healthier body to only adopt practice of asanas according to ones ability, suppleness of body and constitution it is important to use common sense and to watch the reactions of your body.29 Iyengar stressed that practitioners of yoga should not over stress their body and work on correct alignment before moving on to the practice of more intermediate and advanced poses. Beyond his book, Iyengar added the use of props to his style of yoga that made it easier for many to practice the correct ali gnment that he believed to be so important. Iyengars focus was correct alignment and props were a way for practitioners at all levels to attain Iyengars standard of a lignment. It was also a means of adding a material dimension to practice, upon which he could capitalize. The Iyengar Association of Greater New York explains the why pr ops are important in the following way: B.K.S. Iyengar introduced props into the modern practice of yoga to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or length of study. Props help all practitioners (including the most advanced) gain sens itivity to the use of effort and receive the deep benefits of postures held over significant time periods. Props are introduced from the beginning for students with specific physical 27Iyengar, Light on Yoga 100. 28Iyengar, Light on Yoga 487. 29Iyengar, Light on Yoga 487. 117

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limitations and gradually in regular classe s to enhance personal understanding of a posture and its effects and to develop skill and confidence. Props include sticky mats blankets, belts, blocks, benches, wall ropes, sandbags, chairs, and other objects t hat help students experience the various yoga poses more profoundly. Props may be used in class to encourage students, bolst er confidence, and create optimal body alignment. Allowing students to practice asanas (yoga postures) and pranayamas (breathing patterns) with greater effectiveness, ease, and stability, props provide support for t he body and allow the mind to relax and more profoundly receive the benefits of the yoga.30 Iyengars invention of yoga props are a testament to the im portance he placed on alignment. They were also a way for yoga pr actitioners at all levels to participate and reap the benefits of Iyengar s style of yoga. The other side of the props is that they added a material dimension to the practice of yoga. Practice no longer simply involved the body, but also objects (commodities) that needed to be produced, shipped and sold. In other words, props for better yoga prac tice was a new way for the market to intertwine with yoga. The combination of Light on Yoga and the introduction of yoga props made Iyengar one of the most influential yoga teachers of the tw entieth century. In 2004 he was named one of the 100 mo st influence people by Time Magazine and still continues making trips to the U.S. Most recently he came in 2005, during which he attended a Yoga Journal sponsored conference. The combination of his detailed instructions (that made it easy to follow), his explanations of health benefits and development of props to aid alignment made yoga sens ible, understandable, doable and tr endy in other words, yoga being domesticated to fit an American context. 30Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York, Frequently Asked Questions 2009 (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://www.iyengarnyc.org/faqs.html 118

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K. Pattabhi Jois K. Pattabhi Jois is another of Krishnamachar yas students that made yoga trendier in the U.S., especially since later in his life he garnered the attention of popular celebrities like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltro w and Sting. Jois may have made yoga trendier and like Devi and Iyengar he also highl ighted the health benef its of yoga, but his style of yoga is not know n for being particularly easy. Neither Devi nor Iyengar focused their teaching on Krishnamacharyas Vinyasa style of yoga. While both followed Krishnamac harya in tailoring yoga practice to the level of their students, Devi s instruction was geared towards women and it is not a stretch to imagine that Krishnamacharya did not teach Devi this physically grueling style; and Iyengar concerned himself with the correct alignment of asanas rather than flowing (or as he called it jumping) from pose to pose. Jois, however, took Krishnamacharyas Vinyasa style of yoga, modified it and created another popular form of modern yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Jois started the Ashtanga Y oga Institute in 1948 in Mysore, and wrote the book, Yoga Mala in 1962, which has 62 pictures of asanas and a chapter on the importance and methods of pranayama This book was not translated into English until 1999; nonetheless, Jois became popular in the American yoga circuit prior to that because of David Williams. Williams went to Jois in the early 1970s to learn from Jois, and brought him to California in 1975 to teach Ashtanga Yoga to an American audience. While this is much later than the rest of the yoga teachers highlighted in this chapter, Jois did emphasize the ways in which yoga is benefic ial for ones health. Also, since his book was technically written before Iyengars, Jois format of giving detailed instructions and 119

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then explaining the health benefits may have influenced Iyengar (though he would be likely to deny this). The center of Jois Ashtanga Yoga is Surya Namaskara which Jois asserts, has come down to us from the long distant pas t, and is capable of rendering human life heavenly and blissful people can becom e joyous, experience happiness and contentment, and avoid succumbing to old age and death.31 According to Jois, the Sun is also the god of health, thus yoga is not onl y devotional but also has bodily benefits: in other words yoga is not just a spiritual pursu it. Jois believes, that, Diseases that cannot be cured by medicine can be cured by yoga; diseases that cannot be cured by yoga cannot be cured at all. That is definite.32 It is from this twelveasana sequence that practitioners of Ashtanga Yoga flow into other asanas all of which have specific health benefits. The actual method of Vinyasa also has health benefits. Jois official Ashtanga Yoga Institute w ebsite explains that, The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas boils the blood. Thick blood is dirty and causes disease in the body. The heat created from yoga cleans the blood and makes it thin, so that it may circulate freely. The combination of the asana s with movement and breath make the blood circulate freely around all the joints, taking away body pains The heated blood also moves through all the inte rnal organs removing im purities and disease, which are brought out of the body by the sweat that occurs during practice. Sweat is an important by product of vinyasa because it is only through sweat that disease leaves t he body and purification occurs After the body is purified, it is possibl e to purify the ner vous system, and then the sense organs.33 From this explanation it is clear that the center of Ashtanga Yoga comes down to the health of the body (blood). While Jois was insistent t hat the student of Ashtanga be 31K. Pattabhi Jois, Yoga Mala trans. Eddie Stern (New York, NY : North Point Press, 1999), 34. 32Jois, Yoga Mala 29. 33Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, Method (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://www.kpjayi.org/method.html 120

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mindful during practice, true mindfulness could not be achieved without a certain level of purity, which could not be achieved without a healthy amount of sweat. Jois, in a manner similar to Iyengar, firs t explains, in detail, how to perform a specific asana ; where they differ is t hat Jois explains each asana in relation to the asanas of Surya Namaskara For example, when describing Navasana (see Figure 4-9), he not only explains how to do this pose, but also how to flow into it after performing seven of the twelve steps of Surya Namaskara. Jois also provides the health benefits of each asana that he describes, which for Navasana is not only improved digestion, but also this pose helps quell the (sexual) desires of women, thus it is also a means of birth control. Jois finds that Navasana is a method for women to control their sense organs, which helps limit the nu mber of children they produce. This is important to Jois because, If our country is to produce robust, intellectual, and long-lived children who believe in God, we must learn to control our sense organs, and yoga is better means for birth control for it is best to av oid unnatural, allopathic means which are against nature and bad for the body.34 Remembering that Jois did not start out with an American, but rather Indian audience in mind makes him diffe rent from Devi and Iyengar. Despite his audience, his method of yoga was still able to translate into an American context. A major reason for this is the actual method of Vinyasa which made yoga into a form of aerobic exercise, thus beneficia l for ones physical health. Gurus of the Counterculture and Drug Detox Iyengar, Devi and Hittleman were all practi cing and preaching during the cultural turmoil/upheaval/revolution of the 1960s, and parti cularly in the United States with the popularity of the counter-culture the fight for civil rights and the disillusionment of the 34Jois, Yoga Mala 82. 121

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Vietnam War, yoga became very attractive and started to be viewed and used as a solution to various health and societal ills For example, yoga st arted to be taught in prisons. At a prison in Lorton, VA, a prisoner, William W. Carter, who had a tattoo of a swastika on his left bicep because it is an ancient Indian sign signifying the four types of yoga, taught yoga twice a week to a group of about 20 fellow inmates.35 He held session/class that consisted of a short lecture on the e ight steps of Raja Yoga, recitation from the Bhagavad-Gita Gita, some exercises, and a recitation of a Hindu creed which commanded them to live up to y our religion every moment of life.36 While his understanding of the swastika may hav e been misplaced (especially in a postHolocaust prison), it seems t hat the practice of yoga was beneficial for the inmates that chose to participate in Carters class. Beyond prisons, yoga was also seen as a solution for the massive drug problem that resulted from the open experimentation of the Hi ppies. Two yoga gurus in particular, Yogi Bhajan and Swam i Satchidananda, were particularly interesting, in that they both exemplified the guru of the counter-culture movem ent. The two met in 1970 at the Holy Man Jam in Boulder, Colorado, a music concert that brought together various eastern spiritual leaders. Both these c onnected with the counter-culture; but both yogis also attempted to provide solutions to ensuring drug problem cr eated by the counterculture movement, which, al ong with using health and science to market their brands of yoga, ensured their longevity in the American mainstream. Yogi Bhajan (born Harbhajan Singh Puri) traveled all over India to learn yoga before immigrating to Canada in 1968. Later that year, he moved to Los Angeles, and 35Katherine Gresham, Lorton Inmates Study Yoga, The Washington Post 6 November 1966. 36Gresham, Lorton Inmates Study Yoga. 122

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started teaching yoga to mem bers of the counterculture. In 1969, he started the Happy, Healthy and Holy Organization (3HO) in Ne w Mexico, and by 1972 there were over 100 3HO ashrams all over North Am erica. These ashrams functioned as a hybrid of family and business they would practice yoga together morning and night, and then during the day run a business of some sorts to su stain themselves. This type of organization was most appealing to those of the counterculture movement for it provided a means of sustenance in a communal and egalitarian se tting outside of the mainstream. These businesses started by these as hrams in the early 1970s, su ch as Akal Security in Michigan and Golden Temple in Oregon (whi ch makes Yogi Tea, Peace Cereal and other ayurveda health products for Trader Joe), are still quite successful today. Yogi Bhajan referred to his brand of yoga as Kundalini Yoga which is a science by which the subconscious mind is clear ed of the doubts and fears that hinder relationships from reaching the essence of higher consciousness: that spiritual presence in the soul of a ll humans and in all creatures.37 In the early years of 3HO, teachers would pan out and teach Kundalini Yoga seminars at colleges and community centers; the cost for individuals was $54 an d $90 for married couples. Like many other American yoga movements, this one was also presented as interfaith. One practitioner explained: Yoga is considered a universal sc ience and not a religion. All religions can practice it We believe that around everybodys philosophy there is one truth we all believe in and that one truth links us together as a human race. We all come from one creator.38 37Tantric Yoga at Claremont, Los Angeles Sentinel 4 March 1976. 38Carl Coates, Yoga Way of Life Discussed, Los Angeles Sentinel 1 January 1976. 123

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In a 1972 Washington Post article, Bhajan clai med his method of drug detoxification has treated over 100,000 drug users, most succe ssfully. What is not clear is if these users were all addic ts or if some or most were recreational users. One heroin addict did find success with 3HO, for he had tr ied methadone for three and a half years, and did not shake heroin until he tried yoga. At the same time, this beneficiary, William Richardson, also claimed he had been addicted to heroin for 23 years. While this may seem a bit exaggerated, this program seemed to work for Richardson. The 3HO detox program involves a diet of beet juice and carrot juice to r esuscitate the liver and the practice of basic yoga exercises.39 Another former drug addict explained that In Kundalini we deal with the same exact energy as drugs releaseyou cant go back to drugs once youve tried this yoga, he conc luded. Theyre a down, and another added, its more lasting than marijuana All I have to do now is breathe and Im stoned. I wish I had a better word because its a better trip.40 One could argue that they were swapping one high for another; however, many also added that they now retained mental clarity. Swami Satchidananda, another yoga guru of this era, who opened the Woodstock festival in 1969, thus solidifying this plac e in counter-culture history, also gained popularity for similar reasons to Bhajan. He was born C.K. Ramaswamy Gounder, and given the name Satchidananda by his Guru Swami Sivananda, who taught him the various paths of yoga ( Bhakti Karma Jnana Raja and Hatha). Balance of the various paths of yoga continued to be important to Satchidananda when he immigrated to the United States in 1966, and founded the Integral Yoga Institute, which also stressed that 39William L. Clairborne, Heroin Treatment: Garlic Juice, Yoga, The Washington Post 22 March 1972. 40Ton OBrien, Kundalini, Washington Post 8 August 1970. 124

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a yoga student must integrate these vari ous branches of yoga. Satchidananda added on more yoga path, that of Japa Yoga which involves the repetition of a mantra. Satchidananda encourages this integrated approach because a combination of methods is best to develop every aspect of the indivi dual: physical, intellectual, and spiritual. It is a scientific system which integr ates the various branches of Yoga in order to bring about a complete and harmonious development of the individual.41 Satchidananda set up the head quarters for his institute in Buckingham, Virginia at a place called Yogaville, which is a 700-acre community where one can practice yoga, attend retreats to relieve various diseases or learn massage therapy. Like Bhajan, Satchidanandas organization is intensely interfaith. Beyond symbolical repr esenting many religions on the lotus that symbolizes the Integral Yoga In stitute, at Yogaville Satchi dananda built LOTUS (Light of Universal Truth Shrine), which is a shrine that attempts to have a space for every religion (Hinduism, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, African Religions, Native American Religi ons, Other Known Religions and Those Still Unknown). Beyond trying to be super-inclusive, hi s organization also provided drug rehabilitation services in the 1970s. With the help of the New York City Addiction Services Agency and the National Institute of Mental Health, a drug therapy program was started that claimed a dropout rate of about 30 percent compared with the 60 or 70 percent typical of many addict-reform programs.42 This particular program involved morning meditation, followed by strenuous exercise in the Hatha Yoga class body 41Swami Satchidananda, What is Integral Yoga? 2009 (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://www.yogaville.org/Integral_Yoga/Integral_Yoga.html 42Lisa Wohl Good Head, No Habit The Washington Post 7 January 1973. 125

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twists, stretches, headstands and hairpin bends.43 Each student also had chores (cleaning, cooking, clerical work) and, after th eir vegetarian lunch, had to attend lectures on yoga or rap sessions, a form of group ther apy, during which students sit in a circle to challenge and explor e each others behavior.44 One student, who was addicted to LSD said yoga gave him a perspective I c an relate to no matter what happens. I can accept my feeling because I k now they wont take me over.45 Another student, however, felt she became a super-yogi for a wh ile, replacing the dr ugs with meditation and exercises, saying it was an escape, a phaseyoga practices can help you, but you have to fit them realistically into your life.46 Both Bhajan and Satchidananda were able to create communities that revolved around the practice of yoga witho ut isolation from the real world they both found ways to meld yoga with mundane life concerns which made them relevant beyond a community of hippies. It seems a focu s on health, is one way that yoga has found permanent relevance in the American landsc ape. Further, the focus on health helped make yoga more multifaceted it was a pr actice beyond just spiritual betterment, and one that could lead to a better body, more energy, youthful looks and drug detoxification. The link between yoga and health was one that all the yogis of this time period, from Hittleman to Satchidananda, expl oited in a most successful manner. Yoga for Health As early as 1937, there was an article in The Atlantic Constitution that linked yoga to fitness and health. In the article Your Fi gure, Madam, Ida Jean Kain writes, Last 43Wohl, Good Head, No Habit 44Wohl, Good Head, No Habit 45Wohl, Good Head, No Habit 46Wohl, Good Head, No Habit 126

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year we adapted exercises which induce relaxati on, and this year its exercise from the Yoga, to discipline mind and bod y. Whatever the original purpose of these exercises, they are all grist to the mill of t he American woman be nt on streamlines.47 Twenty years later, in a 1957 Washington Post article, yoga was heralded as the secret to youth (for looks and health) and t hat one who practices might succeed where Ponce de Leon struck out.48 The article cites the example of Ruth St. Denis, a 79 year old woman who doesnt even breathe heavily when she walks up the stairs, and explains that yoga circulates the blood in the body, which wi ll then, wash the brain, thus making yoga a form of brainwashing.49 Yoga as a tool for health even starts to infiltrate American politics. Ma rie Smith, a journalist for the Washington Post reports Mrs. Richard M. Nixon, who said she has never in her life exercised to slim her figure, got down on her knees in the Diplomatic Rec eption Room of the Wh ite House yesterday and took a lesson in yoga.50 Apparently, she did this in front of about a dozen reporters, as well as some teenaged girls who had just completed a self-improvement cours r e. Yoga was also seen as a method to help athletes. Pierre Bernard trained boxe Lou Nova, and other athletes followed. Two g enerations later, Lee Mueller, a race driver, said he hasnt lost a race since he st arted practicing yoga. He said, Its all about your mind and body relationshipnothing religious--strictly yoga for health. The whole reason I do it is it ma kes me feel better.51 Other athletes, such as tennis and football 47Ida Jean Kain, Your Figure Madam, The Atlanta Constitution 15 October 1937. 48W.E. Newman, Yoga is the Secret of Youth, The Washington Post 11 August 1957. 49Newman, Yoga is the Secret of Youth. 50Marie Smith, Mrs. Nixon Tries Yoga, Washington Post 16 September 1970. 51Rich Roberts, Yoga: Good For Mind, Body, and Race Car Driving, Los Angeles Times 24 May 1980. 127

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players, also looked to yoga to improve t heir physical health and psychological focus popular yoga magazine, the Yoga Journal also dedicated an entire issue to yoga and sport ly as d just a s vi) ty that has most comprehensively influenced the course of American history, played a s in the early 1980s. Like the idea of yoga as a science, t he link between yoga and health was not on explored in the U.S. The vast interest in and popularity of yoga in Western countries, spurred the Indian Government and medical res earchers to study them scientifically to find therapeutic applications of these mystic practices.52 They found, after six months of systematic training in yoga exercises se veral beneficial effects, including weight loss, better appetites, less tension and stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, well as less use of drugs and alcohol. These Indian scientists even found improve conditions among the rats they had doing o ne of two hours a day of sirsasana or standing on the head, in open-end glass tubes.53 If rats benefited from practice with couple hours a day, then perhaps humans would benefit with an hour a day a well It is also important to note that t he group targeted by the various newspaper articles on yoga and some of the yogis of this period (especially Hittleman and De wrote to women about how yoga could help mainta in their figure, looks, youth, flexibili and housework. Unless this was a concern and societal stress for women, Devi, Hittleman and the lifestyles sections of vari ous newspapers would not have targeted women as specifically as they di d. R. Marie Gri ffith, in her book, Born Again Bodies, shows that bodily preoccupati on was a concern in Protest antism, and as the tradition 52India Evaluating Effects of Yoga, New York Times 30 November 1975. 53India Evaluating Effects of Yoga. 128

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significant role in creating a system (often targeted towards women) to make bodies healthier, more beautiful, more po werful, and longer lived than others.54 If health was a concern in the larger forces of Protestant ism, one way for yoga to be marketable wa address such concerns; in other words yoga was tailored to meet the needs of midtwentieth century Protestant women. W hereas the women that followed Vivekanan may have turned to him for freedom and f ound positions of power in the Vedanta Society, in later years women turned to yoga in an attempt to live-up to a societal idea (fueled by the market). This translation was no t too difficult seeing as Indians in were using yoga as a means of increasi ng the nationss health (and staving of colonialism s to da l India ), thus for Iyengar, Jois, Bhaj an and Satchidananda a focus on health was famil and d iar. Further, using yoga to discipline female bodi es in a specific way (to make them more slender, fit, etc) is par t of a larger means of soci al control of women. Susan Bordo argues that via these disciplines of self-modificati on or improved femininity, female bodies memorize the feel and conviction of lack, of insufficiency, of never being good enough.55 She further notices that, viewe d historically, the discipline the normalization of the female body perhaps the only gender oppression that exercises itself, although to different degrees and in different forms, across age, race, class, and sexual orientation has to be acknowledged as an amazingly durable an flexible strategy of social control.56 Yoga, then, was used as one means to control womens bodies via the promise of health and the discipline of yoga, as a practice 54R. Marie Griffith, Born Again Bodies (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004), 249. 55Susan Bordo, The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity, in Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory ed. Katie Conboy, Nadia Medina and Sarah Stanbury (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1997), 91. 56Bordo, The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity, 91. 129

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beneficial to women, was fueled by growi ng market forces. Al ong with better health and a better body, there was also the promise of an additional experience of the mystical or foreig f bodily ds in ely as for ekananda first introduced this practice to many upperclass n. All of the yogis of this chapter used yoga to blend the domestic concerns o heath with a desire for a foreign or myst ical experience, which may have been especially appealing to women wishing to po ssess an experience that took them just slightly out of their ordinary lives, if only fo r a moment in their ev eryday lives. Further, because of yogas foreignness it may have been as perceived as more appropriate for women because foreignness and the exotic are often constructed as feminine. In the colonial and post-colonial era, foreign men ar e often feminized as a means to strip them of power, thus the activities that they bri ng over to the masculine west (such as yoga) are immediately placed into a feminine categor y, and yoga, in particular, then stan contrast to more masculine and American activities su ch as body building. This becomes messy because yoga was seen as seductive to females, thus not complet emasculated as a practice. Yoga was used as a means to help athletes (male and female), but overall the practice was target ed to women, I think, because it was more accepted and thus easier for a woman to partici pate in a subaltern space than it w a man. It was also a desirable practice for upper class, Euro -American women to participate in, because they could get fit wit h the practice and still participate in the consumption of something exotic, timeless, foreign and mystical (the elements that attracted many women when Viv Euro-American women). 130

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At this point in the history, yoga was no longer a male-centered practice th devoted their whole lives too by going off to an ashram in the middle of the woods, but rather a practice geared mainly to women who could do it with a bit of practice everyday. Even the ashram life of 3HO invo lved participation in domestic and economi life. A key part of translating yoga into the realm of the domes tic was to market its health benefits something that yogis from Vive kananda to Satchidananda attempted to do. For scholar Amanda Porterfield, the link between religion and health is a historical one that is emblematic of Americas attraction to the pragmatic, the tech nical, the scientific and the effective. She writes that, Many Americans have worked systematically to bring God down to earth and to build practical knowle dge about how to tap into the divine an make it work for human well-being. at one c d many ga ore open to meth nce of 57 This is exactly how the various actors in this and previous chapters have translated yoga; while they all might not be American by birth, the majority of them catered to American audiences, and stumbled upon the value Americans placed on pragmatism, health and effectiveness. While the practice of yo might have started out as practice in t he U.S. on the fringe and within the counterculture, that it was also a practice that did not take all day, yet was healthy and did effectively improve the body made event ually yoga appealing in the mainstream. Porterfield explains that as the spirituality movement became less counter-cultural and more mainstream the connection between religion and health became m ods of scientific investigation that did not presuppose the independent existe God, the anima, or any other object of religion or psychological belief.58 57Amanda Porterfield, The Transformation of American Religion: The Story of Late Twentieth Century Awakening (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001), 195. 58Porterfield, The Transformation of American Religion 198. 131

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It is this shift that makes it easier fo r practitioners to participate in yoga for pragmatic rather than m ystical reasons. Yet, at the same time, the mystical or spiritual was not completely translated out of yoga, which makes for some fuzzy lines when attempting to decide whether yoga is a religi ous or a secular practice. Perhaps this fuzziness is why so many yogis prefer to explain yoga as an interfaith practice: it is pragmatic means of retaining some of mystical while making it a possibility for all to participate. The question of whether yoga is religious or not is one that continues to linger as practice becomes more pervasi ve, visible and ingrained in the American landscape of physical and spiritual health. These questions surrounding yoga only become more compl a icated as yoga starts to ent er into American prin t culture (mainly via the Yoga Journal ), and as non-yogi Indians start to immigrate to the U.S. The next chapter will examine these two phenomena and their effects on the practice and place of yoga in the U.S. 132

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Figure 4-1. Advertisement for Hittleman Yoga Class, from the New York Times 2 Jan 1969 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-2. Advertisement for Gim bels India Fortnight, from the New York Times, 17 May 1966 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-3. Advertisement for Hittleman classes, from the New York Times, 21 February 1966 (picture taken by author). 133

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Figure 4-4. Male office worker practi cing yoga, picture from Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1964), 163 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-5. Female office worker practi cing yoga, picture from Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1964), 168-169 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-6. Iyengar demonstrating Salabhasana picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Schocken Bo oks, 1966), 100 (picture taken by author). 134

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135 Figure 4-7. Iyengar demonstrating Adho Mukha Svanasana picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1966), 110 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-8. Iyengar demonstrating Pindasana in Sirasana picture from B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY: Scho cken Books, 1966), 205 (picture taken by author). Figure 4-9. Jois grandson demonstrating Navasana picture from K. Pattabhi Jois, Yoga Mala trans. Eddie Stern (New York, NY: North Point Press, 1999), 82 (picture taken by author).

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CHAPTER 5 COMMUNALIZING YOGA With this first issue of the Yoga Journal we are concerned with both an end and a beginning. We have complete, as it were a, a small circle which reached out with The Word to a select few -now we are intent on expanding our circle and hopefully our consciousness, by creating a broad-spectrum Yoga Journal As the journal grows, it will provide a forum for communication among yoga teachers and students. It will serve as an information clearinghouse on current yoga-related activities. And it will present a variety of good qu ality articles -articles of popular appeal as well as serious treatments of speciali zed areas. Out intention is to bring you material that combines the essenc e of classical yoga, with the latest understandings of modern science.1 In 1975, the California Yoga Teachers Associ ation (CYTA) decided to expand their local newsletter, The Word into a national magazine, the Yoga Journal Their first issue was ten pages and reached 300 people. As stated above, their goal was to cover the current world of yoga, and in the process of doing so th ey have become the premier national and global yoga magazine. While the Yoga Journal was starting out, Indians from urban India were starting to legally immi grate and work in the U.S. To reach this growing population, Gopal Raju started India Abroad in 1970. This newspaper served the new population and covered issues that were important to the young community. This chapter will look closely at the Yoga Journal and how it has changed over the past 34 years. The Yoga Journal was essential in communalizing yoga by making it more visible on the American cult ural landscape. From the beginning their cover, article and advertisement choices fit together to create a habitus a community of yoga practitioners with a set of distinct values, and as yoga has become more popular the editors of the Yoga Journal expand to serve as many people as possible. This chapter will also examine how India Abroad covered the topic of yoga over the past 39 1William Staniger, Editorial, Yoga Journal May 1975, 1. 136

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years and what that reveals about the changing role of yoga in the Indo-American. This changing coverage illustrates how yoga went from being a footnot e in Indo-American life, to an integral part of Indian and Hindu identity in the U.S. Finally, Swami Ramdev will be profiled to provide an example of how yoga is becoming more popular with Indians all over the world. While Ramdev is similar to other yoga gurus in that he does not exclude other religions from practicing his brand of yoga, he does not shy away from the Hindu label, and he caters specifica lly to Indo-Americans by appealing to the communitys value of science and medicine. He is one means by which some Hindu Indo-American are de-communalize yoga and reca st it as an essential part of modern Hindu practice. The Yoga Journal and the Creation of a Habitus The CYTA started in 1973, and created one of the first yoga teacher training programs. Their first newsletter, The Word served this community as any newsletter would: it updated members of various events and reported on the state of the community. With the start of the Yoga Journal in 1975, the CYTA embarked on a different journey; that is to cater to people beyond the yoga teaching community and to educate the American public about yoga. Yoga Journal started out as a black and white, ten page circular with only CYTA adverts; now the yoga journal is a colorful, glossy magazine with an entire secti on devoted to just advertisements. This magazine currently reaches about one million people and produces 8 issues per year. The Yoga Journal does provide a lot of information for anyone remotely interested in yoga. Every year they provide lists of yoga teachers, studios, retreats and conferences. Looking at the Yoga Journal there is much evidence to show the process of how yoga became a lifestyle, and how yoga became divorced or separated from religion. Combined, the 137

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covers, the articles and advertisements, cast yoga a physical and spiritual practice, one that is separate from Hinduism, but from India. They cover a bevy of topics relating to yoga and spiritual practices in various relig ious traditions. Further from the beginning the Yoga Journal has been a vehicle for the prom otion and creation of many yoga products, which have always ranged from the useful to (some mi ght say) the ridiculous they are an advertising haven for yoga and y oga-related products. In the next three sections, the changes in Yoga Journal covers, the types of arti cles and the varieties of advertisements will be explored. Covers The Yoga Journal covers have changed greatly over the years. For the first 25 years, the covers were quite eclectic, howev er, for the past nine years, the covers have almost exclusively been of fit yoga practitioner s (mainly women) in a yoga or meditative posture. Twelve covers from the past 34 years of the Yoga Journal have been chosen to illustrate the changes that the yoga journal has experienced from the first issue to the present day. The first Yoga Journal cover was of a woman in a leotard in what is commonly known as a triangle pose (see Figure 5-1) This black and white cover was only distributed to 300 people, but ironically is cl osest to the type of covers that have dominated the last 9 year s. It is a very simple cover, but the choice to put a yoga pose on the cover is indicative of the type of y oga that the CYTA endorsed one focused on the physical asanas, rather than the meditative pranayamas. The second and third Yoga Journal covers, from the summer of 1977, are in color and show how the editors of this magazi ne inherited from Thor eau, Vivekananda and others a predisposition to essentialize diffe rence between the east and west (see 138

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Figures 5-2 & 5-3). The Yoga Journal cover from May/June 1977 is a view from a temple of a river in India. The cover makes reference to Mother India and promises to cover Indian dance and cooking. The Yoga Journal cover from July/August 1977 is of a man doing a handstand with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. The headline reads, East Meets West and promises to cover Yogas Western Applications, and these include therapy, hea ling and prisoner rehabilitation. These two covers demonstrate that even 100 years after Thor eau and Emerson, Amer icans still held the view that the East is mystical, while the West is practical. The Americanization of Yoga is the subject of the next Yoga Journal cover from December 1981, and is of a f ootball player doing a yoga stretch (see Figure 5-4). The Yoga Journal has consistently been concerned with how yoga integrates into the everyday lives of their readers. The Marc h/April 1999 cover shows a woman in a suit practicing yoga at work (see Figure 5-11). For the Yoga Journal yoga is not something that is apart from daily life, not does one hav e to give up anything in order to practice yoga (there is no need for a sanyasi or celibate lifestyle). Rather, the Yoga Journal offers the ways and means for yoga to be a part of everyday, American life. The fifth and sixth Yoga Journal covers, from February 1983 and May/June 1994 are of couples (see Figures 55 & 5-9), which further exempl ifies how yoga is a tool for everyday people with everyday concerns (healthy marriage/coup ledom). The February 1983 cover shows a Euro-American couple gazing into each others eyes, and the main headline reads Tantra Sex and Spirituality. The May/J une 1994 cover shows an East Asian American couple in a more intimate embrace, with the headline blazing, Sacred Sex Inside a Conscious Loving Workshop. What these covers show is the desire for 139

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the Yoga Journal to again showcase the practical applications of yoga beyond just its spiritual benefits yoga can hel p with sports, work and sex ( quintessential concerns of many Americans). The sixth Yoga Journal cover is from the volume that commemorates the 10th anniversary edition of the magazine (see Figure 56). It is of a man in a warrior pose, with the ocean in his background. Throughout it s history this magazine has been hyperaware of its uniqueness and its historical sign ificance. As the firs t yoga magazine in the U.S., it has done much to sell yoga to the American public and create forum/haven for yoga practitioners. While they have been reflective about this, they have not necessarily been critically reflective. Looking through the pages of the first years of the Yoga Journal it is apparent that the editors sought to stretch their articles beyond just yoga to cover social justice issues. The cover of the July/August 1987 issue is illustrative of this (left-leaning) ethos. It features two (gay) men, and the headline reads, Living with AIDS (see Figure 5-7). Covering AIDS is in line with a growing trend in the US between 1987 and 1990 there was an increase in media coverage of AIDS.2 In this issue they have an article about the benefits of yoga for the immune system, and showcase how AIDS survivors are living life despite having HIV/ AIDS. The cover from November/December 1999 is also illustrative of the j ournals dedication to the world out side the practice of yoga (see Figure 5-10). It is of a man meditating in the woods, and the headline for this issue (Earth Yoga A Practice for the Planet) is indicative of the Yoga Journal s constant commitment to environmental issues. 2Mollyann Brodie, et al., AIDS at 21: Media Coverage of the HIV Epidemic 1981-2002, Columbia Journalism Review March/April, 2004 (accessed 24 August 2009), available from http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/7023.cfm 140

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The Yoga Journal has also always had an interfaith outlook. Thus often they will have non-yoga (and non-Hindu) figures on their cover (i.e. the Dalai Lama or Yoruban priests). Their 10th anniversary cover, above the wa rrior pose and ocean, has a small inset picture of Shlomo Carlebach to advertise an article about Judaisms New Renaissance. The cover from September/October 1989 is of the Buddha as a psychologist (see Figure 5-8). The headline, IF BUDDHA HAD BEEN A SHRINK The Link Between Psychotherapy and Spirituality points to another trend of the present age that is the link between re ligion and/or spirituality and ones indi vidual therapeutic betterment and psyche. This is a current trend that Yoga Journal constantly participates in; thus while this magazine may set trends it al so is a part of the larger culture and fully participates in perpetuating the ascent of the individual. This is probably also why they are able to take such an interfaith approach, because they trust the individual to create their own spirituality by picking and choosing among the worlds various faiths. The final cover is of a woman doing a complicated headstand (s ee Figure 5-12). Starting in 2000, the covers started to al most exclusively feature fit women doing various (mostly complicated) asanas. The magazine was sold in 1998 to John Abbot and in 2000 he re-launched the magazine with a new Editor-In-Chief and a totally new design. It seems, however, that the cover change is not only due to a new owner, but also a change in the place of yoga in the la rger American culture. At the end of the twentieth century, yoga reached new heights of popularity, and for many new practitioners, yoga was a catch all means to get fit and find inner peace, and its practice was no longer exclusive to the liberal population in the U.S. Having covers with two gay 141

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men or a woman in a suit would probably not sell as easily as a scantily clad and fit woman in body conscious yoga pose. The twelve covers analyzed in this section show how the Yoga Journal has changed through the years, but t hey also show that this magazine has never been a one-note publication. They have gone beyond the subject of just the practice of yoga in ones everyday life, and ventured into the arena of social concern. They also show how the journal has dealt with yogas history and current incarnation and illustrate how the journal has attempted to catch readers in a myriad of ways (this was especially important during their early days). Their articles also reflect this eclectic sensibility. Articles The first couple issues of Yoga Journal in many ways, set the tone for the future of the journal. The very first issue had four articles and two feature spotlights. One of the features was on asanas. The particular asanas they chose to highlight for their first issue was the uttanasana and the padangusthasana both of which are variations of forward bends (see Figure 5-13). This first feat ure on asanas is drawn, but later as the magazine became more sophisticated, glossy photos replaced the drawings. For the most part, asanas were and are the focus of the Yoga Journal Every once in a while there will be an article that fo cuses exclusively on pranayama. In October 2006, Claudia Cummins wrote an article on the benefits of pranayama. Her article, Just Breathe explains that pranayama is different from simple meditation and concentrating on ones breathe, in that it emphasizes changing the way we breathe, but warns that pranayama is said to require more skill and attentiveness than even the most 142

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demanding asana.3 Focus on asanas (and sometime s pranayama) points to the continued focus on practice that the Yoga Journal had from the start. Since the 2000 redesign of the journal, practice has an entire section (thus a slew of articles) dedicated to the topic at the end of t he day, yoga is something meant to be physically done, and the Yoga Journal editors have been keen on stressing practice throughout their history. The second feature of the first issue of Yoga Journal was to profile a yoga teacher (Naomi Elliot) they explained who she was, where she was born (New Zealand) and where she teaches yoga. Featuring an asana and a practitioner of yoga (teacher, but later also students) became a regular staple in the Yoga Journal and this type of profiling made its way into feature ar ticle. For example, in their 10th anniversary commemorative edition, the Yoga Journal reporter, Richard Leviton, profiled six yoga teachers across the U.S in his article, Fro m Sea to Shining Sea. Leviton focused on how the yoga teachers were introduced to y oga, where they are located, and what school of yoga or technique they adhere to and teach; the point of the article in implicit terms, however, was to show yoga was becoming American, because it was being domesticated by (Euro) Americans. In a way, profiling everyday Americans was one way that the Yoga Journal made yoga more accessible. The articles of the Yoga Journal also help make yoga more accessible and useable. Two of the four articl es in the first issue of the Yoga Journal were on yoga and health. One was on Yoga, Diet and Sensitivity, which was on how to tailor ones diet to be lighter, and the other, called, Yoga, the Heart and Breath explains how inverted asanas and certain pranayamas can help with better blood flow. Another one of the first issues of the Yoga Journal covered the ways in which yoga could help the endocrine 3Claudia Cummins, Just Breathe, The Yoga Journal October 2006, 115. 143

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system. One of the ways that yoga becam e more popular in the US was when Americans discovered it s health benefits and the Yoga Journal seems to understand that, and thus health and healthiness has been a constant fixture in the magazine through the years. After the Yoga Journal was re-designed in 2000, Health gained a whole section heading, thus every issue has between two and five articles on health. This is most fitting given that the very fi rst issue had two articles on this subject. The other two articles in the first issue of the Yoga Journal covered the self, spiritual growth and psychological understandi ng. Hatha Yoga as Meditation by Judith Lasater explains how the practice of Iy engar yoga quickly teaches one humility, which leads to spiritual-growth and greater self-awareness. Self and Self-Acceptance by Travers Elliot looks at how the self is conceived of in the west and the east. He writes, The self in the West is usually presented as a bio-social animal in the process of becoming. The Self in the East is realized to be the spirit ual essence that is one with Ultimate Reality.4 Conceptualizing the west as intrinsi cally different from the east and romanticizing and essentializing the east is a continuing trend in the history of yoga in the U.S. (starting with the Transcendentalists), and one that continued and continues to pop up in the pages of Yoga Journal In particular and for obvious reasons, India is often profiled in the Yoga Journal Whether it is giving advice to spiritual tourists, informing them on exotic Hindu pilgrimages, profiling Kali and explaining wh y shes the perfect goddess for the West, probing into the latest medical research on yoga in India or explaining Patanjali, the Yoga Journal turns to India as material for many of their articl es. India and by extension, Hinduism, is held as different and apart from the U.S. (this may explain why there are 4Travers Elliot, Self and Self-Acceptance, Yoga Journal, March/April 1975, 10. 144

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rarely/never Indo-Americans in the magazine). In one article (perhaps my favorite), India and the U.S. are actually cast as similar. In Two Epic Tales: The Ramayana and Star Wars are compared by Ram ana Das: Luke, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Obi-wan Kenobi are likened to Rama, Laksman, Sita, Ravan, Hanuman and Visisth (see Figure 5-14). Das writes, the two adventures go a long way to showing that there are stories that surface in the collective c onsciousness again and again in history.5 While Das is clearly borrowing from Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell and essentializing the other way is also problem atic, he is unique in that he is looking for similarities. Beyond Hinduism, many other re ligions are profiled in the Yoga Journal In one of their early issues, Sufism was profiled. Frequently Judaism (e ither alone or in connection to yoga) is also a popular subject. One of their most interesting articles A Non-Indians Guide to Native American Spir ituality, explores issues surrounding white appropriation of Native American traditions, but then goes on to provide a how-to-guide to getting Native American medicine men to teach interested parties (the readers being mainly Euro-American). Another telling arti cle looks at how practitioners of Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam integrate yoga in to their lives. All the yoga practitioners that they profile are able to do this becaus e they do not consider yoga to be a religion, but rather a technique that helps anybody do their own religion better.6 The author holds that there is a difference between spirituality and religion, and explains that spirituality has to do with ones interior lif e, the ever-evolving un derstanding of ones 5Ramana Das, Two Epic Tales: The Ramayana and Star Wars, Yoga Journal November/December 1977, 38. 6Alan Reder, Reconcilable Differences, Yoga Journal March/April 2001, 84. 145

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self and ones place in the cosmos.7 In contrast, religion can be seen as spiritualitys external counterpart, the organiza tional structure we give to out individual and collective spiritual processes: the rituals, doctri nes, prayers, chants and ceremonies, and the congregations that come together to share them.8 Drawing a line between religion and spirituality also allows people to get ar ound the modern conundrum of practicing two religions, and if yoga is spiritual, then it can easily be molded and fit into the non-Hindu religious lives of practitioners. This is ak in to the cafeteria tray model for New Age spirituality one that borrows desirable elements freely from a variety of traditions. Beyond the self, the Yoga Journal has always tried to address social justice issues that affect society at large. As mentioned previously, the Yoga Journal addressed AIDS and has consistently urged their readers to l ead an environmentally sound lifestyle. In a most interesting article, U.S. Energy Policy, Ike Lasater argues that the yoga community should concern themselves with secular issues of importance and speak out against nuclear power.9 In an accompanying article, Sandy Newhouse explains how the Ganges River is at risk from plutonium pollution du e to a nuke that the CIA lost/abandoned in the Himalayas in the 1960s. Concern for the world around might not be so apparent in the more recent issues of the Yoga Journal but this was an important part of their early history. Finally, every 10 years or so, the Yoga Journal offers articles on the history of yoga in the U.S. These retrospectives are glossy, happy histories that start with the Transcendentalists and Vivekananda and end in the pres ent day with Iyengar or Satchidananda (much like this dissertation) What are missing are the scandals and the 7Reder, Reconcilable Differences, 83. 8Reder, Reconcilable Differences, 83. 9Ike Lasater, U.S. Energy Policy, Yoga Journal January 1979, 29. 146

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bad xenophobic press. Yoga is seen as a gift fr om India that happily translated into the context of the U.S. Interesti ngly, Atkinson, in their telling, is a stressed-out lawyer who retreated to India, studied with a guru nam ed Baba Bharati, then returned as Swami Brahamcharaka.10 And there is mention of the Ber nards (not exactly of Oom), and the start of the yoga schoo l in Nyack is attributed to P andit Acharya, not Pierre Bernard.11 These histories, beyond an attempt to give historical roots to the history-dodging rhizome, are presented as unproblematic an d quite rosy. While this should not be surprising (it is a magazine), it is indicative of a larger trend a total lack of critical reflectiveness as a magazine that contributes to the commodificati on of something hey hold relatively sacred. Advertisements One definite arena in which the Yoga Journal has contributed to the commodification of yoga is through their advertising. This was not their original intent, rather it seems like it just sp iraled out of control. Ike Lasat er was the first CYTA member in charge of advertising. He told me that from the beginning he w anted to branch out beyond just yoga products.12 This was quite apparent, for in the second issue of the Yoga Journal he had solicited an ad from an organic ve getarian restaurant in the Bay Area. Soon he was getting ad revenue from Birkenstock and Indian import stores that sold yoga clothes directly from India (see Figure 5-15). There were advertisements for some silly things, like a yoga watch, where the minute and hour hands did poses (see Figure 5-16), and of course there were advertisements fo r Sexual Energy Seminars based on Tantra, because sex sells (see Figure 5-17). 10Richard Leviton, How the Swam is Came to the States, Yoga Journal, March/April 1990, 44. 11I have not been able to verify not fully disprove the existence of Acharya. 12Personal Communication/Conversation. 26 August, 2008. 147

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Beyond the somewhat silly and absurd, however, the advertising reflected the desires and values of a community. One ear ly page of advertising is actually quite indicative of this (see Figur e 5-18). On this page there are seven advertisements. The five small ones were for a yoga seminar a magazine on homeopat hy, and a magazine on vegetarianism, natural birth control and astr ology services. The two big adverts were for travel to India (one from a travel agency and the other from Ai r India, which reads We have flights leaving for another world, t hus further adding to the construction of east/west as different). This particular advert page from the first year of the Yoga Journal points to the interests th at the readers have (and w ould gain from seeing the adverts). Only one of the seven directly relates to yoga, all the rest are tangential what is being formed through advertising is a community that in many ways stretches beyond yoga. Another example of creating a community through advertising is a section that was created in the mid-1990s call ed Career Connection (see Figur es 5-19 & 5-20). In this section, training schools could advertise their course for potential students to see. There are a couple advertising yoga teacher training, but the majority of these training schools were for the healing arts: massage, ayurveda, acupuncture and oriental medicine. Also advertised are masters and doctoral programs for degrees in education/health/music, transpersonal psychology and Buddhism. Degrees in Feng Shui (interior design) and natural gourmet cooking are among some of t he more unique opportunities presented in Career Connection. In many ways the variet y of these ads point to the interfaith outlook that the Yoga Journal has had from its begi nning. What is interesting in this section is what is missing there are no ads for technical/mechanical work or for 148

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Christianity, Judaism or Islam (i.e. Divinity School). All these ads are for alternative careers, one that might appeal to the sort of people that do y oga and assumes that one that does yoga would not go to a seminary. The Yoga Journal also provides ad space for vacations (beyond India) that might appeal to the sort of people that do yoga (see Fi gure 5-21). In this particular section all the holidays are for Mexico, and they adver tise vegetarian food, various outdoor activities, massages, meditation, alternativ e therapies, ayurveda a nd of course yoga. The activities they are offering mirror t he other advertisement s. In addition the Yoga Journal advertises products that appeal to t he ethics of its readers. As mentioned before, this magazine pays much attention to the care of the earth, and thus attracts products that claim to be eco-friendly (see Fi gure 5-22). One must assume that at some point yoga practitioners must have to clean their yoga pants, and why not clean them with Ecos an eco-friendly laundry detergent. Anot her product that may seem tangential on the surface, but that shows up in the Yoga Journal is jewelry. Often this is beaded necklaces and bracelets, but recently, C hopard, a high-end designer jeweler decided advertise their gold and platinum, diamond om necklaces (see Figure 5-23). Underneath the necklaces is a quote from Deepak Chopra that explains what om means. Given that this ad was recently published in 2005, it indicates that perhaps yoga practitioners are becoming more affluent, or that y oga is appealing to a more affluent audience because it has become trendier in the last decade. Beyond products that may appeal to the yoga practitioner, the Yoga Journal also advertises products that help the yoga enthusi ast practice yoga. For example, one can buy Yoga-Paws, which attach to the hands and feet and serve as a yoga mat for the 149

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practitioner who is traveling (s ee Figure 5-24). The journal also has articles or features on yoga products, which serve as free adver tisements. In early issues of the Yoga Journal, there were many advertisements for Iyengar s various yoga props. In particular, his back bender, which cost several hundred dollars, was often featured. In the November/December 1987 issue, Ruth Steiger wrote an article, Take-It-Easy Yoga, which extolled the virtues of Iyengars ba ck bender (see Figure 5-25). Starting in the late-1990s, the Yoga Journal started to have little features on various trends in yoga. This space was also used to taut certai n products. For example, one could buy a yoga mat with the 100 poses needed for Ashtanga Yoga printed on the mat (see Figure 526). There are many adve rtisements in any given Yoga Journal for yoga clothes, but they also use article space to recomm end one product (OMGirl Plush Pants) over others (see Figure 5-27). While this may co me across as somewhat dishonest, it is standard practice in the majori ty of magazines today. The Yoga Journal needs to advertise advertising is what keeps most p ublications afloat. This is probably why they venture beyond being a venue for just yoga and yoga-related products. In order to be successful, they have to create and lifestyle that readers can ident ify with; in other words they have to construct a habitus and make it seem like it is organic and natural. The Yoga Habitus In the Logic of Practice Pierre Bordieu writes, The habitus a product of history, produces individual and collective practices more history in accordance with the schemes generated by history. It ensures the active pr esence of past experiences, which deposited in each organism in the fo rms of schemes of perception, thought and action, tend to guarantee the correctness of practices and 150

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their constancy over time, more reli ably than all formal rules and explicit norms.13 What he is describing is a community (its norms, practices, symbols and values), and how these community ideals are reinforc ed through the creation of an accompanying history. The building of a habitus is also a means of controlling norms, practices, symbols and values; thus creating a habitus around the practice of yoga is one means of attempting to root or stab ilize the rhizome that is yoga. Looking back over the covers, articles and advertis ements of 39 years of the Yoga Journal it was bit like looking into how the norms, practices, symbols and values of a community of yoga practitioners in the U.S. was formulated and sustained. I would not go so far as to argue that the Yoga Journal single-handedly created this habitus but they did organize the habitus by providing a print forum for the community. Yoga may have been practiced in the U.S. for over eight decades, but the Yoga Journal was the first central forum for yoga practitioners to connect and learn about each other across the country. It provided information beyond the actual practice of yoga, but al so what to associate with yoga and how to live in the world as a practitioner of yoga. The Yoga Journal does not just present yoga as a form of exercise or spiritual practice, but as lifestyle that is embedded into a larger communal experience. Organizing the habitus around the practice of yoga, in many ways, is what accounts for its su ccess, and this success is why there are so many copycat yoga magazines ( breath ascent Yoga Monthly Magazine Yoga + Joyful Living along with a bevy of local yoga magazines t hat cater to particular cities that have thriving yoga communities). While they all are slightly different they all follow the formula of the Yoga Journal : they provide information on how to practice yoga and what 13Pierre Bordieu, The Logic Of Practice trans. Richard Nice (Stanfor d, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990), 54. 151

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products would signify membership in the community. Another other key is that the Yoga Journal, from the beginning, provided histories of yoga and yoga in the U.S. for readers to identify with, and quite adeptly, the Yoga Journal reminds readers of this history. Often when scholars look at the turn away from mainline, denominational Christianity towards alternative religions, t hey stress that these i ndividuals are seeking the therapeutic and the value of the individu al is stressed. Robert Bellah notes that religious individualism is a running theme throughout American re ligious history, starting with Roger Williams and Thomas Jefferson through the contempor ary period. Bellah warns, however, that religious individualis m without community is merely loneliness.14 Part of what the Yoga Journal seems to be trying to do ( perhaps not intentionally) is combat possible loneliness by creating a habitus This habitus however, like all communities, is subject to ma rket forces and cultural trends, which is apparent looking at the past 34 years of the Yoga Journal covers, articles and advertisements. The habitus that the Yoga Journal helped to create, not only gives information on how to practice yoga and which products are best for th is but they also provide a series of values for the community to follow. First, looking at the covers, advertisem ents and articles, one value is healing of self by creating ones own spiritual path, wh ich fits Bellahs observation concerning the rise of therapy as a facet of modern American relig ious life. Another value that emerges from the data is that one who practices y oga should have knowledge of and concern for the health of the earth this adds anot her dimension of cohesion to this habitus 14Robert Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart (Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press, 1985), 248. 152

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beyond the practice of yoga, which helps ensure its success. This habitus also has to position itself in the world, and they firmly situate themselves as Westerners who have a deep interest and immense appreciation in the east. The Yoga Journal community follows the east/west divisional lines draw n by the Transcendentalists, Theosophists, Vivekananda and Yogananada; they reaffirm th is division in their covers, articles and adverts by continuing to taut an image of India as exotic, es oteric and innatel y spiritual, which decrying the materiality of their location in the west. Finally, like the Theosophists, Vivekananda, Yo gananda and other yogis they promote a multi-religious platform by asserting that yoga is not Hi ndu and can be practiced by anyone (despite their faith). Further, men and women starte d this magazine, but over the years, the editors have geared the magazine more and more toward s women. Part of th is means they are following their market research that shows that 75% of yoga pr actitioners are women, which helps explains why in the last ten years the co vers feature fit women doing difficult asanas and why many of the advertisem ents (jewelry, clothes, bags) are targeted to women.15 The Yoga Journal may help attract women to the practice of yoga, but they are not the sole r eason that this practice attr acts more women rather the Yoga Journal is simply responding to the needs of the habitus that they helped organize. The question is, why are women practicing yoga more in the U.S. then men what about this habitus appeals more to women? Perhaps this goes back to the issue of health and yogas role in the quest for the perfect body that was discussed in the last chapter. And it could also be that women, in general, ar e more targeted by the market than men. Finally, despite all its attempts to comm unalize yoga and make it part of American 15Yoga Journal, Yoga in America Market Study Press Release 153

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public property, the foreign aspect of yoga co uld not be fully translated away. Perhaps this might take some more time, but yogas foreignness is not yet forgotten, meaning it is still easier for women to participate in this practice, thus they comprise the majority of the Yoga Journal readership. Any community, however, is not only def ined by who is within the boundaries of the community, but also who is outside t he communal lines. While some may contend that yoga is just a part of larger Euro-American, urban, middle-class habitus I have argued that the Yoga Journal has contributed to the process of building a habitus around the practice of y oga; this yoga-centric habitus may be partially embedded in a the aforementioned habitus but also enjoys autonomy for t he practice of yoga in the U.S. is not relegated to Euro-American, urban or even middle-class Americans. While the majority of practitioners depicted or profiled in Yoga Journal covers are EuroAmericans, there is the occasional East As ian-American, African-American or Native American found with the pages of the Yoga Journal What is most interesting is that Indo-Americans are one group left out by this habitus Looking at the covers, articles and advertisements of the Yoga Journal Indo-Americans are nev er really depicted, written about or marketed to; the only Indians that appear in the magazine are yogis from India that are being profiled. Though there does not seem to be any way of measuring this, it would be interesting to s ee how many of the new Indian immigrants to the U.S. have historica lly subscribed to the Yoga Journal which started around the same time that Indians start ed to immigrate consistently. Despite this exclusion, IndoAmericans (particularly Hindus) have found ways to include themselves in the story of yoga in the U.S., partially as a reaction to the attempt to communalize yoga outside the 154

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Hindu tradition, and also as a reaction to t he forces of colonialism that previously suppressed their ability to control the na rrative histories of their traditions. Yoga and New Indo-American Community In 1965, the U.S. passed a new immigr ation act that opened the door for those Asian immigrants that were pr ofessionals (with higher degrees or in pursuit of one). With the presence of the Yoga Journal and so many schools of yoga practice in the U.S., one might imagine that the new Indian immigrant popul ation might immediately embrace the practice of yoga. The majori ty of these immigrant s were urban, educated and middle-class, thus many of them had already been expos ed to the philosophies of Vivekananda and the popularizati on of the physical practice of modern yoga (via yogis like Kuvalayananda and Krishnama charya). Thus when they came to the U.S., the presence of yoga was not entir ely unfamiliar and strange. Yet, taking a closer look at these immi grants early devotional practices and the stories about religion covered by India Abroad it does not seem that yoga was first practice embraced by this new community. T hey brought with them their more material and ethnic practices pujas, fasts, dances and thus it was not too long after their arrival that Hindu temples started to dot the American landsc ape and sacralize the States as sacred Hindu ground. This type of Hinduism, with its elaborate rituals, material embodiments of divinity and sectarian divisions stood in stark contrast to the austere, simple and ecumenical Hinduism that Vivekananda, Yogananda and Iyengar introduced to the US. It was not until the 1990s that new Hindu immigrants and India Abroad started to occupy and embrace the spac e carved out for Hinduism by various Gurus and their American followers 155

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India Abroad started as weekly paper in 197 0 designed to serve the growing Indian community in the U.S. (mainly East Coast Indo-American immigrants), and quickly became respected for covering t he South Asian subc ontinent with an even hand. Looking through the st acks from years 1972-1992, yoga was barely mentioned.16 In passing there were a few articles about yogi s walking over hot coal or about research involving measuring how rats benefited from yoga, but, surprisingly, yoga was not covered extensively at all. In their week ly announcement section in the March 31, 1978 issue, there was a notice about a talk sponsored by the Haverford Philosophy Department by Swami Kriyananda from the Self-Realization Fe llowship; other than this, there was little to be found about yoga events or classes. Thus at the very same time that yoga seemed to be becoming more and mo re public (especially via the venue of the Yoga Journal ), India Abroad which catered to a ma inly Hindu Indo-American population barely broac hed the subject. Most of the announcements in these sect ions through the first years of the India Abroad s publication were for Bollywood films and Hindu temple services. In this same section, sometimes they provided reader s with religious cal endars. Depending on season, they had an Indian Calendar with Hindu, Christian, Sikh and Muslim Holidays (see Figure 5-28). Sometimes th ey also had a Hindu Calendar, with explanations of the holidays being celebrated and in which part of India the holiday is usually celebrate (see Figure 5-29). This shows a certain amount of attentiveness to their readers on the part of India Abroad First, they realized that t he population they catered to was not exclusively Hindu, and they were sensitive to the fact that the Hindus that did immigrate to the U.S. were not all from the same region. 16The earliest year I was able to find of India Abroad 1972. 156

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This sensitivity continued when they their first feature about Dival i. In October of 1978, in time for the holiday, they had a Divali Supplement. They described the different ways the Divali is celebrated in different part of India and the varying mythology behind the popular holiday. The article, How To Set Up a Divali Party, the author gives suggestions for decorating (sand and rice designs, candles or Christmas lights), for fun (games, but no fireworks because they are dangerous), and for eating. The author even has three sample menus with recipes for di nner, brunch or high tea. This may have been a welcome guide for new immigrants who had to learn to adapt their traditions to a new context. The presence of this article is telling for it shows what the new IndoAmerican community missed the most in t heir new country: holidays and celebrating, not yoga. Furthermore, while yogi missionar ies and the Yoga Journal were celebrating yoga as Indias greatest gift, and India Abroad author was declaring palmistry as Indias best export. In the 1974 article by Manmohan, P almistry, Indias Gift to the World, palmistry is explained and exalted as vedic sci ence brought west by Gypsies, that holds the answers to many questions about the per sonality and destiny of individuals. Even the advertisements in India Abroad were completely different from the advertisements in the Yoga Journal. India Abroad s ad space was sold to Indian restaurants, gold jewelers, astrologers, sa ri shops, appliance shops and sweet shops (see Figure 5-30). What they did have in common were adver tisements for travel to India, however, these ads did not present India as a mystical place, but rather as home and place to see palaces (see Figure 5-31). Starting in the mid-90s, India Abroad started to cover yoga more often, with an article here or there. In December 2001, India Abroad started to feature a column by 157

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Shameem Akhtar about how to integr ate yoga into ones everyday life.17 This regular column demonstrated various yoga as anas and pranayamas, explained the health benefits of yoga and provided th e reader with food recipes to compliment the yogic practice. Over the last eight years, Akthar s column is published every other to every third week. Given that India Abroad is a newspaper that is to cover all subjects of importance to the I ndo-American community, this amount of coverage given to the practice of yoga (not just co vering yoga stories), is quite im pressive. It seems that in the last ten to fifteen years more Indo-Americans (especially Hindus) are turning to yoga. One sign of this is that many Hindu temple s in the U.S. have star ted to offer yoga. In India, yoga is practiced in ashrams ( and now at gyms), whereas temples are for devotional services. Given that many temples in the U.S. serve as devotional arenas as well as community centers, there is s pace for language classes, dances classes, Bal Vihar and yoga classes. These classes tend to be free or cheaper than the yoga classes taught at trendy yoga studios. Unlik e studio yoga, however, Hindu temple yoga is not seen as an aid to religious practice or as a way to just get fit, but rather as a part of Hindu traditions. Often time at these cl asses there will be chanting beyond a simple om or namaste and poses will be connected to specific Hindu gods or ideas/philosophies. Whereas this might happen in some secular yoga studios in that many of them still retain the use of Sanskrit name for the various asanas there is not guarantee that a majority of these practitioners are Hindu or would understand certain references to Shiva or Atman At a Hindu temple, it more likely that the majority of 17From her name Shameem Akhtar could be either Mu slim or Parsi, showing that even in the IndoAmerican community, not all yoga practitioners are Hindu. 158

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participants in a yoga class would be Hindu, and thus it would make more sense to reinforce practice with religious mythology and ideas. Swami Ramdev Another sign that more Hi ndu Indo-Americans are turning to yoga is the growing popularity of Swami Ramdev. Perhaps the most popular yoga guru today in India and around the world is Ramdev, but most likely, unlike the various students of Krishnamacharya, Satchidananda, Yogi Bh ajan, Yogananda or Vivekananda, one will not find him profiled in the Yoga Journal but India Abroad does cover him (especially his visits to the U.S.).18 Ramdev sells his brand of yog, pranayam and aasan not to Europeans or Euro-Americans, but to Indians around the world.19 Born Ramikishan Yamdev, it is rumored that he was paralyzed as a child, but that the practice of yoga (particularly pranayam ) cured him.20 Swami Shankar Dev founded the organization to which Ramdev belongs, the Divya Yog Mandir Trust in 1995, and this Trust is based on the Kripali Bagh Ashram, which was start ed in 1932 by Shankar Devs guru, Swami Kripali Dev. While Ramdev and his gurus extol the virtues of yog as scientific and medicinal like many of the other ninet eenth and twentieth century merc hants of yoga, what sets the teachings of the Divya Yog Mandir Trust apart from most yogas today is the main emphasis on pranayam Ramdev has developed a sequence of seven breathing exercises, which if practice properly not only has spiritual benefits, but also helps relieve 18In the last few years, the Yoga Journal has covered Ramdev in their blog, Yoga Buzz, but he has yet to show up in the pages of the actual magazine. 19Ramdev insists on yog vs. yoga, pranayam vs. pranayama and aasan vs. asana because he feels it is the proper Sanskrit way to transliterate and pronounce these words, thus in the section, when appropriate, Ramdevs spelling will be used. 20I have not been able to verify this. Also his birth year is in dispute from my research it seems it is sometime between 1953 and 1965. 159

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stress and cure a variety of diseases. In fact one of biggest goals of Ramdev and the Divya Yog Mandir Trust is to create a disease free world. Ramdev, like Hittleman, teaches his yog classes on television, which allows him to reach millions of people in India and around the world. He broadcasts on Zee TV every morning, a network that broadcasts in all the languages of India and is available for Indians all over the world via satellite television. Combined with the emphasis on pranayam this allows people of all ages, levels of health and nationality to participate in their classes. Ramdev does include aasan in his lessons, but these are clearly secondary to pranayam for while everyone can practice pranayam not everyone can perform aasan His trust also promotes the use and research of ayurvedic medicine. Sometimes, part of his shows include test imonials from his students on how they have been healed from practicing pr anayama, which helps student s feel connected to the participants they see on television and even gives them hope to carry on with the practice.21 His website claims, His Holiness Swami Ramdevji Maharaj is first, in the world health history, to use freely available Pran (Oxygen) as a medicine and in turn remains successful in treating thousands of grief stricken persons suffering from lethal diseases like Diabetes, H.B. P., Angina, Blockages in Arteries, Obesity, Asthma, Bronchitis, Leuc oderma, Depression, Parkinson, Insomnia, Migraine, Thyroid, Arthri tis, Cervical Spondal ities, Hepatitis, Chronic Renal Failure, C ancer, Cirrhosis of Liver, Gas, Constipation, Acidity etc. which are still a challenge in modern medical science.22 Such claims do attract controversy, and this was certainly the case in 2006 when he told health ministers in India that, Sex educ ation in schools need to be replaced by yoga educationThe government should stop polluti ng the minds of innocent young children 21These testimonials are reminiscent of the testimonials one can see on various Evangelical Christian shows where participants share their ex perience of being healed by the Holy Spirit. 22Diyva Yog Mandir, Pranayam With His Holiness Swami Ramdevji Maharaj 2002 (accessed 24 August 2009), available from http://www.divyayoga.com/main.htm 160

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with sex educationAIDS c annot be prevented by talkin g free sex and by using condoms.23 Despite this controversy, he is still very popular and has made several visits to the U.K. and the U.S. to teach yog classes to Indians living there. When he visited Texas in the summer of 2008, he blessed the land upon which his Indo-American followers will be building a $20 million dollar yoga and ayurveda research center. His camps and talks in the U.S. are mainly, if not exclusively, attended by Indo-Americans and some of his most ardent supporters in the U.S. are Indian doctors. When he was in Houston, he even held a special talk just for the areas Indo-American doctors, and many of the doctors who follow his brand of yog extol Ramdevs virtues In an article about Ramdevs visit in India Abroad an example was given of Dr. Dilip Sarkar, a vascular surgeon, who had to undergo triple bypass heart surgery even when he had low risk factors, no family history of heart di sease, diabetes or hypertension. He said after his heart surgery, I decided to quit surgical practice, went to India and attended Swamij i's camp in Haridwar [in Uttarakhand] and started doing the seven pr anayams. I do it every da y, and my cholesterol, which was 210, is today without any medication 127. When I had the coronary bypass, I was put on four medications beta blocker, aceinhibitor, statin and aspirin, but now after doing the pranayams daily, my blood pressure is 100 by 80 and my blood sugar is 80; everything else is normal. He was challenged by other ph ysicians who asked that if he had an option, whether he would have not done the bypass surgery but decided to only do the pranayams. He said what Ramdev was preaching was not against allopathy, but comp lementary. What I had was an acute coronary syndrome and at that time, we needed ac ute intervention. But after secondary prevention, that's w hat the pranayams are helping me and helping others, he said. Sarkar said that is why he had begun to propagate an integration of We stern medicine with Eastern.24 23Suchandana Gupta, Yoga Can Cure AIDS: Ramdev, The Times of India, 26 December, 2006. 24Aziz Haniffa. Swami Ramdev aims to trai n instructors to spread authentic yoga, India Abroad 8 August 2008. 161

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This statement by Sarkar about his recovery via Ramdev s sequence of pranayam is quite telling. Given the value that many I ndians place on the profession of medicine, Sarkar is talking/testifying from a position of power his action shows great faith in pranayam and in Ramdev. Sarkar is offeri ng a possibility, one t hat may be convincing enough for people to follow (at least try). Further, he also feels there is a difference between east and west and f eels that he can integrate t he two, like so many before him. It is curious as to why Ramdev appeals so much to Indo-Americans, but does not seem to garner too much attention among Euro-American yoga practitioners. It may be that his ardent nationalism is a turn-off. He also conducts many of his classes in Hindi. Mainly, he does not seem to appeal to Euro -Americans because he does not market to that particular group. Ram Dev is most in tentional about appealing to the Indo-Diaspora community: when he travels abroad he meet s with Indians. This makes him quite different than the many yoga gurus who have come before Ram Dev. Yoga Reclaimed? In a recent article, Lets Take Yoga Back, posted on the Hindu American Foundation blog, a young Hindu-American wom an, Sheetal Shah, laments about yoga taught in this country is devoid of the Hindu l abel. In particular, she is dismayed that the Yoga Journal avoids using the word Hindu while selling yoga, that there are no Hindus in her yoga classes, and that she could find many yoga teachers, but none that were explicitly Hindu.25 As the history of India Abroad shows, yoga was not an initial interest 25Sheetal Shah, Lets Take Yoga Back, Hindu American Foundation Blog 13 May 2009 (accessed 28 August 2009), available from http://www.hindu currents.com/articles/ 19969/lets-take-yogaback/ 162

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of the Hindu Indo-American community in the U.S. Rather the focus was on astrology, devotion, holidays and temple building. Yoga only became a permanent fixture in the weekly newspaper in the mid-1990s. Temples were never built as spaces for yoga; rather they were built and st ill are primarily devotional spaces While the initial practice of yoga by the Hindu Indo-Amer ican community was slow, in the past 15 years, it has become quite popular. Int ensified coverage by India Abroad classes in Hindu temples, and Ram Dev on Zee TV is a testament to this rising popularity. The question is, why the eventual acceptance of yoga as something to be practiced by the Indo-American community? Amartya Sen writes, The internal identities of Indians draw on different parts of Indias diverse traditions. The observational leani ng of Western approaches have had quite a major impact positively and negatively on what contributes to the Indian self-image that emerged in the colonial period and survives today. The relationship had several dialectical aspects, connected to the sensitivity admirations and dismissals from the cosmopolit an West as well as to the mechanics of co lonial confrontations.26 What Sen is suggesting is that one of the reasons that Indo-Americans are attempting to communalize yoga is because it was popul ar among Euro-Americans. In many ways one could say that IndoAmericans bought into the image of them as austere yogis. At the same time, all Indo-Americans (Hindu, Mus lim, Sikh, Christian, Jewish, Parsi, Jain, etc) hold onto their material and devotional pr actices. This accounts for the constant need to build particular houses of worshi p and the continued participation in the celebration of religious holidays. It seems th at yoga and the superstitious practices that early Hindu missionaries tried to h ide can exist in the same habitus It is not unreasonable to see that the Hindu self-image in India and U.S. has been heavily influenced by colonial forces, and thus the desire to reclaim yoga and other practices 26Amarya Sen, The Argumentative Indian (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005), 156. 163

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makes sense; there is a true genuine desire to connect with a pre-colonial past, of which yoga is but a sliver. While this is not hi storically possible (since the very practice of yoga has changed so much), the desire to re-territorialize or re-communalize the rhizomes, which have been deterritorialized by t he forces of capitalism (and in this case colonialism), is not unique to Hindus, but ra ther a condition of contemporary life in a capitalist world. This process of reclaiming yoga among Hindu Indo-Americans, in the first and second generations, however, is also intima tely connected with a project of defining Hinduism as a particularly exceptional religion. Yoga is one means by which Hindu Indo-Americans are seeking to reclaim, but al so re-imagine Hinduism. This is part of a larger dynamic. On the one hand there is a movement to historicize Hinduism and its mythology as something that historically happened. In other words, just as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have historical landmarks and figures, so does Hinduism. The bombing of the Babri Masjid in 1992 on the grounds that it was the actual birthplace of Rama is emblematic of this 20th century desire. On the other hand, there is an attempt to construct Hinduism as timeless and eternal (but still scientific), and the practices of classical dance, ayurv eda and yoga are the building blocks for this construction of a religiousness that is not bound by time or space. These dynamics are played out in all forms of Hinduisms, from the most liberal and to lerant to the most conservative and Hindu nationalist. The desire, to define Hindu ism as both historical and ti meless, is connected to the perceived and real lack of the c ontrol Hindus have historically had in defining their own religion. Attempting to reclaim yoga as a Hin du practice is a reaction to this lack of 164

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control over the defining of what Hinduism is which is tied up closely with the colonial experience. In many ways, what Hindus in the U.S. are doing today, is not too different from what Vivekananda and Yo gananda were doing years ago. They are trying to define their history and heritage on their own terms, a part from colonial and capitalist forces, however, at the same time this is near impossible because both t he early exporters of yoga and Hindu Indo-Americans are products of the colonial and capitalist systems. They are reacting to forces that, in part, created them, and thus c ould not and cannot escape from this particular dialectic. In other words, just as Vivekananda and Yogananda fell into the trap and propagated the co lonial constructions of east as intrinsically different from west, the rela tionship that Hindus today have with yoga is connected to the very market forces that have defined yoga as not Hindu. In many ways, the quest to reclaim yoga is partly a desi re created by the market, in that it helped make yoga (and India) popul ar and sought after. While the Hindu community in the U.S. tries to reclaim yoga, the question of ownership over yoga is raised. Does y oga belong to the territory of Hindu traditions? Does yoga belong to one particular community and does that community have the right to control who practices it and how? Ther e are some Hindus who would say yoga is Hindu, but since yoga has entered the capitalist marketplace, it can be bought (deterritorialized) and has been bought by m any. It is this dynamic between EuroAmerican yoga practitioners and Hindu immigrant s that shows part of the rhizomatic nature of yoga; that it c an accessed by different groups in different ways and for different purposes. The market amplifies malle able nature of the rh izome, such that every time one tries to root it, the more derivatives and tr anslations arise. In other 165

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words, every attempt to codify yoga results in more yogas emerging. In the next chapter some of these new derivatives and subsequ ent controversies/complications will be explored. 166

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Figure 5-1. First Yoga Journal cover March/April 1975 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-2. Yoga Journal cover May/June 1977 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-3. Yoga Journal cover July/August 1977 (picture taken by author). 167

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Figure 5-4. Yoga Journal cover December 1981 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-5. Yoga Journal cover February 1983 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-6. Yoga Journal cover March/April 1985 (picture taken by author). 168

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Figure 5-7. Yoga Journal cover July/August 1987 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-8. Yoga Journal cover September/October 1989 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-9. Yoga Journal cover May/June 1994 (picture taken by author). 169

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Figure 5-10. Yoga Journal cover November/December 1998 (p icture taken by author). Figure 5-11. Yoga Journal cover March/April 1999 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-12. Yoga Journal cover August 2005 (picture taken by author). 170

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Figure 5-13. Asana feature from first issue of Yoga Journal, from Jan Herhold, Yoga Asanas, May 1975, 4 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-14. Picture comparing characters from Ramayana and Star Wars from Ramana Das, Two Epic Tales: The Ramayana and Star Wars, Yoga Journal, November/December 1977, 38 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-15. Advertisement for Birkenstock and Yoga Clothes, from Yoga Journal July 1975, 25 (picture taken by author). 171

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Figure 5-16. Advertisement for The Yoga Watch, from Yoga Journal, November/December 1976, 26 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-17. Advertisement for Se xual Energy Seminars, from Yoga Journal September/October 1979, 24 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-18. Advertisement page with 7 adverts, from Yoga Journal May 1977, 72-73 (picture taken by author). 172

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Figure 5-19. Career Connection, from Yoga Journal January/February 1997, 133 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-20. Next page of Career Connection, from Yoga Journal January/February 1997, 134-135 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-21. Vacation advertisements from Yoga Journal, September/October 1997, 158 (picture taken by author). 173

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Figure 5-22. Ecos laundry det ergent advertisement, from Yoga Journal May/June 2004, 23 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-23. Chopard Om necklaces advertisement from the Yoga Journal December 2005, 5 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-24: Yoga Paws advertisement, from Yoga Journal, August 2006, 130 (picture taken by author). 174

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Figure 5-25: Advertisement ar ticle for Iyengar Backbench, from Ruth Steiger, Take-ItEasy Yoga, Yoga Journal November/December 1987, 68-69 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-26: Advertisement article for Ashtanga Yoga Mat, from Todd Jones, The Illustrated Mat, Yoga Journal March/April 1999, 21 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-27. Advertisement article for OMGirl Plush Yoga Pants, fr om Material World, Yoga Journal, May/June 2004, 22 (picture taken by author). 175

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Figure 5-28. Indian Calendar, from India Abroad 28 December 1973 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-29. Hindu Calendar, from India Abroad 5 October 1973 (picture taken by author). Figure 5-30. A variety of advertisements, from India Abroad 14 March 1980 (picture taken by author). 176

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177 Figure 5-31. Travel adverti sements to India, from India Abroad 5 October 1973 (picture taken by author).

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CHAPTER 6 COMPLICATING YOGA Yoga and the Devil: Issue for Georgia Town Officials in this northeastern Georgi a town have canc eled a governmentsponsored yoga class, bowing to pressu re from protesters who contend that yoga invites Devil worshipSome felt that they were under too much pressure,' Mayor Bill Harris said of t he commissioners. Philip Lawrence, a local chiropractor who has been leading the protests that he said included Baptists, Lutherans and Church of God members, asserted that people who relax their minds by performing yoga are opening the door to the Devil. The people who are signed up for the class are just walking into it like cattle to a slaughter, he said. Ha lf of yoga is a branch of Eastern mysticism, and it has str ong occult influences. Roger Terrell, the program director for the recreation departm ent, said yoga was added to class offerings because several people had requested it, and was to involve only simple stretching and relaxation techniques. We can't be promoting religion or anything, Mr. said. it's strictly for health reasons. Leonard Greenspoon, a Clemson University re ligion professor, said yoga had become a secularized form of exercise and relaxation. There's certainly no necessary connection between y oga and Devil worship, he said. Anybody who's equating Eastern re ligion with Devil wo rship has made a big mistake.1 This article, in many ways, encapsulates the issues surrounding yoga in the United States today. Even after decades of presence in the American religious market, there is still an element of the mystical or mysterious surrounding yoga, which can be seen as both good and bad. While this mystical element to yoga is still quite pervasive, there are many that just see it as a secular exercise, one that can be adapted to many contexts. Many questions arise out of these issues. Wh y are there so many variations of yoga and yoga products? Can yoga be adapted to Abrahamic faiths? Has Hinduism been translated out of yoga, and thus is it still yoga? Is yoga a sacred or profane practice? What is the relationship of yoga to the state if it is profane or religious? How has the commodification of yoga changed yoga? 1Yoga and the Devil: Issue for Georgia Town, The New York Times 8 September 1990. 178

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The following three sections, Current Variations of Practice and Products, Muslim, Jewish and Christian Yoga and Yoga in the Public Sphere will hopefully give some insight into these questions, show the many ways in which yoga has been translated since the Transcendentalists, and that the commodifi cation of yoga has contributed to both the transla tion and practice of yoga. Combined, these sections will offer evidence for the chapters thesis that the contemporary uses of yoga have become complicated the inherent rhizomal quality of yoga and its commodification has enabled it to mix into other parts of cult ure and society; this mixing or transgression is complicated because it exposes the fragile construction of boundaries, which to many is disconcerting and uncomfortable. Current Va riations of Practice and Produces will survey (a fraction) of the types of yoga and products that are available (beyond what is covered in previous chapters) to prac titioners today and examine how yoga and the market thrive of each other. The second section on Abrahamic faiths and yoga will explore the creativity needed to blend (and un-blend) traditions. Finally the section on Yoga in the Public Sphere will examine the i ssues that arise when yoga comes close in any way to the government in a country where the line the between church and state is sacred. What these three areas of inquiry have in common is that they all deal with the issue of yoga and mixing (either with the market, with other religions or with the public sphere), and how this mixing is complicated. Current Variations of Practice and Products From the data in the previous chap ter, it is well established that the Yoga Journal not only provides information on the practice of yoga, but also has helped in creating a yoga life style, one that involves various products and workshops. Beyond the Iyengar 179

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props, yoga pants, mats, etc. there exist a whole other world of programs and products that have started to enter the market. Perhaps one of the most sensational and unique yoga trends to emerge in the past few years is doga yoga that you can practice wit h your dog. This type of yoga yields yoga benefits for the human and canine pr actitioner while also providing bonding time for the owner and pet. Doga classes have started to become popular in various cities around the U.S., and fo llowing trend, print culture on the topic has also emerged. Jennifer and Brilliant and W illiam Berloni have written Doga: Yoga for Dogs ; this book is more for the benefit of the dog. Brilliant and Be rloni show dogs or dogis in various yogalike poses and provides dogi wisdom (from t he dog) for the reader. This book does not provide instruction for yogi and dogi to practice together. Brenda Bryans book, Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stre tches for Yogi and Dogi is about how a dog can aid a human in her yoga practice. She writes, Traditi onal yoga practices are about creating a union with the divine in all. Dogs are pack animals and pack mentality is also about union; in that sense, dogs are natural yogis.2 The core of Bryans practice revolves around connecting the yogis heart with the dogis heart, thus forming a union, which Bryan sees as the core of yoga. Bryan teaches her classes in Seattle, Washington, but as of Summer 2008, she has started holding doga teacher training workshops, which are two days of classes for $200. Bryan does not pr ovide an explanation for why she uses the term Buddha to describe her form of doga ; it seems this particular word is used as an adjective that provides a lliteration and is a recognizabl e eastern/mystical word. 2Brenda Bryan, Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi (Seattle, WA: Skipstone Press, 2009), 8. 180

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Another new and popular yoga practice to enter the yoga landscape in the U.S. is Yoga Booty Ballet This trademarked class was start ed by Swerve, a fitness studio in Los Angeles, CA. They describe Yoga Booty Ballet as, a fun, sexy and spirited workout that gets your SWERVE on! Work on your body, engage your mind and lighten your spirit as you practice this East meets West amalgam of meditation, cardiovascular dance, ballet, Kundalini and hatha yoga.3 This class, mainly marketed to and attended by women, has made its way to late-night infomercials, thus can be practice by anyone in the country who is willin g to buy the 18 DVDs. One can also become a certified Yoga Booty Ballet teacher one just has to attend a workshop and pay the appropriate fee. To become a level one instru ctor, the price is $539, and the price for a level two instructor is an additional $169. While this is more than a doga teaching workshop, it is actually a bargain compared to the cost of ot her teacher traini ng programs. For example to become a teacher of Bikram Yoga one must cough up $6000, plus at least $3,900 for hotel accommodations. Another trademarked and copyrighted form of yoga, Bikram Yoga started by Bikram Choudhury in 1979, is a sequence of 26 asanas practiced in rooms heated to 105 F. While he had copyrighted his book, Bikrams Beginning Yoga Class and trademarked the name of his school, Bikrams Yoga College of India it was not until 2002 that he created controversy by trying to copyright his style of yoga (that is the sequence of 26 asanas), because he saw too many imposters in the market. This did not make the government of India too happy, and they countered by putting historians and scientists to work catal oguing 1,500 yoga poses recorded in ancient 3Swerve, Yoga Booty Ballet (accessed 24 August 2009), available from http://www.swervestudio.co m/about_yoga_booty_ballet.php 181

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texts India will use the catalogue to try to block anyone from co rnering the market on the 5,000-year-old discipline of stretching, breathing and meditating.4 Bikrams reason for seeking a patent is because it's the American way. You cannot drive the car if you do not have a dr iver's license, he explains. You cannot do brain surgery if you are not a brain surgeon. You cannot even do a massage if you don't have a license. And, he says, you shouldn't be able to teach his Bikram Yoga unless you pay him for a license.5 Bikram was sued by another yoga organization, but they settled out of court before t hey reached trial. While this chapter in American yoga history ended amiably, it is illustrative: Bikram reasoned that it was American for him to patent his style of yoga. Not only was he atte mpting to further domesticate his produce, but he was also trying to control his market through monopoly, a most American practice. This attempt to patent did not trans late well back into an Indian context (thus explaining their scramble to hi storically catalogue all things yoga), but it also did not sit well with American yoga practitioners. While many cast yoga as an inherently secular activity, it still retains a mystical and religious quality, and from the ear ly days of the U.S. republic, Americans have fiercely protected thei r religions from any sort of government interference (which a patent would be). While it is easy to be cynical regarding some of the new yoga trends that have recently emerged, they are not all tota lly geared around selli ng, copyrighting and patenting. One trend, whic h has been covered by the Yoga Journal is to pay attention to the care of the earth. T he center of this movement is the Green Yoga Association (GYA), whose mission is to deepen into t he ultimate meaning of yoga as union. Yogis 4Mindy Fetterman, Yoga Copyright ra ises questions of ownership, USA Today, 29 June 2006. 5Fetterman, Yoga Copyright raises questions of ownership. 182

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have always known that all life is interconnected, and that we must treat all beings, even the elements of nature Our work is to aw aken this great teaching in our lives, and to share it with the world.6 They use the term Green Y oga because it indicates our conscious chlorophyll, which represents the life-sustaining relationship between Sun and Earth, and Green is also the color of t he primary representation of Tara in Tibetan Buddhism.her green color symbolizes active compassion.7 The GYA, which scatters various green-interpreted Vedic quotes throughout its website, also provides several services for their community beyond just val ues. They maintain a Green Yoga directory, sanction green accreditation for Green Yoga studios, suggest ways that one can green their studio, arrange Green Yoga retreats and organize Green Yoga conferences. One of the organizers of this conference, Loyola Marymount University, also offers a Yoga and Ecology (Green Y oga) certificate progr am (for $750). Their intentions may be noble, but it is important to remember that green yoga (or any yoga) is not separate from market forces In order to practice a greener yoga, one must employ eco-friendly produ cts, and this point is wher e this movement enters the market The GYA has the Green Yoga EcoStore which they maintain via amazon.com, and through this store one can buy ecofriendly yoga or meditation props, recommended books, CDs and DVDs, neti pots, reusable food utensils/containers and water bottles. Beyond the GYA, there are numerous companies that have emerged in the last decade that provide the earth-con scious yoga practitioner with mats, props, clothes (organic, of course) and other yoga re lated products. One of the major concerns of the day is the well being of the earth and yoga is adaptable to this trend, and one 6Green Yoga Association, About Green Yoga Association (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.greenyoga.org/aboutus.html 7Green Yoga Association, About Green Yoga Association. 183

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means of adaptation is creating more fuel fo r the very market that has aided in creating the current ecological crisis. Beyond the attempt introduce eco-friendly pr oducts to the market there are many other yoga products out there t hat continue to feed the engine s of capitalism. Over and above the various yoga products described in the previous chapter there are now yogafocused retreats paired with other interests such as chocolate, wine, painting, writing or hiking. Products also signal communal belongi ng, thus an entire s ub-sect of products that signify an interest in yoga has bec ome popular. T-shirts with yoga slogans or pictures, yoga posters, magnets, decals and sculptures have all been created and marketed to practitioners of yoga. Buying an y of these products and displaying them (on the body or in the home) is a si gnal that one belongs to the yoga habitus Of these tangential products, one item that has done particularly well is yoga jewelry. Much of this jewelry is simply ornamental: an om lotus, or Hindu deity strung with beads for a necklace or fixed with hooks for the ears; but so me jewelry makers also claim that yoga jewelry is helpful for yoga practice. Dependi ng on the company or type of jewelry, certain gemstones are supposed to help with practice and balance of charkas; one company, the Sun Sphire, even turns science to show how this works.8 Gemstones and metals, in cultures across time and space, have been used for purposes beyond the ornamental for purposes of hea ling and helping, and thus it does not seem to be too much of a stretch that this us e of jewelry would be used for yo ga; yet it is still interesting because it is demonstrative of yoga s market reach and possibilities. So complex, affluent and permeating is t he reach of yoga in the market that 8For further information on this scientific study see Sunsphire, Clinically Proven Holistic Jewelry (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.thesunphire.com/page9.html 184

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marketers have come up with a term, Yoga Mamas to classify a rich sub-section of the market to be specifically catered to.9 This market of Yoga Ma mas does not refer to a woman who only needs yoga products, but a ll the other tangential products that are associated with the yoga lifestyle: organic food, trendy clothes for the children, expensive gadgets for child rearing, symbolic jewelry Interestingly the Yoga Journal website has a marketplace se ction, that links to other sites that sell products (from props and yoga jewelry to wrinkle cream) that might be appealing to a Yoga Mama.10 Further, it is illuminating that marketers do no t use the term Yoga Papa, rather turning to gender to define this population of the market. The feminizati on of this market slice is evidence of the dominance of women in the contemporary practice of yoga, and to how the market targets women when attempting to sell a lifestyle, especially one that is from a subaltern space. Part of the reason t hat these tangential products are becoming successful is because they belong to something larger beyond practice (a habitus ), which allows their justification in the market. All this marketing and product specialization is overwhelming, at times amusing, even silly and also emblematic of capi talisms influence in life; thus this habitus is also ripe for satire, and one site that has done this is www.yogadawg.com Yoga Dawg is, well, a dog that is a yogi, who has a hagiogr aphy (which channels Yogi Ramacharaka), a magazine, a stor e with a multitude of yoga products, etc Basically, it is a site that makes fun of the current ma rket proliferation of yoga. For example, Yoga Dawg encourages his followers to open a studio to become rich, and is insistent that this 9Christopher Palmeri with David Kiley, In Hot Pursuit of Yoga Mama, Business Week 7 November 2005, http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_45/b3958110.htm (accessed 21 August 2009). 10Yoga Journal, Marketplace (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://marketplace.yogajournal.com/ 185

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studio needs a shop, and this part of the studio, is where you want to lavish the most attention and care. This is your perennial money maker, so always th ink bigger is better. As a general rule, the yoga studio shop should be the largest space in the studio. You also want to position it right by the front door so as not to be missed by your students as they enter the studio fo r classes. To maximize your yoga profits, have the yoga shop occupy at least half of the studio. Then strategically place the receptionist desk in the middle of the shop with yoga merchandise overflowing from shelves and displays placed all around the desk. This allows your students to do some much needed yoga shopping before their yoga class. TIP: Always design your studio and shop so that students are forced to make their way through it before they go to class.11 Yoga Dawg even has a store of his own, the GreatTransc endentalYoga Superstore, the mission of which is to further the conc ept of one world, one Yoga store and studio chain..12 Here Yoga Dawg sells yoga electron ic devices (i.e. the ThermoChakra Thermometer), yoga home products (i.e the KarmaYoga Outdoor Grill), yoga video games (i.e. the Rockum/Sockum Yogis Action Ga me), and, of course, yoga jewelry (i.e. the AryuvedicKarmaYoga Bangle ). While the full intentions of the Yoga Dawg creator are not known, from her writing, she seems to be shining a spotlight on the relationship between yoga and the market. This relationship is not new, but there are parts that may be of some discomfort, which arises whenever two seemingly unrelated entities mix. Muslim, Jewish and Christian Yoga Yoga is also mixing into the practice of Abrahamic faiths, not ju st the market new yoga classes such as Christian yoga and Torah yoga are a testament to how religious groups can be affected by market trends. Some synagogues are using yoga to entice people to observe the Sabbath, and Christian yoga classes are tailoring various asanas 11Yoga Dawg, Yoga Studio Design: The Studio Shop 200 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.yogadawg.com/design6.html 12Yoga Dawg, Yoga Shopping 2009 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.yogadawg.com/store.htm 186

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to Biblical scriptures. While t here are criticisms of this, the market is not concerned with religious boundaries, but rather with profit margins in other words, if there is a new Jewish Yoga book & DVD set, there will be a space for it to be sold. Interestingly, despite rampant Hindu/Muslim tension in contemporary politics, there are some Muslims who practice yoga. While some Muslims insist that the postures involved in salat correspond to yoga asanas (and have superior benefits), others are able to take classes at their local Muslim community centers. Ther e is, however, not the same presence in the market for Muslim y oga products as there are for Christian and Jewish yoga products. Further, in some Mus lim countries, such as Egypt, there is a fatwa against the practice of yoga. Yoga has taken a stronger hold in Judaism. Yoga Mosaic, a 15-year-old association for Jewis h yoga teachers, provides resources and answers for those that which to practice Judaism and yoga. There are two popular book/DVD series Torah Yoga which blends yoga with Jewish mystical texts, and Alph-Bet Yoga which bases its various postures on the Hebrew letters. Unlike Muslim and Christian communities, there is little to no demonization and controversy in Jewish communities over yoga. Some synagogues even use yoga as a means of attracting devotees to Sabbath services. The relationship between Christianity and yoga seems to dwell somewhere in the middle ground some Christians embrace yoga (like Jews), while some outright reject yoga (like most Muslims). It was Christians (Protestants) that organized the World Parliament of Religion in 1893 that brought Swami Vivekananda and Raja Yoga to the United States. A little less than a decade late r, a new religion, Christian Yoga, was formed. One of the priestesse s of this religion, Mrs. Jesse Babcock, blended Christianity 187

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and yoga, especially in regards to their beliefs about the after-life: If one has attained full knowledge and enough spiritua lity, he can come back after death and pick out the parents to whom he will be born again that will further develop his spirituality.13 Twenty-seven years later, Unitarians organiz ed the International Congress of Religious Liberals, and through that conference, the US was introduced to Paramahansa Yogananda and Kriya Yoga Throughout Autobiography of a Yogi following in the footsteps of Vivekananda, Yogananda refers to Christian scripture and uses Christian imagery to position Kriya Yoga as an interdisciplinary prac tice. It is important to remember that both Vivekananda and Yogananda ca me to the US partly to raise money for their projects in India they had to make yoga appealing to and non-threatening for Christians and their beliefs. Yoga, specifically pranayam a, was a supplement not substitute for Christian practice. By the mid-20th century, as practice shifted from pranayama to asanas the market was transforming yoga into non-religious exer cise, and Indian yogis continued to sell yoga as a practice that is compatible with all of the worlds great religions.14 In the summer of 1971, a Catholic Womens Co llege, Annhurst, hosted the second annual Yoga Ecumenical Retreat, where nuns, priests, monks, rabbis, and long haired young people all came together to learn yoga based on the teachings of Swami Satchidananda.15 In the New York Times article about the retreat, Sister Maria said, Deep prayer always involves transcendi ng the body and the senses Yoga is a definite help in doing this. It helps to rela x the body and mind and integrate your whole 13Children May Select Their Parents At Re-Birth, Says Yoga Priestess, The Washington Post 17 October 1915. 14Edward B. Fiske, Priests and Nuns Di scover Yoga Enhances Grasp of Faith, The New York Times 2 July 1971. 15Fiske, Priests and Nuns Discover Yoga Enhances Grasp of Faith. 188

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person.16 Sister Rose Margaret Delaney felt that yoga was not prayer, rather a preparation for it: I dont use a mantraI meditate on the Gospel of the day and use Yoga as a way of disposing myself to prayer.17 Today, Christians are continuing to use t heir Biblical roots to reformulate yoga. Many practicing Christians take yoga classes at gyms or yoga centers, but some do not like the overtly Hindu references, meditation and chanting that they may find in some of these classes. They would rather chant S ha-LOM, rather than ju st plain old AUM, which is what parishio ners do at New Community Church in Washington.18 Some Christians are also uncomf ortable with the poses referencing worship to Hindu gods. According to Patanjali, asana is realized by relaxing ones effort and resting like the cosmic serpent on the waters of infinity, which could be a reference to Ananta, the cosmic serpent that Vishnu sleeps on.19 Like Sister Rose Ma rgaret Delaney, many Christian yoga classes use Biblical verses to recite during certain poses, and keep their mind focused on God and Jesus Christ, rath er than Isvara, the Lord of Yoga. For example, Surya Namaskara which has become a popular practice associated with yoga since the early 20th century, is a sequence of asanas that has become central to some modern forms of yoga. Some yoga gurus have even attached Sanskrit verses to each of the twelve steps, which may signal to some a Hindu (or Buddhist) orientation. In many Christian yoga classes, to avoid the Hindu symbolism, Sun, S-U-N, is changed to Son, S-O-N, thus when they are doing the twelve steps, it is not in worship of Surya, rather various postures are to show devotio n to Jesus. This is somewhat fitting, 16Fiske, Priests and Nuns Discover Yoga Enhances Grasp of Faith. 17Fiske, Priests and Nuns Discover Yoga Enhances Grasp of Faith. 18Phuong Ly, Churches, Synagogues Mingle Yoga With Beliefs, The Washington Post 1 January 2006. 19Yoga Discipline of Freedom 56-7. 189

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interesting and most rhizomal be havior given that the roots of Surya Namaskara may not have been Hindu, but rather Indian Nationalist (see C hapter Four, section on Krishnamacharya). At St. Andrews Lutheran Church, the pr actice of Christian yoga is called Yogadevotion, and although there are some me mbers who are skept ical, one of the pastors, John Keller, is supportive because it draws potential converts through the churchs doors, for about a quarter of Yogadevotion students ar e not churchgoers.20 Both Christian and Jewish yoga practices, it seems, use market trends yoga to sustain sacred interest and membership numbers. Not all agree with this blending of practice there are plenty of Christian and Hindu criticisms of the concept. There are some Hindus that do not take offense to this type of yoga. In a Washington Post article on Christian and Jewish yoga, a DC area Hindu, Praveen Tewari believes the yoga principles of fitness of mind and body are universal and should be shared and says, Why not share the joy? Why miss out on it My firm belief is that ultimate reality is the same Every religion teaches basically good things.21 Yet other Hindus feel that yoga is Hindu, and that having Christian or Jewish yoga does not make sense, for Hinduism is not like a recipe ingredient that can be extracted from yoga.22 Another concern is the use of yoga to evangelize for other religions. Their criticisms force the question, is yoga essent ially Hindu? Do the various postures and breathing techniques discipline the body to be Hindu? 20Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Stretching for Jesus, Time Magazine 29 August 2005 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1098937,00.html 21Phuong Ly, Churches, Synagogues Mingle Yoga With Beliefs, The Washington Post 1 January 2006. 22Cullen, Stretching for Jesus. 190

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Many Christian critics of yoga would say yes to these questions. One critic feels that using yoga to lure people to church is not innocent, rather a means of dancing with the devil.23 There are a growing num ber of books warning Christians about the mixing of yoga and Christian practice. In his book, Yoga and the Body of Christ, Dave Hunt writes, Yoga originated in India as part of the paganism practiced there and claims that yoga is one way in which the West is being conquered.24 Perhaps the most creative and interesting cr iticism of Christian yoga comes from Laurette Willis, founder of the Ch ristian alternative to yoga, PraiseMoves, which along with Fitness to His Witness are trademarked systems of exercise and good health, plus the benefit of Jesus. Willis de scribes herself as a former New-Ager who found God in 1987, grew up practicing yoga with her mother but says, from experience I can say that yoga is a dangerous practice fo r the Christian and leads seekers away from God rather than to Him.25 Like the Hindu critics of Christ ian yoga, Willis argues that yoga cannot be separated from Hinduism, for each of the yoga postures are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods.26 And Christian yoga, for Willis, is an oxymoron that is an example of syncretism which by her definition, is an attempt to blend conflicting belief, religions or philosophies.27 So, as an alternative to Christian yoga and Hindu yoga, 23Tracye Gano, Christian Yoga, Innocent Activity or Dancing with the Devil? Contemplative Emerging Church Deception, 12 February 2007 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://emerging-church .blogspot.com/2007/02/christianyoga-innocent-activity-or.html 24Dave Hunt, Yoga and The Body of Christ: What Position Should Christians Hold ? (Bend, OR: The Barean Call, 2006), 23. 25Laurette Willis, Why A Christian Alternative to Yoga? PraiseMoves, 2008 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.praisemoves.com /christianalternative.htm 26Willis, Why A Christian Alternative to Yoga? 27Willis, Why A Christian Alternative to Yoga? 191

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Willis has started the patented PraiseMoves which is not Christian yoga, but a Christ centered alternative to the practice of yoga.28 There are five components to PraiseMoves : (1) The Walking Wisdom Warm-ups during which the participants c hant, sorry, recite I AM STRONG IN THE LORD and finish with AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT; (2) the PraiseMoves Postures such as the Eagle, during which parti cipants listen to classical or worship music and are to reflect upon various Biblical verses; (3) the PraiseMoves Scripture Sequence which are posture sequences where each posture corresponds to a verse in either the Lords Prayer or the 23rd Psalm; (4) then during the PraiseMoves Alphabetics phase, in a technique similar to the Jewish Alph-Bet Yo ga, participants perform one letter from the 22 standard letters of the Hebrew alphabet; (5), then finally comes WWJD Meditation/Relaxation time, which means NO traveling out of our bodies, visualizing colors and lights or breathing in spirit ual nonsense this is WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) relaxation time.29 If one so wishes, one can learn PraiseMoves by buying the DVD for $16.95 or by taking a class with a properly trained CPI or Certified PraiseMoves Instructor. One can also becom e a CPI and learn how to run a PraiseMoves business, but in order to do this, one mu st also sign a statem ent of faith. Willis answers her critics, arguing that even though this might seem like yoga, and that the class is organized like many yoga classe s in the U.S. and India, it is really not. She acknowledges that some of the PraiseMoves postures resemble yoga postures because she has discovered theres not an infinite number of ways the human body can move, and insists these postures have been created by God, and that 28Willis, Why A Christian Alternative to Yoga? 29Laurette Willis, What does a PraiseMoves Class Look Like? PraiseMoves (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.praisem oves.com/class.htm 192

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PraiseMoves is a way to untwist these beneficial postures back to glorify God.30 Then one could say, that Williss trademarked techni que is an enterprise of religious recovery, shedding away Hindu rhetoric to reveal a pristine and long-fo rgotten Christian practice. Putting aside her interpretation of yoga and misreading of syncretism for the moment, what is interesting is that she has tradem arked this Christian technique in a manner similar to Bikram and Yoga Booty Ballet if it is a religious prac tice that originated from God and intended for worship, can it be tradem arked? Is her reason for so adamantly differentiating her system from yoga for relig ious reasons or for market monopoly, and why is she so insistent upon building a fence between what she does and yoga? The very forces of globalization that have helped create Yoga Booty Ballet and doga, have also had a hand in shaping the views of Willis. In a book on religion after the 1960s, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion Wade Clark Roof argues that the effects of globalization on religion are many; while it leads to great diversity, depth to any tradition is often lost, t he result being thin layers of cultural and religious meaning, thus what follows is pastiche, collage, religious pluralism within the individual, bricolage, mixing of codes, religion la carte.31 What Roof is describing is a creative process, and while some may find this play empowering, other may find it shallow and disconcerting. The market facilitates these infinite options, and just like some may have discomfort with the mixing of religion and market, some may also have discomfort with religions mixing for it exposes the human construction of boundaries. Willis is an example of someone who is discomforted by this mixing, and obviously has reacted by attempting to bu ild a fence between Christianity and yoga 30Willis, Why A Christian Alternative to Yoga? 31Wade Clark Roof, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Un iversity Press, 1999), 73. 193

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one could say she is trying to create root for two rhizomal entities, however, this goes against the nature of the rhizome. Further this fence is based on a thin layer of religious meaning, thus it is easy to break thr ough, exposing the faulty construction. Yoga in the Public Sphere The market and religion have a deep history of interaction with each other, and all religions have at some point have mixed for they are all syncretic. One boundary that is particularly new, however, and most sacred in the U.S. is the separation of church and state that religions may not interfere with the government and that government may not interfere in matters regarding the state. This boundary is, in many ways, uniquely American and key to the experiment of non-monarchical, repres entative-based nation building of the Founding Fathers. Perhaps Willis is concerned about the categorization of yoga because if yoga is not classified as Hindu then what is the harm in teaching it in public schools; in her eyes this would m ean a breakdown of the Willis has thought of this: she has a program called PowerMoves Kids which is designed to be taught in schools instead of yoga. While Willis may object to yoga being taught in public schools because of its Hindu roots, she does not s eem to mind (or perhaps be aware) that PowerMoves Kids is based of PraiseMoves which has Christian roots, thus cannot be taught in public schools. It seems, when deali ng with religion of any kind in the public spheres, the location of the boundary between church and state is often based on convenience and personal ideology. Willis is not the only person concerned with yoga becoming part of the American school curriculum. In 1999, the Altman fa mily sued the Bedford School District for teaching students New Age religions, which incl uded yoga, but this case got thrown out on a technicality (the children were out of school the various activities were not part of a 194

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coordinated effort to establish a certain religion and public funds were not used). In 2003, the parents of 12 child ren at Aspen Country Day Sc hool, a private school, pulled their children out of yoga class. A local priest who sided with the parents commented: the ultimate goal of the yoga is to balance the body, the mind, the soul and the spirit When you are talking about the soul and the sp irit, then aren't you in the realm of religion? And if so, which religion?32 On the other side of the debate, Trisha Lamb Feuerstein of the Yoga Research and Educat ion Center in Santa Rosa, Calif., said, From our viewpoint, yoga is not a religion. R eally, it's a spiritual practice, and we don't equate spirituality with religion.33 While this is a problematic dichotomy to draw, for it separates religion from spirituality, it is a stance that many modern y oga groups take. For example the American Yoga Association, on their webpage, write, There is a common misconception that Yoga is rooted in Hinduis m; on the contrary, Hinduisms religious structures evolved much later and incor porated some of the practices of Yoga.34 If yoga is constructed as separate from Hindui sm, then it can be t aught anywhere in the public realm and thus it also can belong to anyone (not just Hindus and India). One teacher who has developed an entire y oga system around this idea is Tara Guber, founder of YogaEd ; she has stripped every piece of anything that anyone could vaguely construe as spiritual or religious out of the program.35 Much in the same manner as Willis, Guber has crafted a new curriculum that eliminated chanting and 32Mindy Sink, Yoga in Aspen Public Schools Draws Opposition, The New York Times 8 February 2003. 33Sink, Yoga in Aspen Public Schools Draws Opposition. 34American Yoga Association, General Yoga Information (accessed 26 August 2009) available from http://www.americanyogaassociation.org/general.html#WhatisYoga 35Stripped of Religion, Yoga Enters Public Schools, Associated Press 28 January 2007. 195

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translated Sanskrit into kid-friendly Englis h. Yogic panting became bunny breathing, and meditation became time in.36 Many schools have adopted this, and have found it to be beneficial to their students, but many questions still re main: Is yoga a religion or not? Where is that line betw een separation of church and st ate and is it being crossed with yoga being taught in schools? One case that might give us some insight is Malnak v. Yogi (1979), where a local mother in New Jersey sued Maharishi Ma hi Yogi for teaching Transcendental Meditation (TM) in a public sch ool. While TM maintained that it was not a religion, the court ruled that it was and thus the establishment clause was violated. For this case, the court had to define religion. The court felt, Expectation that religious ideas s hould address fundamental questions is in some ways comparable to the reas oning of the Prot estant theologian Dr. Paul Tillich, who expressed his vi ew on the essence of religion in the phrase ultimate concern. Tillich perceived religion as intimately connected to concepts that are of the greatest depth and utmost importance As such, they are to be carefully guarded from governmental interference, and never converted into official government doctrine. The first amendment demons trates a specific solicitude for religion because religious ideas are in many wa ys more important than other ideas Certain isolat ed answers to ultimat e questions, however, are not necessarily relig ious answers, because t hey lack the element of comprehensiveness A religion is not generally confined to one question or one moral teaching; it has a broader scope. It lays claim to an ultimate and comprehensive "truth." Thus the so-called Big Bang theory, an astronomical interpretation of the creation of the universe, may be said to answer an ultimate questi on, but it is not, by itself, a religious idea. Likewise, moral or patriotic views are not by themselves r eligious, but if they are pressed as divine law or a part of a comprehensive belief-system that presents them as tru th, they might well rise to the religious level.37 In the opinion of this appeals court, TM was thought to have an ultimat e concern in that it went beyond one question or moral teac hing and gave a comprehensive view of 36Stripped of Religion, Yoga Enters Public Schools. 37Alan B. Malnak, et al. v. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, et al., 440 F. Supp 1284 (D.N.J. 1977). 196

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purpose in the universe. While this definition is problematic in that it seeks to use Protestant ideas to define something this not Protestant, it does serve as jumping off point for thinking about yoga in the public sphere. The problem is that yoga has never had a clear history or geneal ogy the way TM has a clear history and founder. The question regarding the ultimate concern of yoga as well as if it gives a comprehensive purpose really depends what type of yoga one follows. And while there is a compelling argument regarding the formation of a habitus around the practice of yoga in the U.S., categorizing a habitus as a religion becomes slippery. Further yoga has deviated so much in the market that it is hard to track, and thus hard to adjudicate any answer on its place in public schools. It seems that this question may not be answe red until a legitimate case concerning the place of yoga in public schools is brough t before a court. In particular, it will be interesting to see if the American judicial system draw s a parallel between yoga and Intelligent Design (ID), which, after the ruli ng of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005), can no longer be taught in public science classrooms. The cour t found that there was too much evidence regarding the IDs religious nature and that ID cannot be considered science because, it cannot be adjudged a valid, accepted scientific theory as it has failed to publish in peer-reviewed journals, engage in rese arch and testing, and gain acceptance in the scientific community.38 While yoga is not taught in a science classroom, various practitioners and schools of yoga have and continue to promote it as scientific, and just like ID has a religious hi story (and thus religi ous nature), one could argue that yoga has a religious nature. If and when this issue ever is presented before a 38Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. PA. 2005). 197

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court, it will be difficult, tangled and complicat ed. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see if the same people that argued against Creationism and ID in the public science classes will feel the same about yoga in the public gym classes. The answer regarding how someone views t he teaching of yoga in public schools hinges on whether one sees y oga as Hindu or religious. If one follows the guidance of the American Yoga Association, then the answer is that it is not religious and thus can be part of the public sphere. Howe ver, if yoga is not religious, then what it is it? And seeing as it is a billion dollar business c oncerning health and the human body, should it be regulated by the state? Once yoga practiti oners strip the veil of religion from their practice, the First Amendment no longer pr otects them. Yoga studios in New York, Michigan and Virginia recently found this out when state governments sought to classify the training of yoga teachers as a type of vocational course.39 While officials in New York dropped their efforts, in Michigan and Virginia the bureaucracy has stepped in and is now sifting through yoga teacher training license applications.40 Given that many yoga studios do not apply for church status wi th the IRS and given that it is a grow presence in the market, it is not surprising that states are pursuing this path of additional tax revenue. Allowing state r egulation would make the case for yoga in public schools clearer, however, it would also mean giving up on the mystical aura of yoga that makes it so appealing. The resolution of this will be intimately tied the relationship between yoga and Hinduism in the U.S., and it will be most interesting to watch. It seems even ing 39A.J. Sulzberger, Yoga Faces Regulation, and Firmly Pushes Back, The New York Times 10 July 2009. 40Aaron Aupperlee, Staying Flexible: Rules on Inst ructor Training Force Kalamazoo Businesses to Bend Quickly, Kalamazoo Gazette 26 July 2009. 198

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when something (yoga) is defined as not religious, engagement with the state is disconcerting and unappreciated. Commodification and Yoga While there is amusement and intrigue in all forms of modern marketed, multireligious, and civic yoga, it brings up some serious issues about the relationship between religious and non-re ligious boundaries and the ma rket. Religion and the market have a historically interdependent re lationship. The market uses religion for products, but religion also uses the market for inspiration Buddhists not only spread the message of Buddha throughout Asia, but they also created new trade routes throughout the continent. Has the advent of a capitalist market, trademarks and all, changed or just simply continued this relationship? Like religion, capitalism is based on some degree of mysteriousness the commodi ty, whether it be a coat or yoga, is mystical. Karl Marx reminds us that, The commodity-form, and the value-re lation of the products of labour within which it appear, have absolutel y no connection with the physical nature of the commodity and the material relations arising out of this. It is nothing but the definite social rela tions between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things. In order, therefore, to find anal ogy we must take flight into the misty realm of religion. There the products of t he human brain appe ar as autonomous figures endowed with a life of their own, which enter into the relations both with each other and with the human race. So it is in the world of commodities with the products of mens hands. I call this the fetishism which attaches itself to the produc ts of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities, and therefore inseparable from the production of commodities.41 Thus, both religion and capitalism rely on faith; either faith in a higher meaning or in higher profit margin between the production and selling costs. In both systems occurs a 41Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I: A Critique of Political Economy trans. Ben Fowkes (New York, NY: Penguin Classics), 165. 199

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process of fetishization, w here products are endowed wit h meaning, which we, either the believer or consumer, attach. Yoga has entered the market with almost no production cost, an infinite myriad of suppor ting and even competing products, and with a high selling cost. Also built into the modern enterprise of yoga is a mystical and exotic quality it historically comes fr om India, it is ancient and it seems to work miracles on and with the human body in ju st 30 minutes a day. The persistence of yoga as mystical or exot ic compels us to look at the historic relationship between colonialism and capitalism. First, it is important to remember that capitalism has its roots in the colonial enterprise, and one process they have in common is their mining of colonial/subaltern cultures and spaces for material (to exhibit or sell). This need for material from colonized spac es to be exhibited or experienced in the industrial west is a trend that started under colonialism (from the time Columbus brought back Indians as souvenirs from His paniola) and one that has been continued via neo-liberal capitalism (which could be seen as a type of colonization separate from the political nation-state). There is a re lationship between colonialism and capitalism beyond power that seeps into the realm of material. In the colonial period, this material ranged in type, from raw materials taken via farming and mining, to the many pieces of art and sculpture plundered from colonized wo rlds, then exhibited or stored in French, British and American museums and to texts translated, distributed and read across the globe. Ensconced in this project of mining co lonized India was yoga, and this product was distributed both by the colonizers and th e colonized, which makes this particular dynamic so interesting and complicated. In many ways, it was colonized actors that 200

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paved the way for future commodification of yoga; in hopes of using yoga to combat one hegemonic force (colonialism), they effect ively opened the door for another (capitalism). While there are laws today prohibiting the taking of antiquities from countries, raw materials are still being taken in similar (mini ng) and different (patenting of seeds) ways. Further, culture is being packaged from subaltern spaces and sold not only in the west, but also globally. Yoga is but one example of this process; w hether it is spiritual tourism in Latin America or Africa, Native American material culture, East Asian martial arts practices or yoga, there seems to be a pattern of mining these cultures for material to be packaged and sold globally.42 What has been created is a desire to consume, that which is perceived to be exotic, foreign, mystical and timeless. These four qualities serve to bring the consumer, if only for a moment, out of their everyday mundane life, and allow them to live or experience something different. Practices, such as yoga, were constructed to fulfill part of this desire, but this is just a part of a larger system of cultural commodification, that involves the fetishizi ng of culture such that it seems exotic, foreign, mystical and timeless, when these auras were historically created. The question of why such an experience is desired is linke d to a larger societal alienation that suggests that what is availa ble is not good enough, that there is a lack that needs to be satisfied (desire).43 Yoga is one method of fulfilling this perceived lack of or desire for an 42On the other side of this is the exportation of sp orts, such as football, cricket, baseball, basketball and golf to former colonized spaces, and the question that must be further explored is whether this is qualitatively different from the exportation of seemin gly spiritual or religio us practices? Both are intertwined with a commodities market, but I would arg ue that the exportation of sports is more organized and tied to specific organizations (i.e. specific sporti ng federations and the Olympics), whereas spiritual tourism, subaltern material culture, martial arts an d yoga are not as regulated, thus there is less control over their global dissemination. 201

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experience, and what market doe s is commodify this experience such that it can reach more people. What makes yoga additionally com pelling in a market setting is that it is a type of exotic, foreign, mystical and timeless cultur e or experience that can be easily exported (unlike exotic material culture), it can be eas ily integrated into ones everyday life (unlike spiritual tourism), and has tangi ble bodily benefits (much like Ea st Asian martial arts). In a recent New York Times article, a practitioner of yoga commented: Yoga is very portable All you need is five feet of s pace and a blanket. Its cheap, you dont have to go anywhere and its good for you in every way possible.44 Nancy Ford-Kohne, the president of Unity in Yoga (the organization that sued Bikram) seeing yoga as very adaptable, thus it can fit into lots of parameters from kids to seniors, and triathletes to people with multiple sclerosis.45 The market is not just a venue for trade, but a means to reach spiritual bliss. Obviously yoga goes quite well with capita lism, and capitalism seems to be taken, smitten if you will, with yoga. The two are seemingly not at odds, and in fact other religions, Christianity and Judaism, are drawn to this affinity, creating their own versions and alternatives for the market. Yet there is still the factor of alienation to consider, which is the core reason why Marx and later historical-materialists were disillusioned with capitalism. According to Georg Luk cs alienation leads to the emergence of a commodities-based economy that transforms human function into a commodity, and thus reveals in all its starkness the dehumanized and dehumanizing function of the 43Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), 26-28. 44Sarah A. Kass, Yoga, A 60s Su rvivor, Is Luring Converts, The New York Times 25 August 1993. 45Kass, Yoga, A 60s Survivor, Is Luring Converts. 202

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commodity relation.46 This environment does not even al low creativity, thus for Lukcs the advent of the commodity and commodification wipes out the possibility of agency, and creates not only a radical alienation from the products of ones labor, but also from ones physical body. What we have here is then both a commodification of the body, a process that arises along with the commodifica tion of experience (of the exotic, foreign, mystical and timeless). In this light, then, t he market of yoga and its various variations should contribute to this alienation, however, from followers of Iyengar to Willis, it seems that the practice of yoga connects people to their bodies and collapses the alienation between mind and body in other words this particular economic function might also serve to re-humanize.47 Christopher Chapple, a prominent yoga schol ar and member of t he GYA, writes, Yoga provides a way for the modern per son, unwilling to commit to a fixed ideology, yet in need of solace and meaning in a turbulent world, to engage body and mind in a practice that brings relief from the onslaught of everyday busy-ness and stress. Yoga has a long history on the world stage and interest in Yoga shows no si gn of abatement. Yoga offers a felt, visceral experience, simultaneously physical and emotional. Yoga emphasizes movement and breath more than words and urges its practitioners to adopt a comprehensive ethical lifestyle. Yoga has been applied in different ways by differ ent communities, whether Vedantin, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim, secularist, Jewish, or Christian. In the challenging world of postnationalism and postm odernism, Yoga may provide some practices needed to move one from dis equilibriuam to personal, social and ecological balance.48 46Georg Lukcs, History and Class Consciousness trans. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1972), 90. 47Here, I draw inspiration and direction from M aurice Merleau-Ponty, who argues directly against the Cartesian model for understanding the relati onship between mind and body, and instead shows how the body is our anchor in world that we experie nce with both mind and body as an organic whole. 48Christopher Key Chapple, Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjalis Spiritual Path to Freedom (Albany, NY: State University Press of New York, 2009), 259. 203

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Clearly Chapple is holding ti ghtly onto the idea that yoga is not a part of any one particular religion, and that it can solve the issue of a lienation in the contemporary world. The key for him is that yoga involves doing engaging in a practice via the body. So, even if the market surrounding yoga and yoga alternatives seems to alienate people from themselves, the practice of y oga seems to heighten ones awareness of the connection between mind and body. Further, the massive creativity in the yoga market is a testament to infinite creativity that has emerged due to this relationship. It is hard to ignore that it is the very forces of capitali sm global flows that drives the forces that allows for the massive exposure of moder n yoga to people that would not encounter such a practice. The market serves to blur religious boundaries. Th is is a historical trend, which increases as the strength of capitalism increases. Yet, as the boundaries between religions are increasingly exposed as porous, I believe, we will see an intensified effort to build and fortify more boundaries. The market provides so many options and possibilities, that for some, it can be overwhel ming and morally problematic. As Arjun Appadurai reminds us: the diversio n of commodities from their customary paths always carries a risky and morally ambiguous aura but that t hese diversions are meaningful only in relation to the paths fr om which they stray The diversion of commodities from their custom ary paths brings in the new.49 As more new practices are brought into the fold of the market, there will be more efforts to patent, trademark, authenticate and control the translation ample folds.50 49Arjun Appadurai, Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value, The Social Life of Things Commodities in Cultural Perspective ed., Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 27. 50Walter, The Task of the Translator, 69. 204

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This dissertation is on the translation, pr actice and commodification of yoga at the site of the body, but I have also realized that these three fact ors of translation, practice and commodification also have an e ffect on the site or rather site s of yoga. It is not only the body that is alienated in the modern mark et, but also yoga. The past 150 years of translation, practice and commodification have exposed or perhaps even created the identity problems that seem to plague yoga today. From observing the yoga landscape, it seems that yoga has many roles, persona lities, places, meanings, and identities. The market has literally shattered yoga, such that it exists in many places all at once. While its genealogy is traced to India by some, by others it is int entionally and also not intentionally forgotten. One of the reasons yoga has translated to the modern contexts is because it has always had multiple and contested meanings, which coupled with market forces, allows yoga to continually cross borders. There will always be those that object, and try to construct a def initive genealogy or history of yoga, but that effort, in my opinion will always fail, for there will always be another segment of the population and the market that will contest such fences The presence and popularity of many yogas attest to the precarious nature of religion and practice, meaning, that we should always be weary of the desire to classify, but aware and perhaps sympathetic to the need for such categorization. It may not be fair to categorize yoga as schizophrenic, as Deleuze and Guattari may do, but it is fair to say it is rhizomal: it has no identity, no location, no belonging, many meanings and inhabits many places across time and space. Yet, there will always be forces that try to define, locate and possess yoga, and this brings us back to the point on alienation. The radical alienation created by t he market is the very force 205

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that tries to box up yoga uncertainty and multiplicity breeds the desire and need for borders, certainty and singulari ty, and religion, while an uncer tain and multiple trope, provides the structures for this fence bui lding, certainty and si ngularity it seems an endless cycle or translation and reformulation that shifts in sometimes the most mysterious and also transparent of ways this is the essence of a commodity and its ability to shape shift from known to unk nown is why yoga (and the commodity in general) is so complicated today. 206

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CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION Heres whats strange, though. I havent seemed to be able to do any Yoga since getting to Rome. For years Ive had a steady and serious practice, and I brought my Yoga mat with me, along with my best intentions. But it just isnt happening here. I mean, when am I going to do my Yoga stretches? Before my Itali an speedball breakfast of chocolate pastries and double cappuccino? Or a fterThe culture of Rome just doesnt match the culture of Yoga, not as far as I can see. In fact Ive decided that Rome and Yoga dont have anything in common at all. Except for the way they both ki nd of remind you of the word toga.51 This excerpt comes from the phenomenally popular book, Eat Pray Love which is the personal memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert, who goes to Italy for pleasure, to India to find God and to Indonesia to fall in love. Much like the Transcendentalists and Theosophists of the nineteenth century, and the American and Indian Gurus of the twentieth century, Gilbert, of the twenty-first century, feels there is truth in and justification for essentializing the west as material and the eas t as spiritual. Gilber t feels it impossible for her to practice yoga while enjoying the carnal pleasures of Rome, which is quite ironic, seeing as Rome has quite the religious and spiritual history as well. Interestingly Gilbert really only mentions the Vatican as a part of her previous Italian travels or in reference to directions around Rome. In one telling passage, Gil bert asks her friend, Giulio, if there was one word that describes Rome, and he says, SEX.52 She re torts, Even over at the Vatican? and he answers, T hats different. The Vatican isnt part of Rome. They have a different word ov er there. Their word is POWER.53 Gilbert wonders why the Vaticans word would not be FAITH, but beyond this, does not give the Vatican much thought or credence. For Gilbert, Italy is not for fait h, but for pleasure, and these 51Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006), 55. 52Gilbert, Eat Pray Love 103. 53Gilbert, Eat Pray Love 103. 207

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two are inherently separate fo r her. Furthermore, the blind acceptance of power as the word that best describes the Vatican betrays her view of a structur ed faith (religion) that spirituality and power cannot exist in the same place, a view that permeates habitus of yoga today. Perhaps this is one reas on that yoga remains so popular: because it comes wrapped with the mystical aura that is imagined to be the east, thus it lends itself as a path to an authentic spiritual ex perience, one not corrupted by structures of religions (i.e. the Vatican in Rome). Throughout this dissertation, I have attempted to examine how yoga has been translated, practiced and commodified in the U.S. It has been brought over from India and been domesticated into the context of the U.S. by myriad of characters. And while many have and still distrust t he practice, yoga is vibrant presence because it was transformed such that it made sense to Amer icans: the focus of this translation was to highlight the pragmatic and pr actical qualities of yoga. Thus yoga in the U.S. was categorized as scientific, healthy and multi-faith (such that anyone can practice). At the same time, some practitioners have been drawn to the mystical and eastern associations that yoga possessed; in other words, yoga allowed escapism from the everyday without the serious co mmitment of leading an ascetic life. This retreat involved the practice of yoga. Whether this meant 20 minutes of Kriya Yoga in the morning or 90 minutes of sweating through an Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga class, yoga allowed routinized engagement with the body. Yoga c ould be built into the everyday lives of Americans, and yoga could be done it was never an abs traction, but rather an actual and embodied practice. That yoga was always presented as a practice accounts for its continual popularity and interest. Something that popular does not stay under the radar, 208

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especially in a capitalist based economy dr iven by commodity creation; and yoga is a perfect commodity for it is a utility product that has a high exchange value. To best benefit from this, one must present a unique (and authentic) product, and thus variations and yoga-related products emerge in the market, further fueling the process of translation, the experience of practi ce and development of commodification. Along the way, I have discovered that part of this narrative (of translation, practice and commodification) also involves the se tting up of various dichotomies since a rhizome has no roots these dichotomies or categories must be built and imposed onto yoga for purposes of stabilization. As I st udied this subject more, these constructed dichotomies became obvious: yoga is from the east not the west; yoga is spiritual not religious; yoga is multi-faith not Hindu; and yoga is a hierophany not a fetish. What is the difference between east and west? People in India are not just praying and practicing yoga all day; power, politic and the mate rial are just as important in India as they are anywhere else. So wh y the need to essentialize and differentiate, and why did Indians (like Vivekananda and Y ogananada) participate in this process? Obviously cultures are different for they ar ise and form in through di fferent experiences, terrains and histories, however, I do not belie ve these difference are essential, but rather circumstantial. One of these circumstances is colonialization and the loss of power: those in power needed to differentiate t hemselves in order to justify their power (and tyranny), and colonized people, such as Vivekananda and Yogananada used yoga and essentialized themselves as a means of attempting to rega in some power. The constant fight and quest for power, in essence, shows people, despite their origins, are not so different. Nonetheless this dichotomy is maintained, because the subaltern space 209

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of the east safe for non-subalterns. T hey can transgress and escape the west by practicing yoga, but do not have to remain in that space. They have the privilege and ability to move in and out of subaltern s pace comfortable when its an optional space, and this is comfortable because it is optional Discomfort arises when the two seemingly distinct and separate spaces of east and west mix or are exposed as not so separate (i.e. when eastern people live in the west and do not fit the stereotype). Further, in her book, New Age Capitalism Kimberly J. Lau, argues that the labeling of something as eastern rather than western may give the consumer the impression of subverting or rejecting western modernity, but really the discourses of these bodily practices reinforce it [capitalism] by invoking the im pression of critique as a marketing device and selling point.54 In other words, participating in something eastern may make the practitioner think that they ar e participating in something exot ic or pure, but really they are just falling prey to a system that has an economic interest in upholding the dichotomy of this construct. Another complic ation beyond east/west constructions, is the relationship between the traditional coloni al enterprise of mining subaltern/colonized cultures and spaces (east) and these rampant market forces that continue to mine (west). Colonial forces and the colonized benefited from the expor tation of yoga from India. Another dichotomy that arose from this re search is the conti nuing insistence that yoga is spiritual not religious. Which begs, how is something spiritual but not religious and is the converse also possible? Not ed Americanist Robert Wuthnow writes, At its core, spirituality consists of all the beliefs and activities by which some individuals attempt to relate their lives to God or to a divine being or 54Kimberly J. Lau, New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 132. 210

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some other conception of transcendent r eality But spirituality is not just the creation of indi viduals; it is shaped by lar ger social circumstances and by the beliefs and values pres ent in the wider culture.55 The two keys in this analysis are the individuals attempt and shaped by larger social circumstances beliefs values wider cultur e. First it seems that when indicates a preference for spirituality over religion or labels something as spiritual, then this indicates a desire to let the individual creat e the meaning the she is seeking: yoga is one tool for such a creation. The idea of spir ituality over religion also might fuel the individuals feeling of agency and freedom. Living in this laizze faire spiritual market where everyone is right and no one is wrong has its problems and the constant focus on me feeds into the very corporate, comm odified and capitalist culture that many, who eschew religion in favor of sp irituality, are trying to fight. Slavoj Zizek argues that the reason there is a shift from re ligious institution to the intima cy of spiritual experience is because this is the ideological form that best fits todays global capitalism.56 Zizek may be suggesting that capitalism is destroying the foundations of religions, which is interesting given that both operat e with the foundation of the fetish. Also it is quite ironic that that while we live under the veil or aura of individual experience, if one takes a minute to look behind the curtain, our choices are not so individual this is why the larger social circumstances and todays global capitalism are imperative to remember and analyze. While we can trace the split between spir ituality and religion to the Transcendentalists, Theosophy and the New Thought Move ment of the 19th century, the radical turn to individuality in regards to the spiritual occurred most 55Robert Wuthnow, After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950s (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998), viii. 56Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic ed. Creston Davis (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts In stitute of Technology, 2009), 28. 211

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obviously after the failure of the communal ju stice movements of the 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, I would argue, we see focus turning away from groups whose mission it is to change the world and towards groups that inst ead wish to focus on changing the inside of the self (and then hopef ully personal transformation will lead to societal transformation, but if not at least the se lf was changed). While some scholars might trace this to the growing popularity of psychot herapy, I also trace this to the despair of the 1960s, as well as the triumph of capita lism as the dominant economic system of the 20th century. Perhaps this was one reas on that the yoga practitioners and the Yoga Journal were able to create a habitus around the practice, nonetheless, it is a habitus (and by extension, spiritualit y) affected, influenced and, in some ways, controlled by the market. This really makes it no different than an oppressive religious organization that also affects, influences and controls their members.57 Yet, the aura of spirituality and its difference from religion is one way to root th e rhizome of yoga in such a way that any individual can have access to it. And whil e the practice of yoga may allow the practitioner to reconnect with the body and even (temporarily) escape from the alienation of living in a capitalist world, t he commodification of yoga makes it part of the market, and thus it does not combat, but rather feeds the engines of capitalism. A third dichotomy that emerged from this research is the premise that while yoga is eastern and spiritual, it is not Hindu, rather multi-faith. M any, if not most, yoga studios and practitioners still use Sanskrit words (or translation of) to descr ibe what they are doing perhaps the use of foreign words fulfills a desire and experience for the 57While religion has been blamed for much war, we also have the Benevolent Empire, the Social Gospel Movement, Civil Rights as well as Liberation Theology to thank organized and oppressive religion for and these movements have done just as much, if not more, to transform society and self than any cafeteria or consumerist approach to spirituality has. 212

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authentic and exotic. And while yoga was never just one thing in ancient India, modern yoga practice, globally, mainly traces itself back to Patanjali, which is a Hindu text. Further, many of the tangentia l yoga products I found somehow incorporate the symbol, om which is a historically Hindu symbol. Thr oughout my research of modern yoga I also found references to Buddhist yoga, Jain yoga, Jewish yoga, Christian yoga and Muslim yoga. But I never found a class or book or re ference to Hindu yoga. Why is it never Hindu yoga, but other religions are placed in fr ont of the word? More often than not (with the exception of Ramdev and some Hindu Indo-Americans), I found references and insistences that yoga was not Hindu. Personally, Im not interested in whether yoga is Hindu or not. As a historian, I understand that the history of yoga in ancient India is varied and unknowable. What I am highly interested in, however, is the construction of yoga as not Hindu. When Vive kananda and Yogananda came to the U.S. to sell yoga, they were selling to a primarily Christian (Liberal Protestant) population highlighting that yoga was a supplemental practice to Christ ianity was part of thei r strategy of raising money for their organizations in the U.S. and India. The question is, why did this trend continue, such that the Amer ican Yoga Association disassociates itself completely from the label Hindu? It seems that the construction of yoga as mu lti-faith, rather than as Hindu, makes it easier to appropriate its w holly pragmatic, and I think it worked for a while. The new problem emerging is that Hindus of South Asian descent are now immigrating and contesting this construction. Despite it not having any religious affilia tion, yoga is imagined to be a hierophany, a manifestation of the sacred, some thing that simply just came to be without human 213

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involvement.58 A historical analysis exposes that humans created yoga, while attributed that creation to someone or something else. Ludwig Feuerbach writes that human have a tendency to imagine things are something ot her an they really are, and make them into fantastic beings, fetishes, objects that are given more meaning than its pragmatic use; so much more that the object is thought to have power over its creator, such that the creator forgets that she created the object and in turn imagines the object to have creative powers over her.59 For example, the history of Surya Namaskara has secular and human roots, and really was not even associated with yoga till the 1930s/1940s, however, Jois and many other yoga teachers and practitioners insist on its mystical origins and forget or deny its nationalist ones. Why not claim yogas humanity? Would that not be a step to reclaimi ng the agency that is sought by the same people that are searching for agency in their individual spirit ual quests? Why surrender creative powers especially with a practice that is not western, religious, or Hindu, but rather eastern, spiritual and multi-faith? The answer is shallo w, but obvious: if creative power is claim then the eastern and spiritual selling poi nt/aspect may cease to exist. Thus the dichotomy that yoga is hieropha ny rather than a practice cr eated by humans is erected with the purpose of further stabilizing the rhizome of yoga. What is ironic about insisting on the sacr ed quality of modern y oga is that the market still got to it and turned yoga into a fe tish. Categorization is an attempt to root the rhizomal quality of culture capitali sm (and historical excavation) exposes and takes advantage of this attempt. Continuing to perpetuate yoga as eastern, spiritual, 58Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and Profane: The Nature of Religion trans. William Trask (Orlando, FL: Harcot Brace Jovanovich, 1987), 3. 59Ludwig Feuerbach, Lectures on the Essence of Religion trans. Ralph Manheim (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1967), 178. 214

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multi-faith with a sacred qual ity is in the markets best intere st for it is easier to sell than western, religious, Hindu and hum an. That these are all some what contradictory is not of concern to the market selling the commodity created out of yoga is of concern, and it is this that will assure the continued su ccess of this six bill ion dollar market. At the beginning of this dissertation process, I asked myself some questions that I thought could, would and should be answered by this research: yoga allows access to some of the larger foundational questions in religious studies today: What is religion? How does religion and culture move or migr ate, and how does this movement change religion and culture? And finally, what is the relationship between religion and capitalism? It has become obvious, to me, that relig ion and capitalism operate on the same premise that of the fetish. The cont inued success of both depends on being able to sustain the mystical aura of the fetish. Given that they use the same mechanisms for continued success and operation, the relation ship between religion and capitalism has become somewhat symbiotic, despite their competition with each other. The market makes money from religious objects and religions are able to reach more people through the market. Capitalism helps religions (and their followers) migrate and move; yet this movement does not allow things to stay the same. Practices, beliefs, ideas, goals, hopes, and material cultures t hey all change when contexts and environments change. Does movement into a different loca tion (or time), however, cause a religious practice cease being religious? This question brings me to my final question and this one is much trickier. What is religion and based on this answer, is yoga a definition? To be honest, I do not think I 215

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fully know the answer to this question, though I do have some ideas. Religion, at its base, is communal, based within a habitus Often for one religion there are many habiti which is why people of the same religion oft en worship and think about religious ideas in different ways. Even when an indi vidual is spiritual and not religious, she is operating in the context of a community that informs many of her decisions. Yet it is important to note, that not all communities are religious There needs to more to a religion beyond the communal: a set of rituals, a set of values, boundaries and an orientation towards something held in high regard. Given this, I am not sure that all t he practices that make up yoga today could be categorized as religi on, however, perhaps a strong case could be made for its religious nat ure. In many ways, the practice of yoga defies categorization, despite the many attempts to do so, which makes it difficult to categorize it as a religion or not. Add in, its recent and extensive contact with capitalism, and the question becomes more complex and multifaceted. This is the nature of a rhizome; it refuses to settle and just stay in one pose. Yet, it is important to re member, that despite the flux, change, instability and deterritorial ization of capitalism, many people crave constant meaning, tradition, stability and comfort of territory (boundaries). Perhaps this is one means of dealing with alienation, and while meaning, tradition and boundaries may be constructions for academics to explore and deconstruct, they are easy and comforting, and this point should not be underes timated or treated with disdain. Rather this is an explanation for why same characters and groups in this narrative have been adamant in defining yoga as relig ious or not religious they are trying to exert some agency and control in a system that is not kind to human agency. 216

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I think it is easy to lose sight of human agency and creativity, especially when examining anything that relates to the mech anisms of capitalism. While I am certainly most taken with the idea of yoga (and culture at large) as having a rhizomal quality, I also have come to understand that yoga is something that is done, practiced and lived (as is culture). From the research I have done so far, it is clear that there is a segment of the American populati on that has built yoga into their everyday lives this is reinforced through practice, classes, produc ts (bought in the market), values and community. A welcoming environment for the practice of yoga has been created over the last 150 years via a series of cultural and relig ious translations that has involved the introduction of various texts, practices and yogi s of all varieties to the U.S. I think that the primary sources of this dissertation (translated Hindu text s, texts written for practice, media sources about practice and reception) support that yoga is not just about the translation of ideas, but about a practice that has been embraced and adapted to an American context. Obviously part of this translation involves capitalism and the commodification of yoga. The trick, I be lieve, is to investigate both hegemony and agency when examining yoga in the U.S. This means one has to map out the effects of capitalism on yoga and to trace the ways in which modern practices of yoga (that may be imagined as ancient) are really governed by transnational and economic flows. This mapping exposes the attempts to control and def ine yoga, despite its rhizomal quality. It is precisely because no system is static or rooted, that agency exists, even in capitalism. While yoga has been commodified and manipulated to be many things to many people, perhaps these manipulati ons are a sign of market creativity (or a sign that 217

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people are buying into a system). W hether it is creativity or c ontrol, practitioners of yoga are increasing everyday; there is something compelling about the practice. While it can be argued that yoga is a system of bodily movem ent that aims to control the body in a different way, at the same time, it is im portant to regard the ways people practice yoga. It is important to explore the ways in which t hey build yoga into their everyday lives (or any rhizome) and understand their desires for the exotic (the eastern and spiritual hierophany that fits into any faith). I have tried to balance the analysis of lived practice (agency), while paying attention to colonial and capitalist forces (hegemony) and seeing where the two intersect, which is at the site of the practitioner w ho negotiates practice and market in unique and telling ways (i.e. doga the creation of the Yoga Journal, the attempt to reclaim yoga, the use of yoga as drug detox, etc). Many of us live our lives at the mercy of the ma rket (stock market, housing inde x, job losses, etc), but what the practice of yoga shows is that creativity and agency (even when perpetuated, manipulated and prompted by this very market system at the expen se, often time, of previously colonized cultures ) can still exist if one has the resources to participate. Given that yoga is primarily practiced by upper class, educated women, it would not be appropriate to assume that all may enjoy this creativity in the market. Beyond the conundrum of agency and hegemony I indicated in my literature review that I see my scholarship positioned at the intersection of three fields: the historical construction of spiritual traditions in the U.S., histories of modern yoga and the manifestation of Hindu traditions in the U.S. I would like to think that this study will contribute to each of this fields, and at the same time, I need to acknowledge, that without this previous scholarship, my work would not possible. This dissertation is a 218

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systematic study of t he existence of yoga in U.S. fr om the mid-nineteenth century through the contemporary period. The bulk of the scholarship on Hindu traditions in the U.S. has focused on Indian-Hindu immigrants and the ways in which they create their devotional lives in their new American envir onments this scholarship has best been put forth by Dempsey, Nara yanan and Waghorne. What is uni que about Hindu traditions in the U.S., however, is that the tradition (specifically of yoga) came over before the immigrants did, which makes the case of Hinduism different from that of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. Pras had explores this preimmigrant history in The Karma of Brown Folk but does not give much, if any, credence to practice because that is not his concern. Focusing on yoga allows one to pay attention to the practice of a Hindu tradition before and after 1965. Though many deny that yoga is of the Hindu tradition, the first books that in troduced yoga to the U.S. were and still are classified as Hindu and the first Indian gurus that came to the U.S. as missionaries were also raised Hindu. Studying yoga, then, is essential to understanding Hindu traditions in the U.S. As I found from my examination of India Abroad once Indians were allowed to immigrate to the U.S. they turned to their devotional and ma terial practices, and built the practice of yoga into their temple and communal lives. Th is shows where the base of their religious lives lays, however, it also shows that they were compelled to incorporate practices that had a longer history in the U.S. than their pujas and holiday celebrations While I see myself as adding a chapter to manifestations of Hindu traditions in the U.S., I also understand that my research is part of another tr end of examining the emergence of modern yoga. The three definitive books on the formation and history of modern yoga by Alter, De Michelis and St rauss have all exami ned how contemporary 219

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forms of yoga have emerged among the global flows of modernity, colonialism and science. Like Alter who examines the emer gence of modern yoga in India while paying attention to transnational and colonial influe nces, I am geographically focused, but on the U.S., where there are also transnational influences. The differences between India and the U.S., however, are great enough that I fe lt it merited that the development of yoga in the U.S. deserved historical exami nation. Strauss and De Michelis both focus on specific transnational yoga movements in a global context (Strauss on the Divine Life Society, and De Michelis on Vivekananda and Iyengar), however, since they have already taken that approach and since ther e have been many yoga gurus, of Indian, European and Euro-American descent, that have le ft their mark on th e practice of yoga in the U.S., I chose to take a broader look with a more focused context. Each of these excellent pieces of scholarship also tu rned attention to the connections that have developed between yoga, scienc e and health. Their analysis has helped me recognize that these trends also arise in the context of the U. S. I believe my contribution lies in my emphasis on the relationship that yoga has with capitalism, and how concerns about yogas scientific and health benefits have helped fuel that economic relationship. My focus on yoga in the context of the U.S. places me firmly in the large field of American religious history, and I hope that this dissertation wil l add to the multi-faceted, vast and rich narratives of this field. Many Americanists in the field of religious studies have paid attention to the enc ounter between American Christi anity and Asian religions, have analyzed how Americans construct their sp iritual and religious liv es with creativity, and have looked at the ways that this enc ounter and creativity has been a response to the alienation of the modern cond ition. I firmly follow in the footsteps of these scholars, 220

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but with a specific focus on just the transla tion, practice and commodification of yoga. Like Lears, Moore, Schmidt and Albanese, I am interested in how Americans have built their religious and spiritual worlds and how they have used various encounters to build multiple forms of habiti that makes the U.S. religious landscape above average in its religious diversity, but the focus on just yoga has allowed me to see both the agency and hegemony that plays a role in this religi ous creativity. Lears and Moore do look at capitalism and its effects on American religions but in many ways, they can be seen as scholars on opposite sides of t he spectrum when looking at t he effects of capitalism with Lears on the side of hegemony and Moore on t he side of agency. While I admit I have become more disillusioned with the possibilities of agency while conducting this research, I still see my position between M oore and Lear. There is a dialectic between human agency and economic hegemony. While it may seem that agency looses more ground as we move deeper into the depths of late-capitalism, studying yoga has shown that agency is still a possibility (depending on your resources). The searches for meaning may be dictated by larger structures but what people do with these dictations are largely uncontrollable; in other words they continue to be creative, which is evident via the histories of Albanese and Schmidt, and is demonstrated in this dissertation. Finally, simply examining the history of y oga in the U.S., allowed me to see the ways the American embrace of yoga both shows and heartily disproves the doctrine of American exceptionalism. The U.S. is unique in its long possession of the separation of church and state, and this famed clause has allowed yoga to flourish without state interference. At the same ti me the U.S. has not been imm une from the growing, global popularity of yoga, and in the advent of la te-capitalism, yoga is an example of how 221

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religious worlds and practices are not immune from market influences and deterritorialization despite the particular te rritory of these worlds and practices. Suggesting that U.S. religious history might not be completely exceptional may not be a popular position to take, but when looking at a transnational rhizome (yoga), total exceptionalism no longer make s much sense. Rather, it ma kes more sense to examine how the transnational manifests itself within the constrains of a specific context (i.e. the First Amendment, Liberal Protestant hegem ony and a thriving print culture), and perhaps letting go the notions of American exceptionalism (and all the political and imperial baggage that comes with this concept). Lastly, while researching and writing this dissertation I have been attentive to where the primary sources have led me, and have let these sources tell me about the history of yoga in the U.S. This meant sear ching for primary sources beyond just the writings of the yogis in this narrative, and searching for clues about how they were received (good and bad) by the public. Newspapers and magazines have been most helpful in this search, because print culture not only reflects and reports upon society at large, but also is consumed by society. Looking for yoga in the media has given me insight into how yoga was practiced and rece ived at various points along its American encounters. Michael Gomez learned a lot about how slaves were identified using the ads for runaway slaves, and following his methods, along with those of David Hall and David Morgan, I have tried to uncover the hist ory of yoga in the U.S. by searching the culture from which people read, consum e and learn in their everyday lives.60 I have 60For more information on these methods, see Michael Gomez, Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998); David Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989); and David 222

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benefited from the modern technology of microfilm and the internet, but some of my research entailed just leafing through stacks of magazines and newspapers. This showed me that yoga was not always tucked aw ay in the back sections of newspapers, but often front-page news. It also gave me a feel for the other issues and stories news outlets covered. Looking at newspaper articl es and advertisements, magazine covers, articles and advertisements, websites, court documents and how-to-yoga books, I believe, has allowed me to uncover a histor y that was never neat and tidy, though many construct it to be as such. I also did not always find what I was looking for, which reminded me that sometimes parts of history are just lost. I started out this research just reading Thoreau, Vivekananda, Ramacharaka, Yogananda, Hittleman and Iyengar, but I honestly found the research on the media more interesting because it showed me a history that is not often looked at and up till now, not fully explored. While the outlining of these contributions has been helpful to me, they have also pointed out where my narrative is lacking. Firs t, more attention has to be paid to why the majority of yoga practitioners in the U.S. are women, educated and of above-average wealth. Part of this is because yoga has been successfully marketed to women, the educated and the wealthier disposable in come, learning about other cultures and concerns with beauty make this demographic a per fect market for t he selling of yoga. But there is more to this part of the st ory that I think will reveal more about the mechanisms of culture in the market, and I would like to investigate these mechanisms that target certain cultural pr oducts to certain groups. Second, I would also like to try to examine how the practice of yoga fi ts into and out of the larger habitus of the New Age Morgan, Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998). 223

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in the U.S. this means fu rther examining the dialecti c between Euro-Americans who embrace the various ideologies New Age and Indo-Americans who are able to recognize these ideologies in their own practi ces. I have tried to excavate this dialectic but I believe more can be done via visits to temples where yoga is taught, some conversations with Euro-Americans who practice yoga, Hindu Indo-Americans who follow Ramdev and through these methods fu rther dialogue with those that wish to define yoga as not Hindu and those that want reclaim yoga as Hindu. How do these groups effect, influence, embrace and even madden each other, specific to the practice of yoga, and how are these interactions emblematic of the larger forces of globalization, colonialism and capitalism? Third, it is has re cently come to my attention that yoga has also become quite popular in China and Iran, which is interesting since both China and Iran have governmental prohibitions of certain types of religious practice. Given that attention to capitalism is a large part of my analysis, I may in the future have to veer outside of the boundaries of the U.S. to get a better handle on how the mechanisms of the market and the commodification of yoga has a llowed the practice of yoga to thrive in unexpected places, thus giving me a fuller pi cture of how capitalism allows certain practices (that have religious histories) to translate into a myriad of contexts. It is this translation of practice acro ss time, place and economies that fuels this dissertation. Tracing yoga, from the time it enthralled the imagination of Thoreau through its current entanglements with the First Amendment has led me to believe that the examination of religion must taken into account economic forces, especially after the dawn of industrialization and the advent of alienation. There is an elective affinity 224

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225 between these two forces, and this affinity has effected and continues to influence the translation and practice of yoga in the U.S.

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APPENDIX LIST OF YOGIS THAT INFLUE NCED PRACTICE IN THE U.S. Patanjali: 3rd Century, B.C.E. Yogi Swatmarama: 15th or 16th Century, C.E. Ralph Waldo Emerson: 1803 1882 Henry David Thoreau: 1817 1862 Helena Blavatsky: 1831 1891 Henry Steel Olcott: 1832 1907 William Quan Judge: 1851 1896 Swami Vivekananda: 1863 1902 Pierre Bernard (a.k.a. Oom the Omnipotent): 1875 1955 William Walker Atkinson (a.k.a. Yogi Ramacharaka): 1862 1832 Swami Yogananada: 1893 1952 Richard Hittleman: 1927 1991 Sri Tirumala Krishnamacharya: 1888 1989 Eugenie Peterson (a.k.a. Indra Devi): 1889 2002 Bellur Krishnamacharya S undararaja Iyengar: 1918 present Pattabhi Jois: 1915 2009 Yogi Bhajan: 1929 2004 Swami Satchidananda: 1914 2002 Baba Ram Dev: unknown present Bikram Choudhury: 1946 present 226

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LIST OF REFERENCES Catherine Albanese, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cu ltural History of American Metaphysical Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007). Joseph S. Alter, Yoga in Modern India: T he Body between Science and Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004). Joseph Alter, Gandhis Body: Sex, Diet and the Politics of Nationalism (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). American Women Victims of Hindu Mysticism, The Washington Post 18 February 1912. American Yoga Association, General Yoga Information (accessed 26 August 2009) available from http://www.americanyogaassociati on.org/general.html#WhatisYoga Arjun Appadurai, Introduction: Comm odities and the Politics of Value, The Social Life of Things Commodities in Cultural Perspective ed., Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 3-63. Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1996). Aaron Aupperlee, Staying Flexible: Rule s on Instructor Training Force Kalamazoo Businesses to Bend Quickly, Kalamazoo Gazette 26 July 2009. Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation trans. Shelia Faria Glaser (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 1994). The Bhagvat-Geeta or Dialo gues of Kreeshna and Arjoon In Eighteen Lectures trans. Charles Wilson (Calcutta, Indi a: Bengal Superior Press, 1845). The Bhagavad Gita trans., by Barbara Stoler M iller (New York, NY: Bantam Books 1986). Robert Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart (Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press, 1985). Walter Benjamin, The Task of the Translator, in Illuminations trans. Harry Zohn (New York, NY: Schoken Books, 1968), 69-82. Theos Bernard, Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience (London, Eng.: Rider & Co., 1950). 227

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Thomas Berry, Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism 2nd ed., (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1996). Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (New York, NY: Routledge, 1994). Helena Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy 3rd ed. (London, U.K.: The Theosophical Publishing Company, 1908). Pierre Bordieu, Distinction: A Social Criti que of the Judgment of Taste trans. Richard Nice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984). Pierre Bordieu, The Logic Of Practice trans. Richard Nice (St anford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990). Susan Bordo, The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity, Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory ed., Katie Conboy, Nadia Medina and Sarah Stanbury (New York, NY: Co lumbia University Press, 1997). Mollyann Brodie, et al., AIDS at 21: Media Coverage of t he HIV Epidemic 19812002, Columbia Journalism Review March/April, 2004 (accessed 24 August 2009), available from http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/7023.cfm Brenda Bryan, Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi (Seattle, WA: Skipstone Press, 2009). Jeremy Carrette and Richard King, Selling Spirituality: The Silent Takeover of Religion (New York, NY: Routledge, 2005). Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postco lonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000). Christopher Key Chapple, Yoga and the Luminous: Patanj alis Spiritual Path to Freedom (Albany, NY: State University Press of New York, 2009). David Chidester, Authentic Fakes: Religion and American Popular Culture (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005). David Chidester, Savage Systems: Colonialism and Comparative Religion in Southern Africa (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1996). Children May Select Their Parents At Re-Birth, Says Yoga Priestess, The Washington Post, 17 October 1915. William L. Clairborne, Heroin Treatment: Garlic Juice, Yoga, The Washington Post, 22 March 1972. 228

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Carl Coates, Yoga Way of Life Discussed, Los Angeles Sentinel 1 January 1976. Joseph Hornor Coates, The Bhagavad Gita; New English Translation of the Great Vedantic Poem Illumination Commentary, Historical, Philo sophical and Philosophical and Philological, by Translator; KNOWLEDGE NEW AND OLD; Adumbrations of Modern Thought in Page of Book 2,500 Years Old, The New York Times 15 August 1908. Judith Coney, New Religious Movem ents in the West Led by South Asians The South Asian Religious Diaspora in Br itain, Canada, and the United States ed. Harold Coward, et al. (Albany, NY: State Universi ty of New York Press, 2000), 55-74. Court Gets Plea from Yogananda: Swami in Miami Seeks to Stay in Town Despite Ire of 200 Husbands, The Los Angeles Times 5 February 1928. Crazed By The Cult, The Washington Post 27 May 1911. Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, Stretching for Jesus, Time Magazine 29 August 2005 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.time.com/time/magaz ine/article/0, 9171,1098937,00.html Claudia Cummins, Just Breathe, The Yoga Journal October 2006, 115. Laura Daltry, Jump! Stretch! Re lax! TVs A.M. Fat Farm, The Los Angeles Times 15 April 15, 1984. Mary Daniels, A New You Through Yoga, Chicago Tribune 8 February 1970. Ramana Das, Two Epic Tales: The Ramayana and Star Wars, Yoga Journal, November/December 1977, 37-39. The Dawn of Religious Pluralism: Voices from the Worlds Parliament of Religions, 1893 ed. Richard Hughes Seager (C hicago, IL: Open Court, 1999). Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1983). Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, a thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1987). Elizabeth De Michelis, A History of Modern Yoga (London: Continuum, 2004). 229

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Indra Devi, Yoga for Americans: A Complete 6 Weeks Course for Home Practice (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1959). Diyva Yog Mandir, Pranayam With His Holiness Swami Ramdevji Maharaj 2002 (accessed 24 August 2009), available from http://www.divyayoga.com/main.htm Don Yellow Robe? Chicago Daily Tribune 11 July 1897. DR. STONE LOST LIFE AS WIFE LOOKED ON; Purdue University Head Fell Down Canadian Precipice When a Rock Gave Way. SHE TRIED TO REACH HIM But was Marooned on Ledge and Remained There F oodless Eight Days Until Rescued, The New York Times 28 July 1921 Diana L. Eck, Darsan: Seeing the Divine in India 2nd ed. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1985). Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and Profane: The Nature of Religion, trans. William Trask (Orlando, FL: Harcot Brace Jovanovich, 1987), 3. Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Imortality and Freedom 2nd ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). Travers Elliot, Self and Self-Acceptance, Yoga Journal May 1975, 10. Robert S. Ellwood, The Fifties Spiritual Marketplace: American Religion in a Decade of Conflict (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutger s University Press, 1997). Robert S. Ellwood, The Sixties Spiritual Awakening (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994). Kathleen M. Erndl, Sakta, The Hindu World ed. Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby (New York, NY: Routledge, 2004). Yen Le Espiritu, All Men Are Not Created Equal: As ian Men in U.S. History, in Men's Lives (fourth edition), ed. Michael S. Kimme l and Michael A. Messner. (Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1997), 35-44. Mindy Fetterman, Yoga Copyright raises questions of ownership, USA Today 29 June 2006. Ludwig Feuerbach, Lectures on the Essence of Religion, trans. Ralph Manheim (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1967). Georg Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice (Prescott, AZ: Hohm Press, 1998). 230

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Roger Finke, The Illusion of Shifting Demand: Supply-Side Interpretations of American Religious History, Retelling US Religious History, ed. Thomas Tweed (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997). Edward B. Fiske, Priests and Nuns Disco ver Yoga Enhances Grasp of Faith, The New York Times, 2 July 1971. Fords, Not Bishops, Need of India, Says Swami Yogananda, The Washington Post 10 January 1927. Tracye Gano, Christian Yoga, Innocent Activity or Dancing with the Devil? Contemplative Emerging Church Deception 12 February 2007 (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://emerging-church.blogspot.com/2007/02/christian-yogainnocent-activity-or.html Sister Gargi, Swami Trigunatita: His Life and Work (Calcutta, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1997). Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love (New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2006). Joseceylen Godwin, The Theosophical Enlightenment (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994). Michael Gomez, Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Coloni al and Antebellum South (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998). Phillip Goodchild, Capitalism and Religion the Price of Piety (New York, NY: Routledge, 2002). Russell B. Goodman, East-West Philosophy in Nineteenth-Century America: Emerson and Hinduism, Journal of the History of Ideas 51:4 (OctoberDecember1990): 625-645. Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York NY: International Publishers, 1971). Green Yoga Association, About Green Yoga Association (accessed 26 August 2009), available from http://www.greenyoga.org/aboutus.html Katherine Gresham, Lort on Inmates Study Yoga, The Washington Post 6 November 1966. R. Marie Griffith, Born Again Bodies (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2004). 231

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Suchandana Gupta, Yoga C an Cure AIDS: Ramdev, The Times of India 26 December 2006. David Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989). Aziz Haniffa. Swami Ramdev aims to tr ain instructors to spread authentic yoga, India Abroad 8 August 2008. Her Solace in Death, The Washington Post 27 October 1902. Richard Hittleman, Yoga for Physical Fitness (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1964). Richard Hittleman, Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan (New York, NY: Workman Publishing Company 1969). Martha Hodes White Women, Black Men: Illici t Sex in the 19th-Century South (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997). E. Brooks Holifield, Theology in America Christi an Thought from the Age of the Puritans to the Civil War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003). How To Be God As Taught By Swami, The New York Times, 29 May 1911. Hundreds Pay Tribute at Rites for Yogananda, The Los Angeles Times 12 March 1952. Dave Hunt, Yoga and The Body of Christ: What Position Should Christians Hold? (Bend, OR: The Barean Call, 2006). B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga rev. ed. (New York, NY : Schocken Books, 1966). India Evaluating Effects of Yoga, The New York Times, 30 November 1975. Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York, Frequently Asked Questions 2009 (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://www.iyengarnyc.org/faqs.html Carl T. Jackson, Vedanta for the West (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994) Susan Jacoby, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, 2004). Frederic Jameson, Postmodernism Or, the Cultur al Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham, NC: Duke Univer sity Press, 1991). 232

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Paul K. Johnson, The Masters Revealed: Madam Blavatsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge (Albany, NY: State University Press of New York, 1994). JOINS YOGA COLONY: Educators Wife G oes to Follow Strange God. Purdues University Head Divorced After Philosophy Is Said to Have Taken Wife to South Sea Islands, The Chicago Defender (Big Weekend Edition) 29 July 1911. K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, Method (accessed 21 August 2009), available from http://www.kpjayi.org/method.html K. Pattabhi Jois, Yoga Mala trans. Eddie Stern (New York, NY: North Point Press, 1999). Joanna Joseph, Nick Duncan, Yoga Journal, September/October 1988, 36-37. William Quan Judge, Why Yoga Practice is Dangerous, Path Volume V (March 1891): 367-368. Ida Jean Kain, Your Figure Madam, The Atlanta Constitution 15 October 1937. Sarah A. Kass, Yoga, A 60s Survivor, Is Luring Converts, The New York Times 25 August 1993. Elizabeth Katedsky, First There Is a Mountain: A Yoga Romance (Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company, 2004). Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. PA. 2005). Ike Lasater, U.S. Energy Policy, Yoga Journal January 1979, 29-31. Kimberly J. Lau, New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). Jackson T. J. Lears, No Place of Grace Antimodernism and the Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920 (Chicago, IL: The Universi ty of Chicago Press, 1981). Richard Leviton, How the Swam is Came to the States, Yoga Journal, March/April 1990, 42-55 & 119-128. Georg Lukcs, History and Class Consciousness trans. Rodney Livingstone (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1972). Frank Macshane, Walden and Yoga, The New England Quarterly 37:3 (September 1964): 322-342. 233

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Alan B. Malnak, et al. v. Maharishi M ahesh Yogi, et al., 440 F. Supp 1284 (D.N.J. 1977). Douglas Martin, Indra Devi, 102, Dies; Taught Yoga to Stars and Leaders, The New York Times, 30 April 2002. Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I: A Critique of Political Economy trans. Ben Fowkes (New York, NY: Penguin Classics). Colleen McDannell, Material Christianity (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995). Agnes McLaren, Twentieth-Century Sexuality: A History (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1999). H.L. Mencken, Homo Neanderthalensis, The Baltimore Evening Sun 29 June 1925. Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception trans. by Colin Smith (New York, NY: Routledge, 2002), 94-95. R. Laurence Moore, Selling God: American Religion in the Marketplace of Culture (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford Un iversity Press, 1994). David Morgan, Visual Piety: A History and Theor y of Popular Religious Images (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998). Mother vs. Mrs. Tingley In Suit For Child, The Los Angeles Times 9 January 1903. Mr. Wright Explains Yoga Practices, The New York Times, 13 January 1896. Leslie Murray, Liberal Protestantism and Science (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007). Kiran Narayan, Refractions of the Field at Home: Hindu Holy Men in America in the Nineteenth and Twent ieth Centuries, Cultural Anthropology 8 (1993): 476-509. Vasudha Narayanan, Creating the South Indian Hindu Experience in the United States, in A Sacred Thread: Modern Transmission of Hindu Traditions in India and Abroad ed. Raymond Brady Williams (New York NY: Columbia University Press, 1996), 147-176. W.E. Newman, Yoga is the Secret of Youth, The Washington Post 11 August 1957. 234

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Night Revels Held in Sanskrit College, The New York Times, 15 December 1911. Ton OBrien, Kundalini, The Washington Post 8 August 1970. Oom Named Bankhead, The New York Times, 15 November 1931. Oom Out of Prison, The Washington Post 26 August 1910. Opposed to Any But Christians, Chicago Daily Tribune 22 February 1892. Outcome of the Parlia ment of Religions, Chicago Daily Tribune 24 September 1893. Fernando Pages-Ruiz, Krishnamacharyas Legacy, Yoga Journal, May 2001, 96101 & 161-168. Christopher Palmeri with David Kiley, In Hot Pursuit of Yoga Mama, Business Week 7 November 2005, http://www.businessweek.com/m agazine/content/05_45/b3958110.htm (accessed 21 August 2009). Parliament of Religions, Chicago Daily Tribune, 5 February 1892. Parliament of Religions, The New York Times, 11 September 1893. Pierre Bernard, Oom the Omnipotent, Promoter and Self-S tyled Swami, Dies, The New York Times 28 September 1955. Phuong Ly, Churches, Synagogues Mingle Yoga With Beliefs, The Washington Post 1 January 2006. Amanda Porterfield, The Transformation of American Religion: The Story of Late Twentieth Century Awakening (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2001). Vijay Prashad, The Karma of Brown Folk (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Robert A. Orsi, The Madonna of 115th Street: Fa ith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950 2nd ed., (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002). Yogi Ramacharaka, Science of Breath (Chicago, IL: Yogi Publication Society, 1905). Yogi Ramacharaka, The Practical Water Cure: As Practiced in India and Other Oriental Countries (Chicago, IL: The Yogi Pu blication Society, 1909). 235

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Alan Reder, Reconcilable Differences, Yoga Journal March/April 2001, 78-85 & 156. Rich Roberts, Yoga: Good For Mind, Body, and Race Car Driving, The Los Angeles Times 24 May 1980. Wade Clark Roof, Spiritual Marketplace: Baby Boomers and the Remaking of American Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Un iversity Press, 1999). Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality (New York: Harper, 2005). Malini Johar Schueller US Orientalisms: Race, Nati on and Gender in Literature, 1790-1890 (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press). Richard Hughes Seager, The Worlds Parliament of Religions: The East/West Encounter, Chicago 1893 (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995). Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian (New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005). Sheetal Shah, Lets Take Yoga Back, Hindu American Foundation Blog 13 May 2009 (accessed 28 August 2009), available from http://www.hinducurrents.com/articles/19969/lets-take-yoga-back/ Phulgenda Sinha, The Science of Yoga, The Washington Post 31 August 1992. Mindy Sink, Yoga in Aspen Public Schools Draws Opposition, The New York Times 8 February 2003. Marie Smith, Mrs. Nixon Tries Yoga, The Washington Post 16 September 1970. Jennifer Snow, The Civilization of White Me n: The Race of the Hindu in United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, in Race, Nation and Religion in the Americas Ed. Henry Goldschmidt & Elizabeth McAlister (New York : Oxford University Press, 2004), 259-282. William Staniger, Editorial, Yoga Journal May 1975, 1. Sarah Strauss, Positioning Yoga: Balanc ing Acts Across Cultures (Oxford: Berg 2005). Stripped of Religion, Yoga Enters Public Schools, Associated Press 28 January 2007. 236

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240 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Prior to attending the University of Flor ida for her doctoral studies, Shreena Niketa Divyakant Gandhi completed he r Masters of Theological St udies at Harvard Divinity School, where her areas of focus were Christ ianity and Culture, an d World Religions. Gandhi received her bachelors degree at Swarthmore College, where her major was religious studies. Since high school, s he has been fascinated with U.S. history and religious history this dissertation is t he product of this fi fteen-year fascination.