Announcements // April 13 – 19

Please see the detailed announcement for the upcoming week: 


Choice Projects

The Choice Projects have been reviewed and grades have been updated via iCollege. If you are interested in individual feedback, please email me directly and I am happy to provide it. 

If for whatever reason you are unhappy with your grade and would like a chance to improve it, I am offering a period of revise-and-resubmit for a higher grade. If you would like to do this, complete the following steps: 

    1. Email me with a request for specific feedback and advice for improvement, 
    2. Complete the edits and revision by Sunday, April 19
    3. Notify me (again via email) that the revisions are complete with details about the changes you made. 


Group Discussions

Group Discussion #5 is due tomorrow (Sunday, April 12th) and will cover the topics of Mindfulness Meditation and Ayurveda. 


April 13 – April 19 // Yoga and the Healing Marketplace

Swami Vivekananda

This week, our readings focus on the development of yoga in the United States from its early modern period as divergent, countercultural practices, to a part of popular culture within the global consumer culture.

What similarities do you see between the postural yoga systems that became so successful, and other CAM modalities we’ve explored this semester. What are they resisting (Culturally? Religiously? Medically?) How do the relate to biomedicine and science? Why are they so appealing (or specifically marketed to) New Agers, and eventually the public at large?

While I’m not formally assigning this reading, if you have a few minutes, I highly recommend you read #Namaslay, or How Black Women Are Using Trap Yoga As a Mode of Spiritual Resistance. In it, you’ll see parallels to other conversations we’ve had about representation within CAM spaces, the spiritual bypassing that happens in many wellness spaces, and how Black women are creatively reinventing wellness practices to meet the needs of their specific community. 

B. K. S. Iyengar


“From Counterculture to Counterculture”, Andrea R. Jain, Selling Yoga (20 – 41) 

  • What was early modern yoga resisting? 
  • What social changes in the middle of the 19th century were important to the context and development of yoga in the US? 
  • Who was Ida C. Craddock? Describe her socio-religious and sexual reform agenda. How does Craddock’s life reflect the development of early modern yoga? 
  • Who was Pierre Bernard? What aspects of early modern yoga does his interpretation of yoga reveal? 
  • How did the religious landscape of the 19th century in the US affect the response to yoga? 
  • Who was Swami Vivekananda? What was his role in the spread of transnational yoga? How did he present Hindu religious and cultural tradition?  
  • What does Jain mean by “yoga from the neck up” and “ascetic, Protestant yoga”? 
  • What is the relationship between global physical culture and the development of modern yoga? 
  • What is the relationship between science and modernity on the development of modern yoga? 
  • What themes / historical patterns define the development of early modern yoga? (late-19th to mid-20th century) 

“Continuity with Consumer Culture”, Andrea R. Jain, Selling Yoga, (42 – 72)

  • What are the three developments that enabled the global popularization of postural yoga? 
  • What does it mean that “consumer choice is a self-conscious process”? How does the consumer-oriented approach to religion effect the development of yoga? 
  • What differentiated preksha dhyana from other forms of Jain asceticism in the 1970’s? 
  • Why were postural yoga systems so successful, while many devotional yoga systems did not? What similar themes do you see between this development and the desires of New Agers and spiritual “seekers”? 
  • How does postural yoga system integrate biomedical language into their practice and marketing? 
  • What was the influence of B.K.S. Iyengar on postural yoga as a body-enhancing system?
  • What does the development of yoga tell us about the history of religion in general? 


  • Heterogenous 
  • Modern yoga
  • Ida C. Craddock
  • Tantric yoga
  • Pierre Bernard
  • Raja yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Theosophy
  • Vivekananda
  • Postural yoga
  • Metanarrative
  • Heretical Imperative
  • Bricolage
  • Sheilah-ism
  • Soteriology
  • Modern Soteriological yoga / modern denominational yoga
  • Godmen / godwomen
  • Siddha yoga
  • Preksha dhyana
  • B.K.S. Iyengar
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