Synopses & Reviews
Within most pre-modern, Indian traditions of yoga, the role of the guru is absolutely central. Indeed, it was often understood that yoga would simply not work without the grace of the guru. The modern period saw the dawn of new, democratic, scientific modes of yoga practice and teaching. While teachings and gurus have always adapted to the times and circumstances, the sheer pace of cultural change ushered in by modernity has led to some unprecedented innovations in the way gurus present themselves and their teachings, and the way they are received by their students.
Gurus of Modern Yoga explores the contributions of individual gurus to the formation of the practices and discourses of yoga today. The focus is not limited to India, but also extends to the teachings of yoga gurus in the modern, transnational world, and within the Hindu diaspora. Each section deals with a different aspect of the guru within modern yoga. Included are extensive considerations of the transnational tantric guru; the teachings of modern yoga's best-known guru, T. Krishnamacharya, and those of his principal disciples; the place of technology, business and politics in the work of global yoga gurus; and the role of science and medicine. As a whole, the book represents an extensive and diverse picture of the place of the guru, both past and present, in contemporary yoga practice.
"This fascinating collection of essays records the historical and sociological developments within particular yoga communities impacted by modernity, globalism, consumerism, competition, and technology...It is a rich contribution to the field. Recommended."
"Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg have put together an enlightening survey of the leading yoga gurus from around the world within the Hindu diaspora." --Spirituality Practice
"Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg have assembled a group of essays that combine critical rigor with sympathetic insight, including many by authors with extensive personal background in the practice of yoga. It is a welcome development that the scholar-practitioner model is becoming an accepted part of the study of Indian religions. This excellent book will likely become the go-to resource for the study of modern gurus and guru-based movements." --Andrew J. Nicholson, Stony Brook University
Gurus of Modern Yoga explores the contributions that individual gurus have made to the formation of the practices and discourses of yoga in today's world. The focus is not limited to India, but also extends to the teachings of yoga gurus in the modern, transnational world, and within the Hindu diaspora. Each of the sections deals with a different aspect of the guru within modern yoga. Included are extensive considerations of the transnational tantric guru; the teachings of modern yoga's best-known guru, T. Krishnamacharya, and those of his principal disciples; the place of technology, business, and politics in the work of global yoga gurus; and the role of science and medicine. Although the principal emphasis is on the current situation, some of the essays demonstrate the continuing influence of gurus from generations past. As a whole, the book represents an extensive and diverse picture of the place of the guru in contemporary yoga practice.
About the Author
is an Instructor at St. John's College.
Ellen Goldberg is Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at Queen's University.
Table of Contents
Note on Transliteration
Introduction - Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg
Part One: Key Figures in Early Twentieth-Century Yoga
Chapter 1: Manufacturing Yogis: Swami Vivekananda as a Yoga Teacher - Dermot Killingley
Chapter 2: Remembering Sri Aurobindo and the Mother: The Forgotten Lineage of Integral Yoga - Ann Gleig and Charles I. Flores
Chapter 3: Shri Yogendra: Magic, Modernity and the Burden of the Middle-Class Yogi - Joseph S. Alter
Part Two: The Lineages of T. Krishnamacharya
Chapter 4: T. Krishnamacharya, Father of Modern Yoga - Mark Singleton and Tara Fraser
Chapter 5: Authorized by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: The Role of Parampara and Lineage in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga - Jean Byrne
Chapter 6: B.K.S. Iyengar as a Yoga Teacher and Yoga Guru - Frederick M. Smith and Joan White
Chapter 7: The Institutionalization of the Yoga Tradition: Gurus B. K. S. Iyengar and Yogini Sunita in Britain - Suzanne Newcombe
Part Three: Tantra Based Gurus
Chapter 8: Swami Krpalvananda: The Man Behind Kripalu Yoga - Ellen Goldberg
Chapter 9: Muktananda: Entrepreneurial Godman, Tantric Hero - Andrea R. Jain
Chapter 10: Stretching toward the Sacred: John Friend and Anusara Yoga - Lola Williamson
Part Four: Bhaktiyoga
Chapter 11: Svaminarayana: Bhaktiyoga and the Aksarabhraman Guru - Hanna H. Kim
Chapter 12: Sathya Sai Baba and the Repertoire of Yoga - Smriti Srinivas
Part Five: Technology
Chapter 13: Engineering an Artful Practice: On Jaggi Vasudev's ISHA Yoga and Sri Sri Ravi Shakar's Art of Living - Joanne Punzo Waghorne
Chapter 14: Online Bhakti in a Modern Guru Organization - Maya Warrier
Part Six: Nation-Builders
Chapter 15: Eknath Ranade, Gurus and Jivanvratis (life-workers): Vivekananda Kendra's Promotion of the Yoga Way of Life - Gwilym Beckerlegge
Chapter 16: Swami Ramdev: Modern Yoga Revolutionary - Stuart Sarbacker