The Story of Yoga: From Ancient India to the Modern West

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How did a venerable Indian spiritual discipline turn into a GBP20 billion-a-year mainstay of the wellness industry? What happened along yoga's winding path from the caves and forests of the sages to the gyms, hospitals and village halls of the modern West? This comprehensive history sets yoga in its global cultural context for the first time, leading us on a journey from arcane religious rituals and medieval body-magic, through Christianity and the British Empire, to Indian nationalists and the twentieth-century West. Yoga has now become embedded in powerful social currents including feminism, digital media, celebrity culture, the stress pandemic and the quest for authentic identity. Shearer's revealing history boasts a colourful cast of characters past and present, in an engaging tale of scholars and scandal, science and spirit, wisdom and waywardness. This is the untold story of yoga, warts and all.