Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future

Introduction: Abuse in Yoga and Beyond: Cultural Logics and Pathways for the Future Christopher Miller In recent years, abuse scandals have shaken the yoga world once again, overturning previously held conceptions of yoga gurus, their teachings, and the individuals and organizations that have enabled their abuse. Most importantly, these abuse scenarios – whether they have involved sexual assault, cruelty, financial exploitation, etc. – have left individuals and communities disoriented, deeply traumatized, and desperately searching for answers. As Sacred Matters editor Gary Laderman writes, “the sacred is not always what it seems, can be associated with just about anything, and remains […]

7 Questions for Andrea R. Jain

Andrea R. Jain One difficult thing about writing Selling Yoga, though it was not surprising, is that contemporary popular culture defies the ability to locate any cultural object at one site or sites. And in the case of pop-culture yoga, we cannot locate it in my chosen sites alone. However, as a practical move, I had to select my examples as windows into the incalculable sites of the construction, dissemination, and practice of yoga. I had to carefully select from case studies in my effort to demonstrate that the postural practice we most associate with yoga today underwent global popularization as a consequence of its coincidence with transnational cultural developments.

The Weight of the Guru: A Review of Kumaré

By Anandi Leela Salinas In Sanskrit, the term guru is defined as: “important,” “valuable,” “respectable,” and “heavy,” in addition to the definition that finds more currency in 21st century America: spiritual teacher in a general “Eastern” tradition. There have been a number of recently published works analyzing the role of the transnational spiritual guru in modern day America (Gurus in America, Transcendent in America, and Homegrown Gurus to name a few), but ethnographies of transnational South Asian religious movements in the United States have yet to explore the experience of joining, belonging, and reflecting within these communities from the perspective of the devotees. The 2012 film […]