By Sarah Strauss
Last year, more than seven million Americans participated in yoga or tai chi classes. Yet despite its popularity the real nature of yoga remains shrouded in mystery. A diverse range of practitioners range from white-bearded Indian mystics to celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Positioning Yoga provides an overview of the development of yoga, from its introduction to Western audiences by the Indian Swami Vivekananda at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago to forms of modern practice. What makes yoga practitioners affiliated with Swami Sivananda's Divine Life Society of Rishikesh, India unique--whether they hail from Indian, North America, or Europe? What values around the world have supported the surging popularity of yoga over the past century? This absorbing book considers how lifestyle values have made yoga a global industry and shows how this popular "lifestyle" is produced and disseminated across boundaries.