Yoga is either religious instruction or the “wussification of America.”

At least that's what two stories I ran into this week are saying. First, there's a Fox News story that I came across via Media Matters in which the fine folks at Fox & Friends discuss the new "trend" of children practicing yoga with guest and parenting guru (no pun intended) Larry Winget. The whole … Continue reading Yoga is either religious instruction or the “wussification of America.”

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Yoga and the Protestant Public Sphere; Or, Taking Back Yoga Where?

Thanks to NPR, the debate about white people doing yoga is back in the news: About 20 million people in the United States practice some form of yoga, from the formal Iyengar and Ashtanga schools to the more irreverent "Yoga Butt." But some Hindus say yoga is about far more than exercise and breathing techniques. … Continue reading Yoga and the Protestant Public Sphere; Or, Taking Back Yoga Where?

Evangelical Theologies of the Body: What About John Wesley?

I wrote the following as a sample blog for my REL100 course this fall. The goal is to give students an example of how to write a simple blog post that takes an article, links to it, summarizes it, and then offers one good critique drawn from class (the examples of Shepp and Wesley come … Continue reading Evangelical Theologies of the Body: What About John Wesley?

Review: American Veda by Philip Goldberg

While I was traveling over the last few days, Religion Dispatches published a review I wrote of Philp Goldberg's American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. Here's a bit of it: A Methodist church near my house advertises for “Gentle Yoga Classes” on one of those … Continue reading Review: American Veda by Philip Goldberg

The Colonial Roots of Modern Yoga

Wendy Doniger reviews Mark Singleton's Yoga Body: The Origin of Modern Posture Practice (Oxford, 2010): Contemporary postural yoga was invented in India in the nineteenth century. This is Singleton’s most provocative assertion. He argues that a transnational, anglophone yoga arose at this time, compounded of the unlikely mix of British bodybuilding and physical culture, American … Continue reading The Colonial Roots of Modern Yoga

“Yoga Wars,” William James a (Post?)Modern, and Finland’s Education System

- This is the best analysis of the "who owns yoga?" question I've read so far. - Poland just built a gianormous Jesus statue, but is it becoming more secular? - Andrew Hartman over at U.S. Intellectual History discusses how modern or postmodern William James was. - On the ground with anti-nuclear protesters via The Historical Society. - … Continue reading “Yoga Wars,” William James a (Post?)Modern, and Finland’s Education System

The Sacred & Profane: Buddhism and Science, Gold’s Gym and Scientology, Jesus and Yoga

Buddhism and Science: Problems and Perils My colleague at Emory, Kenny Smith, compares the function of authenticity in Scientology and Gold's Gym Apparently, most U.S. pastors don't think Obama is a Christian...or Glenn Beck, for that matter. Stephen Prothero asks who owns Jesus and Yoga. I wonder when religions became a matter of ownership.