Am delighted to share that this article of mine is now freely available from the open access journal Ethnologica Actualis.
Below is my updated resume for presentation at the World Sanskrit Conference, which is happening in Vancouver in July.
From within the global wellness industry, this suspicious and critical explication focuses on drawing together the tacit social, political and theological parameters involved in creating unlikely alliances between global yogis and Hindu supremacists. The commodification of yoga rarefies utopian-inspired, yoga-related memes to widen symbolic valency. This leads to porous boundaries across the heterotopic spaces within Yogaland’s social imaginary consumption-scape. And allows for seemingly incommensurable worlds to merge, which can potentially lead to unsuspecting global yogis, who turn to yoga through the anti-modern impulse, to learn more about the wellness benefits of yoga-inspired lifestyles to become unwitting supporters of Hindutva. While not suggesting a conspiratorial cabal, in a seemingly independent, yet commensalic way, this occurs through shared reliance on the Sanskrit episteme and the Romantic-Orientalist-colonial-imagined, utopian-inspired narratives that are promoted by the global yoga industry, the Indian government’s ministries of tourism, health and yoga, and the Hindutva parivar, which promote a “yogic” or “Vedic way of life” as superior to all other lifestyles.
Yet, we do not seem to consider the implications related to how global yogis, who take their leisure/lifestyle seriously, imbibe dogmatically theological propositions related to the history and authenticity of yoga, which has real world implications for marginalized groups in India. Therefore, who, or what, is a yoga fundamentalist? And, why should we care?
It has taken a few months but finally this article is now published. I was invited to write up a less academic article about my project related to 'Sanskrit-speaking' villages in India. This is a project that I've worked on in an oblique way over the past 10 years or so. I hope to do more work on this fascinating phenomenon.
Also, here is another article that I published on Medium. It is also a reflective piece on my journey over the past 10 years or so. It is in some ways the background to the article above, which is the background to the academic articles I've published about these villages.
If anyone is interested, the Kobe Yogafest is on tomorrow. I'll be heading down there to check it out, maybe take a class or three. Here is the information about it, if you'd like to know more.
As spring gets into top gear, there seems to be a lot more on offer. There is SUP yoga on all weekend at Lake Biwako. And in a couple of weekends there is a yoga festival in Nagoya.
19/4/2018 0 Comments
It sounds like the start to a good joke, doesn’t it? However, it’s not. At least, not yet...to get to the punch line you'll have to click here.
On 28th April I'll be joining Dr Jason Birch for an afternoon of talks related to our respective studies of yoga. All the information can be found here, if you'd like to attend this free event. I hope to record this event and post it later.
The Call for Papers deadline for the conference has been extended to 15 June 2018. For more information about the conference, how to apply and register, please click here.
I've started to write a series on yoga called Autobiography of a Bhogi: Adventures in Yogaland - you can find the first instalment here.
Happy Travels. Om voyage...
This post is non-yoga-related; however, Aimee said she "reached enlightenment" after only 10 mins in the main temple!!!
Your mind is nirvana, I'll meet you there 💛
After lunch, I strolled to a local temple close to university. It is known as Hyakumanben-Chionji Temple. The temple is over 500 years old.
I went in to the main temple and greeted the priest Nagase, who educated me on the history of the temple, Hyakumanben-Dainenjyu-Kuri. He also told me about the Juzu beads, which are believed to be the largest in the world, and weigh in at 320kgs and are 110m long.
I was fascinated by the Juzu beads upon entering the temple. They decorate the inside of the main temple, draping from the ceiling, around the walls and pillars.
Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed inside, so you will have to experience it for yourself when you come visit Kyoto. The large grounds of the temple also host a monthly flea market on the 15th.
Also, daily chanting is offered at 6:30am, 11:00am and 4:00pm.