Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Embodying Transnational Yoga
by Miller, Christopher, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2018, 295; 10935683
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents a multi-sited ethnographic research project conducted within three coastal yoga communities: Yoga Anand Ashram in Amityville, New York (chapter 2); Polestar Gardens in Puna District, Hawaii (chapter 3); and Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in Lonavala, Maharashtra (chapter 4). As the introductory chapter (chapter 1) indicates, I follow the understudied somatic practices of yogic diet, breathwork, and music through each of these field sites while utilizing an ethnographic methodology that considers somatic practice as a primary source of data. Drawing on the mobilities paradigm from the social sciences as well as theoretical scholarship concerned with embodiment and embodied practice, I argue that the practices of yogic diet, breathwork, and music reveal portable “engaged alchemies” that have been extensively deployed by contemporary disseminators of yoga. I use the term “engaged alchemy” throughout this dissertation to specifically refer to the ways by which practitioners of yoga transnationally have collectively adapted yogic diet, breathwork, and music practices within contemporaneous worlds of yoga practice which are intended to produce site-specific, embodied instantiations of yoga. The concluding chapter (chapter 5) highlights key trends concerning transnational yoga observed across the field sites considered in the current study while suggesting opportunities for future research in the field of modern yoga studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Srinivas, Smriti
Commitee: Alter, Joseph, Lucia, Amanda, Miller, Flagg
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Religious Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Cultural anthropology, Kinesiology, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Body, Embodiment, Modern yoga, Transnational yoga, Yoga, Yoga ethnography
Publication Number: 10935683
ISBN: 978-0-438-92949-4
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