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Sinister Yogis
Author: David Gordon White

ISBN: 9780226895130
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 17 October 2009
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.2
Description:
Since the 1960s, yoga has become a billion-dollar industry in the West, attracting housewives and hipsters, New Agers and the old aged. Marketed as a clear path to self-realization, mind expansion, and taut abs, yoga is also perceived as an ancient and unchanging Indian tradition based on the revelations of benign and limber sages. But this modern conception of yoga derives from nineteenth-century European spirituality, "Sinister Yogis" reveals, and the true story of yoga's origins in South Asia is far richer, stranger, and much more entertaining. To uncover this history, David Gordon White focuses on yoga's practitioners. Combing through millennia of South Asia's vast and diverse literature, he discovers that yogis are usually portrayed as wonder-workers or sorcerers who use their dangerous supernatural abilities--which can include raising the dead, possession, and levitation--to acquire power, money, and sexual gratification. As White shows, even those yogis who aren't downright villainous bear little resemblance to Western assumptions about them. At turns rollicking and sophisticated, "Sinister Yogis" tears down the image of yogis as detached, contemp...

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