Yoga in Britain - Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis - Suzanne Newcombe

Yoga in Britain - Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis - Suzanne Newcombe

Diversity of Practice and Practitioners

Yoga in Britain - Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis - Suzanne Newcombe

Suzanne Newcombe [+-]
Open University and Inform, King's College London
Suzanne Newcombe is a Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University and a Research Fellow at Inform, a charity based at King's College London. She researches yoga and ayurveda from a sociological and social historical perspective.

Description

This chapter consists of a thematic exploration of the motivations of yoga practitioners in twentieth century Britain, drawing on primary source literature and over thirty oral-history interviews. The most popular reasons for practicing yoga related to experiences of greater integration, relaxation and concentration. The emphasis was on experiences of greater personal health and happiness. These motivations were usually, but not always, separate from any specific theological beliefs. However, many practitioners did experience their involvement with yoga as ‘more than physical’ and some became associated with specific theological expressions of yoga. The chapter argues that spiritual beliefs were seen as a private, personal concern and the public education context of yoga de-emphasized the religious message. Therefore, a presentation of yoga developed in twentieth century Britain that allowed for a diversity of private interpretation, within an expectation of secular public pedagogy.

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Citation

Newcombe, Suzanne. Diversity of Practice and Practitioners. Yoga in Britain - Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 228-257 Jun 2019. ISBN 9781781796603. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33793. Date accessed: 27 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33793. Jun 2019

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