‘Modern’ Yoga and ‘Traditional’ Sādhus
Daniela Bevilacqua [+]
SOAS, University of London
Chapter 7 deals with transnational, modern yoga and assesses how this yoga is influencing the practice of sādhus. Therefore, it deals with sādhus who learned about yoga in modern centers and also who hold degrees, including PhDs in Yoga, as well as sādhus who simply took “western yoga classes” in order to teach abroad, distinguishing, nevertheless between yog (i.e. the practice taught by their guru) and yoga (i.e. the modern practice). Likewise, it discusses the influence that some traditional orders (in particular the Nāth sampradāya) have on the international yoga community and how more and more foreigners seek “traditional” gurus for their practices. The role of social media and the Internet in influencing the practice and the way some sādhus talk about yoga will also be analyzed. Finally, the controversial figure of Bābā Rāmdev, the role of the International Day of Yoga and their reception by the ascetic community will be presented.