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Post-lineage Yoga

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Post-lineage yoga presents a ground-breaking model for scholars to understand the contemporary teaching and practice of yoga, one where peer networks are more relevant than either brand loyalty or lineage affiliation. Previous research has considered the history and science of yoga, but rarely the ways in which it has been shared. This book aims to change that. From the very advent of group classes, yoga teachers have dictated the movement, and experience, of their students. But threaded through yoga’s history is a more democratic, individualised way of sharing practice with others. With the recent #MeTooinYoga movement, and the growing popularity of accessible yoga, teachers are increasingly turning to this hidden history for answers. In a diverse profession strongly resistant to official regulation, it is vital for scholars and policy makers alike to understand the risks and rewards of this development. In 2004 there were estimated to be 2.5 million yoga practitioners in Britain alone, and numbers are still rising today. As more and more people enjoy the practice, this book asks: in communities based more on peer-networks than hierarchal leadership structures, how are the highest ethical standards negotiated? How does practice relate to life off the mat? What does best practice look like, in ‘post-lineage’ yoga?

Published: Nov 23, 2020

Section Chapter Authors
List of Figures Theodora Wildcroft
Preface Theodora Wildcroft
Acknowledgements Theodora Wildcroft
Part 1: Defining Post-lineage Yoga
1. Introduction Theo Wildcroft
2. Researching Post-lineage Yoga Theo Wildcroft
3. Coming Together Theo Wildcroft
4. Yoga Camp Life Theo Wildcroft
Part 2: On the Mat
5. Case Studies Theo Wildcroft
Part 3: Post-lineage Practice, Culture and Community
6. The Construction of Practice Theo Wildcroft
7. Teaching Post-lineage Yoga Theo Wildcroft
8. Creating a Shared Repertoire Theo Wildcroft
9. Culture and Community Theo Wildcroft
10. Conclusion: A Global Movement Theo Wildcroft
End Matter
Glossary Theo Wildcroft
References Theodora Wildcroft
Index Theodora Wildcroft


A timely and original piece of research that builds on a growing literature on the various manifestations of yoga in the contemporary context.
Stephen Jacobs, Senior Lecturer in Media, Religion and Culture, University of Wolverhampton, UK

A fascinating analysis of yoga subcultures, and the modern-day, ‘post-lineage’ yogis who operate on the fringes of the mainstream yoga marketplace, and outside traditional patriarchal structures of yogic authority. This highly original book is a milestone in the study of modern yoga.
Mark Singleton, SOAS, University of London, UK

Wildcroft successfully illustrates a vivid portrait of a new and extraordinarily multifaceted world of yoga beyond established lines. She manages to create close proximity to the actual practice of yoga through interviews, descriptions of yoga camp life, graphic depictions of forms of practice and a number of images. Thereby, the dynamics of yoga practice and the impacts and transformations actors ascribe to it are easily comprehensible. The author takes recourse to theories of embodiment and sensory perception to explain these impacts and transformations.
Wildcroft has offered an important basis for the research of present social transformations and individual life worlds of yoga practice.

An outstanding work that moves yoga studies in fresh directions.
Nova Religio