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Title: Organizing transnational yoga : the Sivananda and Krishnamacharya schools
Author: Bartos, Hannah Katie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6143
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis constitutes a study into the social organization of postural yoga practice from the 1920s and into the 21st century. It examines the organizational structures and processes that were pivotal in the exportation from India of yoga practices associated with Sivananda Saraswati (1887-1963) and Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). A key finding of this research project is that the establishment of modern yoga organizations and development of strategies of organizing practice were influential in achieving transnational dissemination. Whilst the intrinsic appeal of a yoga style (or brand) was a necessary factor in popularization, it was not sufficient to explain its worldwide success and persistence over time. Over the last century, efforts at transnational organization may be associated with supporting the spread of styles of yoga practice to new geographies for Sivananda Yoga, Satyananda Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Yoga in the Tradition of Krishnamacharya. Specifically, transmission of knowledge on posture practice is correlated with construction of several basic features of organization. These features incorporated processes of systematization and institutionalization; i.e. establishment of modern organizational frameworks to disseminate, sustain and regulate their respective practices and practitioners on a transnational basis. This study evidences that, despite some erosion of structures found in pre-modern yoga, there is an ongoing role for renunciation in structuring modern yoga organizations. Beyond organizational boundaries, research here demonstrates how 'outside' sources of organization were partly responsible for popularization and persistence, including individuals not officially recognized by organizations for a particular style of practice. Together these findings advance our understanding of how leading schools of yoga practice are organized today, how they fit into the wider field of modern yoga practice and how historical developments led to a mainstream globalized practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral