Alistair Shearer is a writer and cultural historian specialising in India.
How did an ancient Indian spiritual discipline turn into a GBP 20 billion-a-year mainstay of the global wellness industry? This comprehensive history sets yoga in its global cultural context for the first time. From arcane religious rituals and medieval body-magic, through muscular Christianity and the British Raj, to the Indian nationalist movement and the arrival of yoga in the twentieth-century West, we discover how the practice reached its present-day ubiquity and how it became embedded in powerful social currents shaping the world's future, such as digital media, celebrity culture, the stress pandemic and the quest for an authentic identity in the face of unprecedented change.
The Story of Yoga carefully explains how this pre-eminent form of communal exercising in the West is a mere subset of a larger universe whose ultimate goal is self-actualisationInsights on what pushed yoga from meditative practice to physical mat work