in Reviews: Books and Stuff, Yoga

A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali & Western Esotericism


Where did yoga really come from? How did it develop? How has it come to be as it is practiced today?

Answers are forthcoming in–

A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali & Western Esotericism
by Elizabeth De Michelis
Paperback, Continuum Books, 2005

Below is a brief description of the book and author, and an index of my blog posts inspired by this book–

A History of Modern Yoga traces yoga’s idealogical roots in the esoteric circles of late eighteenth-century Bengal, and follows some of its main developments to date. Modern Yoga, the author demonstrates, began during the Bengali Renaissance in eighteenth-century India and later launched in the West with Swami Vivekananda’s publication of Raja Yoga (1896), a reinterpretation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to fit into a then-emergent New Thought, secular, and religious ideology that flourishes in present-day yoga practices.

DeMichelisDr. Elizabeth De Michelis’ expertise and research is in history, philosophy and texts related to Hindu and Buddhist forms of yoga and meditation; how these practices developed and continue to develop; their spread East and West; and Indic-inspired aspects of Western esotericism. She has been on the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge and on the Theology Faculty, University of Oxford. She manages the website Modern Yoga Research.

Below is the index of my posts inspired by A History of Modern Yoga: Patanjali and Western Esotericism