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The commodification of yoga in contemporary U.S. culture

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Material Information

Title:
The commodification of yoga in contemporary U.S. culture
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Demeter, Michelle E
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Secularization
Spiritual marketplace
New Age
Cultic milieu
Health
Dissertations, Academic -- Religious Studies -- Masters -- USF
Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: Yoga is an increasingly visible and versatile commodity in the United States health market. Though its origins stretch to pre-Vedic India and its traditional religious purpose is linked to Hinduism, it is evident that yoga has undergone much change since its transmission to U.S. culture. In its popular, widespread incarnation in the United States, yoga is not usually learned at the feet of a guru, but at exercise centers and gyms. These secular locales of yoga's practice help define the "yoga phenomenon" in contemporary America. This phenomenon has resulted in yoga's wide acceptance and high visibility in American popular culture ---^ especially within the "cultic milieu" as it is expressed in the "spiritual marketplace" and "therapeutic culture." Yoga's apparent transformation from an explicitly Hindu religious practice to one located in cultural environments that appear non-religious on the surface (such as gyms or therapeutic regimens) is a topic of interest in religious studies. Of even greater interest to religious studies, however, is the argument put forward by some scholars that these non-religious environments are actually profoundly religious in character and suggest that yoga's apparent transformation is a manifestation of a new type of religious experience within the United States. This thesis is interested in the various questions surrounding this apparent transformation. The central question here is what happens to yoga in U.S. culture? More specifically, what is yoga's religious status in the context of contemporary U.S. culture and religion, and what forms does yoga take within various environments t hat are devoid of explicit Hindu connections? To engage these questions, this thesis will analyze yoga's religious status in the context of the theories of secularization and the cultic milieu as put forth by Steve Bruce, as well as the concepts of the spiritual marketplace and therapeutic culture as presented by Wade Clark Roof. Data culled from various sources and independent research will also be used in understanding yoga in contemporary U.S. popular religion and culture.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michelle E. Demeter.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 60 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001910772
oclc - 173515245
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0001710
usfldc handle - e14.1710
System ID:
SFS0026028:00001


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PAGE 1

T he C om m odi f i c a t i on of Y oga i n C ont e m por a r y U S C ul t ur e by M i c he l l e E D e m e t e r A t he s i s s ubm i t t e d i n pa r t i a l f ul f i l l m e nt of t he r e qui r e m e nt s f or t he de g r e e of M a s t e r of A r t s D e pa r t m e nt of R e l i gi ous S t udi e s C ol l e ge of A r t s a nd S c i e nc e s U ni ve r s i t y of S ou t h F l o r i da M a j or P r of e s s or : D e l l de C ha nt M A D a nny J or ge ns e n, P h. D W e i Z ha ng, P h. D D a t e of A ppr ova l : J une 23, 2006 K e yw or ds : s e c ul a r i z a t i on, s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t p l a c e N e w A ge c ul t i c m i l i e u, he a l t h C opyr i ght 2006 M i c he l l e E D e m e t e r

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T hi s t he s i s i s d e di c a t e d t o m y f a m i l y a nd f r i e nds w hos e une ndi ng s uppor t a nd e nc our a ge m e nt m a de t hi s pr oj e c t po s s i bl e I c a nn ot t ha nk you a l l e nough f or pu s hi ng m e t o m e e t a nd ove r c om e e a c h c ha l l e nge t hr ow n m y w a y dur i ng t he t i m e i t t ook m e t o w r i t e t hi s

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A c know l e dgm e nt s I w oul d l i ke t o t ha nk t he D e pa r t m e nt of R e l i gi ous S t udi e s f or pr ovi di ng a n e nvi r onm e nt t ha t not onl y f os t e r e d m y l ove f or r e l i gi on a nd l e a r ni ng, but a l s o a l l ow e d m e t he oppor t uni t y t o m e e t s o m a ny f a nt a s t i c pr of e s s or s a nd s t ude nt s s e ve r a l of w hom I now c ons i de r c ol l e a gue s a nd f r i e nds W hi l e I a m i nde bt e d t o t he e nt i r e f a c ul t y s pe c i a l t ha nks a r e i n or de r f or t he m e m be r s of m y t he s i s c om m i t t e e D r D a nny J or ge ns e n a nd D r W e i Z ha ng. Y ou bot h w e n t out of your w a y t o he l p m e m e e t m y de a dl i n e s ( of t e n a t ve r y s hor t no t i c e ) a nd a l s o w e r e of gr e a t a s s i s t a n c e i n m a ki ng s ur e m y t he s i s pr ogr e s s e d i n a di r e c t i on t ha t m a de i t s pr e m i s e s t r onge r I w oul d l i ke t o t ha nk m y f a m i l y a nd f r i e nds e s pe c i a l l y A nn J a y B o a t m a n a nd R ya n H a c z yns ki f or l i s t e ni ng t o m e t os s i de a s a r ound, a nd f or r e a di ng a nd e di t i ng va r i ous pa r t s of m y t he s i s I a m a l s o l uc ky t o ha ve t w o gr e a t pa r e nt s B a r ba r a a nd L a nc e D e m e t e r w ho ha ve s uppor t e d m e i n e ve r y e n de a vor I ha ve pur s u e d, r e ga r d l e s s of w he t he r t he y a l w a ys unde r s t ood w ha t I w a s doi ng or w hy. H ow e ve r no one ha s be e n m or e i nf l ue nt i a l or s up por t i ve dur i ng m y t i m e a t U S F t ha n M r D e l l de C ha nt T hr oughout m y e nt i r e c ol l e gi a t e c a r e e r a nd be yond, you h a ve i ns pi r e d m e t o f i nd m e a ni ng i n t he e ve r yda y ha ppe ni ngs of t he w or l d a nd t o ne ve r c e a s e que s t i oni ng w hy. T he pa s s i on you ha ve f or your pr of e s s i on, a nd l i f e i n ge ne r a l i s e vi de nt i n e ve r yt hi ng you t ouc h. I c ons i de r i t a n honor a nd a bl e s s i ng t o ha ve ha d t he pr i vi l e ge t o s t udy a nd w or k w i t h you f o r s o m a ny ye a r s

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i T a bl e of C ont e nt s A bs t r a c t i i I nt r oduc t i on 1 B r i e f D e s c r i pt i on of t he P r obl e m a nd T he s i s S t a t e m e nt 1 C ha pt e r O ne : Y oga s O r i gi ns a nd E m e r ge nc e i n 19 t h C e nt ur y U S C ul t ur e 5 S out h A s i a n O r i gi ns 5 T r a ns c e nde nt a l i s m I m m i gr a t i on a nd R e l i gi ous C a r r i e r s 7 Y oga i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s T oda y 11 P opul a r C ul t ur e C om m e r c i a l i z a t i on, a nd t he S pi r i t ua l M a r ke t pl a c e 11 C ons e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a n R e a c t i ons / I nt e r pr e t a t i ons 17 C ha pt e r T w o: Y oga i n C ont e m por a r y U S C ul t u r e 20 R e l i gi on a nd S pi r i t ua l i t y D e f i ne d 21 S e c ul a r i z a t i on T he or y a nd t he C ul t i c M i l i e u 23 T he r a pe ut i c C ul t ur e t he S p i r i t ua l M a r ke t pl a c e a n d t he N e w A ge 29 Y oga a nd S pi r i t ua l i t y 37 M a s s M a r ke t Y oga 44 C ha pt e r T hr e e : C onc l us i on 48 W ha t Y oga s T r a ns f or m a t i on M e a ns T oda y 48 R e f e r e nc e s 52 A ppe ndi c e s 55 A ppe ndi x 1: Y oga i n N e w R e l i gi ous M ove m e nt s a nd t he N e w A ge 56 A ppe ndi x 2: G l os s a r y 59

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i i T h e C om m odi f i c a t i on of Y oga i n C ont e m por a r y U S C ul t ur e M i c he l l e E D e m e t e r A B S T R A C T Y oga i s a n i nc r e a s i ngl y vi s i bl e a nd ve r s a t i l e c o m m odi t y i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s he a l t h m a r ke t T hough i t s or i gi ns s t r e t c h t o p r e V e di c I ndi a a nd i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous p ur pos e i s l i nke d t o H i ndui s m i t i s e vi de nt t ha t y oga ha s unde r gone m uc h c ha nge s i nc e i t s t r a ns m i s s i on t o U S c ul t ur e I n i t s popul a r w i de s pr e a d i nc a r na t i on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s yoga i s not us ua l l y l e a r ne d a t t he f e e t of a gur u, but a t e xe r c i s e c e nt e r s a nd gym s T he s e s e c ul a r l oc a l e s of yoga s pr a c t i c e he l p de f i ne t he yoga phe nom e non i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a T hi s phe nom e non ha s r e s ul t e d i n yoga s w i de a c c e pt a n c e a nd hi gh vi s i bi l i t y i n A m e r i c a n popul a r c ul t ur e e s pe c i a l l y w i t hi n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a s i t i s e xpr e s s e d i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e Y oga s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on f r om a n e xpl i c i t l y H i ndu r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e t o one l oc a t e d i n c ul t ur a l e nvi r onm e nt s t ha t a ppe a r non r e l i gi ous on t he s ur f a c e ( s uc h a s gym s or t he r a pe ut i c r e gi m e ns ) i s a t opi c of i nt e r e s t i n r e l i gi ous s t udi e s O f e ve n gr e a t e r i nt e r e s t t o r e l i gi ous s t udi e s how e ve r i s t he a r gum e nt put f or w a r d by s om e s c hol a r s t ha t t he s e non r e l i gi ous e nvi r onm e nt s a r e a c t ua l l y pr of ound l y r e l i gi ous i n c ha r a c t e r a nd s ugge s t t ha t yoga s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on i s a m a ni f e s t a t i on of a ne w t ype of r e l i gi ous e xpe r i e nc e w i t hi n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s

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i i i T hi s t he s i s i s i nt e r e s t e d i n t he va r i ous que s t i ons s ur r oundi ng t hi s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on. T he c e nt r a l que s t i on he r e i s w ha t ha ppe ns t o yoga i n U S c ul t ur e ? M or e s pe c i f i c a l l y, w ha t i s yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t us i n t he c ont e xt of c ont e m por a r y U S c ul t u r e a nd r e l i gi on, a nd w ha t f or m s doe s yoga t a ke w i t hi n va r i ous e nvi r onm e nt s t ha t a r e de voi d of e xpl i c i t H i ndu c onne c t i ons ? T o e nga ge t he s e qu e s t i ons t hi s t he s i s w i l l a na l yz e yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t u s i n t he c ont e xt of t he t he or i e s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a nd t he c u l t i c m i l i e u a s put f or t h by S t e ve B r uc e a s w e l l a s t he c onc e pt s of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a s pr e s e nt e d by W a de C l a r k R oof D a t a c ul l e d f r om va r i ous s our c e s a nd i nde pe nde nt r e s e a r c h w i l l a l s o be us e d i n unde r s t a ndi ng yoga i n c ont e m por a r y U S popul a r r e l i gi on a nd c ul t u r e

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1 I nt r oduc t i on B r i e f D e s c r i pt i on of t he P r obl e m a nd T he s i s S t a t e m e nt Y oga i s a n i nc r e a s i ngl y vi s i bl e a nd ve r s a t i l e c o m m odi t y i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s he a l t h m a r ke t T hough i t s or i gi ns s t r e t c h t o p r e V e di c I ndi a a nd i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous pur pos e i s l i nke d t o H i ndui s m i t i s e vi de nt t ha t y oga ha s unde r gone m uc h c ha nge s i nc e i t s t r a ns m i s s i on t o U S c ul t ur e I n i t s popul a r w i de s pr e a d i nc a r na t i on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s yoga i s not us ua l l y f ound a t t he f e e t of a gur u, but a t e xe r c i s e c e nt e r s a nd gym s a nd pe r ha ps m or e i nt e r e s t i ngl y, s pe c i f i c a l l y i n r e g a r d t o t hi s t he s i s yoga i s a l s o f ound i n t he f or m of m a r ke t a bl e pr oduc t s ( m a t s c l ot he s D V D s s e m i na r s r e t r e a t s e t c ) t ha t c r e a t e a m ul t i bi l l i on dol l a r i ndus t r y. T he s e s e c ul a r l oc a l e s a nd pr oduc t s of yoga he l p de f i ne t he yoga phe nom e non i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a T hi s phe nom e non ha s r e s ul t e d i n yoga s w i de a c c e pt a n c e a nd hi gh vi s i bi l i t y i n A m e r i c a n popul a r c ul t ur e e s p e c i a l l y w i t hi n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, a s i t i s e xpr e s s e d i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t h e r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e Y oga s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on f r om a n e xpl i c i t l y H i ndu r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e t o one l oc a t e d i n c ul t ur a l e nvi r onm e nt s t ha t a ppe a r non r e l i gi ous on t he s ur f a c e ( s uc h a s gym s or t he r a pe ut i c r e gi m e ns ) i s a t opi c of i nt e r e s t i n r e l i gi ous s t udi e s O f e ve n gr e a t e r i nt e r e s t t o r e l i gi ous s t udi e s how e ve r i s t he a r gum e nt put f or w a r d by s o m e s c hol a r s t ha t t he s e non r e l i gi ous e nvi r onm e nt s a r e a c t ua l l y pr of ound l y r e l i gi ous i n c ha r a c t e r a nd s ugge s t t ha t yoga s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on i s a m a ni f e s t a t i on of a ne w t ype of r e l i gi ous e xpe r i e nc e w i t hi n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s

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2 T hi s t he s i s i s i nt e r e s t e d i n t he va r i ous que s t i ons s ur r oundi ng t hi s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on. T he c e nt r a l que s t i on he r e i s w ha t ha ppe ns t o yoga i n U S c ul t ur e ? M or e s pe c i f i c a l l y, w ha t i s yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t us i n t he c ont e xt of c ont e m por a r y U S c ul t u r e a nd r e l i gi on, a nd w ha t f or m s doe s yoga t a ke w i t hi n va r i ous e nvi r onm e nt s t ha t a r e de voi d of e xpl i c i t H i ndu c onne c t i ons ? T o e nga ge t he s e qu e s t i ons t hi s t he s i s w i l l a na l yz e yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t u s i n t he c ont e xt of t he t he or i e s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a nd t he c u l t i c m i l i e u a s put f or t h by S t e ve B r uc e a s w e l l a s t he c onc e pt s of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a s pr e s e nt e d by W a de C l a r k R oof D a t a c ul l e d f r om va r i ous s our c e s a nd i nde pe nde nt r e s e a r c h w i l l a l s o be us e d i n unde r s t a ndi ng yoga i n c ont e m por a r y U S popul a r r e l i gi on a nd c ul t u r e I t c a nnot be d e ni e d t ha t yog a ha s c e r t a i nl y f ound a l uc r a t i ve ni c h e i n t h e A m e r i c a n he a l t h i ndu s t r y. A s i m pl e s t r ol l t hr ough t he s por t i ng goods d e pa r t m e nt a t t h e l oc a l W a l M a r t or T a r ge t w i l l yi e l d a t l e a s t one a i s l e of yoga r e l a t e d pr oduc t s f r om a va r i e t y of m a nuf a c t ur e r s H ow a nd w he r e A m e r i c a ns c hoos e t o m a r ke t yoga c a n t e l l us m uc h a bout how yoga f i t s i nt o A m e r i c a ns f a s c i na t i on w i t h t he body a nd c ons um e r c ul t ur e w hi c h s i gni f i e s a s ubs t a nt i a l s hi f t f r om yoga s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e F ur t he r m or e yoga s s ol i d hol di ng i n t he U S he a l t h m a r ke t m a y pr ovi de i ns i ght i nt o how A m e r i c a ns i de a l i z e t he he a l t h a nd t he body a nd t h e e xt e nt t o w hi c h t hi s i de a l i z a t i on m a y be unde r s t ood i n a r e l i gi ous c ont e xt T he c onc e pt s of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e i n c onne c t i on w i t h t he c ul t i c m i l i e u w i l l be ut i l i z e d t o a ddr e s s t hi s i s s ue T hi s t he s i s w i l l a ddr e s s w ha t yoga s a ppa r e nt t r a ns f or m a t i on a nd c ont r i but i on t o A m e r i c a n popul a r r e l i gi on t e l l s s c hol a r s a bout t he c ha ngi ng l a nds c a pe of r e l i gi ous

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3 e xpe r i e nc e i n c ont e m por a r y U S c ul t ur e I n or de r t o a c c om pl i s h t he s e t a s ks C ha pt e r O n e w i l l of f e r a br i e f di s c us s i on of yoga s or i gi ns i n I n di a a nd i t s l a t e r hi s t or i c a l de ve l opm e nt i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s w i t h pa r t i c ul a r e m pha s i s on U S po pul a r c ul t ur e t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e T hi s di s c us s i on w i l l i nc or por a t e t he a ut hor s f i e l d r e s e a r c h, w hi c h i nc l ude s a na l ys e s of yoga s r e pr e s e nt a t i on a t books t or e s a nd r e t a i l c ha i ns w i t h p a r t i c ul a r a t t e nt i on g i ve n t o how yoga i s m a r ke t e d a s a m a s s c ons um e r c om m odi t y. D a t a c om pi l e d f r om va r i o us pol l s a nd s ur ve ys a c c e s s e d by t h e a ut hor w i l l a l s o be ut i l i z e d. W i t hi n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e t he r e i s a n a l t e r na t i ve i nt e r pr e t a t i on of yoga he l d by c ons e r va t i ve e va n ge l i c a l C hr i s t i a n gr oups t ha t s e e yoga not s o m uc h a s a f i t ne s s f a d but a s a n e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e T he i r vi e w poi nt i s i nc l ude d i n C h a pt e r O ne i n or de r t o i l l us t r a t e t ha t de s pi t e t he f a c t yoga i s pr a c t i c e d w i t hi n i m pl i c i t r e l i gi ous e nvi r onm e nt s ( s u c h a s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e ) a nd de c i de dl y non r e l i g i ous e nvi r onm e nt s ( s uc h a s gym s ) t he r e i s a s m a l l gr oup of pe opl e t ha t r e f us e s t o a c know l e dge yoga s t r a ns f or m a t i on a nd i ns t e a d s t a unc hl y a s s e r t s i t s H i ndu r e l i gi ous c onne c t i o ns i ns i s t i ng t ha t t o do ot he r w i s e i s m i s l e a di ng a nd w r ong C ha pt e r T w o w i l l e nga ge que s t i ons r e l a t e d t o t he da t a pr e s e nt e d i n C ha pt e r O ne t hr ough a n a na l ys i s of yoga w i t hi n t he a f or e m e n t i one d c a t e gor i e s de ve l ope d by B r uc e a nd R oof B r uc e s c onc e pt of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, a s out l i ne d i n R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d: F r om C at he dr al s t o C ul t s a nd G od i s D e a d: Se c ul ar i z at i on i n t he W e s t pr ovi de s a t e c hni c a l c a t e gor y i n w hi c h yoga i s a ppr opr i a t e l y c l a s s i f i e d. B r uc e s not i on of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u i s f ur t he r e xpl o r e d a nd a na l yz e d us i ng R oof s de f i ni t i ons of t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s he e xpl a i ns t he m i n Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B aby

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4 B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on F ur t he r m or e t he t he or y o f s e c ul a r i z a t i on ( a s de f i ne d by P e t e r B e r ge r a nd B r uc e ) w i l l be e m pl oye d t o i l l us t r a t e t ha t yoga s c ont e m por a r y s t r uc t ur e i s c ons i s t e nt w i t h t h e t e ne t s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a nd t ha t yoga doe s not po s e a s i gni f i c a nt c ha l l e ng e t o t hi s pr oc e s s U s i ng t he s e t he or i e s yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t us w i l l be e va l ua t e d w i t h a t t e nt i on gi ve n t o c ont e m por a r y c ul t ur a l f a c t or s a f f e c t i ng t hi s s t a t us i nc l udi ng t hos e not e d a bove a s w e l l a s i ndi vi dua l i z a t i on, c om m odi f i c a t i on, a nd t he i de a l i z a t i on of t he body a nd i t s he a l t h. C ha pt e r T hr e e w i l l of f e r a t e nt a t i ve c onc l us i on a ddr e s s i ng yoga s i m pa c t on r e l i gi on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i n l i ght of t he va r i ous t he or i e s e va l ua t e d i n t hi s t he s i s W hi l e yoga s t r a ns f or m a t i on c l e a r l y a dhe r e s t o t he t e n e t s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, t he c onc l us i on w i l l a r gue t ha t yoga ha s a c c om m oda t e d i t s e l f t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on by t r a ns f or m i ng i t s e l f f r om a n e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e t o a n i m pl i c i t one w hi c h i s e xt r e m e l y w e l l a da pt e d t o A m e r i c a n popul a r c ul t u r e A s yoga s popul a r i t y ha s gr ow n, s o ha ve que s t i ons a bout i t s a ppr opr i a t i on i nt o a nd i nf l ue nc e on U S c ul t ur e H ow e ve r be f o r e i t s i nf l ue nc e c a n be a de qu a t e l y m e a s ur e d, i t m us t be de t e r m i ne d w ha t yoga i s c ons i de r e d t o be i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s I n ot he r w or ds i t i s i m por t a nt t o de t e r m i ne i n w ha t w a ys a nd t o w ha t e xt e nt yoga ha s t r a ns f or m e d. T he a c c e pt a nc e of yoga i n A m e r i c a ha s he l pe d ope n t he door t o ot he r E a s t a nd S ou t h A s i a n r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s a nd i de a s t o e nt e r U S popul a r c ul t ur e H ow e ve r i f t he door i s ope ne d onl y f or a pr a c t i c e t ha t ha s be e n s t r i ppe d of i t s o r i gi na l e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous c ont e nt w ha t a r e t he i m pl i c a t i ons f or t he a c c e pt a nc e a nd di s t r i b ut i on of ot he r r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s ? O nl y by e xpl or i ng t he s e que s t i ons c a n yoga s i nf l ue nc e a nd i m por t a nc e i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e a nd r e l i gi on be gi n t o be p r ope r l y unde r s t ood.

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5 C ha pt e r O ne Y oga s O r i gi ns a nd E m e r ge nc e i n 19 t h C e nt ur y U S C ul t ur e ! S out h A s i a n O r i gi ns Y oga be ga n m i l l e nni a a go i n I ndi a T hi s s pi r i t ua l pr a c t i c e w a s m e a nt t o br i ng a pe r s on c l os e r t o a c hi e vi ng uni f i c a t i on w i t h t he u l t i m a t e pow e r B r a hm a n ( t he uni f yi ng f or c e f ound w i t hi n H i ndui s m ) I t i s f ound w i t h i n a l l t hi ngs a nd, l i ke a i r pe r va de s a l l t hi ngs but i s c ont a i ne d i n no one t hi ng. T hus B r a hm a n i s l oc a t e d i n a l l l i vi ng t hi ngs on E a r t h, a s w e l l a s t he c os m os uni t i ng a l l t ha t e x i s t s i nt o one uni f or m f or c e H ow e ve r i t s houl d be not e d t ha t t he s e a r c h f or B r a hm a n, l i k e a l l t r a ns c e nde nt a l pow e r s i s not a n e xt e r na l one but i ns t e a d i s i nt e r na l a nd i ndi vi dua l A pr i m a r y ve hi c l e us e d i n t hi s s e a r c h i s yoga Y oga w a s f i r s t i nt r oduc e d a s a ve hi c l e t o l i be r a t i on m i l l e nni a a go i n I ndi a A s on e of t he s i x m a j or c om m e nt a r y t r a di t i ons of H i ndu i s m yoga i s de r i ve d f r om t he S a ns kr i t r oot yuj w hi c h m e a ns t o l i nk t og e t he r yoke 1 or t o j oi n, uni t e 2 Y oga r e f e r s t o t he s e t e c hnol ogi e s or di s c i pl i ne s of a s c e t i c i s m a n d m e di t a t i on w hi c h a r e t hought t o l e a d t o s pi r i t ua l e xpe r i e nc e a nd pr of ound unde r s t a ndi n g or i ns i ght i nt o t he n a t ur e of e xi s t e nc e Y oga i s t he m e a ns w he r e by t he m i nd a nd s e ns e s c a n be r e s t r a i ne d, t he l i m i t e d e m pi r i c a l 1 M i r c e a E l i a de P at anj a l i and Y oga t r a ns C ha r l e s L a m M a r km a nn ( N e w Y o r k: F unk & W a gna l l s 1969) 9. E l i a de G a vi n F l ood a nd A L B a s h a m a s c i t e d be l ow pr ovi de t he m a i n s our c e s of i nf o r m a t i on us e d i n t hi s b r i e f hi s t o r i c a l s ke t c h. F o r m o r e de t a i l e d i nf or m a t i on c onc e r ni ng H i ndui s m a nd yoga t he i r books w oul d be i de a l pl a c e s t o be gi n 2 G a vi n F l ood A n I n t r oduc t i on t o H i ndui s m ( N e w Y or k: C a m br i dge U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999) 94

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6 s e l f or e go ( a ha m ka r a ) c a n be t r a n s c e nde d a n d t he s e l f s t r ue i de nt i t y e ve nt ua l l y e xpe r i e nc e d. 3 T he uni f i c a t i on w i t h B r a hm a n i s not a n e a s y t a s k. T he m a i n pr obl e m i s t he ve i l of i gnor a nc e t ha t pr ohi bi t s pe opl e f r om r e a l i z i ng t ha t t he y a r e a l r e a dy one w i t h B r a hm a n. Y oga he l ps t o r e ga i n t ha t r e a l i z a t i on s o t he t w o c a n be c ons c i ou s l y r e uni t e d a nd c o s m i c ha r m ony c a n be a c hi e ve d, w hi c h t he n r e s ul t s i n be i ng l i be r a t e d f r om t he w he e l of s a m s a r a t he c yc l e of bi r t h, de a t h a nd r e bi r t h H um a ni t y i s c ha i ne d t o t hi s l i f e of r e pe t i t i on unt i l t he r e a l i z a t i on t ha t a t m a n a nd B r a h m a n a r e one i s a c hi e ve d. E vi de nc e of yoga c a n be s e e n e ve n b e f or e t he e m e r ge nc e of t he V e da s O n t he w a l l s of t he a r c he ol ogi c a l s i t e of M oh e nj o D a r o, a c i t y t ha t e xi s t e d i n t he I ndus V a l l e y a r ound 2, 500 B C E a f i gur e w i t h ho r ns pr ot r udi n g f r om hi s he a d c a n be s e e n s i t t i ng i n a c r os s l e gge d yoga t ype pos t ur e 4 T he w or d yoga a ppe a r s i n t he V e da s a nd c a n be t r a c e d ba c k t o t he ol de s t of t he s e t e xt s t he B r a hm a na s t hough t he a c t ua l t e r m yog a i s f i r s t u s e d l a t e r i n t he U p a ni s ha d s 5 A not he r i m por t a nt H i ndu t e xt t ha t a ddr e s s e s y oga i s t he B hagav ad G i t a T he G i t a de s c r i be s s e ve r a l t ype s of yoga H ow e ve r yoga s e xpl a na t i on a nd i m pa c t a r e m os t a dva nc e d i n t he w or k of t he Y oga S ut r a s c om pos e d by t he I ndi a n phi l os op he r P a t a nga l i 3 I bi d. 94 4 A L B a s ha m T he W onde r T hat W as I ndi a ( N e w D e l hi I ndi a : R upa & C o. 1999 ) 22 3. F l ood a l s o m e nt i ons t he f i ndi ngs of t he p r ot o S i va i n hi s I nt r oduc t i on t o H i ndui s m da t i ng t he f i gu r e t o c i r c a 3000 2750 B C E a nd pr ov i de s a n i l l us t r a t i on o f t he f i gur e on pa ge 29. E l i a de a l s o a l l ude s t o t he pr ot o S i va i n hi s t e xt Y oga: I m m or t al i t y and F r e e dom t r a ns W i l l a r d R T r a s k ( N e w Y o r k: P a nt he on B ooks 1958) 355. 5 F l ood, 94 5

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7 a r ound t he s e c ond c e nt ur y B C E 6 I t i s P a t a nj a l i s i nt e r pr e t a t i on of yoga t ha t i s s t i l l us e d t oda y i n unde r s t a ndi ng i t s pr a c t i c e s a nd i s t he be s t know n i n t he W e s t 7 H ow e ve r yoga di d not r e m a i n i s ol a t e d t o S out h A s i a A s bor de r s a r ound t he gl obe ope ne d a nd t r a ve l t o ot he r c ount r i e s a nd c ont i ne nt s e xpa nde d, s o di d t he e xc ha nge of i de a s D ur i ng t he W e s t e r n c ol oni a l pe r i od, H i ndu a nd B uddhi s t c ul t ur e a nd r e l i gi on e nt e r e d t he W e s t T r a ns c e nde nt a l i s m I m m i gr a t i on a nd R e l i gi ous C a r r i e r s T he U ni t e d S t a t e s ha s be e n uni que l y a f f e c t e d b y t hi s i m m i gr a t i on of r e l i gi ous va l ue s a nd pr a c t i c e s T he 1830s s a w t he r i s e of T r a ns c e nde nt a l i s m i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s S uc h vi s i ona r i e s a s R a l ph W a l do E m e r s on a nd H e nr y D a vi d T hor e a u w e r e l a r ge l y r e s pons i bl e f or po pul a r i z i ng uni t i ve c ons c i ous ne s s t he m e s e c ol ogy t ha t w a s ve r y B uddhi s t i n na t ur e a nd t he m e s of a n e qua l i t y a nd c ol l e c t i ve ne s s not f ound i n C hr i s t i a ni t y. E m e r s on a nd T ho r e a u, a l ong w i t h W a l t W hi t m a n, ha ve ha d a s i gni f i c a nt i nf l ue nc e on w r i t e r s poe t s a nd phi l os ophe r s i n t he 19 t h a nd 20 t h c e nt ur i e s T hough t he T r a ns c e nde nt a l i s t s w e r e i nt e r e s t e d i n t he s e i de a s i t w a s ot he r s t o c om e pe opl e ne w t o t he c ount r y, w ho w oul d ha ve a g r e a t e r e f f e c t on t he d e ve l opm e nt of E a s t e r n 8 r e l i gi ons i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s T he f i r s t m a j or g r oup of pe opl e t o e xpos e t he c ount r y t o t he s e r e l i gi ons w a s C hi ne s e w or ke r s dur i ng t he 1849 G ol d R us h of C a l i f or ni a w hi c h b r ought t he f i r s t 6 R i c ha r d H D a vi s A B r i e f H i s t or y o f R e l i gi ons i n I ndi a i n R e l i gi ons of I ndi a i n P r ac t i c e e d. D ona l d L ope z J r ( P r i nc e t on, N J : P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1995 ) 15. 7 E l i a de P at an j al i and Y oga 12 13 8 T hr oughout t hi s t he s i s t he t e r m s E a s t a nd E a s t e r n w i l l be us e d t o r e f e r t o S out h a nd E a s t A s i a n c ul t ur e pe opl e s r e l i gi on a nd/ or r e l i gi o us pr a c t i c e s or i de a s

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8 s i gni f i c a nt w a ve of A s i a n i m m i gr a nt s t o A m e r i c a T hi s i nf l ux of i m m i g r a nt s f or m e d a s ol i d E a s t A s i a n r e l i gi ous c om m uni t y i n t he w e s t e r n s t a t e s S e ve r a l B uddhi s t t e m pl e s w e r e bui l t a nd o t he r s m a l l e r c om m uni t i e s w e r e f or m e d, a s w e l l H a w a i i not ye t a s t a t e a l r e a dy ha d e xpe r i e nc e d t he i m m i gr a t i on of l a r ge n um be r s of B uddhi s t s f r om J a pa n. 9 I n a ddi t i on t o t hi s i nf l ux of i m m i gr a nt s a not he r e ve nt t o ha ve a m a j or i m pa c t on t he i nt r oduc t i on o f A s i a n r e l i g i ous c onc e pt s t o t h e U ni t e d S t a t e s w a s t he 1893 W or l d s P a r l i a m e nt of R e l i gi on he l d i n C hi c a go. T he pa r l i a m e nt w a s a n e c um e ni c a l ga t h e r i ng of m a ny of t he w or l d s m a j or r e l i gi ons i nc l udi ng R om a n C a t hol i c i s m a nd I s l a m s pa r ke d m uc h i nt e r e s t i n E a s t A s i a n r e l i gi ons R e pr e s e nt a t i ve s f r om s e ve r a l B uddhi s t s c hool s a n d H i ndui s m w e r e w e l c om e d t o t he P a r l i a m e nt O f pa r t i c ul a r s i gni f i c a nc e t o t hi s t he s i s w a s t he i nt r odu c t i on of S w a m i V i ve ka na nda a H i ndu pr opone nt of V e da nt a a nd di s c i pl e of t he H i ndu r e l i g i ous l e a de r R a m a K r i s hna V i ve ka na nda w ho r e c e i ve d a W e s t e r n e duc a t i on, w a s one of t he m os t popul a r s pe a ke r s a t t he P a r l i a m e nt 1 0 H e br ought t he s c hool of V e da nt a t o t h e U ni t e d S t a t e s a nd s ought t o br i ng t he s pi r i t ua l i t y of t he E a s t t o t he W e s t 1 1 I nc l ude d i n t hi s pa c ka ge of s pi r i t ua l i t y of t he E a s t w a s yoga ( of va r yi ng t ype s a s t he y w e r e s pe c i f i c a l l y e m pl oye d by di f f e r e nt ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s ) T he ye a r 1875 s a w t he bi r t h of t he T he os ophi c a l S oc i e t y, f ounde d by H e l e na B l a va t s ky. T he T he os ophi c a l S oc i e t y w a s f ounde d t o di s c us s i de a s r e ga r di ng a nc i e n t 9 R obe r t S E l l w ood a nd B a r ba r a A M c G r a w M an y P e opl e s M any F ai t hs ( U ppe r S a ddl e N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l 2002) 169 1 0 R obe r t S E l l w ood a nd H a r r y B P a r t i n, R e l i gi ous and Spi r i t ual G r oups i n M ode r n A m e r i c a. ( E ng l e w ood C l i f f s N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l 1 988) 65 1 1 I bi d.

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9 l or e s upe r na t ur a l phe nom e na a nd t he e xpa ns i on of hum a n pow e r s of m i nd a nd s pi r i t 1 2 V e r y m uc h i nf l ue nc e d by H i ndu i s m a nd B uddhi s m T he os ophy s f ol l ow e r s e m pl oye d t e c hni que s of m e di t a t i on a nd yoga i n or de r t o be t t e r ga i n s pi r i t ua l know l e dge I m por t r e l i g i ons he l d yoga i n a n e ve n hi ghe r r e ga r d a nd he l pe d i nt r oduc e i t t o uppe r a nd m i ddl e c l a s s A m e r i c a n s i n t he 20 t h c e nt ur y. V e da nt a t he I nt e r na t i ona l S oc i e t y of K r i s hna C ons c i ous ne s s a nd t he S e l f R e a l i z a t i on F e l l ow s hi p a l l c ont r i but e d g r e a t l y t o t he i nt r oduc t i on of yoga i n A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e T he yoga i m por t e d i nt o t he U ni t e d S t a t e s by w a y of t he s e gr oups va r i e s g r e a t l y. T he a bove m e nt i one d ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s i m por t e d a r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e t ha t he l pe d f os t e r c om m uni t y r e l a t i ons T hough m a ny of t he s e gr oups pr a c t i c e d yoga t ha t w a s s pe c i f i c a l l y f oc us e d on t he de vot i on t o a de i t y, ot he r s s uc h a s T he os ophy, di d not I ns t e a d, i t w a s t he gr oups t ha t f oc us e d on ha t ha y oga w hi c h doe s not r e qui r e t he i nt e ns e de vot i on t o a de i t y or a nyt hi ng e l s e t ha t w oul d e xpl i c i t l y l i nk t he p r a c t i c e t o H i ndui s m t ha t he l pe d de ve l op t he yoga t ha t w oul d be c om e p opul a r dur i ng t he l a t t e r ha l f of t he 20 t h c e nt ur y. H a t ha yoga i s c om pr i s e d of br e a t hi ng t e c hni que s a nd pos t ur e s ( a s a na s ) m e a nt t o he l p c ont r ol t he phys i c a l body i n a n e f f or t t o he l p t he i ndi vi dua l on hi s pa t h t o e nl i ght e nm e nt 1 3 O f t he va r i ous t ype s of yoga onl y ha t ha yoga i s of s i gni f i c a nc e t o t hi s t he s i s be c a us e i t i s t he f or m t ha t s e c ur e d a f oot hol d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s t hr ough t he e f f or t s of m a ny of t he s e ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s a nd l a t e r t he N e w A ge r e l i g i ons H a t ha 1 2 I bi d. 61 1 3 J G or don M e l t on, N e w A ge E nc y c l ope di a ( D e t r oi t : G a l e R e s e a r c h I nc 1990) 207

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10 yoga ga i ne d a ne w f ound popul a r i t y m os t l y due t o i t s a da pt a t i on f r om a s t r i c t l y r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e t o one t ha t w a s m or e f oc us e d on i t s phys i c a l be ne f i t s 1 4 I n f a c t i n t he l a t e 19 t h c e nt u r y, T he os ophy a nd V e da nt a w or ke d ha r d t o e m pha s i z e t he s c i e nt i f i c a nd hol i s t i c be ne f i t s t o be ga i ne d t hr ough t he pr a c t i c e of yoga A nni e B e s a nt w ho w a s he a d of t he T he os ophi c a l S o c i e t y f or s e ve r a l de c a de s ga ve m a ny l e c t ur e s e xpl a i ni ng yoga T he t hi r d l e c t ur e i nc l ude d i n A n I nt r oduc t i on t o Y oga w a s t i t l e d Y oga a s S c i e nc e a nd s ought t o c onn e c t yoga t o e t hi c s m e t a phys i c s a nd ps yc hol ogy us i ng t he s c i e nt i f i c m e t hod. 1 5 V e da nt a a nd S e l f R e a l i z a t i on 1 6 ha ve a l s o done m uc h t o s c i e nt i f i c a l l y pr ove t he be ne f i t s of yoga I n f a c t s c or e s of yoga c e nt e r s de di c a t e d t o t he s t udy a nd pr om ot i on of yoga e xi s t a nd c a n be f ound on t he I nt e r ne t t hough i t s ho ul d be not e d t ha t t he s e c e nt e r s do not f oc us s ol e l y on ha t ha yoga ( i f t he y do a t a l l ) 1 7 W hi l e t he i r s uc c e s s a s ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s i s de b a t a bl e w ha t i s c l e a r i s t he s e gr oups di d m uc h t o pr om ot e t he pr a c t i c e of yoga t hough e a c h gr oup e m pha s i z e d di f f e r e nt t ype s a nd a s p e c t s of yog a i n t he i r t e a c hi ngs H ow e ve r t he e ve nt s of t he 1960 s w e r e a bout t o ope n t he door t o a m uc h m or e w i d e s pr e a d a c c e pt a nc e of yoga i n popul a r c ul t ur e 1 4 I bi d. 206 1 5 A nni e B e s a nt A n I nt r oduc t i on t o Y oga ( W he a t on, I l l : T he T he os ophi c a l P ubl i s hi ng H ous e 1972) 85 115. 1 6 F or f ur t he r de t a i l s on t he s e ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s a nd ot he r r e l i gi ous c a r r i e r s o f yoga i nc l udi ng t he N e w A ge pl e a s e s e e A ppe ndi x 1. 1 7 A r a t he r l a r ge a nd c om pr e he ns i ve l i s t of A m e r i c a n a nd i nt e r na t i ona l yoga c e nt e r s a nd or ga ni z a t i ons c a n be f ound a t ht t p: / / f i y yoga ne t or g/ f i yor ga ni z a t i ons ht m

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11 Y oga i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s T oda y ! P opul a r C ul t ur e C om m e r c i a l i z a t i on, a nd t he S pi r i t ua l M a r ke t pl a c e T he 1960s m a r ke d a pe r i od of e xpe r i m e nt a t i on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s a nd yoga w a s one of t he e xpe r i e nc e s i nvol ve d. O ne m a j or f a c t or i n t he de ve l opm e nt of yoga i n A m e r i c a oc c ur r e d i n 1965 w he n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s r e l a xe d A s i a n i m m i gr a t i on l a w s A s a r e s ul t t e ns of t hous a nd s of i m m i gr a nt s e nt e r e d t he c o unt r y, br i ngi ng t he i r uni que l i f e s t yl e s l a ngua ge s a nd r e l i gi ons w i t h t he m T hi s i nf l ux di d not go unnot i c e d, e s pe c i a l l y by c e l e br i t i e s w ho c ont i nue d t o pa v e t he w a y f or t he a c c e pt a nc e of E a s t e r n i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s M a ny c e l e br i t i e s s u c h a s t he B e a t l e s c e r t a i nl y i nf l ue nc e d t he a c c e pt a nc e of yog a i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s w he n t he y be c a m e i nvol ve d w i t h t he pr a c t i c e t hr ough t he M a ha r i s hi M a he s h Y ogi s T r a ns c e nde nt a l M e di t a t i on. A r gua bl y one of t he m os t popul a r ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s of t he 60s T M s s hor t l i ve d gl or y e xpos e d t hous a nd s of pe opl e t o yoga a nd m e di t a t i on pr a c t i c e s Y oga ( a nd c ons e que nt l y H i ndui s m ) c ont i nue d t o ga i n popul a r i t y t hr ough t he 1970s a nd 80s a s A m e r i c a ns be c a m e e na m or e d w i t h he a l t h a nd e xe r c i s e a s w e l l a s t he i nc r e a s i ngl y vi s i bl e N e w A ge r e l i gi ons w hi c h of t e n i nc l ude d a l t e r na t i ve a nd c om pl e m e nt a r y he a l t h a nd m e di c a l opt i ons 1 8 H ow e ve r t he yoga be i ng pr a c t i c e d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s be ga n t o l os e m uc h of i t s r e l i gi ous c onne c t i ons a s p e opl e r e a l i z e d t h e t he i s t i c H i ndu qua l i t i e s of yoga c oul d be s e pa r a t e d f r om i t s pr a c t i c e w hi l e r e t a i ni ng i t s phys i c a l a nd m e nt a l a dva nt a ge s T hus yoga be ga n t o be s t r i ppe d o f i t s t r a di t i ona l H i ndu qua l i t i e s w he n va r i ous ne w r e l i gi ous 1 8 M e l t on, N e w A ge E nc y c l ope di a 506

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12 m ove m e nt s a t t e m pt e d t o l e gi t i m i z e i t t hr ough s c i e nc e a nd f or ge d a h e a d i n a w a y t ha t a l l ow e d i t t o be i nc l ude d i n s e c ul a r gym s a nd l a t e r e ve n i n t he Y M C A w hi c h ow e s i t s r oot s t o i t s C hr i s t i a n f ounde r s 1 9 I n t he 1990s m a ny m us i c i a ns a nd a c t or s be g a n t o a ga i n e xt ol t he he a l t h be ne f i t s i nhe r e nt i n E a s t e r n pr a c t i c e s he l pi ng t o s pa r k a na t i onw i de i nt e r e s t i n yoga t ha t m ove d i t a nd i t s pr oduc t s i nt o gym s a nd r e t a i l c ha i n s a c r os s t he na t i on. T hi s t i m e i ns t e a d of t out i ng t he c a l m i ng e f f e c t s of m e di t a t i o n a nd yog a m a ny c e l e br i t i e s s uc h a s S t i ng a nd M a donna pr oudl y a nnounc e d t ha t t he y us e d yoga f or ot he r pur pos e s a nd s how e d of f t he i r c hi s e l e d f i gur e s a s e vi de nc e of yoga s phys i c a l he a l t h be ne f i t s T oda y t he num be r of c e l e br i t i e s pr a c t i c i ng yoga ha s gr o w n, a s ha v e t he va r i a t i ons of yoga i t s e l f ( t hough, e a c h va r i a t i on i s us ua l l y a t w i s t on ha t ha yoga ) A s yoga ha s m ove d f r om I ndi a t o t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i t be c om e s c l e a r t ha t c ha nge s ha ve be e n m a de ( how e v e r s ubt l e t he y m a y be ) t o i t s pr a c t i c e a nd a v a r i e t y of yoga s ha v e e m e r ge d i n U S c ul t ur e F or H i ndus a nd a dhe r e nt s t o N R M s s uc h a s V e da nt a I S C K O N a nd S e l f R e a l i z a t i on, yoga r e t a i ns a n e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous c onne c t i on t o yoga s H i nd u r oot s H ow e ve r t he s e pr a c t i t i one r s a r e i n t he m i no r i t y a s t hi s H i ndu i nf us e d yoga ha s not be c om e t he pr e va l e nt f o r m p r a c t i c e d t hr oughout t h e U ni t e d S t a t e s t oda y. I n c ont r a s t a nd due i n pa r t t o t he c ha nge s yoga ha s unde r gone t hr ough t he pa s t de c a de s yoga ha s be c om e a t hr i vi ng e nt e r pr i s e i n t he he a l t h a nd f i t ne s s m a r ke t H o w e ve r e ve n i n t h i s c ont e xt t he r e a r e di f f e r e nt v a r i a t i ons of yoga T he r e a r e A m e r i c a ns 1 9 T hough t he Y M C A w a s f ounde d by C hr i s t i a ns i t s houl d be not e d t ha t i t s f oc us on B i bl e s t udy a nd ot he r e xpl i c i t r e l i g i ous a c t i vi t i e s h a s be e n gr e a t l y r e duc e d s i nc e i t s i nc e pt i on. H ow e ve r i t s r e l i g i ous hi s t or y a l ong w i t h t he f a c t t ha t s om e C hr i s t i a ns ( t hough t he y l a r ge l y a ppe a r t o be i n t he m i nor i t y ) ha ve s po ke n a ga i ns t i nc l udi ng yoga i n Y M C A pr ogr a m s m a ke s t he or ga ni z a t i on of i n t e r e s t t o t h i s t he s i s

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13 w ho do yoga a s a n e xe r c i s e j us t a s t he y w oul d t a k e a ny ot he r c l a s s t ha t i nt e r e s t e d t he m a t a gym B ut t he r e i s a l s o a gr ow i ng num be r of A m e r i c a ns w ho a r e doi ng yoga a s a w a y t o he a l t he i r phys i c a l m e nt a l a nd e m ot i ona l a i l m e nt s I t i s t hi s f i na l c a t e gor y of yog a pr a c t i t i one r s t ha t i s of i m por t a nt i nt e r e s t t o t hi s t he s i s be c a us e i t s e e m s t o r e pr e s e nt a m a j or i t y a nd ha s be gun t o i m pa c t ot he r s phe r e s of s oc i e t y, e s pe c i a l l y i n r e ga r d t o m e di c a l f i e l ds a nd c ons um e r i s m I n or de r t o f ul l y unde r s t a nd yoga s pl a c e i n U S c ul t ur e a nd t o w ha t e xt e nt i t m a y be c ons i de r e d t o be i nf l ue nc i ng ot he r a s pe c t s of s oc i e t y, i t i s i m pe r a t i ve t o c ons i de r how a ve r a ge A m e r i c a ns e nc ount e r yoga A l t hough t hi s e nc ount e r i s w i de r a ngi ng a nd di ve r s e c e nt r a l t o t hi s c ons i de r a t i on i s how i t i s m a r ke t e d a nd c ons um e d. F i r s t i t i s i m por t a nt t o not e how a nd t o w ho m yoga i s m a r ke t e d. S t udi e s c onduc t e d by N A M A S T A ( N or t h A m e r i c a n S t u di o A l l i a nc e ) Y oga J our nal a nd T he Y oga A l l i a nc e s how t ha t i n 2004 a bout 15 m i l l i on A m e r i c a ns pr a c t i c e d yoga 2 0 A c c or di ng t o U SA T oday t he Y oga J our nal s s ur ve y i ndi c a t e d a 43% i nc r e a s e s i nc e 2002. 2 1 A bout $27 bi l l i on w a s s pe nt on yoga pr odu c t s a nnua l l y a nd t he m a j or i t y of yoga pr a c t i t i one r s w e r e f e m a l e ( 77 pe r c e nt ) 2 2 B y kno w i ng t hi s m a r ke t a nd a t t e m pt i ng t o t a r ge t t he 12 pe r c e nt o f A m e r i c a ns w ho ha ve e xpr e s s e d i nt e r e s t i n l e a r ni ng yoga c om pa ni e s t ha t m a r ke t D V D s c l a s s e s r e t r e a t s c l ot hi ng l i ne s a nd ot he r a c c out r e m e nt s ha ve m a de yoga a c c e s s i bl e t o c ons um e r s a c r os s t he e c onom i c s pe c t r um f r om t he m os t 2 0 K i r s t e n O r s i ni M e i nha r d. Y oga I ndus t r y G a i ns S t r e ngt h, T he C ol or adoan O nl i ne J ul y 10, 2005 ht t p : / / w w w b i kr a m yoga c om / N e w s / T he C ol or a doa n071005. ht m A c c e s s e d J a nua r y 29, 2006 2 1 M i ndy F e t t e r m a n. Y oga C opyr i ght R a i s e s Q ue s t i ons of O w ne r s hi p, U S A T oday J une 28, 2006 ht t p: / / w w w us a t oda y. c om / t e c h/ ne w s / 200 6 06 28 yoga us a t _x. ht m A c c e s s e d J une 29, 2006. 2 2 O r s i ni M e i nha r d, Y oga I ndus t r y G a i ns S t r e ngt h.

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14 w e a l t hy t o c ol l e ge s t ude nt s on a budge t a s w e l l a s pe r s ons of l ow e r i nc om e l e ve l s W i t h a n e s t i m a t e d 25 m i l l i on A m e r i c a ns e xpr e s s i ng i nt e r e s t i n t r yi ng yoga 2 3 i t i s c l e a r t ha t t hi s pr a c t i c e ha s ga i ne d bot h popul a r i t y a nd e c onom i c c l out i n t he he a l t h a nd e xe r c i s e m a r ke t s A s ur ve y of na t i ona l r e t a i l c ha i ns s por t i ng go ods r e t a i l e r s a nd, i nt e r e s t i ngl y e nough, books t or e s r e ve a l e d m uc h a bout how A m e r i c a ns a r e i nf l ue nc e d i n how t he y t hi nk a bout yoga 2 4 S por t i ng goods s t or e s s uc h a s T he S por t s A ut hor i t y of f e r c l ot hi ng, D V D s a va r i e t y of m a t s a nd bl oc ks a s w e l l a s ki t s ( w hi c h t ypi c a l l y i nc l ude a m a t D V D a nd yoga s t r a p) t a r ge t e d a t be gi nne r s c hi l dr e n or a dva nc e d s t ude nt s C ha i n r e t a i l e r s s uc h a s T a r ge t a nd W a l M a r t c a r r y a s i m i l a r a r r a y of yoga pr oduc t s a l l c a t e gor i z e d a s s por t i ng goods T he f a c t t ha t t he s e i t e m s a r e of f e r e d a t a l l a t t he s e s t or e s r e ve a l s t ha t yoga ha s pr ogr e s s e d i nt o m a i n s t r e a m m a r ke t s a nd c a n be bought a t r e a s o na bl e pr i c e s b y a nyone T o pe r ha ps be s t unde r s t a nd how yoga i s m a r ke t e d, i t i s he l pf ul t o c on s i de r how popul a r r e l i gi ous pr oduc t s a r e a dve r t i s e d a t bo oks t or e s w hi c h of f e r s t r a i ght f or w a r d c a t e gor i e s t ha t s pe c i f i c a l l y i nc l ude r e l i gi ous book s a nd i t e m s ye a r r ound unl i ke ge ne r a l m e r c ha ndi s e a nd di s c ount r e t a i l e r s w hi c h us u a l l y s t oc k a nd s e l l s a c r e d i t e m s onl y w he n t he y c oi nc i de w i t h a hol i da y ( i e C hr i s t m a s E a s t e r P a s s ove r ) F or i ns t a nc e a c ons um e r m a y pur c ha s e a B uddha i n a B ox or ot he r r e l i gi ous pop c ul t ur e i t e m s a t s e ve r a l books t or e s but w oul d unl i ke l y be a bl e t o f i nd s uc h a pr oduc t a t a T a r ge t o r W a l M a r t 2 3 I bi d. 2 4 T he i n f or m a t i on ga t he r e d c onc e r ni ng r e t a i l e r s bo ok a nd s po r t i ng goods s t or e s w a s c ol l e c t e d by t he a ut hor i n J une 2005 a nd f o l l ow e d up i n J a nua r y 2006

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15 S e ve r a l l a r ge na t i ona l books t or e c ha i ns w e r e c l os e l y e xa m i ne d. A t l e a s t t w o ha d a f our s i de d, s t a nda l one di s pl a y t ha t i nc l ude d D V D s m a t s ba gs t o c a r r y m a t s s hi r t s yog a s t r a ps a nd books A l s o i nc l ud e d i n t hi s di s pl a y w e r e m e di a pr oduc t s f or ot he r e xe r c i s e s i nc l udi ng T a e B o a nd P i l a t e s W he n s e e ki ng books a bout yoga a t r i p t o t he r e l i gi on s e c t i ons w oul d yi e l d f e w books i f a ny a t a l l ( s om e boo ks t or e s ha d none i n t he i r r e l i gi on s e c t i ons ) T he f e w books t ha t w e r e f ound w e r e us ua l l y e i t he r bi ogr a phi e s of yogi s o r c om pi l a t i ons of t e s t i m oni a l s f r om pe opl e pr a i s i ng t he be ne f i t s of p r a c t i c i ng yoga H ow e ve r i t i s e a s y t o s e e how yoga h a s be e n c l a s s i f i e d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s f or m a r ke t i ng pur pos e s w h e n one c ons i de r s w he r e m o s t of t he yoga books a r e f ound. J u s t a s T a r ge t W a l M a r t a nd S por t s A ut hor i t y m a r ke t t ow a r d t he c ul t ur e of h e a l t h, s o d o books t or e s A t e a c h books t or e vi s i t e d, t he r e w e r e no l e s s t h a n t hr e e s h e l ve s de vot e d t o yoga pr oduc t s T he s e w e r e c a t e gor i z e d unde r s uc h he a di ngs a s S por t s a nd F i t ne s s E xe r c i s e a nd H e a l t h. T he m a ga z i ne r a c ks of f e r e d s i m i l a r c a t e gor i e s W hi l e one or t w o yoga j our na l s w e r e pl a c e d w i t h ot he r r e l i gi ous m a ga z i ne s t he m a j or i t y c oul d be f ound unde r S por t s o r F i t ne s s C l e a r l y, t he c om m e r c i a l i z a t i on of yoga i s f oc us e d upon he a l t h a nd f i t ne s s J u s t c ons i de r i ng t he t i t l e s of t he s e c a t e gor i e s i t be c o m e s c l e a r t ha t m os t A m e r i c a ns m a y no t c ons i de r yoga t o be a t a l l r e l i gi ous i n na t ur e H ow e ve r t o m a ke s uc h a n a s s um pt i on w oul d be f ool i s h. I ns t e a d, a c l os e r a na l ys i s of t he t i t l e s of t he yoga books a r t i c l e s a nd m a ga z i ne s s houl d be a ddr e s s e d. S uc h t i t l e s a s Y oga f or B e gi nne r s a nd Y oga f or W om e n a r e de f i ni t e l y s e c ul a r i n t he i r of f e r i ngs I n f a c t t he f r a gm e nt a t i on o f t he t y pe s of yoga i s i m pr e s s i ve i t s e l f B ooks a nd e ve n s pe c i f i c c our s e s of f e r e d a t gym s a nd yoga s t udi os of f e r a va r i e t y of yog a s

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16 s pa nni ng f r om yoga f or pr e gna nt m ot he r s t o yoga f or dogs a nd f r o m r oc k n r ol l y oga t o c hi l dr e n s yoga B e yond t hi s c om m odi f i c a t i on, how e ve r c om e s s uc h t i t l e s a s C om pl e t e Y oga: T he G e nt l e and E f f e c t i v e W ay t o H e al t h an d W e l l B e i ng by S t e l l a W e l l e r a nd T he Y oga H andbook : A G ui de t o E nhanc i ng P hy s i c a l M e nt al and Spi r i t ual W e l l B e i ng by S um ukhi F i nne y B ot h of t he s e l a t t e r t i t l e s e voke t he i nf l ue nc e of t he N e w A ge a nd w ha t ha s be e n r e f e r r e d t o a s t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e 2 5 w hi c h f oc us e s on s e l f he l p, a s w e l l a s l i ve d r e l i gi on, w hi c h i s de f i ne d a s r e l i gi on a s e xpe r i e nc e d i n e ve r yda y l i f e 2 6 H e r e i s a r e c ogni t i on, not of yoga s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ou s goa l s but of m or e pr i va t e a nd i ndi vi dua l i z e d goa l s of t he s e l f w hi c h a r e no m or e or l e s s i m por t a nt t ha n H i ndui s m s goa l of uni t i ve one ne s s w i t h B r a hm a n. I n f a c t t h e a ut hor s of t he a bove m e nt i one d yoga books s e e m ve r y i nt e nt on he l pi ng ot h e r s i n a w a y t ha t s e e m s r e l i gi ous or s pi r i t ua l a s F i nne y r e ve a l s i n he r t e s t i m oni a l : I a l w a ys s e e m e d t o be t i r e d, a nd di dn t r e a l l y f e e l ha ppy I w a nt e d t o ge t f i t a nd l os e w e i ght a s l i ke m a ny o f us I w a s no t c ont e nt e d w i t h how I l ooke d a nd t hought t ha t i f I ha d t he pe r f e c t body a l l w oul d be w e l l A f t e r j us t one l e s s on I f e l t phys i c a l l y c om f o r t a bl e a ne w e xpe r i e nc e f or m e I ga i ne d a g r e a t e r unde r s t a ndi ng a nd a c c e pt a nc e of m ys e l f a nd o f t he w or l d a r ound m e L i f e s t i l l ha d i t s c ha l l e nge s a nd i t s ups a nd dow ns but yoga ha s gi ve n m e t he t ool s t o de a l e f f e c t i ve l y w i t h i t 2 7 2 5 A f ul l t r e a t m e nt of t he t e r m t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e i s pr ovi de d i n C ha pt e r T w o of t h i s t he s i s T he t he or y gi ve n i s s pe c i f i c a l l y de ve l ope d by W a de C l a r k R oof i n h i s book Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B aby B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on ( P r i nc e t on, N e w J e r s e y: P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999) a nd i s w i de l y us e d by ot he r s c hol a r s A l s o s e e A ppe ndi x 2 of t hi s t he s i s f or a m or e i n de pt h de f i ni t i on 2 6 W a de C l a r k R oof Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B aby B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on ( P r i nc e t on N e w J e r s e y: P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999) 39 41 2 7 S um ukhi F i nne y, T he Y oga H andbook : A G ui de t o E nhanc i ng P hy s i c al M e nt al and Spi r i t ual W e l l B e i ng ( N e w Y o r k: B a r ne s & N ob l e s B ooks 2004 ) 6 7

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17 I t i s obvi ous by t hi s w om a n s t e s t i m oni a l t ha t s h e s ought a nd f ound s om e t hi ng m or e t ha n ni c e m us c l e t one a nd a f l a t s t om a c h. S h e f ound s om e t hi ng s pi r i t ua l t ha t s he f e l t c om pe l l e d t o s ha r e w i t h ot he r s I f s uc h c l a i m s a r e t a ke n s e r i ous l y, t he n yoga a ppe a r s t o c ont a i n s om e r e l i gi ous s i gni f i c a nc e e ve n i f i t i s not t he pr i m a r y obj e c t i ve of t he pr a c t i t i one r H ow e ve r de s pi t e t hi s i m pl i c a t i on of i m pl i c i t r e l i gi os i t y, i t s houl d be not e d t ha t yoga s r e l i gi ous s t a t us s e e m s c ons i s t e nt w i t h t he t he or y of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, e s pe c i a l l y i n t he c ont e xt o f t he c ul t i c m i l i e u 2 8 a s w i l l be f ur t he r e xpl or e d i n C ha pt e r T w o. C ons e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a n R e a c t i ons / I nt e r pr e t a t i ons I n f a c t c ons e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a ns of f e r a n une x pe c t e d e ndor s e m e nt of yoga s c onne c t i on t o t r a di t i ona l t he or i e s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on ( w hi c h w i l l be a ddr e s s e d i n m or e de t a i l i n t he f o l l ow i ng c ha pt e r ) be c a us e w hi l e m a ny C hr i s t i a ns c om e t o t e r m s w i t h yoga by s e e m i ngl y s t r i ppi ng i t of i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous r oot s ot he r s t hi nk i t i s m i s l e a di ng t o vi e w i t non r e l i gi ous l y. O ne w om a n, L a u r e t t e W i l l i s f e l t s o de c e i ve d by t he pr e s e nt a t i on of yoga a s non r e l i gi ous t ha t s he c r e a t e d a f or m o f e xe r c i s e t ha t r e s e m bl e s yoga but t ha t s he c l a i m s f oc us e s on G od a nd J e s u s s o t ha t C hr i s t i a ns a r e not c om pr om i s i ng t he i r f a i t h. 2 9 N ot a bl y, e a c h P r a i s e M ove s pos t ur e i n W i l l i s s ys t e m c or r e s ponds t o a s c r i pt ur e 2 8 A f ul l t r e a t m e nt of t he t e r m s c ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd c ul t i c m i l i e u i s pr ovi de d l a t e r i n C ha pt e r T w o. T he t he o r i e s us e d i n t hi s t he s i s a r e s pe c i f i c a l l y out l i ne d by B r uc e i n h i s books R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d: F r om C at he dr al s t o C ul t s ( O xf or d: O xf or d U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1996) a nd G od i s D e ad: Se c ul ar i z at i on i n t he W e s t ( O xf o r d: B l a c kw e l l P ubl i s hi ng, 2002) A l s o s e e A ppe ndi x 2 of t hi s t he s i s f or a m o r e i n de pt h de f i ni t i on 2 9 H ol l y V i c e nt e R oba i na T he T r ut h A bout Y o ga T oday s C hr i s t i an W om an M a r c h/ A pr i l 2005 a t ht t p: / / w w w c hr i s t i a ni t yt oda y. c om / t c w / 2005/ 002/ 14 40. ht m l A c c e s s e d J une 6, 2006.

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18 f r om t he B i bl e 3 0 W i l l i s t he r a py i s m a r ke t e d t o C hr i s t i a ns w ho w or r y t ha t pr a c t i c i ng yoga c om pr om i s e s t he i r r e l i gi ous be l i e f s a nd ha s f ound a ni c he i n w ha t W a de C l a r k R oof c a l l s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e 3 1 W i l l i s a t t a c ks t he N e w A ge m ove m e nt i n he r c r i t i que a ga i ns t yoga c om pa r i ng t he m ove m e nt t o B ur ge r K i ng be c a us e i t s l i ke t he f a s t f ood r e s t a ur a nt s m ot t o : H a ve i t your w a y. T ha t s w ha t t he N e w A ge m ove m e nt t r i e s t o do, t o a c hi e ve G od on i t s t e r m s 3 2 I n t hi s s e ns e W i l l i s c r i t i que i s not unl i k e t ha t of S t e ve B r uc e w ho not e s t ha t N e w A ge pr a c t i t i one r s w hos e r e l i gi ous i de a s a nd r i t ua l s c om pr i s e t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, s e e m t o c ons i de r t he e x c ha nge a nd a c qui s i t i on of r e l i g i ous i de a s onl y i n t he c ont e xt of w ha t w or ks f or you. 3 3 R e ga r dl e s s of W i l l i s a ni m os i t y t ow a r d yoga a nd i t s a s s o c i a t i on w i t h t he s pi r i t u a l m a r ke t pl a c e s r e l i gi ous buf f e t he r d e ve l opm e nt of a n a l t e r na t i ve t o yoga ope r a t e s i n t he ve r y s a m e m a r ke t pl a c e onl y s he s pe c i f i c a l l y t a r ge t s a C hr i s t i a n a udi e nc e a nd a i m s t o ke e p he r pr oduc t i n t he r e a l m o f C hr i s t i a ni t y. W i l l i s vi e w of yoga i s po s i t i ve i n s of a r a s i t s phy s i c a l be ne f i t s a r e c onc e r ne d, but he r i s s ue s w i t h s u c h H i ndu t e r m s a s om a nd na m a s t e a nd t he pos e s w hi c h r e f e r r e d t o H i ndu de i t i e s dr ove he r a w a y f r om yoga 3 4 S he f ound t hi s r e l i gi ous r e s i due t o be c om pl e t e l y a nt i t he t i c a l t o he r f a i t h a nd, a c c or di ng t o R oba i na s a r t i c l e num e r ous 3 0 W ha t D oe s a P r a i s e M ove s C l a s s L ook L i ke ? P r a i s e M ove s : T he C hr i s t i a n A l t e r na t i ve t o Y oga a t ht t p: / / w w w pr a i s e m ove s c o m A c c e s s e d J une 6, 20006. 3 1 A f ul l t r e a t m e nt of t he t e r m s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i s pr ovi de d i n C ha pt e r T w o of t hi s t he s i s T he t he or y gi ve n i s s pe c i f i c a l l y de ve l ope d by R oof i n hi s book Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e a nd i s w i de l y us e d by ot he r s c hol a r s A l s o s e e A pp e ndi x 2 of t h i s t he s i s f or a m or e i n de pt h de f i ni t i on. 3 2 R oba i na T he T r ut h A bout Y oga 3 3 S t e ve B r uc e G od i s D e ad: Se c ul ar i z at i on i n t he W e s t ( O xf or d: B l a c kw e l l P ubl i s hi ng, 2002) 83 3 4 R oba i na T he T r ut h A bout Y oga

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19 C hr i s t i a n w om e n ha ve t ol d L a ur e t t e t he y de c i de d t o qui t yoga a f t e r l e a r ni ng a bout i t s H i ndu r oot s I t s a ha r d de c i s i on f or t hos e w ho ve i nve s t e d m a ny ye a r s a nd m a ny dol l a r s i nt o t he p r a c t i c e 3 5 W i l l i s a l s o w a r ns a ga i ns t s o c a l l e d C hr i s t i a n yoga s a yi ng t ha t be c a us e s he w a s t ol d t ha t a l l yoga i s H i ndu, i t i s i m po s s i bl e f or t he r e t o be s uc h a t hi ng a s C hr i s t i a n yoga O t he r C hr i s t i a ns how e ve r do not a gr e e I n a T i m e m a ga z i ne a r t i c l e f oc us i ng on P r a i s e M o ve s one w om a n s t a t e d, I t [ C hr i s t i a n yo ga ] gi ve s m e t i m e a l one w i t h G od. A s a m om of t w o s m a l l ki ds I don't ge t t ha t e ve n i n c hur c h 3 6 T hus e ve n a m ong C hr i s t i a ns t he r e i s di s a gr e e m e nt a bout yoga s c ur r e nt r e l i gi ous s t a t us i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s T he i s s ue s r a i s e d by t hi s di s a gr e e m e nt w i l l be a ddr e s s e d m or e c l os e l y l a t e r i n t hi s pa p e r T he ne xt c ha pt e r of t hi s t he s i s w i l l e ng a ge t he i s s ue s r a i s e d b y yoga s popul a r i t y i n U S c ul t ur e a nd w ha t t he y t e l l us a bout yoga s s pe c i f i c a l l y r e l i gi ous s t a t us i n t hi s c ul t ur e 3 5 I bi d. 3 6 L i s a T a ke uc hi C ul l e n/ M a h t om e di S t r e t c hi ng f or J e s u s T i m e 5 S e pt e m be r 2005 a t ht t p: / / w w w p r a i s e m ove s c om / t i m e a r t i c l e ht m A c c e s s e d J une 6, 2006.

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20 C ha pt e r T w o Y oga i n C ont e m por a r y U S C ul t ur e W hi l e t he pr e vi ous c ha pt e r out l i ne d yoga s de ve l o pm e nt a nd c ur r e nt s t a t us i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s t he s i gni f i c a nc e of yoga s or i gi ns c a nnot be l e f t t he r e I n f a c t yoga s pa s t a nd pr e s e nt f or m s i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e a r e ve r y i m por t a nt i n de t e r m i ni ng i n w ha t w a ys yoga ha s c ha nge d a nd how t he pr a c t i c e f i t s i nt o t he r e l i gi ous l a nds c a pe of U S c ul t ur e T hi s c ha pt e r w i l l a ddr e s s yoga s s i gni f i c a nc e i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s w i t h c l os e a t t e nt i on be i ng gi ve n t o i t s s t a t us i n w ha t S t e ve B r uc e de f i ne s a s t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, i t s r e l a t i ons hi p w i t h s e c ul a r i z a t i on, c om m odi f i c a t i on, a nd t he N e w A ge a s w e l l a s i ns t i t ut i ona l s t r uc t ur e s r e l a t e d t o t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e T o be gi n t hi s l i ne of i nqui r y, yoga w i l l be a na l yz e d us i ng t he t r a di t i ona l s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or i e s of P e t e r B e r ge r a nd B r uc e M u c h a t t e nt i o n w i l l a l s o be gi ve n t o B r uc e s c onc e pt of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a nd i t s r e l a t i ons hi p t o r e l i gi on i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e I n a ddi t i on, a l t e r na t i ve t he o r i e s de ve l ope d by W a de C l a r k R oof C hr i s t ophe r P a r t r i dge a nd D a vi d L yon w i l l be us e d t o unde r s t a nd yoga s i nc l us i on i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u. A l s o of s i gni f i c a nt i m po r t a nc e a r e t he r e a c t i ons of c ons e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a ns a s w e l l a s t he e f f e c t of t he N e w A ge on yog a a nd t he e m e r ge nc e of w ha t m a y be s e e n a s a di f f e r e nt pe r s pe c t i ve on r e l i gi on a nd i t s pl a c e i n t h e U ni t e d S t a t e s

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21 R e l i gi on a nd S pi r i t ua l i t y D e f i ne d R e l i gi on c a n be c a t e gor i z e d i n a num be r of w a ys B or r ow i ng f r om R oy W a l l i s w or k, B r uc e of f e r s a s i m pl e s ys t e m f or c l a s s i f yi ng r e l i gi ons t ha t he l ps i l l um i na t e t he w a ys i n w hi c h r e l i gi on m a ni f e s t s i n a s e c ul a r c ul t ur e T h r ough t he us e of f our c a t e gor i e s r e l i gi ons a r e c l a s s i f i e d a s c hur c he s de nom i na t i ons s e c t s or c ul t s C hur c he s t e nd t o be l a r ge i nc l us i ve a nd c o e xt e ns i ve w i t h s oc i e t y. 3 7 T he i r m e m be r s us ua l l y w e r e bor n i nt o t he r e l i gi on, b ut out s i de r s w e r e w e l c om e d a nd e ve n s ought S e c t s on t he ot he r ha nd, a r e s m a l l e r a nd i nvol ve r e l i gi ous pr ot e s t but a r e s i m i l a r t o c hur c he s i n t ha t t he y a l s o c l a i m t ha t t he y ha ve e xc l us i ve a c c e s s t o t he t r ut h a nd t he t r ue pa t h t o s a l va t i on. 3 8 M e m be r s of s e c t s a r e not ne c e s s a r i l y bor n i nt o t he r e l i gi on, but a r e m e m be r s by c hoi c e T he de nom i na t i on, l i ke t he c hur c h, i s l a r ge a nd i t s m e m be r s a r e l a r ge l y bor n i n t o t he r e l i gi on, t hough ot he r s m a y c hoos e t o j oi n. 3 9 D e nom i na t i ons a r e i nc l us i ve but t he y di f f e r f r om s e c t s a nd c hur c he s i n t ha t t he de nom i na t i on a c know l e dge s t he t r ut h of ot he r r e l i gi ons 4 0 O f pa r t i c ul a r i nt e r e s t t o t hi s t he s i s how e ve r i s t he c a t e gor y of c ul t T o de f i ne c ul t B r uc e e m pl oys E r ns t T r oe l t s c h s de f i ni t i on C ul t s a r e ve r y di f f e r e nt i n t ha t t he y o f f e r hi ghl y i ndi vi dua l i s t i c e xpr e s s i on, va r yi ng w i t h pe r s ona l e xpe r i e nc e s a nd i nt e r pr e t a t i ons 4 1 C ul t s a r e of t e n s m a l l l oo s e l y or ga ni z e d gr oups t ha t a r e e xt r e m e l y 3 7 S t e ve B r uc e R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d: F r om C at he dr al s t o C ul t s ( O xf or d: O xf or d U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1996) 71 F or a m or e de t a i l e d a c c ount of t he s e c a t e gor i e s pl e a s e s e e C ha pt e r 4 of B r uc e s book. 3 8 I bi d. 75 6. 3 9 I bi d. 72 4 0 I bi d. 76 4 1 I bi d. 82

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22 t ol e r a nt of ne w i de a s B r uc e r e f e r s t o t he m e m be r s of c ul t s a s c ons um e r s w ho pi c k a nd c hoos e t hos e bi t s of i t s pr oduc t t ha t s ui t t he m 4 2 W i t hi n t hi s c a t e gor y of c ul t t he t e r m s c ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd c ul t i c m i l i e u 4 3 a r e de ve l ope d. B r uc e pl a c e s N e w A ge r e l i gi ons a nd a l l of t he pr a c t i c e s a s s oc i a t e d w i t h t he m i n t he c a t e gor y o f t he c ul t i c m i l i e u B r uc e de s c r i be s t he i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s of c ul t i c r e l i gi ons a s t hos e t ha t f i nd a n a udi e nc e a nd e ve n, i n a di l ut e d f or m i nf us e t he ge ne r a l c l i m a t e ( a s f or e xa m pl e w i t h t he m a ny hol i s t i c he a l i ng c ul t s a nd a l t e r na t i ve m e di c a l pr a c t i c e s ) but a r e una bl e t o e l i c i t or m a i nt a i n t he c om m i t m e nt of t hos e pe opl e i nt e r e s t e d i n i t s i nnova t i ons 4 4 I t i s t he r e l i gi ous c a t e gor y of c ul t t ha t i s of r e l e va nc e t o t hi s t he s i s be c a us e i t c onne c t s t o t he r e l i gi ons of t he N e w A ge a nd t a r ge t s r e l i gi ous i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s ( w hi c h a r e t hus pa r t of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u) t ha t a r e hi ghl y i ndi vi dua l i z e d, a s yoga ha s be c om e A s t hi s t he s i s de ve l ops t he c onne c t i on be t w e e n B r uc e s c ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd R oof s c onc e pt s of t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e w i l l be m a de c l e a r H ow e ve r f or pur pos e s of t hi s t he s i s ye t a not h e r de f i ni t i ona l di s t i nc t i on m us t be m a de t hi s t i m e c onc e r ni ng r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y T he r oot s of t hi s di s t i nc t i on, w hi c h i s pa r t i c ul a r l y e vi de nt i n N e w A ge c om m uni t i e s c a n be t r a c e d t o t he 1960s C e r t a i nl y, t he r e pe a l of t he U ni t e d S t a t e s 4 2 I bi d. 4 3 C ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd c ul t i c m i l i e u a r e r e l a t e d t e r m s w he r e i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u s i m pl y r e f e r s t o t he e nvi r onm e nt of c ul t i c r e l i gi on I t s hou l d be not e d t ha t P a r t r i dge of f e r s a de f i ni t i on of t he s e t e r m s i n C ha pt e r F ou r of hi s bo ok T he R e E nc hant m e nt of t he W e s t V ol 1 ( N e w Y o r k: T & T C l a r k I n t e r na t i ona l 200 4) H ow e ve r P a r t r i dge s us e of t he t e r m s f oc us on m ys t i c i s m a nd a n e m pha s i s on c om m uni t y a nd s ha r e d be l i e f s w i t hi n c ul t i c r e l i gi on. 4 4 B r uc e R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d 91.

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23 I m m i gr a t i on A c t i n 1965 ope ne d t he door s t o t e ns of t hous a nds of E a s t e r n i m m i gr a nt s a nd he l pe d f ue l t he t ur n t o t he E a s t t ha t s pi r i t ua l s e e ke r s e m br a c e d dur i ng t he 1960s 4 5 R obe r t W ut hnow s oc i ol ogi s t of r e l i gi on a nd c ul t u r e ha s r e m a r ke d how t he 1960s of f e r e d pe opl e ne w w a ys of s e e ki ng not t he s o c a l l e d r e l i g i ous but t he s pi r i t ua l 4 6 I t i s i m por t a nt t o not e t ha t f or m a ny A m e r i c a n s t he r e i s a s t a r k c ont r a s t b e t w e e n t he s e t w o t e r m s T he di c hot om y be t w e e n r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y i s i m por t a nt t o unde r s t a ndi ng how m a ny A m e r i c a ns vi e w t he i r pr a c t i c e s be l i e f s a nd e t hi c s A num be r of s c hol a r s s u c h a s C hr i s t oph e r P a r t r i dge a r e now goi ng t o gr e a t l e ngt hs t o di s t i ngui s h w ha t t he y c on s i de r t o be t he m a i n di f f e r e nc e s b e t w e e n r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y, e i t he r of w hi c h c a n be l a be l e d pos i t i ve or ne ga t i ve de pe ndi ng upon t he poi nt of v i e w of t he obs e r ve r A s e xpl a i ne d by P a r t r i dge : S pi r i t ua l i t y i s vi t a l a nd s ubve r s i ve S pi r i t ua l i t y br e a ks bounda r i e s S pi r i t ua l i t y i s t he l i f e e nha nc i ng. R e l i gi on i s a bout c a t a l ogui ng. R e l i gi on i s a bout c om pr e he ndi ng e xpe r i e nc e ( r a t he r t h a n, I s uppos e s i m pl y e x pe r i e nc i ng ) R e l i gi on be l ongs t o t he pa s t R e l i gi on i s l i f e l e s s c ol l e c t i ons of w or ds R e l i gi on i s t he e nd of vi t a l i t y 4 7 T hus i t m us t be unde r s t ood t ha t w ha t m a ny A m e r i c a ns c ons i de r r e l i gi ous i s unde r gr e a t c ha nge a nd s t r e s s I n t he c a s e of E a s t A s i a n pr a c t i c e s a nd be l i e f s s uc h a s yoga i t be c om e s e vi de nt t ha t t he r e pa c ka gi ng t he y of t e n e nc ount e r upon e nt e r i ng t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i s l a r ge l y i nf l ue nc e d by how A m e r i c a ns de f i ne t he m w he t he r t he y be r e l i gi ous 4 5 C hr i s t ophe r P a r t r i dge T he R e E nc hant m e nt of t he W e s t V ol 1 ( N e w Y or k: T & T C l a r k I nt e r na t i ona l 2004) 97 4 6 I bi d. 99 4 7 I bi d. 48

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24 s pi r i t ua l or s om e t hi ng e l s e T hi s t he s i s w i l l l a t e r r e t ur n t o t hi s l i ne of a na l y s i s i n t he c ont e xt of yoga a nd i t s a c c e pt a nc e a nd unde r s t a ndi ng i n U S c ul t ur e Y oga ha s of c ou r s e unde r gone s e r i ous c ha nge du r i ng t he pa s t c e nt ur y T he yoga pr a c t i c e d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s doe s not ne c e s s a r i l y m i r r o r or r e s e m bl e t he yoga o f I ndi a B ut doe s t hi s m e a n t ha t t he yoga pr a c t i c e d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i s l e s s r e l i gi ous t ha n t ha t of i t s E a s t e r n c ount e r pa r t ? H a s yoga be e n s t r i ppe d of i t s r e l i g i ous t e ne t s a nd be e n r e duc e d t o a m e r e e xe r c i s e s e c ul a r i z e d a nd c om m odi f i e d t o t he po i nt i t i s no l onge r r e l e va nt t o r e l i gi ous s t udy? S e c ul a r i z a t i on T he or y a nd t he C ul t i c M i l i e u V a r i ous i nt e r pr e t a t i ons of t he s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he s i s ha ve be e n pos i t e d by a num be r of s c hol a r s T hi s t he s i s e m pl oys a r a t he r ba s i c de f i ni t i on de r i ve d p r i m a r i l y f r om t he w or k of P e t e r B e r ge r A s B e r ge r s t a t e s s e c ul a r i z a t i on i s c ons i de r e d t o be t he pr oc e s s by w hi c h s e c t or s of s oc i e t y a nd c ul t ur e a r e r e m ove d f r om t he dom i na t i on of r e l i gi ou s i ns t i t ut i ons a nd s ym bol s 4 8 N ot a bl y, s e c ul a r i z a t i on i s not j us t a s oc i a l s t r uc t ur a l pr oc e s s ; i t a l s o i m pa c t s t he t hought w or l d o f i ndi vi dua l s t hr ough w ha t B e r ge r c a l l s t he s e c ul a r i z a t i on of c ons c i ous ne s s 4 9 F ol l ow i ng B e r ge r t he r oot s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a r e a nc hor e d i n e a r l y J ud a i c m onot he i s m B e r ge r a r gue s i n T he Sac r e d C anop y t ha t t he r oot s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on c a n be t r a c e d t o t he a n c i e nt I s r a e l i t e s w ho s e pa r a t e d G od f r om na t ur e a nd m a d e na t ur e 4 8 P e t e r L B e r ge r T he Sac r e d C anopy ( N e w Y o r k: A nc hor B ooks 1990) 107 4 9 I bi d. 107 8.

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25 s ubs e r vi e nt t o a c r e a t or god, t hus pus hi ng na t ur e i t s e l f f r om t he f or e f r ont of r e l i gi ous e xpe r i e nc e a nd m a r gi na l i z i ng i t s i m por t a nc e i n a r e s ul t a nt non s a c r e d ( m unda ne ) r e a l m 5 0 B ui l di ng on B e r ge r s d e f i ni t i on of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, B r uc e of f e r s a t hr e e pa r t de f i ni t i on t ha t s e e m s m or e f oc us e d t ha n t ha t of B e r ge r B r uc e s e e s t hi s s oc i a l c ondi t i on i n: ( a ) t he de c l i ni ng i m por t a nc e of r e l i gi on f or t he op e r a t i on of non r e l i g i ous r ol e s a nd i ns t i t ut i ons s uc h a s t ho s e of t he s t a t e a nd t he e c onom y; ( b) a de c l i ne i n t he s oc i a l s t a ndi ng of r e l i gi ous r ol e s a n d i ns t i t ut i ons ; a nd ( c ) a de c l i ne i n t he e xt e nt t o w hi c h pe opl e e nga ge i n r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s di s pl a y be l i e f s of a r e l i gi ous ki nd, a nd c onduc t ot he r a s pe c t s of t he i r l i ve s i n a m a nne r i nf or m e d by s uc h be l i e f s 5 1 I t s houl d be not e d t ha t B r uc e c ons i de r s s e c u l a r i z a t i on t o be t hr i vi ng a nd unde r m i ni ng t he l e gi t i m a c y of r e l i gi on. H e i s c a r e f ul how e ve r t o e m pha s i z e t ha t s e c ul a r i z a t i on i s not s o m uc h i ne vi t a bl e a s i t i s i r r e ve r s i bl e 5 2 a di s t i nc t i on t ha t he u s e s t o de bunk t he or i e s t ha t t he i nf l ux o f t he N e w A ge a nd ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s ( N R M s ) a r e i ndi c a t or s of r e s i s t a nc e or a r e ve r s a l of s e c ul a r i z a t i on. A ddi t i ona l l y, B r uc e s t a t e s t ha t c ul t i c r e l i gi on l a c ks t he s oc i al s i gni f i c anc e of t he c hur c h a nd t he s e c t F ur t he r m or e i t i s a f or m of r e l i gi on t ha t i s pa r t i c ul a r l y di f f i c ul t t o s us t a i n a nd pr om ot e H e nc e t he num be r of a dhe r e nt s ( i f t ha t i s not t oo s t r ong a t e r m f or t he c ons um e r s of c ul t i c r e l i gi on) w i l l d e c l i ne F or t hos e t w o r e a s ons c ul t i c r e l i gi on i s unl i ke l y t o s t e m s e c ul a r i z a t i on. 5 3 T hr ough hi s ve r y de t a i l e d a nd s pe c i f i c de f i ni t i on of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a nd hi s s t a nc e on t he s oc i a l i nf l ue nc e of c ul t i c r e l i gi on, a s gi ve n a bove 5 0 B e r ge r 11 5 6. 5 1 B r uc e G od i s D e ad 3 5 2 I bi d. 38 5 3 I bi d. 79

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26 B r uc e s e e m s i nt e nt upon c l os i ng a ny l oophol e t hr ough w hi c h s uppor t e r s of t h e N e w A ge or N R M s m i ght of f e r e vi de nc e t ha t s e c ul a r i z a t i on m a y be s l ow i ng or i n f a c t be r e ve r s i bl e be c a us e t he s e r e l i gi ous gr oups m e m be r s hi p doe s not of f s e t t he l os s e s i nc ur r e d by t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ons 5 4 U s i ng B e r ge r s a nd B r uc e s unde r s t a ndi ngs yoga s m odi f i c a t i ons a r e c on s i s t e nt w i t h s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y be c a us e yoga ha s be e n, t o va r yi ng de gr e e s s e pa r a t e d f r o m i t s e xpl i c i t H i ndu r e l i gi ous t i e s a nd i s i nc l ude d i n t he non r e l i gi ous e xe r c i s e r e gi m e ns f ound i n Y M C A s a nd gym s a s w e l l a s i t s i n c r e a s i ngl y di ve r s e c om m odi f i c a t i on i n t he f or m of m a t s c l ot hi ng, a nd a c c e s s or i e s a c r os s t he na t i on W he n t he s e obs e r va t i ons a r e pa i r e d w i t h t he f a c t t ha t t he m a j or i t y of A m e r i c a ns w ho do yoga w a nt not hi ng t o do w i t h i t s H i ndu c onc e pt s a nd f oc us onl y on t he phys i c a l ( h e a l t h) be ne f i t s i t w oul d a ppe a r t ha t t he yoga be i ng done i s non r e l i gi ous i n na t ur e B y i m por t i ng yoga i nt o s e c ul a r gym na s i um s a nd he a l t h c e nt e r s m uc h o f i t s r e l i gi ous t e ne t s a r e l e f t out T hough t e a c hi ngs a bout pr ope r br e a t hi ng a nd t he a s a na s m a y be r e t a i n e d, t he pur pos e f or t he m s hi f t s f r om uni f yi ng a t m a n w i t h B r a hm a n t o s i m pl y s e e ki ng c a l m or phys i c a l w e l l be i ng. T hus yoga ha s be e n a bs t r a c t e d f r om i t s t r a di t i ona l e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e T hi s doe s not how e ve r m e a n t ha t yoga ha s be e n e nt i r e l y s t r i ppe d of i t s r e l i gi ous c onne c t i ons M a ny A m e r i c a ns s e e k t o f e e l be t t e r phys i c a l l y s o t he y c a n de vot e t he i r t i m e a nd a t t e nt i on t o bot h s pi r i t ua l a nd m u nda ne m a t t e r s P hys i c a l a i l m e nt s c a n be di s t r a c t i ng, pa i nf ul a nd t i m e ( a s w e l l a s f i na nc i a l l y) c ons um i n g w he n t r e a t m e nt i s ne e de d. A m e r i c a n s ha ve be e n i nc r e a s i ngl y t ur ni ng t o a l t e r na t i ve a ve nue s of t r e a t m e nt i nc l udi ng yoga W i t hi n t hi s s e a r c h f or s e l f he l p i s t he c onc e pt of t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e T he t he r a pe ut i c 5 4 I bi d. 81

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27 c ul t ur e a s pr e s e nt e d by R oof i s a m ove m e nt f oc us e d on t he i ndi vi dua l t ha t r e f l e c t s a pr of ound e f f or t w i t hi n c ont e m por a r y c ul t ur e t o a d dr e s s ps yc hol ogi c a l he a l t h a nd pe r s on a l w e l l be i ng ope nl y a nd c a ndi dl y i n a s uppor t i ve c ont e xt a nd a m ount s t o, a s R M a r i e G r i f f i t h obs e r ve s a ki nd of s pi r i t ua l s hi f t i n A m e r i c a n l i f e i n w hi c h t he bounda r i e s be t w e e n t he publ i c a nd t he pr i va t e ha ve be e n r e pe a t e dl y c ha l l e nge d a nd r e dr a w n 5 5 I n t hi s r e ga r d, yog a a ppe a r s t o be f ul f i l l i ng t he f u nc t i on of a s e c ul a r e xe r c i s e t ha t m a ny A m e r i c a ns s e e m t o t hi nk i s s a f e t o be i nvol v e d i n w i t hout c om p r om i s i ng t he i r f a i t h w hi l e s t i l l doi ng s om e t hi ng t ha t w i l l be n e f i t t he m i n a ve r y p e r s ona l m a nne r F or s om e pr a c t i t i one r s t hi s m a y a l s o m e a n e xpe r i e nc i ng s pi r i t ua l gr ow t h c onc e r ni ng t he s e l f w i t hout m a ki ng a ny r e f e r e nc e t o a s pe c i f i c god or r e l i gi on pe r s e S ur e l y, t hi s ha s a n a ppe a l t o m a ny pe opl e w ho do yoga f or ps yc hol ogi c a l he a l t h r e a s ons e s pe c i a l l y t hos e r e l a t e d t o r e l i e vi ng s t r e s s a nxi e t y or de pr e s s i on, but do not ne c e s s a r i l y s e e k a n e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous out l e t A m a j or r e a s on yoga a ppe a r s t o be s o s a f e i s due t o i t s hi gh vi s i bi l i t y w hi c h i s dr i ve n by i t s m a r ke t a bi l i t y a nd c om m odi f i c a t i on. B ut doe s t hi s m e a n yoga l os e s i t s a ut he nt i c i t y? S t e w a r t M H oove r a ut hor o f T he C r os s a t W i l l ow C r e e k, s a ys no. I f t he r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e of t oda y i s r oot e d i n t he c ul t ur a l pr a c t i c e of t he m a r ke t pl a c e t he n t he s y m bol i c pr a c t i c e s of t he m a r ke t pl a c e s houl d be a ppa r e nt i n t h e w or l d of l i ve d r e l i gi on. 5 6 I n t hi s c a s e H oove r i s i n a gr e e m e nt w i t h R oof s c onc e pt of l i ve d r e l i gi on a s i t a ppe a r s i n bot h t he r a pe ut i c c ul t u r e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e 5 5 R oof 40. 5 6 S t e w a r t M H oove r T he C r os s a t W i l l ow C r e e k i n R e l i gi on and P opul ar C ul t ur e i n A m e r i c a, e d. B r uc e D a vi d F or be s a nd J e f f r e y H M a ha n ( B e r ke l e y, C a l i f or n i a : U ni ve r s i t y of C a l i f or ni a 2000 ) 155.

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28 B r uc e s c ul t i c m i l i e u i s pa r t i c ul a r l y he l pf ul i n l oc a t e d l i ve d r e l i gi on a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i n t he c ont e xt of t he br o a de r s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y. W i t h t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e pl a c i ng e m pha s i s on t he i ndi vi dua l a nd t he s e l f a s w e l l a s pr ovi d i ng a n e nvi r onm e nt t ha t a l l ow s f or t he e a s y e xc h a ng e of r e l i gi ous i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s ( t ha t m a y or m a y not be e xpl i c i t i n t he i r r e l i gi os i t y ) i t r e i nf or c e s t he di ve r s i t y t ha t i s t he c or ne r s t one of c ul t i c r e l i gi ons W hi l e i t s e e m s B r uc e m a y be c or r e c t i n hi s c ha r ge t ha t m os t c ul t i c pr a c t i c e s a ppe a r una bl e t o m a i nt a i n l on g t e r m c om m i t m e nt s by i t s m e m be r s 5 7 t he s he e r num be r of pa r t i c i pa nt s i nvol ve d i n yo ga w a r r a nt f ur t he r i nqui r y i nt o yoga s s t a t us a s a r e l i gi ous c ont r i but or a nd i t s i nf l ue nc e on va r i ous s phe r e s of A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e popul a r or ot he r w i s e I n s pi t e of yoga s r e s i s t a nc e t o be c l a s s i f i e d a s a n e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e unde r B e r ge r s a nd B r uc e s t e r m s of s e c ul a r i z a t i on due t o i t s t r a ns f or m a t i on i nt o a he a l t h a nd f i t ne s s r e gi m e n, yoga i f i nc l ude d i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a nd t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e doe s s e e m t o r e t a i n s om e r e l i gi os i t y i n a n i m pl i c i t s e ns e T hus a s ha s be e n s ugge s t e d by m a n y s c hol a r s r e l i gi on i s not ne c e s s a r i l y be i ng e l i m i na t e d f r om or r e pl a c e d i n s o c i e t y but t h e w a ys i n w hi c h r e l i gi on i s pr a c t i c e d a r e s hi f t i ng. P e opl e now s e e m c om f or t a bl e i n s e e ki ng e xpe r i e nc e s t h a t a r e r e l i gi ous i n f unc t i on a l t hough t he y a r e non r e l i g i ous i n a ppe a r a nc e 5 8 U s i ng t he a r gum e nt s put f or t h by R oof P a r t r i dge a nd L yon, i n t he c ont e xt of B r uc e s not i on of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, t he s e s e e ke r s a nd t he i r e xpe r i e nc e s s ugg e s t t he pr ope r c a t e gor i e s f or t he c l a s s i f i c a t i on o f yoga i n c ont e m p or a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e 5 7 B r uc e R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d 91. 5 8 I bi d. 6 7. B r uc e w oul d l i ke l y e xpr e s s c onc e r n w i t h t hi s s t a nc e be c a us e he c ons i de r s f unc t i ona l de f i ni t i ons o f r e l i gi on t o be t oo i nc l us i v e

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29 T he r a pe ut i c C ul t ur e t he S p i r i t ua l M a r ke t pl a c e a n d t he N e w A ge O ne w a y i n w hi c h r e l i gi on m a y be s hi f t i ng c a n be s e e n i n how A m e r i c a ns pr a c t i c e yoga w hi c h ha s ga i ne d m uc h popul a r i t y a nd e nj oye d m uc h s uc c e s s a s a t he r a pe ut i c e xe r c i s e t ha t ha s be c om e qui t e pr om i ne nt i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e ( a s d e f i ne d by R oof ) a s w e l l a s a m ong c ul t i c r e l i gi ons A l t ho ugh yoga i n i t s popul a r c om m odi f i e d i nc a r na t i on, doe s not m a i nt a i n i t s t r a di t i ona l H i ndu r e l i gi ous f e a t ur e s i t ha s be c om e v e r y i m por t a nt t o a s ubc ul t ur e of A m e r i c a ns w ho ha ve us e d yoga a s a s pr i ngboa r d i nt o a c om pl e t e l y ne w he a l t h or i e nt e d l i f e s t yl e R oof of f e r s a c a t e gor y i nt o w hi c h t he s e pr a c t i t i one r s m i ght be c l a s s i f i e d a s r e l i gi ous a gr ow i ng m ove m e nt r e l a t e d t o t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e know n a s t h e r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e w hi c h f oc us e s on phys i c a l a nd m e nt a l s e l f i m pr ove m e nt T hi s i ndi vi dua l i z a t i on of r e l i gi on c e r t a i nl y c onf or m s t o B r uc e s c onc e pt of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, e s pe c i a l l y a s m a ni f e s t i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s a nd a l s o op e ns t he door t o t he e s t a bl i s hm e nt of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e w he r e r e l i gi on f l ou r i s he s i n t he c ont e xt of s e c ul a r i z a t i on. H ow e ve r i t s houl d not be a s s um e d t ha t t hi s m a r ke t pl a c e i s a di r e c t c ha l l e nge t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on. R a t he r t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i s e vi de nc e t ha t a l t hough r e l e ga t e d t o a c a t e gor y of opt i ons f or A m e r i c a n r e l i gi ous s e e ke r s i t i s no ne t he l e s s a n i ndi c a t or t ha t r e l i gi on i s t hr i vi ng a nd popul a r i n U S c ul t ur e A s w a s e xpl a i ne d i n t he pr e vi ou s c ha pt e r t he U ni t e d S t a t e s ha s a l w a y s be e n a bur ge oni ng m a r ke t pl a c e of r e l i gi ous i de a s a nd i nnova t i on. I t s houl d be not e d t ha t t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i s not a pl a c e of r e l i gi on s o m uc h a s i t i s a pl a c e t ha t of f e r s r e l i gi ous c ons um e r s t he oppor t uni t y t o c hoos e f r om pa r t s of r e l i gi ons T hus a pe r s on doe s not

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30 e nt e r t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e t o f i nd H i ndui s m b e i ng e xpl i c i t l y m a r ke t e d s o m uc h a s he or s he w i l l f i nd pa r t s of H i ndui s m s uc h a s yo ga a nd m e di t a t i on, be i ng of f e r e d f or c ons um pt i on. T hi s va s t m a r ke t pl a c e a f f e c t s c ount l e s s num be r s of pe opl e t hr oughout A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e i nf l ue nc i ng s uc h i ns t i t ut i ona l s t r uc t ur e s a s r e l i gi on, pol i t i c s m or a l i t y, e duc a t i on, e c onom i c s a nd he a l t h. H ow e ve r i n l i ght of R oof s a na l ys i s i t i s t he s pi r i t ual m a r ke t pl a c e w hi c h ha s e m e r ge d a s a pl a c e w he r e s e e ke r s of r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y go t o f i nd s ol ut i ons t o m a t t e r s c onc e r ni ng t he m i n d, body a nd s oul t ha t i s of pa r t i c ul a r s i gni f i c a nc e t o t hi s t he s i s Y oga i n pa r t i c ul a r ha s c ont r i but e d m uc h t o t he l e gi t i m i z a t i on o f t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e L i ke i t s pa r e nt r e l i gi on H i ndui s m y oga i s ve r y m a l l e a bl e a nd, a s a r e l i gi ous c om m odi t y, i s a s uc c e s s f ul c ont r i but or a nd m e m b e r of A m e r i c a n popul a r c ul t ur e W hi l e s om e s c hol a r s s uc h a s B r uc e vi e w t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s m e r e l y a p r oduc t of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, ot he r s s uc h a s R oof a nd P a r t r i dge vi e w t hi s m a r ke t pl a c e a s e vi de nc e t ha t r e l i gi on i s s t i l l a s t r ong f or c e i n t oda y s s oc i e t y e ve n i f i t i s not dom i na nt T hi s i s a s i gni f i c a nt di s a gr e e m e nt i n i nt e r pr e t a t i on but i s no t of r e l e va nc e he r e a s t hi s t he s i s i s not a r gui ng t ha t r e l i gi on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s s pe c i f i c a l l y yoga r e pr e s e nt s a c ount e r poi nt t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y. I ns t e a d, t he di s t i nc t i on i s m a de t o s how t ha t w he r e B r uc e w oul d l i ke l y di s m i s s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s onl y a c ont r i but or t o c ul t i c r e l i gi on, ot he r s c hol a r s s e e a n i ndi c a t i on t ha t r e l i gi on, de s pi t e i t s m a r gi na l i z a t i on, i s s t i l l a s t r ong i nf l ue nc e on A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e bot h s oc i a l l y a nd i ndi vi dua l l y. O ne que s t i on t ha t s houl d be a s ke d, how e ve r i s w he t he r t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e c he a pe ns r e l i gi on by of f e r i ng i t i n a n a l a c a r t e f a s hi on. B a s e d on yoga s a c c e pt a nc e

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31 a nd popul a r i t y, i t c a n be a r gue d t ha t t he m a r ke t pl a c e i s a po s i t i ve i nf l ue nc e on r e l i gi on. I f pe opl e c om e t o t he m a r ke t pl a c e i n s e a r c h of r e l i gi ous or s pi r i t ua l a l t e r na t i ve s t o m a i ns t r e a m r e l i gi ous opt i ons t he f a c t t ha t t he r e i s s uc h a s e a r c h f or ot he r out l e t s s how s t he t hi r s t f o r r e l i gi on i n A m e r i c a ha s ye t t o be s l a ke d. I n B r uc e s vi e w t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e c om m odi f i e s r e l i gi on a nd t he r e f or e pus he s i t t o t he m a r gi ns of s oc i e t y, but a c c or di ng t o D a vi d L yon, a ut hor of J e s u s i n D i s ne y l and be i ng pa r t of t he m a r ke t pl a c e doe s no t ne c e s s a r i l y m e a n s om e t hi ng ha s b e e n s t r i ppe d of m e a ni ng or be e n r e l i gi ous l y de va l ue d. I n ot he r w or ds a C hr i s t i a n w ho c hoos e s t o a dd yoga t o hi s or he r l i f e s t yl e doe s not ha ve t o di s a vow t he va l ue s or be l i e f s of C hr i s t i a ni t y, nor a c c e pt or r e j e c t t hos e of H i ndu i s m f or t ha t m a t t e r N o r doe s t hi s m e a n yoga ha s e nt i r e l y be e n s t r i ppe d of i t s r e l i gi os i t y Y oga s t r a ns f or m a t i on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s ha s m ove d t he pr a c t i c e t o t he r e a l m of c ul t i c r e l i gi ons a nd t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e w he r e i t r e t a i ns a n i m pl i c i t r e l i gi os i t y t ha t i s m a r ke dl y di f f e r e nt f r om i t s H i ndu t i e s ye t r e l i gi ous r e ga r dl e s s I n f a c t m os t l y due t o t he i nc r e a s i ng pl ur a l i s m of t he U ni t e d S t a t e s i t i s qui t e c om m onpl a c e t o a dd yog a ( or s om e ot he r pr a c t i c e f ound i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u) t o one s s pi r i t ua l r e pe r t oi r e a nd i ns t e a d of c ons i de r i ng i t t o be a H i ndu a ddi t i on, m a ny A m e r i c a ns of va r yi ng r e l i gi ous t r a di t i ons ha ve c om e t o a c c e pt or e m br a c e yoga by pl a c i ng i t i n t he c a t e gor y of he a l t h p r a c t i c e s or t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e w hi c h w i l l be a ddr e s s e d i n m or e de t a i l i n t he f ol l ow i ng pa ge s Y oga he l pe d, i n i t s ow n w a y, t o de ve l op a l t e r na t i ve a ve nue s f or r e l i gi ous e xpe r i e nc e f or s uc h s e e ke r s e ve n i f t he e xpe r i e nc e i s a s i gni f i c a nt l y m odi f i e d ve r s i on of t he or i gi na l H i ndu ( or e ve n t he yoga of c ul t i c r e l i gi ons ) pr a c t i c e T he i nve nt i on of P r a i s e M ove s a s de s c r i be d i n t he pr e vi ous c ha pt e r pr ovi de s e vi de nc e t ha t ne w s pi r i t ua l

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32 t e c hni que s a r e t hu s not a l t oge t he r ne w onl y a r e pa c ka gi ng a nd r e i nt e r pr e t a t i on of ol de r r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s a s c ul l e d f r om bot h W e s t e r n a nd E a s t e r n r e l i gi ons 5 9 I t i s w i t h n o s m a l l s e n s e of i r ony t ha t m a ny of t he pe opl e w ho e m pha s i z e a nd r e c ogni z e yoga s c l a s s i c a l r e l i gi ous t i e s t o H i ndui s m a r e of t e n c on s e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a ns O t he r gr oups s e e m t o ha ve l i t t l e pr obl e m r e l e ga t i ng yoga t o a m or e i nnoc uous c a t e gor y of e xe r c i s e a nd he a l t h, w hi c h c l e a r l y f a l l s i nt o B r uc e s de f i ni t i on of c ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd i s r e i nf or c e d i n R oof s s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e W i t h e a c h pa s s i ng ye a r A m e r i c a ns s e e m t o be c om e m or e f oc us e d on t he i r bodi e s P e opl e a r e i ns i s t i ng on t a ki ng c ha r ge of t he i r bo di e s a nd B oom e r s e s pe c i a l l y a s t he i r bodi e s be gi n t o f a i l t he m a r e l ooki ng f or a nd f i ndi ng, ne w w a ys of t a ki ng c ont r ol 6 0 M a ga z i ne s ne w s pa pe r s r a di o pr ogr a m s a nd t e l e vi s i on r e por t s of f e r up t he ne w e s t i nnova t i ons a nd i ns i ght i nt o di s e a s e s w a ys t o i m pr ove one s he a l t h, a nd m e di c a l pr oc e dur e s bot h m e di c a l l y ne c e s s a r y a nd a e s t he t i c 6 1 I f yoga i s c ons i de r e d a s a pa r t of t he t he r a p e ut i c c ul t ur e t he n i s i t s t i l l a r e l i gi ous e xpr e s s i on? I n R oof s i nt e r pr e t a t i on, i t c oul d be c ons i de r e d a s s u c h i ns of a r a s a pe r s on s a c r a l i z e s hi s or he r body a nd e nga ge s i n pr a c t i c e s de s i gne d t o r e j uve na t e h e a l or pur i f y i t S uc h pr a c t i c e s a r e w i de s pr e a d i n t he N e w A g e a nd r e ve a l a c onne c t i on be t w e e n t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he c ul t i c m i l i e u. B r uc e how e ve r i s c l e a r i n hi s c ha r ge t ha t t he N e w A ge i s l a r ge l y i r r e l e va nt t o s oc i e t y be c a us e of i t s f oc u s on i ndi vi dua l i z e d r e l i gi on. H e c ha l l e nge s t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e s pe c i f i c a l l y a s i t r e l a t e s t o N e w A ge r e l i gi ons s t a t i ng t ha t t he pr i m a r y f oc us of 5 9 R oof 92. 6 0 I bi d. 107 6 1 I bi d. 96 9.

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33 t he m a j or w or l d r e l i gi ons i s be i ng m i s di r e c t e d by N e w A ge i de a s of hol i s t i c he a l t h a n d w e l l be i ng. A l l t he m a j or w or l d r e l i gi ons ha ve c l a i m e d t ha t i f w e f ol l ow t he i r t e a c hi ngs w e w i l l be ha ppi e r a nd he a l t hi e r pe op l e but t hos e t he r a pe ut i c be ne f i t s ha ve ge ne r a l l y be e n s e c onda r y or l a t e nt I n m uc h N e w A ge s pi r i t ua l i t y, t he r a py i s t he m a ni f e s t not t he l a t e nt f u nc t i on G ood he a l t h, s e l f c onf i de nc e pr os pe r i t y a nd w a r m s uppor t i v e r e l a t i ons hi ps a r e no l onge r t he a c c i de nt a l by pr oduc t of w or s hi ppi ng G od; t he y a r e t he goa l s s ought t hr ough t he s pi r i t ua l a c t i vi t y 6 2 W hi l e gr a nt i ng B r uc e s poi nt i t s houl d a l s o be not e d t ha t he a l t h ha s a l w a ys b e e n a n e s pe c i a l l y i m por t a nt i s s ue f or a l l o f t he w o r l d s f a i t hs W hi l e s uf f e r i ng c a n be vi e w e d, a nd a ddr e s s e d, i n a va r i e t y of w a y s t he i de a t ha t r e l i gi ous r i t ua l s m a y he l p t o a l l e vi a t e pa i n i s c e r t a i nl y not ne w T hi s de s i r e t o h e a l ne e d not m a ke i t a ny l e s s of a r e l i gi ous e xpe r i e nc e / e xpr e s s i on t o c ha nge one s di e t or t o a dd ne w pr a c t i c e s t o one s s t a nda r d w a y of s e e ki ng he a l i ng, w hi c h ha s t r a di t i ona l l y i nvol ve d r e l i gi ous r i t ua l A t l e a s t t hi s i s t he a r gum e nt put f or t h by R oof W h a t s e e m s t o be a t i s s ue he r e i s w h e t he r t he body of t he r a pe ut i c pr a c t i c e s ( i nc l udi ng yoga ) a nd t he w or l dvi e w s t ha t s a c r a l i z e s u c h pr a c t i c e s i n t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a r e a de qua t e e nough t o a l l o w c l a s s i f i c a t i on unde r t he he a di ng of r e l i gi on. B r uc e a c c e pt s t hi s i n s of a r a s i t i s a pa r t of c ul t i c r e l i gi on, but doe s not pl a c e m uc h c r e de nc e i n i t s s o c i a l s i gni f i c a nc e R oof a n d ot he r s s e e m t o di s a gr e e a nd pe r ha ps e vi de nc e of t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e s s oc i a l r e l e va nc e c a n be f ound i n s t udi e s c ondu c t e d by m e di c a l i ns t i t ut i ons s uc h a s t hos e c ond uc t e d by t he N a t i ona l C e nt e r f or 6 2 B r uc e G od i s D e ad 85

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34 C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i ve M e di c i ne ( N C C A M ) w hi c h i s a di vi s i on of t he N a t i ona l I ns t i t ut e s of H e a l t h. 6 3 T o t he de gr e e t ha t t he que s t f or he a l t h a nd w e l l be i ng i ns pi r e s t he s e a r c h f or t he r a pi e s t ha t e a s e t he pa i n of pe opl e w ho a r e i l l t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e o f f e r s a n a l m os t l i m i t l e s s s uppl y of a l t e r na t i ve s t o t he s t oc k t he r a pi e s of pr a ye r a nd m e di t a t i on a nd t he pr e vi ous l y c onve nt i ona l e xpl a na t i ons t ha t p a i n a nd s uf f e r i ng a r e t e s t s of f a i t h. A c upunc t ur e he r bs t e a s t a i c hi a nd yoga a r e s o m e of t he m or e popul a r opt i ons t oda y f ound i n t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a s w e l l A m e r i c a n yoga i n i t s non r e l i gi ous c om m odi f i e d f or m c e r t a i nl y p r ovi de s a n a ve nue f or he a l i ng a nd w e l l be i ng H ow e ve r f or t he s e pe opl e yoga t r a ns c e nds e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous bounda r i e s i n i t s pr a c t i c e A l t hough t h i s vi e w of yoga r e m ove s i t f r om i t s t r a di t i ona l H i ndu t r a ppi ngs i t a l s o c l e a r l y l oc a t e s i t i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e F or t he s e pr a c t i t i one r s yoga c a n be c ons i de r e d r e l i gi ous i n r e ga r d t o i t s i nc l us i on a nd di s s e m i na t i on t hr ough t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e T he s e pa r t i c ul a r pe opl e m a y not ha ve s ought a n e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous s ol ut i on t o t he i r he a l t h pr obl e m s but t he i r c hoi c e t o s e e k a l t e r na t i ve t he r a pi e s w i t h r e put a t i ons f or be i ng e f f e c t i ve ( w he t he r pa s s e d on by w or d of m out h or t he m e di a unde r s t ood t hr ough t he i r r e s pe c t i ve r e l i gi ous hi s t or i e s or c ons ul t e d i n t he a nna l s of s c i e nt i f i c r e s e a r c h) s ugge s t s a 6 3 T he U s e of C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i ve M e di c i ne i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s N a t i ona l C e nt e r f or C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i ve M e di c i ne ( N C C A M ) N a t i ona l I ns t i t ut e s o f H e a l t h a t ht t p: / / nc c a m ni h. gov / ne w s / c a m s ur ve y_f s 1. ht m A c c e s s e d J une 6, 2006. T hi s or ga ni z a t i on s e t f or t h t o s ur ve y w hi c h c om pl e m e nt a r y a nd a l t e r na t i ve t he r a pi e s w e r e be i ng us e d by A m e r i c a ns i n 2002 T he s i t e b r e a ks dow n t he da t a by a num be r of c a t e gor i e s i nc l udi ng t ype s a nd num be r s of pe opl e pa r t i c i pa t i ng i n c om p l e m e nt a r y a nd a l t e r na t i ve t he r a pi e s t ype s of t he r a pi e s a nd r e a s ons f or us i ng t he s e t he r a pi e s S om e o f t hi s s ur ve y s da t a w i l l be us e d l a t e r i n t hi s c ha pt e r

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35 gr ow i ng di s s a t i s f a c t i on w i t h t he m ode r n, di s e nc ha nt e d A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e a nd i t s m a i ns t r e a m m e di c a l i ns t i t ut i ons t ha t s e e m t o be u na bl e t o pr ovi de a de qua t e s ol ut i ons t o t oda y s he a l t h c ha l l e nge s D ue t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on, r e l i gi on ha s be e n l a r ge l y r e m ove d f r om t he m a i ns t r e a m i ns t i t ut i ons of m e di c i ne a nd s c i e nc e H ow e ve r a gr ow i ng num be r o f pe opl e di s s a t i s f i e d w i t h m ode r n m e di c i ne a nd i t s t he r a pi e s ha ve be e n t ur ni ng t o t he a l t e r na t i ve s f ound i n c ul t i c r e l i gi ons a nd t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a s e vi de nc e d by t he N C C A M a nd i t s s t udi e s c on c e r ni ng t he m ul t i t ude ( a nd a ppa r e nt l y hi gh vi s i bi l i t y) of s uc h pr a c t i c e s i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s N e w A ge gr oups a nd ot he r N R M s s uc h a s C hr i s t i a n S c i e nc e N e w T hought a nd S c i e nt ol ogy, pl a y a l a r ge r ol e i n t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a s w e l l a s t he c ul t i c m i l i e u. A s A m e r i c a ns ha ve gr ow n i nc r e a s i ngl y i nt e r e s t e d i n t he i r he a l t h, w he t he r i t be phys i c a l m e nt a l or s pi r i t ua l t he y ha ve di s c ove r e d t he N e w A ge a nd ot he r N R M s ha ve a bunda nt r e l i gi ous r e s our c e s t o s a t i s f y m os t s e e ke r s i nt e r e s t s W i t h a bout 15 m i l l i on A m e r i c a ns r e por t e dl y pa r t i c i pa t i ng i n yoga i n 2004 yoga i s pe r ha ps t he m os t vi s i bl e a nd a c c e s s i bl e of t he r e s our c e s a va i l a bl e i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s w e l l a s t he m unda ne m a s s m a r ke t pl a c e of A m e r i c a n c ons um e r c ul t ur e 6 4 I t i s not a bl e i n t hi s r e ga r d, how e ve r t ha t a l t hough yoga i s pr om i ne nt i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e H i ndui s m i t s e l f i s not Y oga t hus i s m or e e a s i l y a s s oc i a t e d w i t h N e w A ge r e l i gi ons t ha n i t s r e l i gi ous f or be a r H i ndui s m W he r e B r uc e di s m i s s e s t he i nf l ue nc e a nd s uc c e s s of t he N e w A ge due t o w ha t he c ons i de r s t o be l i m i t e d pa r t i c i pa t i on a nd c om m i t m e nt P a r t r i dge c ons i de r s t he 6 4 O r s i ni M e i n ha r d. Y oga I ndus t r y G a i ns S t r e ngt h.

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36 c ont r i but i ons t o A m e r i c a n r e l i gi on a nd s e l f r e l i gi os i t y 6 5 m a de by N e w A ge r e l i gi on s t o be m e a ni ngf ul R oof a l s o e nga ge s t hi s i s s ue i n t he c ont e xt of R ona l d I ng l e ha r t s w or k, w hi c h c l a i m s t ha t s i nc e W or l d W a r I I A m e r i c a ns ha ve i nc r e a s i ngl y t ur ne d t ow a r d s e l f e xpr e s s i on, qua l i t y of l i f e e nvi r onm e nt a l i s m pe a c e a nd i nne r w e l l be i ng [ r a t he r t ha n r e l i gi on] va l ue s a nd c onc e r ns t ha t t a k e on gr e a t e r m e a ni ng i n a d va nc e d s oc i e t i e s w he r e m a t e r i a l c onc e r ns e i t he r a r e l a r ge l y m e t o r ha ve f a i l e d t o m a ke l i f e s uf f i c i e nt l y ha ppy a nd s a t i s f yi ng. 6 6 I nde e d, t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i nc l ude t he s e ve r y goa l s a nd s e e k t o f i l l t he voi d m a ny pe opl e s e e m t o t hi nk t he y ha ve A not he r w a y t o f i l l t hi s voi d i s c ons um e r i s m A s de s c r i be d by J ul i e t B S c hor c ons um e r i s m i s dr i ve n t o a l a r ge e xt e nt by a de s i r e t o a f f i r m t he pu r c ha s e r s s oc i a l s t a t us H ow e ve r he r obs e r va t i ons on s e l f gi f t i ng r e ve a l m uc h a bou t how i ndi vi dua l s s e e k t o e s t a bl i s h not onl y t he i r s t a t u s but t he i r a c t ua l i de nt i t i e s a nd t o f i nd va l i da t i on a nd c onf i de nc e t hr ough s uc h pur c ha s e s 6 7 T he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e o f f e r s s i m i l a r va l i da t i o n a nd c onf i de nc e s pe c i f i c a l l y t hr ough pur c ha s e s of pr oduc t s t ha t a f f e c t t he bo dy a nd i t s he a l t h. P r ovi di ng a hol i s t i c a ppr oa c h t o he a l t h, t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e pr ovi de s a va r i e t y of pr oduc t s a nd s e r vi c e s s uc h a s yoga a nd m e di t a t i on, t ha t a l l ow f or i ndi vi dua l s t o a t t a i n t he c onf i de nc e t he y s e e k w hi l e a l s o r e a f f i r m i ng t he i r s oc i a l s t a t us by buyi ng t he ne w e s t yoga c l ot he s D V D s a nd r e l a t e d pr oduc t s T hough t hi s m a y be a m or e s e c onda r y goa l f or yoga pr a c t i t i one r s i t i s not a bl e f or i t s c ohe r e nc e w i t h S c hor s t he or y a nd R oof s a nd P a r t r i dge s t he or i e s a bout 6 5 P a r t r i dge 21 6 6 R ona l d I ngl e ha r t C ul t ur e Shi f t i n A dv anc e d I ndus t r i al Soc i e t y ( P r i nc e t on: P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1990) 211 a s quot e d i n R oof S pi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e 58. 6 7 J ul i e t B S c hor T he O v e r s pe nt A m e r i c an: U ps c al i ng, D ow ns hi f t i ng, and t he N e w C ons um e r ( N e w Y or k: B a s i c B ooks 1998) a s quo t e d i n D e l l de C ha nt T he Sac r e d Sant a: R e l i g i ous D i m e ns i ons of C ons um e r C ul t ur e ( C l e ve l a nd, O hi o: P i l g r i m P r e s s 2002) 91

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37 t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd i t s r e l i gi ous f u nc t i on. F ur t he r t o t he de gr e e t ha t c ons um e r i s m i t s e l f ha s a r e l i gi ous f unc t i on i n c on t e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e yoga a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e c e r t a i nl y s a t i s f y t he s e c r i t e r i a 6 8 Y oga a nd S pi r i t ua l i t y I n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e m e di t a t i on, t a i c hi a c upunc t ur e a nd yoga ha v e be c om e c om m odi f i e d a nd c ons um a bl e by t he m a s s e s T hough c e r t a i nl y not ne w i n a nd of t he m s e l ve s t he s e E a s t e r n c onc e pt s a r e r e pa c ka ge d a nd s ol d not a s r e l i gi ous but a s s pi r i t ua l he a l t h a l t e r na t i ve s t o W e s t e r n m e di c i ne a nd r e m e di e s T hus f or m a ny A m e r i c a ns ( e s pe c i a l l y t ho s e i n t he B a by B oom e r ge ne r a t i on) yoga w a s s t r i ppe d of i t s r e l i gi ous t r a ppi ngs a nd be ga n t o l os e i t s i m por t a nc e a s a ve hi c l e t o e nl i ght e nm e nt I ns t e a d, i t s he a l t h be ne f i t s w e r e e m pha s i z e d a nd i t s r e l a t i ons hi p t o H i ndui s m w a s r a di c a l l y de e m pha s i z e d or i gnor e d e nt i r e l y S pe c i a l a t t e nt i on w a s gi ve n t o t he a s a na s t he pos e s t a ught i n ha t ha yoga R a t he r t ha n s e r vi n g a s a pr e f a c e t o s pi r i t ua l a c t i vi t i e s how e ve r t he a s a na s ha ve be c om e a n e nd i n t h e m s e l ve s a n e xe r c i s e r e gi m e n a nd not hi ng m or e I n pr a c t i c i ng yoga t he r e i s l i t t l e e vi de nc e t o s ugge s t t ha t A m e r i c a ns a r e s e e ki ng a ne w r e l i gi on, but i ns t e a d a r e s e e ki ng ne w w a ys t o i m pr ove or m a i n t a i n t he i r he a l t h a nd w e l l be i ng, a s w e l l a s e xpe r i e nc e a ne w s pi r i t ua l i t y ( w hi c h, a s not e d e a r l i e r by P a r t r i dge i s s e e n a s s e pa r a t e a nd di f f e r e nt f r om r e l i gi on) t ha t m a y br i ng t he m c l o s e r t o unde r s t a ndi ng t he m s e l ve s or e ve n G od i n c ont e xt of t he i r c ur r e nt r e l i gi ons or s om e 6 8 I t i s not t he i nt e nt o f t hi s s t udy t o pu r s ue t hi s pa r t i c ul a r l i ne of a na l ys i s F or m or e de t a i l how e ve r s e e de C ha nt s T he Sac r e d Sant a e s pe c i a l l y P a r t s 2 a nd 3.

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38 s ync r e t i s t i c s ys t e m of t he i r ow n c r e a t i on t he s e l f r e l i gi os i t y di s c us s e d by P a r t r i dge t ha t i s a l s o f ound w i t hi n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u T hus y oga ha s be e n a ppr opr i a t e d i n t he s e ns e t ha t t he pr a c t i c e l os e s i t s e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s be c om e s or i e nt e d t o A m e r i c a n va l ue s a nd i s r e pa c ka ge d f or i ndi vi dua l i z e d r e l i gi ous c ons um pt i on i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e W i t h t hi s r e pa c ka gi ng f or c ons um pt i on i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e m a ny A m e r i c a ns s e e m e d una w a r e t ha t yoga w a s r e l i gi ous a t a l l a nd s om e C hr i s t i a ns e xpr e s s e d out r a ge upon l e a r ni ng of i t s H i ndu r oot s c l a i m i ng t he y ha d be e n de c e i ve d, a nd i nt e r pr e t e d t hi s r e pa c ka gi ng a s a s ubve r s i ve a f f r ont on C hr i s t i a ni t y. 6 9 H ow e ve r i t s houl d be not e d t ha t not a l l yoga c e nt e r s w e r e de e m pha s i z i ng t he s pi r i t ua l be ne f i t s of y oga W hi l e f e w yoga c e nt e r s pr om ot e e xpl i c i t H i ndui s m a nd t he uni f i c a t i on of a t m a n w i t h B r a hm a n, i t s houl d be not e d t ha t t hr ough t he not i on of s pi r i t ua l i t y a nd t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a r e l i gi ous a s p e c t of yoga ha s be e n r e t a i ne d, r e c onf i gur e d, or pos s i bl y e ve n r e c r e a t e d i n a ne w c ont e xt B y de pl oyi ng t he m or e a c c e pt e d a nd po s i t i ve c onc e pt of s pi r i t ua l i t y ( r a t he r t ha n r e l i gi on) i n a dve r t i s e m e nt s m a ny i ns t r uc t or s pr om ot e t he i r c l a s s e s a s oppor t uni t i e s t o r e duc e s t r e s s a nd i m pr ove m e nt a l he a l t h ( by of f e r i ng w a ys t o r e duc e a nxi e t y a nd c om ba t de pr e s s i on) i n a ddi t i on t o a l l e vi a t i ng he a l t h pr obl e m s 6 9 S e ve r a l W e b s i t e s w e r e f ound e xpr e s s i ng s i m i l a r s e nt i m e nt s T he W e b s i t e R e c l a i m i ng Y oga a t ht t p: / / w w w c l a s s i c a l yoga or g/ r e c l a i m i ng _yoga 1. ht m c ont a i ns e m a i l s f r om pe opl e c om m e nt i ng upon p r ope r i ns t r uc t i on of yog a but a l s o i nc l ude s a t t a c ks on yoga a s a r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e a t t a c ks on t he N e w A ge a nd o ne C hr i s t i a n w ho e xpr e s s e s a nge r a t be i ng dupe d i nt o pr a c t i c i ng H i ndui s m A s m e nt i on e d pr e vi ous l y, L a ur e t t e W i l l i s f ounde r of P r a i s e M ove s a t ht t p: / / w w w pr a i s e m ove s c om w a r ns C hr i s t i a ns of t he da nge r s i nvol ve d i n p r a c t i c i ng yoga a nd ha s de ve l ope d he r ow n C hr i s t i a n a l t e r na t i ve t o yoga t ha t s he c l a i m s i s c om pa t i bl e w i t h C hr i s t i a n be l i e f s I n f or m a l di s c us s i ons he l d by t he a ut hor w i t h a num be r of yoga pr a c t i t i one r s r e ve a l e d s i m i l a r r e s pons e s c onc e r ni ng t he r e l i gi ous or i gi ns o f yoga i nc l udi ng one s f r om pe r s ons w i t h a dva nc e d de gr e e s

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39 ( i nc l udi ng, but not l i m i t e d t o c hi l dbi r t h pa i n hi gh bl ood pr e s s ur e a s t hm a ba c k a nd m us c l e pa i n, a nd he a r t c ondi t i ons ) 7 0 A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e ha s a l w a y s a l l ow e d f or a va r i e t y of r e l i gi ous i de a s t o be e xpr e s s e d a nd a c c e pt e d. T hi s a l s o m e a n s i t i s n ot unus ua l i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e t ha t pi e c e s of a r e l i gi on a r e l i f t e d f r om t he i r or i gi ns a nd a ppr opr i a t e d by ot he r gr oups or a dde d t o a n i ndi vi dua l s pe r s ona l be l i e f s ys t e m T hi s r e l a t e s di r e c t l y t o t he c onc e pt of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e w hi c h R o of de f i ne s a s a n op e n, c om pe t i t i ve r e l i gi ous e c onom y w hi c h, l i ke a ny m a r ke t pl a c e m us t be unde r s t ood i n t e r m s bot h of de m a nd a nd s uppl y. 7 1 A s yoga ha s be e n r e i nt e r pr e t e d i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s s o ha v e ot he r a s pe c t s of E a s t e r n r e l i gi on t o t he poi nt t ha t a n i nt e r e s t e d s e e ke r ne e d onl y s hop a r ound f or w ha t he or s he f e e l s i s m i s s i ng i n hi s or he r ow n l i f e S uc h a c t i vi t y i s vi s i bl e i n bot h t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e S uc h s hoppi ng e a s i l y t hr i ve s i n a gl oba l m a r ke t l i ke t ha t of t he U ni t e d S t a t e s H e r e a va r i e t y of r e l i gi ous i m a ge s r i t ua l s s y m bol s m e di t a t i on t e c hni que s he a l i ng pr a c t i c e s a l l of w hi c h m a y be bo r r ow e d f r om e c l e c t i c a l l y, f r om a va r i e t y o f s our c e s s uc h a s E a s t e r n s pi r i t ua l i t y, T he os ophy a nd N e w A ge a nd, o f c our s e a l l t he g r e a t w or l d r e l i gi ous t r a di t i ons m a y be f ound. 7 2 I n s uc h a dyna m i c a l l y s ync r e t i s t i c c ul t ur e que s t i on s a r e of t e n r a i s e d a s t o t he a ut he nt i c i t y of t he b e l i e f s ys t e m s t ha t e m e r ge M or e ove r que s t i ons a l s o a r i s e a bout t he r e l i gi ous i de nt i t y of a m a l ga m a t e d r e l i gi ons 7 0 Y ou S a i d: R e a de r C om m e nt s on Y oga a s H e a l i n g. Y oga J ou r nal 25 J ul y 2005 a t ht t p: / / w w w yoga j our na l c om / vi e w s / 992_1. c f m A c c e s s e d M a r c h 24, 2006 T hi s a r t i c l e pr ovi de s doz e ns of t e s t i m oni a l s de t a i l i ng t he pe r s ona l he a l i ng pe opl e a c r os s t he U ni t e d S t a t e s s a y t he y ha ve be ne f i t e d f r om by doi ng yoga 7 1 R oof 78. 7 2 I bi d. 73

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40 T he s e que s t i ons a r e e a s i l y a ns w e r e d i n t he c ont e xt of B r uc e s c onc e pt of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, w hi c h a c c ount s f or r e l i gi on s f r a gm e nt a t i on a nd s yn c r e t i s t i c a m a l ga m a t i on due t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on. H ow e ve r ot he r s c hol a r s s uc h a s P a r t r i dge a nd H oove r di s a gr e e a nd s e e t hi s e xpa n s i on of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s e nc our a gi ng pe r s on a l r e l i gi ous a ut onom y a nd t he s a c r a l i z a t i on of he a l t h a nd ha pp i ne s s by pl a c i ng i t i n t he c ont e xt of t he N e w A ge T hus f or P a r t r i dge a nd H oove r t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i s a n e nvi r onm e nt of m e a ni ngf ul r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s T hi s w oul d c ohe r e pr e c i s e l y w i t h B r uc e s obs e r va t i on t ha t t he N e w A ge pr ovi de s m e a ni ngf ul opt i ons f or pr a c t i t i one r s e ve n t hough he a s s e r t s t ha t i t i s c ul t ur a l l y i ns i gni f i c a nt due t o i t s l oc a t i on w i t h i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u A c c or di ng t o P a r t r i dge t he N e w A ge a nd c ons e que nt l y t he c ul t i c m i l i e u, f a l l s r i ght i n l i ne w i t h t he i de a l s of t he s pi r i t ua l i t y m ove m e nt : pe r s ona l a ut onom y, he a l t h, a nd w e l l ne s s of body, m i nd, a nd s oul T he s e i de a l s a r e c on s i s t e nt w i t h t he goa l s of t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd s e r ve a s t he m a r ke t dr i ve r s f or t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e T he i m por t a nc e of pe r s ona l a ut onom y i s e qua l l y s i g ni f i c a nt t o t he r i s e of non t r a di t i ona l t he r a pe ut i c r e l i gi on. A s a r gue d by H oove r w ho e m pl oys R oof a nd R obe r t B e l l a h s a na l ys i s of t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e : t he r i s e of p e r s o na l a ut onom y l e a ve s l i t t l e r oom f or i ns t i t ut i ons or f o r c l a s s i c r e l i gi ous di m e ns i ons s uc h a s s t r uc t ur e a ut hor i t y, or l e gi t i m a c y. 7 3 A ga i n, t he t ype o f unde r s t a ndi ng a dva nc e d by P a r t r i dge a nd H oove r i s pr obl e m a t i c s i nc e a s B r uc e w oul d a r gue i t m i s s e s t he poi nt of a ut he nt i c r e l i gi on a nd f oc us e s on pr a c t i c e s t h a t a r e s up e r f i c i a l H ow e ve r ot he r s ( R oof P a r t r i dge e t a l ) c l a i m s uc h pr a c t i c e s s houl d not be di s m i s s e d m e r e l y be c a us e t he y do not l ook or a c t l i ke 7 3 H oove r 149 50.

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41 t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi on I ns t e a d, t he s e pr a c t i c e s a nd t he w or l dvi e w t ha t l e gi t i m a t e s t he m c a l l f or t he de ve l opm e nt o f ne w unde r s t a ndi ngs of r e l i gi on a nd n e w c a t e gor i e s of a na l ys i s T he s e ne w c a t e gor i e s c a n b e f ound i n t he r a pe u t i c c ul t ur e ge ne r a l l y a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e s pe c i f i c a l l y, w he r e a n i nve nt or y of s ym bol s ne t w or ks m ove m e nt s gr oups s our c e s r e l a t i ons hi ps a nd pr a c t i c e s i s m a de a va i l a bl e t o r e l i gi ous s e e ke r s T hi s m a r ke t pl a c e i s i nc r e a s i ngl y, a c om m odi f i e d, m e di a ba s e d m a r ke t pl a c e 7 4 I f i nde e d, A m e r i c a ns a r e i nvol ve d i n a t he r a pe u t i c c ul t ur e or r e l i gi on of w e l l be i ng a nd he a l t h, w hi c h i s pr a c t i c e d i n t he s pi r i t u a l m a r ke t pl a c e t he n i t c oul d be s t a t e d t ha t yoga doe s not l o s e i t s a ut he nt i c i t y a s a r e l i g i ous pr a c t i c e a l t hough i t doe s l os e i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous l i ne a ge O bvi ous l y, t he l os s of yoga s t i e s t o H i ndui s m i s a s i gn of s e c ul a r i z a t i on a s vi e w e d by B e r ge r a nd B r uc e H ow e ve r w he r e i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous c ha r a c t e r i s m os t c ha l l e ng e d ( i e i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e ) i s w he r e i t r e ve a l s a ne w t ype of r e l i gi ous i de nt i t y one pr e di c a t e d on t he s a c r a l i z a t i on of s e l f a ut onom y, he a l t h, w e l l be i ng, a nd c om m odi t i e s t ha t f a c i l i t a t e a l l t h r e e W he r e t he t he r a pe ut i c c ul t u r e s e r ve s t o s a c r a l i z e t he s e f e a t ur e s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a l s o s e r ve s t o c om m odi f y t he m t hus ne a t l y c om pa r t m e nt a l i z i ng t he m i n t he c a t e gor y of B r uc e s c ul t i c m i l i e u. W hi l e t hi s c onc e pt ua l i z a t i on i s c on s i s t e nt w i t h s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y, s om e obs e r ve r s a r e di s m a ye d by t he i nc r e a s i ng c om m e r c i a l i z a t i on a nd c om m odi f i c a t i on of a pr a c t i c e be gun m i l l e nni a a go by a s c e t i c s a nd r e nunc i a t e s s e e ki ng t r ut h a nd 7 4 I bi d. 150

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42 e nl i ght e nm e nt M a ny i n t he i ndu s t r y a r e t or n be t w e e n m a ki ng a good l i vi ng a n d di s t or t i ng t he pu r pos e of yoga f or c or por a t e s uc c e s s 7 5 T hi s s t r uggl e i s c e r t a i nl y not ne w t o r e l i gi on. P r ot e s t a nt s e nc ount e r e d s i m i l a r e t hi c a l qua nda r i e s w he n t he y be c a m e s uc c e s s f ul i n t he i r e nt r e pr e ne ur i a l e nt e r pr i s e s A s W e be r poi nt s out t he i r s uc c e s s e s w e r e s e e n a s a r e w a r d f r om G od, but a s m a ny P r ot e s t a nt s m a de m or e m one y a nd ke pt i t f or t he m s e l ve s s om e be ga n t o c ons i de r i t a n a bus e of a ut hor i t y a nd w or r i e d a bout t he f a t e of t he i r s oul s L i ke w i s e t he c om m e r c i a l i z a t i on a nd c om m odi f i c a t i on o f r e l i gi on i s not r e s t r i c t e d t o yoga a nd ot he r s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e pr a c t i c e s I nde e d, C hr i s t i a ni t y i t s e l f ha s e xpe r i e nc e d m a s s i ve c om m odi f i c a t i on r e c e nt l y, w i t h t he popul a r i t y of C hr i s t i a n t he m e d r oc k gr oups T s hi r t s ( J e s us i s m y hom e boy ) nove l t y i t e m s ( W a s h Y our S i ns A w a y pr oduc t s pl a s t i c f i nge r puppe t nuns B i bl e a c t i on f i gur e s ) m a s s m a r ke t a poc a l ypt i c nov e l s ( t he L e f t B e hi nd s e r i e s ) r e c e nt bl oc kbus t e r m ovi e s ( T he P as s i on of t he C hr i s t T he D a V i nc i C ode ) a nd j e w e l r y, t o na m e a f e w F or m a ny obs e r ve r s ( f r om pr o f e s s i ona l s t o t he l a i t y t o t hos e i n a c a de m i a ) t hi s i s a s i gn of r e l i gi ous he a l t h a nd vi t a l i t y R e l i gi on i s p r om ot e d i n a ne w w a y, pa c ka ge d f or t he de ni z e ns of popul a r c ul t ur e ( a nd e s pe c i a l l y t he yout h c ul t ur e ) w ho a r e i nf or m e d by m a r ke t i n g a nd c om m odi t y c ons um pt i on. N ot a l l o bs e r ve r s s e e t hi s a s po s i t i ve of c our s e S om e c r i t i c s r e ga r d t he r i s e of t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s e vi de nc e t ha t r e l i gi on i s l os i ng i t s pot e nc y a nd be i ng w a t e r e d dow n i n a w a y t ha t w i l l l e a d t o i t s e ve nt ua l c ol l a ps e 7 5 A nne C us hm a n, a c ont r i but i ng e di t o r f or Y oga J o ur nal s pe c i f i c a l l y a ddr e s s e s t hi s pa r t i c ul a r i s s ue i n he r op e d p i e c e M a r ke t i ng t he S oul : H a s t he C om m e r c i a l i z a t i on o f S pi r i t ua l L i f e G one T oo F a r ? i n Y oga J ou r nal J a nua r y/ F e br ua r y 1999 a t ht t p: / / w w w yoga j our na l c om A c c e s s e d J ul y 25, 2 005.

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43 Y oga how e ve r s e e m s be a m a j or c ondui t i nt o t hi s m a r ke t pl a c e be c a u s e i t w a s e m br a c e d a nd e ndor s e d by a m y r i a d of i nf l ue nt i a l pop c ul t ur e i c ons 7 6 I t s a s a na s ( pos e s ) a r e s e e m i ngl y i nnoc uous a nd l ook l i ke s i m pl e e xe r c i s e s O ne doe s not ha ve t o be a s upe r a t hl e t e t o do yoga a nd yoga h a s be e n m odi f i e d m a ny t i m e s a nd r e pa c k a ge d f or s c or e s of di f f e r e nt gr oups i nc l udi ng p r e gna nt m ot he r s a nd i nf a nt s 7 7 t e e ns a nd e ve n dogs 7 8 T hus yoga i s hi p, a c c e s s i bl e he a vi l y c om m odi f i e d, a nd s pi r i t ua l w i t hout be i ng e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous W i t h s uc h a c ul t ur a l r e s um e i t i s no s ur pr i s e t ha t m a ny pe opl e a t t r a c t e d t o yog a a r e una w a r e of i t s r e l i gi ous f e a t ur e s a s t he y a r e s e l dom m e nt i one d i n s e c ul a r gym s or Y M C A s I n f a c t A m e r i c a n y oga i s uni que i n t ha t w hi l e i t s e e m s t o be de voi d o f i t s H i ndu r oot s i t i s be i ng c onve r t e d i nt o a w hol e ne w r e l i gi ous f unc t i on m os t a c c ur a t e l y c ha r a c t e r i z e d a s s pi r i t ua l i t y. T hi s ne w f unc t i on i s e s pe c i a l l y i m por t a nt Y oga r e m a i ns a r i t ua l a c t i vi t y t ha t a ppe a r s t o ha ve he a l i ng e f f e c t s on t he body w hi c h a l l ow t he m i nd t o f oc us i t s a t t e nt i on e l s e w he r e F r e e d f r om t he f oc us on t he body e s pe c i a l l y w he n pa i n i s a f a c t or one i s a bl e t o r e di r e c t e ne r gy t o ot he r t h i n gs w hi c h do not ne c e s s a r i l y ha ve t o be r e l i gi ous i n na t ur e a l t hough pr a c t i t i one r s und e r s t a nd t he m a s s pi r i t ua l A s R oof poi nt s out s uc h s pi r i t ua l e xpe r i e nc e s : a ppe a l t o pr i m i t i ve de s i r e s f or e c s t a s y, f or bond i ng, f or he a l t h, f or hope a nd ha ppi ne s s f or t he r e s a c r a l i z a t i on of e v e r yda y l i f e t he y r e de f i ne 7 6 S uc h c e l e br i t i e s a s M a donna S t i ng, G w yne t h P a l t r ow ha ve c ont r i but e d t o yoga s popul a r i t y j us t by di s c us s i ng i t s pe r s ona l be ne f i t s i n va r i ous i nt e r vi e w s 7 7 T oni L yde c ke r E xe r c i s e f o r B ody a nd S oul P a r e nt i ng M agaz i ne N ove m be r 1998 a t ht t p: / / w w w pa r e nt i ng c om / pa r e nt i ng / a r c hi ve _s e a r c h/ 0, 8170, 1856 00. ht m l A c c e s s e d A pr i l 12, 2002. 7 8 S us a n S c ot t S c hm i dt Y oga f or Y our H ounds ? S u r e i t s C a l l e d D oga P i t t s bur gh P os t G az e t t e 27 A p r i l 2004 a t ht t p : / / w w w pos t ga z e t t e c om / pg/ 04118/ 306899 s t m A c c e s s e d J une 6, 2006.

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44 ol de r r e l i gi ous l a ngua ge i n w a ys t o m a ke i t m o r e a c c e pt a bl e or c r e a t e a l t e r na t i ve c onc e pt s a l t oge t he r t o s uc h ol de r not i ons a s s i n, gr a c e a nd di s c i pl e s hi p. I n a l l t he s e w a ys s pi r i t ual i t y i nva de s pr e e xi s t i ng r e l i gi ous f or m s r e c onf i gur i ng a nd r e vi t a l i z i ng l i f e e xpe r i e nc e s 7 9 T hu s e ve n r e duc e d t o a s e e m i ngl y non r e l i gi ous a c t i vi t y, i n t he gui s e of s pi r i t ua l i t y, yoga be c om e s a ve hi c l e f or w ha t P a r t r i dge c a l l s t he r e e nc ha nt m e nt of t he s e c ul a r a nd e xpos e s i t s pr a c t i t i one r s t o ne w w a ys of be i ng r e l i gi ous A s he not e s : W e s t e r n r e e nc ha nt m e nt m a y b e c ha r a c t e r i z e d b y ne w hybr i d f or m s of r e l i gi on w hi c h a r e t he r e s ul t of a di a l e c t i c a l pr oc e s s of t he r e e nc ha nt m e nt of t he s e c ul a r a nd t he s e c ul a r i z a t i on of t he s a c r e d. pe r ha ps t he f i r s t c ha r a c t e r i s t i c of c ont e m por a r y r e e nc ha nt m e nt t o not e i s t ha t i t i s not a r e t ur n t o pr e vi ous w a ys of be i ng r e l i gi ous but r a t he r t he e m e r ge nc e of ne w w a ys of be i ng r e l i gi ous w a ys w hi c h m e e t t he ne w w a nt s a nd ne e ds of ne w W e s t e r n pe opl e 8 0 M a s s M a r ke t Y oga P a r t r i dge s w a nt s a nd ne e d s s e e m t o ge n e r a t e d e m a nds f or ne w r e m e di e s a nd t he r a pi e s T he N C C A M c onduc t e d a s ur ve y of 31 044 a dul t s a ge s 18 a nd ol de r i n 2002 t ha t s ought t o d e t e r m i ne A m e r i c a ns u s e of c o m pl e m e nt a r y a nd a l t e r na t i ve m e di c i n e ( C A M ) i nc l udi ng a c upunc t ur e c hi r opr a c t i c c a r e m a s s a ge m e d i t a t i on, pr a ye r f or he a l t h r e a s ons r e i ki t a i c hi a nd yoga 8 1 T he r e s ul t s s ho w e d t ha t 36% of A m e r i c a n a dul t s w e r e us i ng s om e t ype of C A M e xc l udi ng p r a ye r a nd m e ga vi t a m i n t he r a py. H ow e ve r w i t h 7 9 R oof 91. I t a l i c s w e r e a dde d by t he a ut ho r f o r e m p ha s i s 8 0 P a r t r i dge 44 8 1 T he U s e of C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i ve M e di c i ne i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s N a t i ona l C e nt e r f or C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i ve M e di c i ne ( N C C A M ) N a t i ona l I ns t i t ut e s o f H e a l t h a t ht t p: / / nc c a m ni h. gov / ne w s / c a m s ur ve y_f s 1. ht m A c c e s s e d J une 6, 2006

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45 t hos e t w o i t e m s a dde d t o t he r e s ul t s t he num be r d oubl e s t o 6 2% A c c or di ng t o N C C A M A m e r i c a ns s pe nt a n e s t i m a t e d $36 bi l l i on t o $47 bi l l i on on C A M t he r a pi e s i n 1997. 8 2 T hi s i s a s i gni f i c a nt pe r c e nt a ge of pe opl e a nd a m ount of m one y t ha t ha s be e n a nd i s s t i l l be i ng di r e c t e d i nt o t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e M os t of t he C A M s l i s t e d on t he c e nt e r s w e b s i t e a r e f ound i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e P e opl e s de s i r e t o c ons um e t he s e he a l t hy c om m odi t i e s ha s e ve n r e a c he d be yond e xe r c i s e a nd i s i nf l ue nc i ng popul a r c ul t ur e i n m or e di r e c t w a ys F or e xa m pl e M c D ona l d s a n A m e r i c a n i c o n of c ons um e r i s m t ha t s pa ns t h e gl obe ha s be e n a c c us e d i n t he pa s t of not of f e r i ng e nough he a l t hy opt i ons on i t s m e nu. I n t he r e s pons e t o t hi s c r i t i c i s m M c D ona l d s put a n i nc r e a s e d a s s or t m e nt of s a l a ds a nd ot he r he a l t hy i t e m s on i t s m e nus M c D ona l d s ha s a l s o c r e a t e d a dul t H a ppy M e a l s ( c a l l e d G o A c t i ve M e a l s ) t ha t c ur r e nt l y c ons i s t of a n A s i a n s a l a d ( a s a l a d w i t h m a nda r i n or a nge s e da m a m e a nd gi nge r dr e s s i ng) a D i e t C oke or bot t l e d w a t e r a nd t he c hoi c e of a n e xe r c i s e D V D one of w hi c h w a s yoga 8 3 N e e dl e s s t o s a y, M c D ona l d s yoga D V D c a pi t a l i z e s on yoga s pl a c e i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e ( w i t hout r e f e r e nc e t o t r a di t i ona l H i ndui s m ) a s a ve hi c l e f or pr om ot i ng he a l t h a nd f i t ne s s f r e e of e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous c ont e nt t o a l l ow f o r m a s s m a r ke t p r om ot i on a nd d i s t r i but i on. T he yoga D V D opt i on e xe m pl i f i e s a w hol e ne w t ype of c ons um e r i s m l i nke d w i t h t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s w e l l a s t he br oa de r c ons um e r c ul t ur e A c c or di ng t o L yon, B e l i e f s a nd pr a c t i c e s t ha t onc e w e r e s e a l e d w i t hi n a n i ns t i t ut i ona l f or m n ow f l ow f r e e l y ove r f or m e r l y pol i c e d bounda r i e s S ync r e t i s m pr e vi ous l y a pr obl e m p e c ul i a r t o c e r t a i n 8 2 I bi d. 8 3 T he i n f or m a t i on ga t he r e d he r e w a s t he r e s ul t o f o bs e r va t i ons m a de by t he a ut hor dur i ng a vi s i t t o a M c D ona l d s i n T a m pa F l o r i da on M a y 30, 2006

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46 i nt e l l e c t ua l a nd t he ol ogi c a l s e t t i ngs i s now ge ne r a l i z e d a nd popul a r i z e d, i n pr a c t i c e a s i n be l i e f N e w pos s i bi l i t i e s e m e r ge c r e a t i ng l i t ur gi c a l s m or ga s bor ds doc t r i na l pot l uc ks 8 4 F or L yon, t he M c D ona l d s D V D opt i on i l l us t r a t e s a ne w r e l i gi ous di m e ns i on, one t o w hi c h yoga ha s c ont r i but e d m uc h ov e r t he pa s t de c a de U s i ng P i e r r e B our di e u s a r gum e nt t ha t c ont e m por a r y s ubj e c t s c hoos e t he i r da i l y l i f e pa t hs or p r a c t i c e s w i t hi n a ha bi t us L yon e xpl a i ns t ha t ha bi t us h a s a n i m pa c t on how one i s pe r c e i ve d i de nt i t y but a l s o on pa t t e r ns o f i nt e r a c t i on, a nd on t he f r a m e s t ha t gui de s oc i a l out c om e s 8 5 Y oga a s a r i t ua l a nd a c om m odi t y, he l ps t o s ol i di f y t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e s i m por t a nc e a s c on s um e r i s m ha s be c om e c e nt r a l t o t he s oc i a l a nd c ul t ur a l l i f e of t he t e c hnol ogi c a l l y a dva nc e d s oc i e t i e s i n t he l a t e r t w e nt i e t h c e nt ur y. M e a ni ng i s s ought a s a r e de m pt i ve gos pe l i n c ons um pt i on. 8 6 I t i s t hi s c o ns um e r i s m t ha t c ont i nue s t o f r a gm e nt pr e vi ous i de a s a nd r i t ua l s a nd r e or ga ni z e t he m i nt o a ne w pa t t e r n t ha t be c om e s m uc h m or e i ndi vi dua l i z e d, w hi l e s t i l l r e t a i ni ng t he i r m a r ke t a bi l i t y. L yon s t a t e s t ha t i t i s t hi s pr oc e s s t ha t i s a l s o a t w or k i n r e l i gi ous i de nt i t y c ons t r uc t i on: how pe opl e m a ke s e n s e or r a t he r m a ke a l i f e r e l i gi ous l y, a t t he or di na r y, m unda ne e ve r yda y l e ve l 8 7 A nd i t doe s not ge t m uc h m or e m unda ne t ha n W a l M a r t or M c D ona l d s of f e r i ng yoga pr oduc t s f or m a s s c ons um pt i on. 8 4 D a vi d L yon J e s us i n D i s ne y l and: R e l i gi on i n P os t m ode r n T i m e s ( C a m br i dge U K P ol i t y P r e s s 2000) 43. 8 5 P i e r r e B our di e u, O ut l i ne of a T he or y of P r ac t i c e ( C a m br i dge : C a m br i dge U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1977) a s quot e d i n L yon, J e s us i n D i s ne y l and 51 8 6 L yon, 74. 8 7 I bi d. 75

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47 L yon s ugge s t s t ha t t he r e l oc a t i on of t he r e l i gi ous a f f i r m s t he pos s i bi l i t y t ha t t he i nf l ue nc e of r e l i gi on i s no l e s s t ha n i t ha s e ve r be e n. 8 8 C e r t a i nl y t hi s r e l oc a t i on i s a pr oduc t of s e c ul a r i z a t i on, ye t f o r L yon i t i s a n i ndi c a t or t ha t r e l i gi on i s not l os i ng i t s popul a r i t y. I f r e l i gi on i s be i ng r e l oc a t e d, t he n t he s pe c i f i c i ns t a nc e s w h e r e t hi s ha s oc c ur r e d s houl d be de s i gna t e d a nd e xpl or e d S pe c i f yi ng t he s i t e s of t he i r r e l oc a t i on, s uc h a s a t W a l M a r t a nd M c D ona l d s i s c r uc i a l t o i de nt i f yi ng yoga s r e l i gi ous f unc t i on i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e T hi s pur s ui t s houl d not m i ni m i z e t he t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous f unc t i on of yoga a s a c om pone nt of H i ndui s m e ve n t hough i t doe s a ppe a r t ha t s uc h a f unc t i on i s r e c ogni z e d by onl y a s m a l l f r a c t i on of yoga e nt hus i a s t s W hi c he ve r f or m of yoga i s c ons i de r e d w he t he r i t be a n e xe r c i s e he a l t h t he r a py, or e xpl i c i t r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e i t i s a bunda nt l y c l e a r t ha t A m e r i c a n yoga i s e nj oyi ng a m a s s i v e popul a r i t y t ha t f o r m a ny pr a c t i t i one r s pr ovi de s a s pi r i t ua l out l e t ( w hi c h i s a r gua bl y r e l i g i ous ) t ha t i s e nt i r e l y c om pa t i bl e w i t h t he i r ot he r be l i e f s r e l i gi ous or ot he r w i s e a nd e nt i r e l y c om pa t i bl e w i t h s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y. I t i s qui t e pos s i bl e t ha t yoga i s a t one l e ve l m e r e l y a he a l t h f a d t ha t i s de t a c he d f r om i t s e xpl i c i t l y r e l i gi ous r oot s H ow e ve r i t i s y oga s s i gni f i c a nt c ul t ur a l p r e s e nc e w i de r a ngi ng popul a r i t y a nd pr om i ne nt pr e s e nc e i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s pa r t of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u t ha t s e e m s t o r e ve a l m uc h a bout t he c ha ngi ng f a c e of r e l i gi on i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t u r e W ha t yoga s pe c i f i c a l l y r e ve a l s i n t he s e a r e a s w i l l be a ddr e s s e d i n t he c onc l us i on, w hi c h f ol l ow s 8 8 I bi d. 34

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48 C onc l us i on W ha t Y oga s T r a ns f or m a t i on M e a ns T oda y I n l i ght of t he t he or i e s pr e s e nt e d i n t hi s t he s i s s e ve r a l que s t i ons r e m a i n t o be a ns w e r e d, t he m os t i m por t a nt of w hi c h i s w ha t i s t he r e l i gi ous s t a t us of yoga i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s t oda y. I n l i ght of t he pr e vi ous a na l ys e s pr ovi de d, t he r e m a y e xi s t m or e t ha n one a ns w e r A s a t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e yoga c e r t a i nl y s e e m s t o c oh e r e t o P e t e r B e r ge r s a nd S t e ve B r uc e s de pi c t i ons of t he s e c u l a r i z a t i on t he s i s I n t he c ont e xt of t he i r w or k, yoga i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a c l e a r l y c onf or m s t o t he e xpe c t a t i ons of t h e s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he s i s i ns of a r a s i t ha s be e n s t r i ppe d of i t s H i ndu r e l i g i ous t r a ppi ngs a nd b e e n t r a ns f or m e d i nt o a he a l t h a nd f i t ne s s r e gi m e n s o non r e l i gi ous t ha t f e w pr a c t i t i one r s w oul d ha ve qua l m s a bout t a ki ng a yoga c l a s s a t a Y M C A or gym E ve n t he c r i t i que of f e r e d by s om e c ons e r va t i ve C hr i s t i a ns t ha t yoga c a nnot b e e nt i r e l y s e pa r a t e d f r om i t s t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous t i e s doe s not c ha nge t he f a c t t ha t m a ny gym s a nd yoga i ns t r uc t or s ha ve done j us t t ha t a nd t e a c h yoga a s a n e xe r c i s e de voi d of a ny r e l i gi ous m e a ni ng. S a yi ng t he w or ds om or na m a s t e or m e di t a t i ng be f or e pe r f or m i ng t he a s a na s no l onge r oc c ur i n t he c ont e xt of H i ndui s m o r B uddhi s m bu t ha ve be e n s o a bs or be d by A m e r i c a n popul a r c ul t ur e t ha t t he y ha ve l os t m os t ( i f not a l l ) o f t he i r or i gi na l r e l i gi ous m e a ni ng. T o m a ny A m e r i c a ns t he s e w or ds a nd a c t i ons l a c k a ny r e l i gi ous s i gni f i c a nc e w ha t s oe ve r R e l i gi on doe s not onl y e xi s t i n t r a di t i ona l f or m s i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s how e ve r R e l i gi ous i nnova t i on i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s ha s ha d a l ong hi s t or y, a nd r e c e nt i nnova t i ons

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49 ha ve l e d t o ne w unde r s t a ndi ngs of r e l i gi on; u nd e r s t a ndi ngs t ha t m a y a l l ow s e e m i ngl y non r e l i gi ous yoga t o be c l a s s i f i e d a s a r e l i gi on. T he t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e of yog a doe s not h a ve a s t r ong f oot hol d i n A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e but a s pa r t of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u a s e xpr e s s e d i n t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e yoga s pr e s e nc e i s i nde e d s i gni f i c a nt t hough i t c a nnot be r e ga r de d a s a c ha l l e nge t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on. I n t hi s r e ga r d, a l t e r na t i ve t he or i e s ( s uc h a s t hos e pos i t e d by R oof P a r t r i dge a nd L yon) of f e r ne w c a t e gor i e s t ha t c a n a l l ow c ont e m por a r y yoga t o be c l a s s i f i e d a s a r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e Y oga a ppa r e nt l y pr ovi de s i t s pr a c t i t i one r s r e ga r dl e s s of r e l i gi ous a f f i l i a t i on, phys i c a l a nd m e nt a l be ne f i t s i n a w i de r a nge of c om m odi f i e d f or m s a c c e s s i bl e i n w ha t R oof r e f e r s t o a s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a nd i nc r e a s i ngl y t he ge ne r a l r e t a i l m a r ke t a s w e l l I t i s yoga s pr om i ne nt pr e s e nc e i n t he m a r ke t pl a c e ( bot h s pi r i t ua l a nd m a s s c on s um pt i on) t ha t i s of pa r t i c ul a r i m por t a n c e t o t hi s i nqui r y. W he n c ons i de r e d i n l i ght of t he t he or i e s of R oof P a r t r i dge a nd L yon yog a be c om e s a c om pone nt pa r t of a ne w t ype of r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e e nt i r e l y a c c ount e d f or i n t he c ont e xt of s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he or y. S pe c i f i c a l l y, i t s c om m odi f i c a t i on ha s h e l pe d t o m ove i t f r om one r e a l m of r e l i gi os i t y ( e xpl i c i t a nd t r a di t i ona l ) t o a not he r t ha t i s ne w ( i m pl i c i t a nd a l t e r na t i ve ) I t i s t hi s ne w r e a l m t ha t a l l ow s yoga t o be s o popul a r i n a s e c ul a r c ul t ur e j us t a s B e r ge r a nd B r uc e w oul d e xpe c t Y oga s c om m e r c i a l i z a t i on a nd s ub s e que nt c o m m odi f i c a t i on i n t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e s houl d pr om pt f ur t he r s t udy of how r e l i gi on a nd s e c ul a r i z a t i on a r e de f i ne d, a s s ugg e s t e d by L yon. P e r ha ps t oo m uc h e m pha s i s ha s be e n pl a c e d on e v a l ua t i ng how a nd w hy r e l i gi on ha s be e n m a r gi na l i z e d or e ve n e l i m i na t e d i n c ont e m por a r y c ul t u r e a nd

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50 not e nough on unde r s t a ndi ng t he ne w e xpr e s s i on s t ha t r e l i gi on t a ke s a s i t a dj us t s t o i t s m a r gi na l e xi s t e nc e s pe c i f i c a l l y i t s ne w m yt hs r i t u a l s m or a l i t i e s a nd c os m ol ogi e s T he ne w f or m s t ha t r e l i gi on ha s t a ke n i n r e s pons e t o t he ne e ds a nd c onc e r ns of t he pos t m ode r n w or l d a r e i m por t a nt t o c ons i de r S uc h a c ons i de r a t i on m a y r e qui r e r e c ons i de r a t i on of w ha t i s m e a nt by r e l i gi on i t s e l f i n or de r t o a c c ount f or t hos e r e s pons e s t ha t a r e di s t i nc t l y r e l i gi ous t hough not t h e t yp e of r e s pons e s of f e r e d by t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ons or s o c a l l e d ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt s T he s i gni f i c a nt t he r a pe ut i c ne e ds a nd c ons um e r i s t de s i r e s of c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a ns c a n c r e a t e pr obl e m s f or t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ons C e r t a i nl y, i n m a ny i ns t a nc e s t r a di t i ona l i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s a r e be i ng e xc ha nge d f or m or e m unda ne one s s u c h a s t h e a c qui s i t i on of s e l f he l p pr oduc t s a l t e r na t i ve t he r a pi e s a nd he a l t h/ f i t ne s s r e gi m e ns W ha t m us t not be i gnor e d, how e ve r i s t ha t a l t hough s uc h pr oduc t s t he r a pi e s a nd r e gi m e ns a r e not t ypi c a l l y unde r s t ood a s e xpr e s s i ons of t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi on, a s c om m odi t i e s of t h e s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e t he i r f unc t i on m a y i nde e d be r e l i gi ous f or t he i r c ons um e r s or s o R oof P a r t r i dge a nd L yon a r gue I n t hi s c ont e xt yoga m a y i nde e d b e qui t e r e l i gi ous a nd a n i m por t a nt f e a t ur e i n t he c ha ngi ng l a nds c a pe of r e l i g i on i n A m e r i c a t oda y. I f e va l ua t e d i n a w a y t ha t r e f l e c t s i t s m a l l e a bi l i t y, yoga s s uc c e s s i n U S c ul t ur e s i gni f i e s t ha t r e l i gi on ( a t l e a s t i n t hi s i ns t a nc e ) r e s ponds t o s e c ul a r i z a t i on i n w a ys c ons i s t e nt w i t h B e r ge r a nd B r uc e but i n t e r m s of c a t e gor i e s a ppr opr i a t e f or c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a n c ul t ur e I nde e d, yoga m a y r e ve a l a w a y i n w hi c h r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s a nd i de a s a da pt t o c ons um e r i s m t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd s pe c i f i c a l l y t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e o f pos t m ode r n A m e r i c a I t i s t he dyna m i c na t ur e of

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51 yoga s a da pt a t i on t ha t m a ke s i t a n e s pe c i a l l y good e xa m pl e of how s e c ul a r i z a t i on i m pa c t s r e l i gi on a nd how r e l i gi on i s m odi f i e d unde r t hi s i m pa c t O n t he ot he r ha nd, i f t he s t udy o f r e l i gi on i n c o nt e m por a r y c ul t ur e i s r e s t r i c t e d onl y t o t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ons or gr oups t ha t c onf or m t o t he s a m e or s i m i l a r s t r uc t ur e s of t r a di t i ona l r e l i gi ons t he n yoga a s i t i s ge ne r a l l y pr a c t i c e d i n A m e r i c a t oda y, f a i l s t o m e e t t he qua l i f i c a t i ons of a r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e A ve r d i c t ha s ye t t o be r e a c he d on t hi s m a t t e r how e ve r a n d de l i be r a t i ons m a y c ont i nue f o r qui t e s om e t i m e T hi s t he s i s ha s a i m e d t o he l p c l a r i f y t he i m por t a nc e of yoga i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a i n r e ga r d t o t he s e de l i be r a t i ons a nd pe r ha ps i n s om e s m a l l w a y, c ont r i but e t o t he m a s w e l l

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52 R e f e r e nc e s B a s ha m A L T he W onde r T hat W as I ndi a N e w D e l hi I ndi a : R upa & C o 1999. B e r ge r P e t e r L T he Sac r e d C anopy N e w Y or k: A nc hor B ooks 1990. B e s a nt A nni e A n I nt r oduc t i on t o Y oga W he a t on, I l l i noi s : T he T he os ophi c a l P ubl i s hi ng H ous e 1972. B r uc e S t e ve G od i s D e ad: Se c ul ar i z at i on i n t he W e s t O xf or d : B l a c kw e l l P ubl i s hi ng, 2002. R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d: F r om C at he dr al s t o C ul t s O xf o r d: O x f or d U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1997. B ur l e y, M i ke l H at ha Y oga: I t s C ont e x t T he or y a nd P r ac t i c e D e l hi I nd i a : M ot i l a l B a na r s i da s s P ubl i s he r s 2000. C ul l e n/ M a ht om e di L i s a T a ke uc hi S t r e t c hi ng f or J e s u s T i m e S e pt 5 2005 ht t p: / / w w w pr a i s e m ove s c om / t i m e a r t i c l e ht m C us hm a n, A nne M a r ke t i ng t he S oul : H a s t he C o m m e r c i a l i z a t i on of S pi r i t ua l L i f e G one T oo F a r ? i n Y oga J our nal J a nua r y/ F e br ua r y 199 9. ht t p: / / w w w yoga j our na l c om D a vi s R i c ha r d, A B r i e f H i s t or y of R e l i gi ons i n I ndi a i n R e l i gi ons of I ndi a i n P r ac t i c e E di t e d by D ona l d L ope z J r P r i nc e t on, N J : P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1995 de C ha nt D e l l T he Sac r e d Sant a: R e l i gi ous D i m e n s i ons of C ons um e r C ul t ur e C l e ve l a nd, O hi o: P i l gr i m P r e s s 2002. E l i a de M i r c e a P at anj a l i and Y oga T r a ns l a t e d by C ha r l e s L a m M a r km a nn. N e w Y o r k: F unk & W a gna l l s 1969. Y oga: I m m or t al i t y and F r e e dom T r a ns l a t e d by W i l l a r d R T r a s k. N e w Y or k: P a nt he on B ooks 1958. E l l w ood, R obe r t S a nd B a r ba r a A M c G r a w M an y P e opl e s M any F ai t hs U ppe r S a ddl e N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l 2002.

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53 E l l w ood, R obe r t S a nd H a r r y B P a r t i n R e l i gi ous and Spi r i t ual G r oups i n M ode r n A m e r i c a. E ngl e w ood C l i f f s N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l 19 88. F e t t e r m a n. M i ndy. Y oga C opyr i ght R a i s e s Q ue s t i ons of O w ne r s hi p, U S A T oday J une 28, 2006 ht t p: / / w w w us a t oda y. c om / t e c h/ ne w s / 2006 06 28 yoga us a t _x. ht m F i nne y, S um ukh i T he Y oga H andbook : A G ui de E nhanc i ng P hy s i c al M e nt al and Spi r i t ual W e l l B e i ng N e w Y or k: B a r ne s & N obl e B ooks 2004. F l ood, G a vi n A n I n t r oduc t i on t o H i ndui s m C a m br i dge U K : C a m br i dge U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999. H oove r S t e w a r t M T he C r os s a t W i l l ow C r e e k, i n R e l i g i on and P opul ar C ul t ur e i n A m e r i c a. E di t e d by B r uc e D a vi d F or be s a nd J e f f r e y H M a ha n. B e r ke l e y, C a l i f or ni a : U ni ve r s i t y o f C a l i f o r ni a P r e s s 2000. L yde c ke r T oni E xe r c i s e f o r B ody a nd S oul : Y og a M ove s f or M om s t o B e P ar e nt i ng M agaz i ne N ov. 1998. h t t p: / / w w w pa r e nt i ng. c om / pa r e nt i ng/ a r t i c l e / 0 1984 0, 647129, 00 ht m l L yon, D a vi d J e s us i n D i s ne y l and: R e l i gi on i n P os t m ode r n T i m e s C a m br i dge U K : P ol i t y P r e s s 2000. M e l t on, J G or don N e w A ge E nc y c l ope di a D e t r oi t : G a l e R e s e a r c h I nc 1990. N a t i ona l C e nt e r f or C om pl e m e nt a r y a nd A l t e r na t i v e M e di c i ne ( N C C A M ) T he U s e of C om pl e m e nt ar y and A l t e r nat i v e M e di c i ne i n t he U ni t e d St at e s ht t p: / / nc c a m ni h. gov/ ne w s / c a m s ur ve y_f s 1. ht m O r s i ni M e i nha r d, K i r s t e n. Y oga I ndus t r y G a i ns S t r e ngt h, C ol or adoan O nl i ne J ul y 10 2005. ht t p: / / w w w bi kr a m yoga c om / N e w s / T he C ol or a doa n071005. ht m P a r t r i dge C hr i s t ophe r T he R e E nc hant m e nt of t he W e s t V ol 1 N e w Y or k: T & T C l a r k I nt e r na t i ona l 2004. P r a i s e M ove s : T he C hr i s t i a n A l t e r na t i ve t o Y oga W ha t D oe s a P r a i s e M ove s C l a s s L ook L i ke ? ht t p: / / w w w p r a i s e m ove s c om R oba i na H ol l y V i c e nt e T he T r ut h A bout Y oga T oday s C hr i s t i an W om an M a r c h/ A pr i l 2005, V ol 27, no. 2. ht t p: / / w w w c hr i s t i a ni t yt oda y. c om / t c w / 2005/ 002/ 1 4. 40. ht m l R oof W a de C l a r k Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B a by B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on P r i nc e t on N J : P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999.

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54 S c hm i dt S us a n S c ot t Y oga f or Y our H ounds ? S u r e I t s C a l l e d D oga P i t t s bur gh P os t G az e t t e A pr i l 24, 2004. ht t p: / / w w w pos t ga z e t t e c om / pg/ 04118/ 30 6899. s t m S w a m i K r i ya nda E as t e r n T hought s W e s t e r n T hou ght s N e va da C i t y, C a l i f o r ni a : A na nda P ubl i c a t i ons 1975. V i ve ka na nda Y oga A nus a ndha na S a m s t ha na ( R e s e a r c h C e nt e r ) h t t p: / / w w w vya s a or g/ W e l l e r S t e l l a C om pl e t e Y oga : T he G e nt l e and E f f e c t i v e W a y t o H e al t h and W e l l B e i ng N e w Y or k: B a r ne s & N obl e B ooks 2001. Y ou S a i d: R e a de r C om m e nt s on Y oga a s H e a l i ng Y oga J our nal J ul y 25 2005 ht t p: / / yoga j our na l c om / vi e w s / 992_1. c f m

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55 A ppe ndi c e s

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56 A ppe ndi x 1 Y oga i n N e w R e l i gi ous M ove m e nt s a nd t he N e w A ge T he os ophy w a s t he f i r s t not a bl e ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt t o a t t e m pt t o l e gi t i m i z e yoga s pr a c t i c e a nd a c c e pt a nc e i n U S c ul t ur e A s f a r ba c k a s t he l a t e 19 t h c e nt ur y, H e l e na B l a va t s ky of t he T he os ophi c a l S oc i e t y w or ke d t o l i nk t he be ne f i t s of yoga w i t h s c i e nc e i n a n e f f or t t o l e gi t i m i z e yoga a s a s pi r i t ua l pr a c t i c e t ha t h e l d r a t i ona l qua nt i f i a bl e r e s ul t s B l a va t s ky s e f f or t s l e d t o ot h e r ne w r e l i gi ons s e e ki ng t o l e gi t i m i z e t he i r ow n p r a c t i c e s i n a s i m i l a r w a y. V e da nt a unde r V i ve ka na nda s a w t he c r e a t i on of a Y oga R e s e a r c h F ounda t i on, w hi c h w a s s e t up t o e xa m i ne t he e f f i c a c y of yoga pr a c t i c e s a nd t o de ve l op yoga c our s e s t o s ol ve t he ba s i c pr obl e m s of t he hi gh t e c h e r a 8 9 V e da nt a t hus s t r e s s e s t he r e l i gi ous a nd e t hi c a l di m e ns i ons of yoga but a l s o f oc us e s on t he phys i c a l a nd ps yc hol ogi c a l be ne f i t s of i t s pr a c t i c e L i ke V e da nt a t he S e l f R e a l i z a t i on F e l l ow s hi p, f o unde d by S w a m i P a r a m a ha ns a Y oga na nda i n 1920, a c know l e dge d t ha t yog a w a s s pi r i t ua l but a l s o c ons i de r e d i t a be ne f i t t o a pe r s on s phys i c a l a nd ps yc hol ogi c a l he a l t h. U nde r s t a ndi ng t he t ypi c a l W e s t e r ne r s a t t a c hm e nt s t o C hr i s t i a ni t y a nd/ or s c i e nc e Y oga na nda pr om ot e d a f or m of yoga t ha t e ns ur e d pr a c t i t i one r s of a ny r e l i gi on t ha t t he y c o ul d pe r f or m yoga a nd r e a p i t s be ne f i t s w hi l e s t i l l m a i nt a i ni ng t he i nt e gr i t y of t he i r ow n r e l i gi ous pr a c t i c e s w ha t e ve r t he y m i ght be T o a c c om pl i s h t hi s t he F e l l ow s hi p pr o m ot e s y oga a s s c i e nt i f i c a nd a l s o t e a c he s t ha t 8 9 A bout U S i n S w a m i V i ve ka na nda Y oga R e s e a r c h C e nt e r W e b s i t e a t ht t p: / / vkyoga s or g i n/ a bout us ht m l A c c e s s e d A pr i l 19, 2003.

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57 A ppe ndi x 1 ( C ont i nue d ) t he yoga phi l os ophy a nd m e t hods a c c e s s i bl e a s t he y a r e t o e m pi r i c a l a nd s c i e nt i f i c ve r i f i c a t i on, unde r l i ne a l l t he g r e a t r e l i gi ons a nd s c r i pt ur e s 9 0 I n c ont r a s t I S K C O N r e c ogni z e s onl y a r e l i gi ous a ppl i c a t i on of yoga F ounde d by A C B ha kt i ve da nt a S w a m i P r a bhupa da i n 1966, t hi s ne w r e l i gi ous m ove m e nt pr a c t i c e s bha kt i yoga w hi c h di d not c a t c h on i n popul a r i t y due t o i t s s t r i nge nt e m pha s i s t ha t de vot i on t o K r i s hna w a s t he onl y pa t h t o r e a l i z a t i on a nd uni f i c a t i on w i t h B r a hm a n A not he r gr oup popul a r du r i ng t he 1960s t ha t f oc u s e d on yoga a nd m e di a t i on w a s t he T r a ns c e nde nt a l M e di t a t i on m ove m e nt f ounde d by t he M a ha r i s hi M a he s h Y ogi T he M a ha r i s hi 's t e a c hi ngs c om bi ne d s c i e nc e a nd r e l i gi on, w hi c h ha s b e e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d a s qui t e de l i be r a t e l y a popul a r i z e d V e da n t a 9 1 T ho ugh i t s f oc us w a s on m e di t a t i on, t he gr oup s popul a r i t y w i t h t he B e a t l e s he l pe d popul a r i z e E a s t e r n t r a di t i ons i n ge ne r a l t hus s how i ng t he pow e r c e l e br i t i e s c a n ha ve upon r e l i gi ous i de a s a nd t r e nds ( i n t he s e n s e of a r e l i gi on s di r e c t i on a nd i nf l u e nc e ) S w a m i V i s hnu D e va na nda w ho f ounde d t he S i va n a nda i n 1959 m os t l i ke l y r e a pe d m a ny be ne f i t s f r om t he vogue popul a r i t y of E a s t e r n phi l os ophy a nd pr a c t i c e s of t he 1960s D e va na nda e s t a bl i s he d yoga c a m ps or r e t r e a t s w he r e pe opl e i nt e r e s t e d i n l e a r ni ng a b out t he va r i ous he a l t h be ne f i t s a s s oc i a t e d w i t h yoga c oul d go a nd l e a r n t oge t he r i n a s uppor t i ve e nvi r onm e nt H e r e w e f i nd a n e m pha s i s on ha t ha yoga w hi c h i s t he c ur r e nt popul a r f or m pr a c t i c e d i n m os t gym s a nd Y M C A s a r ound t he c ount r y 9 0 R obe r t S E l l w ood a nd H a r r y B P a r t i n R e l i gi ous and Spi r i t ual G r oups i n M ode r n A m e r i c a ( E ngl e w ood C l i f f s N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l 19 88) 190 9 1 I bi d. 195

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58 A ppe ndi x 1 ( C ont i n ue d) T he N e w A ge m ove m e nt e m e r ge d i n t he m i d 20 t h c e nt ur y a nd c om bi ne d b e l i e f s r i t ua l s a nd i de a s f r om bot h t he E a s t a nd W e s t T he s e r e l i gi ous gr oups a r e of t e n c l a s s i f i e d a s s pi r i t ua l w he t he r by t he gr oups t he m s e l ve s o r out s i de obs e r ve r s N e w A ge r e l i gi ons t e nd t o f oc us on s e e ki ng i ndi vi dua l s ol ut i ons t o pe r s ona l pr obl e m s of t e n r e vol vi ng a r ound he a l i ng ( w he t he r i t be of t he m i nd, body o r s oul ) T hi s he a l i ng i s not onl y f o r t he i ndi vi dua l but a l s o f oc us e s on t he he a l i ng of t he c om m uni t y a t l a r ge a nd e a r t h i t s e l f W i t hi n t he N e w A ge t he r e i s a s i gni f i c a nt m ove m e nt i nvol vi ng hol i s t i c he a l i ng, w hi c h J G or don M e l t on de s c r i be s a s a f or m of h e a l i ng [ t ha t i nc l ude s t he ] he a l i ng of t he body, m i nd, r e l a t i ons hi ps or t he e f f e c t s of s pi r i t ua l t r a um a s 9 2 T he h ol i s t i c he a l t h m ove m e nt i nc l ude d t he r a pi e s f r om a w i de r a nge of r e l i gi ons a nd c ul t u r e s M a ny of t he t he r a pi e s a s s oc i a t e d w i t h t hi s m ove m e nt c a n be f o und i n bot h t he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e a nd t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e T he t he r a pi e s i nc l ude but a r e not l i m i t e d t o, a c upunc t ur e c hi r opr a c t i c s ve ge t a r i a n or m a c r obi ot i c di e t s r e i ki he r bs a r om a t he r a py, a nd of c our s e yoga 9 2 M e l t on, N e w A ge E nc y c l ope di a xvi i i

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59 A ppe ndi x 2 G l os s a r y C ul t T hi s t e r m i s de r i ve d f r om S t e ve B r uc e s c l a s s i f i c a t i on of r e l i gi on w hi c h i s out l i ne d i n f ou r c a t e gor i e s : c hur c h, de nom i na t i o n, s e c t a nd c ul t T o de f i ne c ul t B r uc e e m pl oys E r ns t T r oe l t s c h s de f i ni t i on. C ul t s a r e v e r y di f f e r e nt i n t ha t t he y of f e r hi ghl y i ndi vi dua l i s t i c e xpr e s s i on, va r yi ng w i t h pe r s ona l e xpe r i e nc e s a nd i nt e r pr e t a t i ons 9 3 C ul t s a r e l oos e l y or ga ni z e d, o f t e n s m a l l gr oups t ha t a r e e xt r e m e l y t ol e r a nt o f ne w i de a s B r uc e r e f e r s t o t he m e m be r s of c ul t s a s c ons um e r s w ho pi c k a nd c hoos e t hos e bi t s of i t s pr oduc t t ha t s ui t t he m 9 4 C ul t i c m i l i e u/ r e l i gi on W i t hi n t he c a t e gor y of c ul t t he t e r m s c ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd c ul t i c m i l i e u 9 5 a r e de ve l ope d. B r uc e pl a c e s N e w A ge r e l i gi ons a nd a l l of t he pr a c t i c e s a s s oc i a t e d w i t h t he m i n t he c a t e gor y of t he c ul t i c m i l i e u. R e l i gi on T he r e a r e a num be r of w a y s t o de f i n e r e l i gi on. H ow e ve r t hi s t he s i s u s e s a m or e ge ne r a l de f i ni t i on i n w hi c h r e l i gi on i s a s ys t e m of m yt hs a nd r i t ua l s t ha t c onne c t c om m uni t i e s a nd r e l a t e i ndi vi dua l s t o t he s a c r e d ( or ul t i m a t e pow e r w hi c h c oul d b e de f i ne d a s G od, na t u r e gods t hough i t i s c e r t a i nl y not l i m i t e d t o t hos e e xpr e s s i ons ) S e c u l a r i z a t i on V a r i ous i nt e r p r e t a t i ons of t he s e c ul a r i z a t i on t he s i s ha ve be e n pos i t e d by a num be r of a c a de m i c s c hol a r s T h i s t he s i s e m pl oys a r a t he r ba s i c de f i ni t i on de r i ve d pr i m a r i l y f r om t he w or k of P e t e r B e r ge r A s B e r g e r s t a t e s s e c ul a r i z a t i on i s c ons i de r e d t o be t he pr oc e s s by w hi c h s e c t or s of s oc i e t y a nd c u l t ur e a r e r e m ove d f r om t he dom i na t i on of r e l i gi ous i ns t i t ut i ons a nd s ym bol s 9 6 S pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e T he de f i ni t i on of t hi s c onc e pt c om e s f r om W a de C l a r k R oof s w or k. 9 7 H e de f i ne s t he s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e a s a n e nvi r onm e nt t ha t a l l ow s s e e ke r s of r e l i gi on t o f i nd or e xc ha nge r e l i gi ous or s pi r i t ua l i de a s a nd pr a c t i c e s t ha t a f f e c t t he m i nd, body, a nd s oul of t he i ndi vi dua l S pi r i t ua l i t y I nc r e a s i ngl y, pe opl e ha ve be e n m a ki ng di s t i nc t i ons be t w e e n w ha t i s r e l i gi ous a nd w ha t i s s pi r i t ua l D e pe ndi ng on t he p oi nt of vi e w e i t he r t e r m m a y be 9 3 B r uc e R e l i gi on i n t he M ode r n W or l d 82. 9 4 I bi d. 9 5 C ul t i c r e l i gi on a nd c ul t i c m i l i e u a r e r e l a t e d t e r m s w he r e i n t he c ul t i c m i l i e u s i m pl y r e f e r s t o t he e nvi r onm e nt of c ul t i c r e l i gi on 9 6 B e r ge r 10 7. 9 7 W a de C l a r k R oof Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B aby B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on ( P r i nc e t on N e w J e r s e y: P r i nc e t on U ni ve r s i t y P r e s s 1999)

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60 A ppe ndi x 2 ( C ont i nue d) c ons i de r e d t o ha v e a pos i t i ve or n e ga t i ve c onnot a t i on. I t s houl d be not e d, how e ve r t ha t i t i s not t he pur pos e of t hi s t he s i s t o m a ke a j udgm e nt on t he va l ue s i nhe r e nt i n t he s e t e r m I ns t e a d, t hi s de f i ni t i on f r o m t he w or k of C hr i s t ophe r P a r t r i dge i s us e d he r e f or t he pur pos e of c l a r i f yi ng t he t e r m i n t he c ont e xt of t hi s t he s i s : S pi r i t ua l i t y i s vi t a l a nd s ubve r s i ve S pi r i t ua l i t y br e a ks bounda r i e s S pi r i t ua l i t y i s t he l i f e e nha nc i ng. R e l i gi on i s a bout c a t a l ogui ng. R e l i gi on i s a bout c om pr e he ndi ng e xpe r i e nc e ( r a t he r t h a n, I s uppos e s i m pl y e x pe r i e nc i ng ) R e l i gi on be l ongs t o t he pa s t R e l i gi on i s l i f e l e s s c ol l e c t i ons of w or ds R e l i gi on i s t he e nd of vi t a l i t y 9 8 T he r a pe ut i c c ul t ur e T hi s t e r m r e f e r s t o W a de C l a r k R oof s de s c r i pt i on of a m ove m e nt t ha t f oc us e s on i s s ue s of he a l t h a nd w e l l be i ng. T hi s m ove m e nt c ont a i n s c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s s i m i l a r t o popul a r r e l i gi ous m e a ni ng s y s t e m s : i t p r i vi l e ge s t he f e l t ne e ds of t he or di na r y pe r s on, of f e r s di r e c t a c c e s s t o G od a nd e nc our a ge s m or a l a nd s pi r i t ua l t r a ns f or m a t i on. 9 9 9 8 P a r t r i dge 48 9 9 R oof 39.


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Demeter, Michelle E.
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The commodification of yoga in contemporary U.S. culture
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by Michelle E. Demeter.
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[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
2006.
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ABSTRACT: Yoga is an increasingly visible and versatile commodity in the United States health market. Though its origins stretch to pre-Vedic India and its traditional religious purpose is linked to Hinduism, it is evident that yoga has undergone much change since its transmission to U.S. culture. In its popular, widespread incarnation in the United States, yoga is not usually learned at the feet of a guru, but at exercise centers and gyms. These secular locales of yoga's practice help define the "yoga phenomenon" in contemporary America. This phenomenon has resulted in yoga's wide acceptance and high visibility in American popular culture ---^ especially within the "cultic milieu" as it is expressed in the "spiritual marketplace" and "therapeutic culture." Yoga's apparent transformation from an explicitly Hindu religious practice to one located in cultural environments that appear non-religious on the surface (such as gyms or therapeutic regimens) is a topic of interest in religious studies. Of even greater interest to religious studies, however, is the argument put forward by some scholars that these non-religious environments are actually profoundly religious in character and suggest that yoga's apparent transformation is a manifestation of a new type of religious experience within the United States. This thesis is interested in the various questions surrounding this apparent transformation. The central question here is what happens to yoga in U.S. culture? More specifically, what is yoga's religious status in the context of contemporary U.S. culture and religion, and what forms does yoga take within various environments t hat are devoid of explicit Hindu connections? To engage these questions, this thesis will analyze yoga's religious status in the context of the theories of secularization and the cultic milieu as put forth by Steve Bruce, as well as the concepts of the spiritual marketplace and therapeutic culture as presented by Wade Clark Roof. Data culled from various sources and independent research will also be used in understanding yoga in contemporary U.S. popular religion and culture.
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2006.
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Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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Adviser: Dell deChant, M.A.
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Secularization.
Spiritual marketplace.
New Age.
Cultic milieu.
Health.
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Masters.
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