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21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice Paperback – September 19, 2012

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Horton, Ph.D., is the author of Yoga Ph.D.: Integrating the Life of the Mind with the Wisdom of the Body (Kleio, 2012); and Race and the Making of American Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2005). Roseanne Harvey is the former editor of the leading Canadian yoga magazine, Ascent; founder of the popular blog, It’s All Yoga, Baby; and co-director of Yoga Festival Montreal.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Kleio Books (September 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615617603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615617602
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Horton, Ph.D., is the author of "Yoga Ph.D.: Integrating the Life of the Mind and the Wisdom of the Body," and lead editor of "21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice." A popular writer and speaker, Carol offers lectures, workshops, and yoga teacher trainings on yoga history, culture, ethics and service worldwide. She serves as a teacher with Yoga for Recovery, adviser to the Yoga and Body Image Coalition, and program consultant to yoga service organizations.

An ex-political science professor, Carol holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, is the author of "Race and the Making of American Liberalism," and has published numerous reports on programs and policies affecting low-income children and families. To learn more, visit her website, carolhortonphd.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received my copy of 21st Century Yoga a couple of days ago and have not been able to put the collection down! I am a voracious reader, so I when I come across a book, essay, or article that stands out from the legion of texts that I have read: it really means something. This is the first Amazon review that I have ever written; I was motivated to write because of the impact that the essays had upon me. The collection comprises a diverse array of essays examining the various incarnations and manifestations of yoga in the present day. I was especially intrigued by the personal nature of many essays. Melanie Klein's essay, "How Yoga Makes You Pretty: The Beauty Myth, Yoga and Me" examines the way in which the practice of yoga powerfully counteracts the mainstream media "assault" upon the self-image and subjectivity of females (and also males). Klein combines historical and critical analyses of the culture's relentless "pursuit of pretty" with powerful personal experience. Klein so successfully taps into the universal female struggle against objectification and for acceptance that I felt as though she was telling my own story. For centuries women having been fighting an impossible battle to "measure up to mainstream standards of beauty." I describe this battle as 'impossible' because the ends are inherently unattainable. Mainstream media promises us that happiness lies in shedding that final five pounds, so we lose the five pounds and: surprise, surprise the promised 'happiness' eludes us. Maybe we try losing another five or maybe disillusioned and frustrated we pack on another five pounds, maybe we shelve the idea of weight loss altogether and turn instead to focus on 'improving' our wrinkles or our hair...Read more ›
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Susanne C. on March 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would have given this three and a half stars, it is not a terrible book at all. The description very openly tells the reader that these are just the beginning stages of many discussions that need to be made, and that is true. The discussion of how yoga feeds into the unhealthy obsession with appearance and the materialism of our culture is very important, as is the real irony of discarding patriarchal, authoritative religion while embracing...a basically patriarchal, authoritative religion. There are important topics here, but they left me wanting more of the good essays, and less of the others. Some are not well constructed, or fail to make a point, or simply did not resonate with me.
A good, but not great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By onelove on July 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
I recently moved from a city that was living their yoga on and off the mat to a city where almost everyone I was coming across was either really into the anti-women "new age movement" or think that yoga is just "another work out". I was questioning my own practice and everything that I thought I knew about yoga when I was recommended this book by a friend in my old town. This book validated everything that I was feeling. Must read for everyone that is fedup with the direction that yoga in the west (especially the western section of the united states where I now live) and the apathetic voice within the western yoga world community.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By AngieB on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is greatly needed in today's society. It is a collection of essays from teachers and scholars around the globe beginning provocative conversations about where Yoga is in today's modern world. I believe it is a must-read for all teachers, and practitioners of Yoga.

The essays take a look at some challenging aspects of our human race such as; addiction, body-image issues, commercialism, and social & environmental activism. My favorite chapters are 7 & 9.

This entire book is thought-provoking, and inspiring. By beginning the conversations in our society about what it is that we are doing, and why, it brings us to face our truth, gives us permission to examine it, to feel it and to be aware of our impact as a human race, to our communities, our earth, and our relationships. This is no single-sided promotion of any one viewpoint, but rather opens a platform for thought and speech, giving us tools for self-study and raises awareness of how our individual impact affects the whole world because we are not separate.

The authors display courage to share their personal path through Yoga, and how this relates to the general public/our society. Whether you personally identify with their experiences or not, there are practitioners out there who will (possibly whomever you practice with), and we need to be open and compassionate with EVERY spirit that makes our world glisten. The authors are bringing up issues that are typically not discussed, or hidden within the psyche of our communities, the writing is bold, provocative, examining and invites Self-study, activism and change. Thank you for putting this out
there! Jai!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Leblanc on November 27, 2012
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21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, & Practice, edited by Carol Horton, Ph.D. and Roseanne Harvey, is a collection of essays written by ten yoga practioners from various walks of life discussing yoga in North America. Horton and Harvey chose the writers based on the relationships they had developed with them through blogging.

The questions were raised: Is the tradition of ancient yoga relevant in today's modern society? What is the State of the Union of yoga?

Was there a definitive answer to these questions? No. But, these essays made me think, which is the intention of the book. I believe deeply in the tradition of yoga. Personally, I don't like seeing the practice watered down and asana (physical postures) being the main focus. Some of the contributors addressed this, while others took a more political approach to the whole of yoga. A couple of them irritated me, while with others, I felt a kinship.

Whether I saw eye to eye with them or not, all of the contributors offered well thought out, passionate essays based on their personal experiences. Anorexia, war, drug abuse, beauty, yoga as responsible business, financial crisis, and building community were among of the topics discussed. What makes this work is that these are not big name, celebrity teachers, so there is less expectation of hearing about a particular agenda. It feels fresher, like voices from the crowd.

I could go through each chapter and give my opinions in this review, but I want you to read it without my bias. This is an important book for modern yogis, especially for those of us who teach. There are viewpoints offered that should be discussed if we want yoga to continue as a vehicle for healing and community, and not be just a workout.
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