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Yoga – Anticolonial Philosophy

An Action-Focused Guide to Practice
Regular price $29.95
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Providing a decolonial, action-focused account of Yoga philosophy, this practical work from Dr. Shyam Ranganathan, pioneering scholar in the field of Indian moral philosophy, focuses on the South Asian tradition to explore what Yoga was like prior to colonization. It challenges teachers and trainees to reflect on the impact of Western colonialism on Yoga as well as understand Yoga as the original decolonial practice in a way that is accessible.

Each chapter takes the reader through a journey of sources and traditions, beginning with an investigation into the colonial -Platonic and Aristotelian- approaches to pedagogy in colonized yoga spaces, through contrary, ancient philosophies of South Asia, such as Jainism, Buddhism, Sankhya, and various forms of Vedanta, to sources of Yoga, including the Upanisads, Yoga Sutra, Bhagavad Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. With discussions of the precolonial philosophy of Yoga, its relationship to social justice, and modern postural yoga's relationship with colonial trauma, this is a comprehensive guide for any yoga teacher or trainee to activate and synergize their practice. Supplementary online resources bring the text to life, making this the perfect text for yoga teacher trainings.
  • Published: Apr 18 2024
  • Pages: 192
  • 228 x 152mm
  • ISBN: 9781839978760
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Press Reviews

  • Anusha Wijeyakumar, author of Meditation with Intention, Adjunct Professor, San Diego State University and Wellness Consultant Hoag Hospital

    As a deeply respected South Asian scholar on Yoga and historian Dr Ranganathan offers a much needed nuanced perspective on the history of colonization of South Asia and the ongoing impact this has had on Yoga in the west. Dr Ranganathan's work is rooted in a long overdue decolonial perspective dismantling harmful neoliberalism and cultural appropriation and guides us on the path of how we can embrace and live the philosophy of Yoga in our daily lives in a practical and sustainable way. This is a must read book for us all! I am truly honored to learn from Dr Ranganathan's vast knowledge and ancestral wisdom.
  • Eddie Stern, MSc, CYT, Author of One Simple Thing, a New Look at the Science of Yoga and How It Can Transform Your Life

    Shyam Ranganathan has made yet another vitally important contribution to the field of Yoga philosophy in his deeply thoughtful Yoga, Anti-Colonial Philosophy. Ranganathan strives to present Yoga in its true form as a philosophy, and in doing so, challenges assumptions, beliefs, and misperceptions about yoga that are pervasive in the present day culture. This is an important book for all yoga students, yoga teachers, and yoga academics to read. If Yoga is to persist as a valuable philosophical endeavor and not be demeaned to a spiritual commodity as much of the Western world has shaped it, then deep thinkers, who are courageous in their thought and studied in their field, are essential to uphold the tradition that Yoga is placed within.
  • Rita D. Sherma, PhD Professor of Religion, GTU Berkeley

    In this groundbreaking volume, Shyam Ranganathan develops a sophisticated metaethics of ecology grounded in the philosophy of the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali. Applying the ethical framework of yoga as hermeneutics for understanding the ecological necessity of bestowing personhood on the human "other" and the more-than-human world, Ranganathan brilliantly argues for epistemic recovery of submerged knowledge systems, including that of yoga, as a corrective. As with the best work of other critical indigenous research methodologies, this brilliantly-argued volume does not merely critique, but addresses epistemic retrieval and application to the central crisis of our time.