Title : Sinister Yogis
Format : Hardcover
Pages : 352 pages
Publisher : David Gordon White
Language : English
ISBN : 9780226895130

Since the 1960s yoga has become a billion dollar industry in the West attracting housewives and hipsters New Agers and the old aged But our modern conception of yoga derives much from nineteenth century European spirituality and the true story of yoga’s origins in South Asia is far richer stranger and entertaining than most of us realize To uncover this history David Gordon White focuses on yoga’s practitioners Combing through millennia of South Asia’s vast and diverse literature he discovers that yogis are usually portrayed as wonder workers or sorcerers who use their dangerous supernatural abilities—which can include raising the dead possession and levitation—to acuire power wealth and sexual gratification As White shows even those yogis who aren’t downright villainous bear little resemblance to Western assumptions about them At turns rollicking and sophisticated Sinister Yogis tears down the image of yogis as detached contemplative teachers finally placing them in their proper context