21st Century Yoga
21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice
Edited by Carol Horton and Roseanne Harvey
Featuring essays by Frank Jude Boccio, Angela Jamison, Melanie Klein, Matthew Remski, Chelsea Roff, Tommy Rosen, Be Scofield, Michael Stone, Nathan Thompson, and Julian Walker
Written by experienced practitioners who are also teachers, therapists, activists, scholars, studio owners, and interfaith ministers, 21st Century Yoga is one of the first books to provide a multifaceted examination of yoga as it actually exists in contemporary North America. Key themes addressed in the essays include:
- The significance of the body in yoga culture
- Yoga’s capacities and limitations as a healing modality
- Mind/body splits in the yoga and Zen communities
- Healing anorexia through yoga
- Holistic recovery through yoga and the 12 Steps
- Social engagement and interdependence
- Imagination, rationality, and consciousness
- Contemporary spirituality
- Yoga and the practice of writing
Table of Contents
Introduction: Yoga and North American Culture Carol Horton
Enlightenment 2.0: The American Yoga Experiment Julian Walker
How Yoga Makes You Pretty: The Beauty Myth, Yoga and Me Melanie Klein
Questioning the “Body Beautiful”: Yoga, Commercialism, and Discernment Poep Sa Frank Jude Boccio
Bifurcated Spiritualities: Examining Mind/Body Splits in the North American Yoga and Zen Communities Nathan Thompson
Starved for Connection: Healing Anorexia Through Yoga Chelsea Roff
Yoga and the 12 Steps: Holistic Recovery from Addiction Tommy Rosen
Yoga for War: The Politics of the Divine Be Scofield
Modern Yoga Will Not Form a Real Culture Until Every Studio Can Also Double as a Soup Kitchen and other observations from the threshold between yoga and activism Matthew Remski
Our True Nature is Our Imagination: Yoga and Non-Violence at the Edge of the World Michael Stone
How Yoga Messed With My Mind Angela Jamison
Conclusion: The Evolution of Yoga and the Practice of Writing Roseanne Harvey
Poep Sa Frank Jude Boccio is a certified yoga teacher, interfaith minister, member of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, and Zen Buddhist Dharma teacher ordained by Korean Zen master, Samu Sunim. His book, Mindfulness Yoga: The Awakened Union of Breath, Body, and Mind is the first to apply the Buddha’s mindfulness meditation teachings to yogasana practice. Besides his writing appearing in Tricycle, Shambhala Sun, Namaskar and Yoga Journal, he maintains two blogs: Mindfulness Yoga and Zen Naturalism. Based in Tucson, where he lives with his wife, Monica, their daughter Giovanna and their two cats and two chickens, he travels worldwide, leading workshops and retreats.
Roseanne Harvey is a writer, editor, and yoga teacher in Montreal. As the former editor of Ascent magazine, she has been situated at the intersection of yoga and media for more than six years. Her blog, It’s All Yoga, Baby is known for questioning, provoking thought and shining a critical light on yoga culture ~ while celebrating community, service, creativity, the independent spirit and good ol’ fun. She is co-director of Yoga Festival Montreal and a passionate community organizer.
Carol Horton is a writer, consultant, and yoga teacher. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and served on the faculty at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. A Certified Forrest Yoga teacher, Carol teaches yoga to women in the Cook County Jail with Yoga for Recovery. She is the author of Race and the Making of American Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2005); Yoga Ph.D.: Integrating the Life of the Mind with the Wisdom of the Body; and the blog, Think Body Electric.
Angela Jamison is the founder and owner of Ashtanga Yoga: Ann Arbor, a traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga school. Each year, she takes retreat in India for 1-3 months. Her Ashtanga teacher is R. Sharath Jois, and Shinzen Young guides her sitting practice. She has been writing about yoga at insideowl.com since 2006. A former sociologist, she holds degrees in philosophy, journalism and history, and is ABD in Sociology at UCLA. She has spent most of her life on a ranch in rural Montana, and now lives in Michigan with her husband Rob Jansen and their cats, Lynxx Moon and Zelda Spoonbender.
Melanie Klein is a writer, speaker, and professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Santa Monica College. She is the adviser of the Santa Monica College Leadership Alliance, and founder and co-coordinator of Women, Action + Media! Los Angeles. Melanie attributes feminism and yoga as the two primary influences in her work, and is committed to consciousness-raising, promoting media literacy, healing distorted body images and cultivating healthy body relationships. Founder of the blog FeministFatale, her work may also be found at Adios Barbie, Elephant Journal, Ms. Magazine’s blog and WIMN’s Voices.
Matthew Remski is writer in the morning, therapist in the day, and teacher in the evening. His writing includes poetry, novels, posts and fragments, focusing on yoga, ayurveda, and evolution. As a therapist, he holds space for people as they illuminate the shadows of body and heart, informed by his knowledge and training in ayurveda, yoga, psychotherapy, and philosophy. Matthew teaches courses in ayurveda and yoga philosophy based upon his ongoing research of writing, and experience of practical therapy. He also teaches yoga asana, primarily in a therapeutic context. With Scott Petrie, he is the co-creator of the Yoga 2.0 project, and co-director of Yoga Community Canada. He blogs at www.matthewremski.com.
Chelsea Roff is a writer by day and yoga teacher by night, a weaver of words as well as of asanas. Currently Managing Editor at Intent.com, her writing has appeared in Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal, and Yoga Modern. Chelsea is passionate about using online media to inspire action that serves a greater cause, and travels the country writing about how modern yoga is evolving in the most non-traditional of spaces – from festivals to public protests to centers for at-risk youth. In Dallas, Chelsea helped start a service organization that brings yoga to people in homeless shelters, juvenile detention centers, and prisons. She currently lives in Santa Monica, CA.
Tommy Rosen is a certified Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini yoga teacher, and a leading authority on addiction and recovery. He is a pioneer in the relatively new field of Yoga and Recovery, which utilizes yoga and meditation to help people move beyond addiction and build fulfilling lives. Tommy teaches yoga at Naam Yoga LA and Bhakti Yoga Shala, and runs workshops and retreats internationally. He is the co-founder of Tadasana International Festival of Yoga & Music in Santa Monica, CA, and teaches and speaks regularly at yoga conferences and festivals including Tadasana, Wanderlust, Hanuman, and Bhaktifest. His writing has been featured in the L.A. Yoga, Yogi Times, Aquarian Times, Huffington Post, Daily Love, and Yoga Mint. Tommy lives with his wife, noted yoga instructor Kia Miller, in Venice, CA.
Be Scofield is a certified yoga instructor, founder of godblessthewholeworld.org, beyondwhiteness.com, and Dr. King scholar. He writes for Tikkun Magazine and Alternet.org, and is an anti-racist educator and social activist. Be is studying to be an interfaith minister at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where he recently taught a graduate course called “Dr. King and Empire: How MLK Jr. Resisted War, Capitalism and Christian Fundamentalism.”
Michael Stone is a yoga teacher, Buddhist teacher, author, and psychotherapist. He is the Founder of Centre of Gravity, a community in downtown Toronto integrating everyday formal practice and social action. He is a voice for a new generation of young people synthesizing spiritual practice with environmental and social issues. His most recent book is Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga & Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life (Shambhala 2011). You can find him online at www.centreofgravity.org.
Nathan Thompson has been practicing yoga, primarily Iyengar-based, for more than a decade. He is a long-time member of Clouds in Water Zen Center, where he received the Dharma name Tokugo (Devotion to Enlightenment) in 2008. He is the author of the spiritual and social justice blog, Dangerous Harvests, as well as the conscious relationship blog, 21st Century Relationships. Nathan has also written articles for a variety of online and print publications, and has a regular column at the webzine, Life as a Human. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Julian Walker lives in Los Angeles. He is a writer who has been teaching yoga since 1994, maintains a busy bodywork practice, and leads retreats, workshops and teacher trainings. Julian is passionate about mythology, poetry, psychology, music, free-form dance and authentic communication. He calls himself an “activist for reality-based spirituality” and explores the integration of science, spirituality and embodied psychology in a forthcoming book, The Embodied Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Superstition. More information about Julian’s classes, workshops, teacher training, book, articles, and CDs can be found on his website, www.julianwalkeryoga.com.