Peace Love Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality

In this talk, Andrea Jain illuminates the power dynamics underlying the global yoga industry. She does not just bemoan the commodification of yoga as a numbing device through which consumers ignore the problems of neoliberal capitalism or as the corruption of “authentic” religion, however. Instead, she asks what we should make of discourses in the industry that call on adherents to think beyond the individual, claims to counter the problems of unbridled capitalism, challenges to imperialism and appropriation, calls for women’s empowerment, and efforts to greenwash commodities. Rather than a mode through which consumers ignore, escape, or are numbed to the problems of neoliberal capitalism, many yoga commodities, corporations, and entrepreneurs, Jain argues, do actually acknowledge those problems and, in fact, subvert them; but they subvert them through mere gestures. From provocative taglines to calls for “conscious capitalism,” commodification serves as a strategy through which subversion itself is contained.

Cast

Andrea Jain
Speaker

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