About the Guest
Anya Foxen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the intersection of South Asian yogic and tantric traditions and Western esotericism and metaphysical spiritualities. Her current writing examines the transnational evolution and popularization of yoga in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is also a yoga teacher and long-time practitioner.
In this Episode, We Discuss:
- Western roots of modern yoga.
- Connecting the dots between modern western postural yoga and it’s Indian roots.
- Defining harmonialism.
- Key concepts in the Hellenic tradition as precursors to the harmonial ideas that we find in modern postural spiritualities.
- Theurgy, a powerful parallel to the Indian Traditions.
- Confronting issues of cultural appropriation.
- Viewing the fundamental narrative of Western yoga as a historical conversation.
Episode Sponsor: Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR)
Quotes from the Episode
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I’m not convinced my yoga is better than your yoga because I am not in your body or your life or your circumstances or family constellation. I do not know where you come from or what makes you tick. I do not know what your body “needs”.
If the yoga industry wants to thrive again, it needs to start teaching more than fitness. Fortunately, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel- all the techniques already exist within yoga’s traditions to offer a class that touches every part of our being. By offering more integrated classes that include pranayama, mantra, meditation and kriya, we can now provide a yoga experience, instead of just yoga poses.
Just as each feature of cosmic order has an essential nature, cosmic order itself has an essential nature. Bringing ourselves into harmony with the essential nature of cosmic order is the way by which we can live peacefully in the world. Conversely, dissonant action relative the essential nature of cosmic order brings about chaos and destruction.
Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership.