We roll out our yoga mats, and move into our practice. But how often do we stop to think about how Yoga fits into our wider society? The image it presents? The space it occupies? How it addresses a wider demographic than the studio or our home shala?

If you follow my social media closely you may get an insight into wider aspects through my promotion of Yoga Therapy. This book looks at various other aspects of Yoga’s place in society through a series of essays on different topics.

Despite it being a 2012 book and American based, the discussion is equally relevant to 2019 UK. A wide range of topics are covered by the contributors including body culture in yoga; the beauty myth; mind/body splits; healing anorexia; social engagement and interdependence; imagination and consciousness, all written from each contributors perspective.

For me it was a useful thought provoker; anything that makes us stop and reflect must be useful, even if we don’t relate to all of it, nor necessarily agree with the view taken. I particularly liked Matthew Remski’s essay “Modern Yoga will not form a real culture until every studio can double as a soup kitchen and other observations from the threshold between yoga and activism” – of course it’s easy to appreciate the sentiment, less easy to take it up.

Worth a read if you would like to explore yoga’s place in society.

You can buy 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice on Amazon, and using this link earns Yinspire a small commission