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Id 2540
Author Chakravorty P.
Title The body and the contagion: a symbiosis of yoga, dance, health and spirituality

Chakravorty P. The body and the contagion: a symbiosis of yoga, dance, health and spirituality,South Asian History and Culture

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Abstract What are the connections between bodies, healing, and transcendence? I propose that by examining the intersections of the medical and the socio-cultural body with dance or the performative body, we can shine a critical light on this question. This paper brings Yoga and Indian dance together to explore how notions of health, spirituality, and morality came to be inscribed in particular kinds of bodies leading to selective ideas of bodily transcendence and spirituality in postcolonial India. I show through a diverse range of scholarships how the heterogeneous roots of Yoga have been homogenized in modern India as something Hindu and Brahminical (which is now integrated with rightwing Hindutva). Interestingly, the Indian classical dance revivalism shared the same logic as Yoga revivalism. As a result, the upper caste Hindu bodies distinguished themselves from their cultural others (Muslims and low caste Hindus) through concepts of purity, health, spirituality, and transcendence. I examine how some of these concepts of Yoga, dance, and embodiment from the east and west mingled in recent times and influenced narratives of ‘contemporary dance’ in India and the U.S. In these symbiotic, cross-cultural exchanges, concepts of somatics and neurobiology blended with modern Yoga and dance to render the elite, upper-caste/class bodies, and/or white bodies as universal, righteous, and transcultural. © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


DOI 10.1080/19472498.2022.2144329
Search Database Scopus
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