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Ancient Wisdom, Modern Bodies: Hybrid Authenticity in the Space of Modern Yoga

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Ancient Wisdom, Modern Bodies: Hybrid Authenticity in the Space of Modern Yoga

Bird, Lauren (2014) Ancient Wisdom, Modern Bodies: Hybrid Authenticity in the Space of Modern Yoga. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates transcultural exchange expressed in architectural and conceptual spaces as well as visual and material culture through the case study of HappyTree Yoga, a popular downtown Montreal studio. Through images and objects within these spaces, I explore how the modern postural yoga studio is designed as an escape from, or antidote to, the stresses of modern Western lifestyle through the integration of spirituality from an imagined, ahistorical Orient with Western socio-cultural norms of health, gender and bodily
regulation. The studio interior and the objects housed therein are considered from the perspective of material culture in order to understand how the practice of yoga is constructed and authenticated through ‘exotic’ objects such as images of gurus and small shrines and how practitioners encounter and experience the agency of these objects. I discuss the hybridity of modern yoga’s performance as both openly progressive and Western but aware of a need for legitimacy and authorization through the presence of Hindu imagery, ultimately creating new meanings for both these artifacts and those who participate in the highly ritualistic and performative use of these interiors.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bird, Lauren
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:15 April 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Potvin, John
ID Code:978469
Deposited By: LAUREN BIRD
Deposited On:26 Jun 2014 20:08
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:46
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