For the past six months, Carol Horton and I have been working on a secret project. We sent out a call to some of our favourite voices in the online yoga community and invited them to contribute a long-form piece of critical writing. We engaged each contributor in a rigorous editorial process and spent time reading, offering feedback, shaping, supporting. We emailed, Skyped, researched self-publishing options.
The result is a completely unique and groundbreaking book, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice. The intention of the book is to bridge the immediacy and relevance of the blogosphere with the deeper thinking and idea development possible in a collection of essays. Now, to make this book a reality, we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. This project has been DIY and collaborative from the start, and we’re rallying for support from our online community to make this happen.
This is how we describe the book:
While yoga may be rooted in ancient India, it’s morphed into something new in contemporary North America. Precisely what that is, however, is difficult to say. Yoga today is taught everywhere from spas to prisons, and for everything from weight loss to spiritual transcendence. With its chameleon-like ability to adapt to everything from advertising to ashrams, it’s a fascinatingly slippery postmodern beast that calls out for critical investigation.
While there are countless yoga books out there, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, and Practice is the first to critically examine yoga as it actually exists in North America today. Written by experienced practitioners who are also teachers, therapists, activists, scholars, studio owners, and/or interfaith ministers, this unique set of essays provides a fresh take on the promise and pitfalls of contemporary yoga, exploring its relevance for issues including feminism, body image, psychology, activism, ethics, and spirituality.
And check out our superstar contributors:
- Frank Jude Boccio, author of Mindfulness Yoga, contributor to Tricycle, Shambhala Sun, Namaskar, and Yoga Journal; and blogger at Mindfulness Yoga and Zen Naturalism;
- Angela Jamison, founder and owner of Ashtanga Yoga: Ann Arbor, and blogger at insideowl;
- Melanie Klein, professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Santa Monica College, and blogger at Feminist Fatale, Adios Barbie, Elephant Journal, Ms. Magazine, and WIMN’s Voices;
- Matthew Remski, co-creator of the Yoga 2.0 project and co-director of Yoga Community Canada;
- Chelsea Roff, Managing Editor at Intent.com, and blogger at Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal,and Yoga Modern;
- Tommy Rosen, pioneer in the relatively new field of Yoga and Recovery, and author of posts and articles in the L.A. Yoga, Yogi Times, Aquarian Times, Huffington Post, Daily Love, and Yoga Mint;
- Be Scofield, founder of www.godblessthewholeworld.org, beyondwhiteness.com, and blogger at Tikkun and Alternet;
- Michael Stone, founder of Centre of Gravity, Toronto, and author of numerous books, most recently including Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga & Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life (Shambhala 2011);
- Nathan Thompson, blogger at Dangerous Harvests, 21st Century Relationships, and Life as a Human; and
- Julian Walker, an “activist for reality-based spirituality,” blogger, and author of the forthcoming book, The Embodied Sacred: Spirituality Beyond Superstition.
If you’re not already convinced of the awesomeness of this project, take a look at our table of contents. What could be more enticing than a collection with essays titled “Modern Yoga Will Not Form a Real Culture Until Every Studio Can Also Double as a Soup Kitchen and other observations from the threshold between yoga and activism” and “Enlightenment 2.0: The American Yoga Experiment.” Seriously!
Support the production and publication of 21st Century Yoga! We have a whole lotta perks and rewards for everyone who contributes, from copies of the book to IAYB swag! Take a look at our Indigogo campaign page and spread the word.
Update: We made our $2,000 goal in less than 36 hours! Amazing! Thank you EVERYONE for the support. We’re still accepting contributions until the end of April, and all the money raised beyond our goal will go towards paying our talented writers.