Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religious Studies (MARS)


Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies

First Advisor

Christel J. Manning


Yoga as both a physical activity and a spiritual practice has become an established part of Western culture. In recent years, the interest in postural forms of yoga and the philosophy from which they spring has developed into a multi-billion dollar industry; it has spawned volumes of popular histories and "how-to" books on the subject. However, scholars are only beginning to understand the true roots of modern transnational yoga (MTY) as it has developed in recent times. This thesis reviews the last two decades of scholarship in order to provide a credible explanation for MTY origins and argues that viewing yoga as a cultural commodity is the best way to explain its influence as a player in the current spiritual marketplace.


Master's Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Religious Studies.



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