1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies

Edited By Suzanne Newcombe, Karen O’Brien-Kop Copyright 2021
    564 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    564 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary resource, which frames and contextualises the rapidly expanding fields that explore yoga and meditative techniques. The book analyses yoga and meditation studies in a variety of religious, historical and geographical settings. The chapters, authored by an international set of experts, are laid out across five sections:

    • Introduction to yoga and meditation studies

    • History of yoga and meditation in South Asia

    • Doctrinal perspectives: technique and praxis

    • Global and regional transmissions

    • Disciplinary framings

    In addition to up-to-date explorations of the history of yoga and meditation in the Indian subcontinent, new contexts include a case study of yoga and meditation in the contemporary Tibetan diaspora, and unique summaries of historical developments in Japan and Latin America as well as an introduction to the growing academic study of yoga in Korea. Underpinned by critical and theoretical engagement, the volume provides an in-depth guide to the history of yoga and meditation studies and combines the best of established research with attention to emerging directions for future investigation. This handbook will be of interest to multidisciplinary academic audiences from across the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

    Chapters 1, 4, 9, 12, and 27 of this book are freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.


    1. Reframing Yoga and Meditation Studies

    Karen O’Brien-Kop and Suzanne Newcombe

    2. Decolonising Yoga 

    Shameem Black

    3. Meditation in Contemporary Contexts: Current Discussions

    Ville Husgafvel

    4. The Scholar-Practitioner of Yoga in the Western Academy

    Mark Singleton and Borayin Larios

    5. Neoliberal Yoga

    Andrea Jain


    6. How Yoga Became Yoga: Yoga and Meditation up to the Classical Period

    Kengo Harimoto

    7. Buddhist Meditation in South Asia: An Overview

    Florin Deleanu

    8. Tantric Transformations of Yoga: Kundalinī in the 9-10th century

    Olga Serbaeva

    9. Early Hathayoga

    Mark Singleton

    10. Yoga and Meditation in Modern Esoteric Traditions

    Julian Strube

    11. Hindu Ascetics and the Political in Contemporary India

    Raphaël Voix

    12. Yoga and Meditation as a Health Intervention

    Suzanne Newcombe


    13. Yoga and Meditation in the Jain Tradition

    Samani Pratibha Pragya

    14. Daoist Meditation

    Louis Komjathy

    15. Islam, Yoga and Meditation

    Patrick D’Silva

    16. Sikhi(sm): Yoga and Meditation

    Balbinder S. Bhopal

    17. Christianity: Classical, Modern, and Post-Modern Forms of Contemplation

    Michael Stoeber and Jaegil Lee

    18. Secular Discourse as a Legitimating Strategy for Mindfulness Meditation

    Masoumeh Rahmani 


    19. Yoga and Meditation Traditions in Insular Southeast Asia

    Andrea Acri

    20. Yoga in Tibet

    Naomi Worth

    21. The Political History of Meditation and Yoga in Japan

    Hidehiko Kurita 22.

    Yoga and Meditation in Korea

    Kwangsoo Park and Younggil Park

    23. Yoga in Latin America: A Critical Overview

    Adrián Muñoz

    24. Anglophone Yoga and Meditation Outside of India

    Suzanne Newcombe and Philip Deslippe

    25. The Yogic Body in Global Transmission

    Sravana Borkataky-Varma


    26. Philology and Digital Humanities

    Charles Li

    27. Observing Yoga: The Use of Ethnography to Develop Yoga Studies

    Daniela Bevilacqua

    28. Yoga and Philosophy: Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics

    Mikel Burley

    29. On ‘Meditational Art’ and Mandalas as Objects of Meditation

    Gudrun Bühnemann

    30. The Psychophysiology of Yoga: Characteristics of the Main Components and Review of Research Studies

    Laura Schmalzl, Pamela Jeter and Sat Bir Khalsa

    31. Meditation and the Cognitive Sciences

    Asaf Federman

    32. Inclusive Identities – The Lens of Critical Theory

    Karen-Ann Wong

    33. Yoga: Between Meditation and Movement

    Matylda Ciołkosz

    34. Sound and Yoga

    Finnian M.M. Gerety


    Suzanne Newcombe is a senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, UK, and Honorary Director of Inform, an independent charitable organisation which researches and provides information about minority religions and is based at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London, UK.

    Karen O'Brien-Kop is a lecturer in Asian Religions and Ethics at the University of Roehampton, UK.

    The Routledge Handbook includes solid introductory essays on the word meditation as it applies to various historic stages of Hindu yoga, Buddhist meditation, and Tantric visualization, as well as within Daoism, Sikhism, and Islam. [...] With this volume, Newcombe and O’Brien-Kop aim to expand the focus of meditation studies to show the diversity of South Asian meditation, including discussions of teachers writing in Telegu, Tamil, Malayalam, and other languages and texts including not only texts about meditation but also songs, poems, letters, and popular devotions. These discussions show the multiplicity of Hindu and South Asian forms of meditation and yoga, engaged in interreligious encounter with Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity. The volume also includes essays on meditation and yoga in other parts of Asia (Korea, Japan, Indonesia) and in Latin America. [...] this handbook will be a valuable classroom resource for starting discussions, footnoting term papers, and formulating research projects. It will familiarize readers with different forms of meditation in diverse contexts—their names and definitions—and serve as an example of quality historical and conceptual scholarship for students. The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies will guide both novice and advanced researchers to the scholarship needed to broach an understanding of the phenomena of meditation. Overall, a helpful reference work. -- Alan Brill, Seton Hall University. Journal of Contemplative Studies