Chapter 2 considers some of the earliest European encounters with yogins during the seventeenth century and goes on to analyze their increasingly inferior status during colonial rule. Nineteenth‐century Orientalist scholarship, it is suggested, consolidated the position of the yogin, and the first English translations of haṭha texts evidence a deep‐seated hostility to the very practices they present. Also considered here are the nineteenth‐century roots of modern medical yoga, one of the conduits by which “haṭha” practices could eventually be reclaimed by twentieth‐century pioneers like Kuvalayananda.
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