In this episode we speak with Christopher Miller about his recent monograph, Embodying Transnational Yoga: Eating, Singing, and Breathing in Transformation (Routledge 2023) and his upcoming online course at Yogic Studies. We begin by discussing his academic background and how he first got into critical Yoga and later Jain Studies, his experiences as a practitioner of yoga in Santa Monica, California, and how he developed his dissertation project that would eventually become the book. We discuss the importance of shifting Modern Yoga Studies beyond the study of postural yoga, exploring his three book chapters which analyze the practices of eating (yogic diet), singing (kīrtan), and breathing (prāṇāyāma). We discuss the origins and history of the harmonium, how yoga intersects with food and pollution studies, and question what it means to practice prāṇāyāma in a heavily polluted Indian city. We conclude the conversation by previewing Miller's upcoming online course, YS 127 | Embodying Transnational Yoga.
Dr. Christopher Jain Miller is the co-founder, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Jain and Yoga Studies at Arihanta Institute. Miller completed his PhD in the study of Religion at the University of California, Davis. He is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Zürich’s Asien-Orient-Institut and Visiting Professor at Claremont School of Theology where he co-developed and co-runs a remotely available Masters Degree Program focusing on Engaged Jain Studies. His current research focuses on Modern Yoga and Engaged Jainism. Christopher is the author of a number of articles and book chapters concerned with Jainism and the practice of modern yoga. He is the author of Embodying Transnational Yoga: Eating, Singing, and Breathing in Transformation (Routledge 2023) as well as co-editor of the volumes Engaged Jainism: Critical and Constructive Approaches to the Study of Jain Social Engagement (SUNY Forthcoming) and Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age (Lexington 2020).