In the Path of Modern Yoga, Elliott Goldberg shows how the sacred discipline of yoga was transformed in the early 20th century into a health and fitness regime, giving prominence to the yogic postures traditionally used only as preparatory exercises for seated meditation. He establishes that far from corrupting the sacred tradition, as some believe, this emphasis on the moving body in yoga allowed for the creation of a sacred yoga for our times: an embodied spiritual practice.
Goldberg tells this sweeping story of Modern Yoga through the remarkable lives and accomplishments of 11 key figures: six Indian Yogis (Sri Yogendras, Swami Kuvalayananda, Swami Sivananda, and B.K.S Iyengar), and Indian Bodybuilder (K.V Iyer), a Rajah (Bhavanarao Pant Pratinidhi), an Americorn-Born Journalist (Louise Moragan), and Indian Diplomat (Apa Pant), and a Rissian-Born Yogi trained in India (Indra Devi). The author places their achievements within the context of the pre-independence Hindu nationalism movement in India and such Western trends. as the physical culture movement, the commodification of exercise, 19th century New Age religion, jazz age popular entertainment and the quest for youth and beauty - revealing the multitude of diverse influences that have shaped yoga today.