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“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Hrishikesh Hirway of Song Exploder wants people to stop saying 'namaste' after a yoga session.
Jim Mallinson recounts the history of this Sanskrit word, while Andrea Jain explains how yoga went from being a 2,500-year-old spiritual practice in India to a lucrative fitness trend on the other side of the world.
- How yoga won the west.
- Goat yoga, that's a thing now.
- Beer yoga, that's a thing now.
- Cat yoga, that's a thing now.
- Also this week, Hrishi appears in a very enjoyable episode of The Longest Shortest Time, talking about his delightful family and relating Song Exploder tidbits. Hearing this episode immediately sent me to listen again to the wonderful Solangexploder.
- There's a transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/namaste.
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The Topes are on tour NEXT WEEK! Get your tickets for our west coast shows - or level up to a VIP ticket - at radiotopia.fm/live. Roman Mars and I are hosting the show, which features new pieces from Criminal, The Memory Palace, Mortified, 99% Invisible and me. Come along!
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Andrea Jain is an associate professor of religious studies at Indiana University School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis, and the author of Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture.
- Jim Mallinson is a senior lecturer in Sanskrit and classical Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London, and the co-author of Roots of Yoga.
- Hrishikesh Hirway hosts Song Exploder and The West Wing Weekly. Put them in your ears.
- This episode was produced by Devon Taylor and me, with help from Cheeka Eyers and Josella Brady, and music by Martin Austwick.
- Find me at facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.