suzanne newcombe

#124 Suzanne Newcombe History of Asana in the UK

Dr Suzanne Newcombe History of Asana in the UK ( | @faithoutsidethebox)

Modern yoga classes | Importance of physical well-being post WW2 | Impact of UK due to past imperial past with India | Desmond Dunn teaching yogism | Theosophical society early human potential movement | Watkins book shop & first translations of Yoga Sutras | Hari Shastri | Krishnamurti | Annie Besant Rhodes | Theosophical Society of India focus on improvement of Indians | Paul Brunton In Search of Secret India | Christmas Humphries | The intertwined history of Buddhism and Yoga in Britain | Gerald York shift toward physical experience | Pierre Bernard teaching yoga in New York | Paul Dukes first person to teach yoga on UK TV 1949 | Yogini Sunita 1960s Birmingham | Wilfred Clark British Wheel of Yoga | BKS Iyengar Light on Yoga | Yehudi Menuhin | Sivananda Yoga | Yogi Bajan | 1990s Pattabhi Jois | Godfrey Deveraux & Shandor Remete

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Dr Suzanne Newcombe is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University (UK) where she researches modern yoga from a sociological and social historical perspective. She is also the Director of Inform, a registered charity that researches and provides information on new and minority religions and spiritualities using social scientific methodology which is based in Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London.

Between 2015-2020 she was part of a 5-year project funded by the European Research Council (Horizon 2020) entitled ‘Medicine, Immortality and Moksha: Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia’, see: for more details.

Suzanne’s focus for 2023 is coordinating a British Academy funded conference with Karen O'Brien-Kop from 26-27 May 2023 entitled 'Public Health after COVID: Beliefs, Religion and Competing Epistemologies.'


(2019) Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating YogisSheffield, Equinox.

Edited Books and Journals:

(2020) ed. with Karen O’Brien-Kop. Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge.

(2017) Special Issue of Religions of South Asia: Yoga Darśana, Yoga Sādhana: traditions, transmissions and transformations. Religions of South Asia. 11: 2-3. Introduction to the volume available here.

Substantive articles and book chapters relating to modern yoga:

(2020) with Karen O’Brien-Kop ‘Reframing Yoga and Meditation Studies’ Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge, pp. 3-12.

(2020)  ‘Yoga and Meditation as a Health Intervention’ in Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge, pp. 156-168.

Book reviews relating to modern yoga:

(2015) Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration edited by Knut A. Jacobsen in The Journal of Contemporary Religion, 30:1, 176-178.

(2011) Yoga in Modern Society by Vernea Schnäbele in The Journal of Contemporary Religion 26(3): 518-19.

(2009) Yoga in the Modern World M. Singleton and J. Byrne (eds.) in The Journal of Contemporary Religion 24 (3): 368-370.

(2006) A History of Modern Yoga by Elizabeth de Michelis in Asian Medicine (2)1: 89-91.