Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
California Polytechnic State University, SLO
Website URL
modern yoga, hatha yoga, tantra, metaphysical religion, western esotericism, magic, occultism, harmonialism, spirituality, New Age, physical culture, wellness
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Anya Foxen is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015.

Her research focuses the intersection of South Asian yogic and tantric traditions and Western esotericism and metaphysical religions. She also does work on gender and embodiment and the interplay of religion and science. Her current writing examines the transnational evolution and popularization of yoga in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Her ever-abiding “Plan B” is to pursue a career as the reincarnation of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Except healthier and more committed to social justice.

Recent Publications

Inhaling Spirit: Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga (Oxford University Press, 2020)

Biography of a Yogi: Paramahansa Yogananda and the Origins of Modern Yoga (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
Asia, North America, Southeast Asia, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Early Modern, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Gender, Medicine, Religion, Science, Sports, Women