Cover image for A yoga of Indian classical dance : the yogini's mirror
A yoga of Indian classical dance : the yogini's mirror
Gupta, Roxanne Kamayani.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Rochester, Vt. : Inner Traditions, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 190 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1783.5 .G87 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The yoga and classical dance traditions of India have been inextricably entwined for millennia. The exacting hand gestures, postures and movements of Indian classical dance can only be achieved through yogic concentration. Conversely, the esthetics, symmetry, and dynamism of dance enhance the practice of yoga. These two traditions, so complementary and essential to one another, are united and explicated for the first time in A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance .
Twenty-five years ago Roxanne Kamayani Gupta embarked on a journey of dance and yoga, yearning to unlock their mysteries and discover their common origins. As a twenty-year-old student from America she was miraculously and mysteriously absorbed into Indian culture, became a Hindu, and began an odyssey so unusual and unique that the reader will be enchanted by its telling. Choosing the path of the dancer, Roxanne Gupta accomplished what no Western woman had done before: being accepted and trained by Indian masters and then performing in the Indian classical traditions--from the palaces of maharajas to the arts festivals of Europe and America--while at the same time achieving a doctorate in the anthropology of religion and being initiated into a number of yogic traditions. Having mastered the classical form of Kuchipudi dance and studied with teachers of the hatha and kriya yoga traditions, she brings together these two great streams of consciousness and practice.

In this tantric approach to yoga and dance, expressed through the body and through a yoga of emotions, we see the traditions embodied in a manner that embraces the totality of the human experience. The result is the dance of the yogini, the sacred feminine initiatress who dances with one foot in nature and the other in the realm of the gods. With extensive photographs of innovative yoga routines, Roxanne Kamayani Gupta distills her experience into techniques for yogic study certain to assist students of all levels to achieve a dynamic, beautiful, and graceful practice.

Author Notes

Roxanne Kamayani Gupta is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Yoga teaches us that everything placed before the mind is a mirror. American-born Gupta (who holds a doctorate combining aspects of cultural anthropology with Indian religious history) has written a captivating personal narrative of her journey to India and the arduous training to become a performer in the Kuchipudi style of Indian classical dance. This unique story is a blend of autobiography, philosophical reflection, and firsthand insight into Indian culture and the performing arts. Also a yoga teacher, Gupta has included a chapter presenting 64 illustrated postures, creatively synthesizing the dual disciplines of traditional hatha yoga and sacred dance. Her explanations of Indian dramatic theory and discussions of yoga and dance in historical and religious terms are clear-cut and informative. The text is amply supplemented with photographs of Gupta performing in authentic dress. Highly recommended for larger public libraries and for academic libraries, especially those building collections in the performing arts, religion, or Eastern culture.--Deborah Anne Broocker, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Dunwoody (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Understanding Yoga and Indian Classical Dancep. 1
1 Discipline and Desire: My Initiation into Indian Spiritualityp. 8
2 Dance of the Gurus: Meetings with Remarkable Men and Womenp. 32
3 Stillness at the Center: The Yoga of Indian Dancep. 51
4 The Dance of Yoga: The Sixty-Four Yogini Asanasp. 59
5 Yoga of the Emotions: Spiritual Dimensions of Indian Dramap. 150
6 The Dance of the Yogini: Tantric Dimensions of Indian Classical Dancep. 162
7 Yoga of the Elements: Nature, Culture, and Spiritualityp. 173
Bibliographyp. 190