Kundalini Yoga in Berlin: Teaching Consumerism
In this thesis, I will take the Kundalini Yoga teacher community in Berlin as my case study in order to investigate the extent to which cultural hybridity is present in this yoga stream. I will discuss how the community in question incorporates Sikh elements in their classes, while also catering to their western audience by adapting Kundalini Yoga to fit the local context. Also, I will look at the role consumerism plays in shaping a community culture that consists of a mix of eastern and
... eastern and western elements. This thesis focusses on the question of how does Kundalini Yoga in Berlin (or rather its teachers) create a hybrid culture where yoga is appropriated to a practice that is acceptable in the dominant capitalist culture in Berlin (e.g. reducing yoga to a fitness and stress- reduction practice), while also inserting into that dominant culture new elements and meanings, contributing to the formation of a local Kundalini Yoga culture, propelled by the workings of consumerism? The objective of this research is to contribute to the body of research on (cultural) hybridization in the face of globalization. Furthermore, my work will contribute to the body of research on yoga and my work will re-conceptualize hybridization by looking at the role consumerism plays in the hybridization of local cultures.