Between Mother India and Jim Crow with Philip Deslippe

38m | Jun 4, 2024

Brad speaks with journalist and scholar Philip Deslippe about the origins of yoga in the United States as a response to the precarity of South Asian lives in the 20th century America. "A century ago, students of yoga in the United States, like many practitioners today, believed that they were engaging in something pure, ancient, and Indian. In reality, the yoga they were doing was a bricolage of the metaphysical and mundane presented to them in an exotic, Orientalized package by largely educated and worldly immigrants from India. These teachers were themselves responding and adapting to a nativist and racist climate. Yoga in the United States during the interwar decades is one of many examples of how Asian religions in the United States cannot be fully understood outside the context of Asian American history."

Learn more about APARRI

APARRI’s vision is to create a society in which Asian Pacific American religions are valued, recognized, and central to the understanding of American public life. Since 1999, The Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) has been a vibrant scholarly community advancing the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific Americans and their religions. 

Producer: Dr. Bradley Onishi: @bradleyonishi

Audio Engineer and Musician: Scott Okamoto: @rsokamoto

For more information about research-based media by Axis Mundi Media visit:

Funding for this series has been generously provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Audio Player Image
APA Religions 101