Dr Suzanne Newcombe

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: http://www.ayuryog.org/ for more details.



(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. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351050753

(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. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351050753

(2020)  ‘Yoga and Meditation as a Health Intervention’ in Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge, pp. 156-168. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351050753

(2020) with Philipe Deslippe “Anglophone yoga and meditation outside of India,” in Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies. Routledge, pp. 350-365. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351050753

(2020) ‘Yoga in Europe‘ in: Jacobson, Knut and Sardella, Ferdinando (eds.) Handbook of Hinduism in Europe. Brill. pp. 555-587.

(2018)   ‘Spaces of Yoga – Towards a Non-Essentialist Understanding of Yoga’ In: Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, Karl Baier, Phillip A. Maas and Karen Preisendanz (eds.) ‘Wiener Forum für Theologie und Religionswissenschaft’ (‘Viennese Forum for Theology and the Study of Religions,’ Göttingen: V&R University Press, pp. 551-573. https://www.vandenhoeck-ruprecht-verlage.com/themen-entdecken/theologie/religionswissenschaft/16133/yoga-in-transformation

(2017) ‘Yogis, Ayurveda and Kayakalpa– The Rejuvenation of Pandit Malaviya’ History of Science in South Asia 5(2): 85–120. DOI: 10.18732/hssa.v5i2.29

(2017) ‘The Revival of Yoga in Contemporary India’ In: Barton, John ed. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.253.

(2014) ‘The Institutionalization of the Yoga Tradition –“Gurus” B.K.S. Iyengar and Yogini Sunita in Britain’ in Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg eds.Gurus of Modern Yoga. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 147-167.

(2013) ‘Magic and Yoga – The Role of Subcultures in Transcultural Exchange’ in Beatrix Hauser ed. Yoga Traveling: Conceptualizing Body and Self in Transcultural Perspective. Heidelberg: Springer, pp. 57-79.

(2013) ‘Global Hybrids? ‘Eastern Traditions’ of Health and Wellness’ in Shanta Nair Venugopal ed. The Gaze of the West: Framings of the East. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, pp. 202-217

(2009) ‘The Development of Modern Yoga: A Survey of the Field’ Religion Compass 3(6): 986-1002. A pre-publication draft is available for reference as a pdf.

(2008) ‘Ayurvedic Medicine in Britain and the Epistemology of Practicing Medicine in “Good Faith”‘, Pluralism and Paradigms in Modern and Global Ayurveda, Dagmar Benner and Frederick Smith (eds.), State University of New York Press, Albany: p. 257-284.

(2008) ‘A Social History of Yoga and Ayurveda in Britain, 1950-1995′ PhD Thesis, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Available from the Cambridge University Library. An updated timeline on the yoga in Britain, which originally formed an appendix to the doctoral dissertation can be found here.

(2007) ‘Stretching for Health and Well-being: Yoga and Women in Britain, 1960-1980′, Asian Medicine, Tradition and Modernity, 3(1): p. 37-63.

(2005) “Spirituality and ‘Mystical Religion’ in Contemporary Society: A Case Study of British Practitioners of the Iyengar Method of Yoga” Journal of Contemporary Religion 20(3), p. 305-321.

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.