Mormon-Born Daya Mata Typifies American Yoga
Andrea R. Jain is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Andrea’s primary areas of research and teaching are South Asian religions and the social-scientific study of religion, with a focus on religion and the body. More specifically, her research interests include the transnational construction and global popular dissemination of Hindu and Jain schools of modern yoga, as well as the comparative study of ascetic dimensions of yoga, especially with regard to food and sexuality. Andrea’s current projects include studies on the intersection of contemporary capitalist culture and modern yoga as well as the role of food practices and guru figures in modern yoga traditions.
Daya Mata, born Faye Wright, served as president and spiritual leader of the Self-Realization Fellowship for fifty-five years. Her tenure ended on November 30, 2010 when she died at the age of 96 while living in seclusion at a Fellowship convent in Los Angeles.