The Book Of Jezebel: Y Is For YogaS

This week we welcomed our first book, a 300-page, hardcover, illustrated encyclopedia called The Book of Jezebel. In honor of this milestone —which took many years and dozens of contributors to execute—we're posting one entry from the book a day, starting with "A" and continuing on through to "Z." As always, questions, additions, annotations and suggestions on the entries that appear online are welcomed and encouraged.

Yoga

Spiritual and physical discipline originating in India. Though technically referring to a certain school of Hindu philosophy, yoga has, in the Western world, come to mean a series of movements that mix stretching, balance, strength, and meditation. In previous eras, the practice was mostly practiced by men, but it has been enthusiastically embraced by women, particularly in the past few decades. In the United States, yoga is so popular that a very profitable ($6 billion in revenues a year) industry of videos, equipment, classes and exercises has sprung up, and yoga apparel retailers like Lululemon are known to charge up to $120 for a pair of stretch pants. Spiritual indeed!

(Illustration by Lisa Hanawalt for the Book of Jezebel.)