This study unearths 20th-century U.S. music histories to demonstrate that racism accompanied the entry of yoga into American “belonging” and domestication, while “Indians” were excluded. There are three yoga song sites in this study; each presents a composite of racial constructions that utilize Othering tropes long deployed to affirm White supremacy and legitimize colonial power. I analyze the sound world, lyrics, and films of (1) the 1941 popular song “The Yogi Who Lost His Will Power,” by Orrin Tucker and His Orchestra; (2) the 1960 chart-topper “Yogi,” which catapulted the Ivy Three to one-hit-wonder status; and, (3) the 1967 Elvis Presley song “Yoga Is as Yoga Does, ” from the movie Easy Come, Easy Go. Questions that guide this study include: How does racist displacement appear in historic contexts of sonic productions and U.S. proliferation in yoga? What racial stereotypes accompanied yoga’s entry into American cultural discourse? I argue the evidence supports three key findings: (1) yoga’s movement into American popular culture is inextricably tied to racism and Othering; (2) widely circulating stereotypes of Indians, yoga, and yogis in American popular music include classic racist tropes, such as the grinning Sambo, and (3) the logic of elimination operates to hide U.S. music histories of racialized yoga. I conclude that U.S. yoga and its musical and cultural productions, branded as peaceful and flexible, camouflage the settler nation and White supremacy. The article concludes with a forecast for the importance of music studies to the nascent field of critical yoga studies.

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