Winamp Logo
The Yogic Studies Podcast Cover
The Yogic Studies Podcast Profile

The Yogic Studies Podcast

English, Spirituality, 1 season, 46 episodes, 2 days, 16 hours, 14 minutes
About
In-depth explorations into the traditions of Yoga, Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy, and South Asian Religions. Featuring candid conversations and interviews with scholars and practitioners. Hosted by Seth Powell.
Episode Artwork

YSP 45 Lucy May Constantini | Kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘: Martial Art of Kerala

In this episode we speak with Lucy May Constantini about her fascinating research and practical experience studying the south-Indian martial art tradition of kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘. We discuss Lucy's background of training in Kerala, the history of kaḷari, the role of the gurukkaḷ ("lineage-holder"), the tradition's Śākta Tantra context in Kerala, medieval ankam battles, the gendered dynamics of male and female practitioners, training with weapons, parallels with yogāsana and the renaissance of modern postural yoga, and much more.  We conclude by previewing Lucy's upcoming online course, YS 128 | Kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘: Embodying the Cosmic Wind.Speaker BioLucy May Constantini is a dance-artist turned scholar who first encountered the South Indian martial art kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘ in 2002 during a residential dance workshop in South India. She went on to train extensively in kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘ at CVN Kalari Sangham in Thiruvananthapuram. In 2012 she was initiated into and apprenticed in kaḷaricikilsa, kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘’s therapeutic system. She was awarded with distinction a masters in South Asia Area Studies from SOAS, University of London in 2018, and recently submitted her PhD thesis in the School of Religious Studies at the Open University in the UK. This was funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership and supported by the École française d'Extrême-Orient in Pondicherry. Lucy’s research was co-created with the lineage-holder of CVN Kalari Sangham and explores the relationship between practice and textual traditions in kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘. Her interdisciplinary research encompasses ethnography, drawing on the relationship since 2002 with CVN Kalari in Thiruvananthapuram, and the study of manuscripts in Malayalam. Her research methodology draws on her background in dance and somatic practices, where her work investigates the confluence of her praxes of postmodern dance, martial arts and yoga.Linkshttps://www.yogicstudies.com/ys-128https://open.academia.edu/LucyMayConstantini"Firm Feet and Inner Wind: Introducing Posture in the South Indian Martial Art, Kaḷarippayaṟṟ˘" (2023, Journal of Yoga Studies)
4/15/20241 hour, 16 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

44. Kate Hartmann | Pilgrimage and Buddhism

In this episode we welcome back Kate Hartmann, former director of Buddhist Studies Online, to discuss all things pilgrimage and Buddhism. We discuss how Kate first got into pilgrimage studies as a grad student at Harvard, whether pilgrimage is a universal concept across cultures, and question what separates a pilgrim from a tourist? We then turn to the early history of the Buddhist pilgrimage tradition in India, going back to accounts of the words of the Buddha himself to Ānanda and his other close disciples. We discuss some of the major Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India and other parts of Asia, what a Buddhist pilgrim sees and experiences, and question the age-old adage of whether a Buddhist pilgrimage is more about the journey or the destination. Leaning into Kate's own research, we look at the Tibetan pilgrimage tradition, and discuss various types of Tibetan literature on pilgrimage--from guides and handbooks to the diaries of pilgrims. We conclude by previewing Kate's upcoming online course, BS 110 | Buddhism and Pilgrimage.Speaker BioDr. Kate Hartmann is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming. Hartmann’s primary research focus is on the intellectual history of pilgrimage in Tibet, but she also researches Buddhist ethics, as well as Buddhist approaches to addiction and recovery. Her book Making the Invisible Real: Practices of Seeing in Tibetan Pilgrimage Literature is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She received her PhD in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University in 2020, an MA in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago in 2013, and a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia in 2011. As part of her training, Hartmann has spent extended periods of time living in Asia. She has spent summers backpacking across India, living with Tibetan Buddhist nuns in Ladakh, in Dharamsala working in the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, studying at the Dunhuang caves in China, traveling to Lhasa, and conducting research around Boudha in Nepal. She speaks modern colloquial Tibetan and conducts research in Classical Tibetan and Sanskrit.As a scholar and teacher, Hartmann has long been interested in the practices religions develop to transform people's experience of the world. She aims to help students understand Buddhist traditions through deep engagement with primary sources, a process that helps illuminate central Buddhist concepts while embracing the internal diversity of Buddhist traditions. She balances an irreverent and down-to-earth style with deep respect for Buddhist texts, traditions, and practitioners. She teaches both online and in-person courses on the history and philosophy of Buddhism and other Asian religions, and has presented at lectures and conferences around the country.LinksBS 110 | Buddhism and Pilgrimagehttps://www.drkatehartmann.com 
3/19/20241 hour, 4 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

43. Christopher Jain Miller | Embodying Translational Yoga

In this episode we speak with Christopher Miller about his recent monograph, Embodying Transnational Yoga: Eating, Singing, and Breathing in Transformation (Routledge 2023) and his upcoming online course at Yogic Studies. We begin by discussing his academic background and how he first got into critical Yoga and later Jain Studies, his experiences as a practitioner of yoga in Santa Monica, California, and how he developed his dissertation project that would eventually become the book. We discuss the importance of shifting Modern Yoga Studies beyond the study of postural yoga, exploring his three book chapters which analyze the practices of eating (yogic diet), singing (kīrtan), and breathing (prāṇāyāma). We discuss the origins and history of the harmonium, how yoga intersects with food and pollution studies, and question what it means to practice prāṇāyāma in a heavily polluted Indian city. We conclude the conversation by previewing Miller's upcoming online course, YS 127 | Embodying Transnational Yoga.Speaker BioDr. Christopher Jain Miller is the co-founder, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Professor of Jain and Yoga Studies at Arihanta Institute. Miller completed his PhD in the study of Religion at the University of California, Davis. He is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Zürich’s Asien-Orient-Institut and Visiting Professor at Claremont School of Theology where he co-developed and co-runs a remotely available Masters Degree Program focusing on Engaged Jain Studies. His current research focuses on Modern Yoga and Engaged Jainism. Christopher is the author of a number of articles and book chapters concerned with Jainism and the practice of modern yoga. He is the author of Embodying Transnational Yoga: Eating, Singing, and Breathing in Transformation (Routledge 2023) as well as co-editor of the volumes Engaged Jainism: Critical and Constructive Approaches to the Study of Jain Social Engagement (SUNY Forthcoming) and Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age (Lexington 2020).LinksYS 127 | Embodying Transnational YogaArihanta Institutehttps://uzh.academia.edu/ChristopherMillerEmbodying Transnational Yoga: Eating, Singing, and Breathing in Transformation (Routledge, 2023) -- use code ESA32 before Dec 31, 2023 to receive a 20% discount.
12/14/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

42. Samuel M. Grimes | Newar Buddhism, Nepal, and Yoga

In this episode we speak with Samuel Grimes about his research and experience with the tradition of Newar Buddhism in Nepal. We discuss the unique history of Buddhism in Nepal, the decline of Buddhism in India, and what it means to be the only living "Sanskritic Buddhist" tradition in South Asia. We then discuss the meaning and role of yoga within Buddhist traditions, previewing Grimes' upcoming online course, BS 112 | Yoga in Buddhism.Speaker BioDr. Samuel M. Grimes is the Shinjo Ito Postdoctoral Fellow in Buddhist Studies, at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a scholar of South Asian Buddhism and Hinduism in the medieval and modern periods, with a specialization in the tantric traditions of Nepal, and with broader interest in historiography and ritual studies. Nepal is host to the only place in Asia with unbroken traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism existing side-by-side, and as a result the two religions there exhibit a high degree of exchange. A scholar must be expert in both to study either. Grimes works with the primary texts of these traditions directly, reading in Sanskrit, Newar, and Tibetan, frequently consulting sources that are only preserved in handwritten manuscripts.Dr. Grimes’ research into yoga primarily involves an investigation of Vajrayāna, tantric Buddhism. This research ranges from purely textual studies of premodern texts to on-the-ground ritual training in Nepal. He is especially interested in the dynamic interactions between the visualized objects and somatic activity in ritual practice. He has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork with the Newar Buddhists of Kathmandu, who practice the only living Buddhist tradition that still conducts all ritual and preserves all liturgy in Sanskrit.LinksBS 112 | Yoga in Buddhismhttps://virginia.academia.edu/SamuelGrimes "Amṛtasiddhi A Posteriori: An Exploratory Study on the Possible Impact of the Amṛtasiddhi on the Subsequent Sanskritic Vajrayāna Tradition" (2020). 
11/8/202346 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

YSP 41 Keith Edward Cantú | The History of Theosophy and Yoga

In this episode we welcome back Keith Cantú for a wide ranging conversation on the history of the Theosophical Society and in particular its unique relationship with the modern history of yoga. We discuss the influence of figures like Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott, as well as lesser-known South Asian Theosophists and Theosophy-adjacent authors and scholars. We discuss the impact of Theosophical publications on the global dissemination of yoga in English-print books and journals, a legacy still felt today in modern yoga circles. We conclude the conversation by previewing Keith's upcoming online course, YS 126 | Theosophy and Yoga.Speaker BioDr. Keith Edward Cantú is a historian of religions whose interdisciplinary research especially focuses on South Asian yoga, tantra, and the interface between Sanskrit and Indic vernacular languages like Bengali, Tamil, and Hindi, and on modern occult movements in Europe and North America such as Thelema and the Theosophical Society. He is currently both Research Affiliate at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, where he will begin a full-time postdoctoral fellowship in Asian Religious Traditions next June as part of the Transcendence and Transformation Initiative, and Visiting Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at St. Lawrence University. He previously was a research fellow at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg in the “Center for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Esoteric Practices and Alternative Rationalities from a Global Perspective” and Assistant Professor (postdoc) at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland in the project “Cultures of Patronage: India 1674–1890,” and received his doctoral degree in Religious Studies (South Asian religions) in 2021 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Keith’s first monograph, Like a Tree Universally Spread: Sri Sabhapati Swami and Śivarājayoga, has been published this year by Oxford University Press (Oxford Studies in Western Esotericism series), and he is actively engaged in reprinting and translating several previously unknown or largely forgotten Tamil and Hindi works of Sri Sabhapati Swami and of his gurus. In addition to work on the swami, he is the author of numerous chapters and articles as varied as an ethnography of Tantric songs and sādhana or “practice” in Bengali, Indological research on south Indian mantra and yoga practices at tumuli and temples and on the Sanskrit alchemical mythology of Srisailam, modern yoga and discourses of Orientalism and cultural authenticity, haṭhayoga as “black magic” in Theosophy, and Islamic esotericism in the songs of the Bāuls and Fakirs of Bengal. A scholar-musician, Keith regularly sings and performs the Bāul songs of the nineteenth-century Bengali humanist poet Lalon Fakir (Lālan Phakir, d. 1890) as well as Śyāmāsaṅgīt or “music for the dark Goddess,” which he learned directly from sadhus and sadhikas during immersive stays in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India over the past twelve years, and regularly co-teaches a course on Tantric meditation and its connection with this music at the Esalen Institute near Big Sur, California. English versions of many of Lalon’s songs as translated by the late Carol Salomon can be found in City of Mirrors: Songs of Lālan Sā̃i, published in 2017 with Oxford's South Asia Research series, which Keith co-edited together with Dr. Saymon Zakaria.LinksYS 126 | Theosophy and Yogahttps://ucsb.academia.edu/KeithCantu YSP Ep 28 | Esotericism, Bauls, and Sabhapati Swami
10/4/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

40. Caley Smith | The World of Vedic Sanskrit

In this episode we speak with Caley Smith about the ancient and fascinating world of Vedic Sanskrit. We discuss some theories and debates about the origins of Sanskrit, its relationship with other Indo-European languages, the nature and scope of the Vedas, Vedic notions of authorship, comparisons between Classical Sanskrit and Vedic, the importance of orality, and much more.  We conclude the conversation with a  preview of Smith's upcoming online course, SKT 303 | Vedic Sanskrit. Speaker BioDr. Caley Smith is a scholar of early South Asian religious history and political imagination. His work focuses primarily on the conceptual continuities and disruptions between the Vedas and emergent ascetic and householder traditions. He is taking a new position this August as the S&R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professor in Jain Studies at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. His current book project, The Invisible Mask, explores the ritual impersonation of the god Indra its influence on the impersonation-recitation traditions of early Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.LinksSKT 303 | Vedic Sanskrithttps://harvard.academia.edu/CaleyCharlesSmith 
6/28/20231 hour, 15 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

39. Lubomír Ondračka | Yogic and Tantric Bodies

In this episode we speak with Lubomír Ondračka about his research on conceptions of the body within yogic and tantric traditions. We first discuss his background in chemical engineering and studying Indology in the Czech Republic, and how his interest in alchemy led him to India and the study of the Nāth yogis. We discuss the various scholarly categories of the 'yogic body', 'tantric body', and the so-called 'subtle body' and weigh in on their usefulness, as well as their components such as the cakras, ādhāras, granthis, kuṇḍalaṇī, and more. We conclude the conversation with a  preview of Ondračka's upcoming online course, YS 124 | The Yogic Body. Speaker BioDr. Lubomír Ondračka is a publisher, independent researcher and external lecturer at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Charles University in Prague. He studied mathematical modeling, nuclear physics, religious studies and Indology. Although basically trained as a philologist (using material in Sanskrit and both medieval and modern Bengali and Hindi), his research is enriched by an anthropological perspective based on his long stays in India (a total of seven years between 1996–2019). His research interests include the history of yoga (especially haṭhayoga), tantrism, death and dying rituals in Indian religions, and the culture and religion of Bengal.His recent publications related to yoga include an encyclopedic survey of haṭhayoga, an analysis of a Middle Bengali text on tantric yoga entitled “The Garland of Bones”, a comprehensive annotated bibliography of haṭhayoga for the Oxford Bibliographies project, and a forthcoming overview of medieval yoga literature written for the Oxford Handbook of Hindu Literature. Also relevant to this course is his study “Transformation of the Body through the Mastery of the Elements in Tantric Sources”, soon to appear online first in the Oxford Handbook of Tantric Studies. LinksYS 124 | The Yogic Bodyhttps://cuni.academia.edu/LubomirOndracka
6/7/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

38. Carl Ernst | The History of Sufism and Yoga

In this episode we speak with Carl Ernst about his career of scholarship on Sufism—which he describes as the tradition of ethics and spirituality associated with Islam. In particular we discuss the unique history of Sufism's engagement with Hindu forms of yoga in northern India, which has been the subject of numerous important publications by Ernst.  We discuss the nature of Sufism, the fluid boundaries of religious identity, and the fascinating history of translation and adaptation of yoga within the Sufi orders, including the unique transmission of the "Ocean of Life" (Baḥr al-ḥayāt), compiled by Muḥammad Ghawth in 1550. We conclude with a  preview of Ernst's upcoming online course, YS 123 | Sufism and Yoga. Speaker BioDr. Carl W. Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an academic specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. Ernst has received research fellowships from the Fulbright program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and he has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research, based on the study of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been mainly devoted to the study of three areas: general and critical issues of Islamic studies, premodern and contemporary Sufism, and Indo-Muslim culture. He studied comparative religion at Stanford University (A.B. 1973) and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1981). He has done extended research tours in India (1978-79, 1981), Pakistan (1986, 2000, 2005), and Turkey (1991), and has been a regular visitor to the Gulf, Turkey, Iran, and Southeast Asia for lectures and conferences. His next publications, coming out in August 2023, are I Cannot Write My Life: Islam, Arabic, and Slavery in Omar ibn Said’s America, co-authored with Mbaye Lo (UNC Press, 2023), and Breathtaking Revelations: The Science of Breath, from the Fifty Kamarupa Verses to Hazrat Inayat Khan, co-authored with Patrick d’Silva (Suluk Press, 2023).LinksYS 123 | Sufism and Yogahttps://carlwernst.web.unc.edu/
3/25/20231 hour, 23 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

37. James Mallinson | Dattātreya's Discourse on Yoga

In this episode we welcome back Jim Mallinson for another update on his pioneering research into the earliest Sanskrit texts of Haṭha Yoga. We discuss the Light on Hatha Yoga Project (2021–2024) which will produce a critical edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā. We then dive into the Dattātreyayogaśāstra, the "Dattātreya's Discourse on Yoga," perhaps the first text to teach Haṭhayoga within an Aṣṭāṅga framework. We discuss its authorship, dating, Vaiṣṇava milieu, yogic teachings, intended audience, and more—giving a rich preview for Jim's upcoming online course, YS 210 | The Dattātreyayogaśāstra.  Speaker BioDr. James Mallinson is Reader in Indology and Yoga Studies at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on the history and current traditional practice of yoga and his primary methods are philology, ethnography and art history. Dr. Mallinson led the Haṭha Yoga Project (2015–2021), a six-person research project on the history of physical yoga funded by the European Research Council. The project’s core outputs will be ten critical editions of Sanskrit texts on physical yoga and four monographs on its history and current practice. Together with Professor Jürgen Hanneder (University of Marburg), Dr. Mallinson is now leading the Light on Hatha Yoga Project (2021–2024) which will produce a critical edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā.Among Dr. Mallinson’s publications are The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha, a Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text on Haṭhayoga (Routledge, 2007), a revision of his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Professor Alexis Sanderson at the University of Oxford, where Dr. Mallinson also read Sanskrit as an undergraduate, Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics, 2017, co-authored with Mark Singleton) and The Amṛtasiddhi and Amṛtasiddhimūla: The Earliest Texts of the Haṭhayoga Tradition (École française d’Extreme-orient, Pondicherry, 2021). Dr. Mallinson has spent more than ten years living in India with traditional ascetics and practitioners of yoga, and at the 2013 Kumbh Mela was awarded the title of Mahant by the Rāmānandī Saṃpradāya.LinksYS 210 | The Dattātreyayogaśāstrahttps://soas.academia.edu/JamesMallinson
12/11/202250 minutes, 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

36. Philip Deslippe | Early American Yoga and the "Swami Circuit"

In this episode, we speak with return guest Philip Deslippe about his research on the history of Early American Yoga. Philip shares with us his archive of knowledge and stories from the "Swami Circuit"—the network of forgotten South Asian yoga teachers who travelled and taught various forms of yoga throughout the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. We discuss the nature of yoga and yoga teachers during this time, the demographics and geography of yoga, issues of authenticity and professionalization, how racism and and immigration policies impacted yoga, and why yoga was commonly taught at hotels during this period. We conclude with a preview of his upcoming revised online course, YS 102 | Modern Yoga in the West.  Speaker BioPhilip Deslippe is a historian of American religion with a background in American Studies and literature. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is writing a dissertation on the early history of yoga in the United States from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Philip has published articles on the history of modern yoga in academic journals such as the Journal of Yoga Studies, Amerasia, and Sikh Formations, and in popular venues including Yoga Journal, Air and Space Smithsonian, and the Indian news site Scroll.LinksYS 102 | Modern Yoga in the Westhttps://ucsb.academia.edu/PhilipDeslippe"The Swami Circuit: Mapping the Terrain of Early American Yoga" (2018)
11/2/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

35. Arti Dhand | The Great Epic, Mahābhārata

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Arti Dhand about her research, teaching, and podcasting on India's great epic, the Mahābhārata. We discuss her background and training in Religious Studies, comparing the Mahābhārata with Game of Thrones, the nature of an "epic," the textual history of the Mahābhārata, its major themes and narrative, gender and the role of women, the nature and teachings of yoga, the Mahābhārata's powerful influence over Indian and South Asian culture. We conclude with a preview of her upcoming online course, YS 209 | The Mahābhārata.  Speaker BioArti Dhand is an Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at the University of Toronto. Her specializations include the great Sanskrit epics, the Rāmāyaṇa and the Mahābhārata. Her 2009 book Woman as Fire, Woman as Sage explored ideologies of sexuality in the Mahābhārata. Her current work is The Twin Epics, a comparative analysis of the architecture of thought in the Sanskrit epics. She is also the host of the The Mahabharata Podcast, in which she aims to recount the text in its entirety!Links https://www.themahabharatapodcast.comWoman as Fire, Woman as Sage :   Sexual Ideology in the Mahabharata(2009) YS 209 | The Mahābhārata
9/27/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

34. Dagmar Wujastyk | Entangled Histories of Yoga, Āyurveda and Alchemy

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Dagmar Wujastyk about her journey to Indology and the study of Sanskrit and Āyurveda, and her early travels in India studying and observing Āyurvedic physicians and centers. We discuss the research and findings from her recent ERC project Ayuryog, some of the alchemical mysteries of mercury and gold, and conclude with a preview her upcoming course, YS 122 | Ayurveda, Yoga, and Alchemy.Speaker BioDagmar Wujastyk is an Associate Professor in the department of History and Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Alberta. She is an Indologist specialized in the history and literature of classical Indian medicine (Ayurveda), iatrochemistry (Rasaśāstra), and yoga and South Asian history. Her publications include Modern and Global Ayurveda - Pluralism and Paradigms (SUNY Press) and Well-mannered medicine: Medical Ethics and Etiquette in the Sanskrit Medical Classics (OUP NY). She was the principal investigator of the ERC project Ayuryog, Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia (2015-2020).Links https://ualberta.academia.edu/DagmarWujastyk http://www.ayuryog.orgYS 122 | Ayurveda, Yoga, and Alchemy
8/3/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

33. Stuart Sarbacker | Aṣṭāṅgayoga: Eight Limbs of Yoga

In this episode, we welcome back Dr. Stuart Ray Sarbacker for a wide-ranging discussing about his upcoming course, YS 121 | 8 Limbs of Yoga: History, Theory, and Practice of Aṣṭāṅgayoga. We discuss the nature of Patañjali's "classical" model, some of its possible sources and influences, comparisons with Buddhist meditation and paths, Aṣṭāṅga beyond Patañjali including Purāṇic and other medieval sources, as well as modern innovations, adaptations, and continuities with ancient modes of practice.  Speaker BioStuart Ray Sarbacker is a scholar and seasoned practitioner of yoga and the author of three books, Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (2021), The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook of Living Yoga Philosophy (with Kevin Kimple, 2015), and Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga (2005). He has published a wide range of articles and essays on classical and contemporary yoga philosophy and practice. He is particularly interested in the ways in which historical and philosophical traditions of yoga can be placed in comparison and conversation with modern and contemporary practice.He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a specialization in the Languages and Cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has performed research and fieldwork in India, Nepal, and Japan. He is an enthusiastic and innovative teacher, incorporating contemplative practices and social and environmental justice service-learning into his courses at Oregon State, where he contributes to certificate and teacher trainings in yoga as well as to the philosophy and religion curriculum.Links https://oregonstate.academia.edu/StuartSarbacker YS 121 | 8 Limbs of Yoga: History, Theory, and Practice of Aṣṭāṅgayoga
6/30/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

32. Sravana Borkataky-Varma | Hijrās, Women, and Gender in Śākta Tantra

In this episode we welcome back to the Podcast, Sravana Borkataky-Varma. We catch up on her latest book projects, research, and teaching at Harvard Divinity School. We discuss the categories of so-called Classical Tantra vs. Neo Tantra, and some of the nuances of the scholar-practitioner. We discuss gender and transgender, particularly within the hijrā communities, and the recently formed Kinnar Akhara. We then preview the upcoming course, YS 120 | Women and Gender in Hindu Tantra—detailing its four modules: Sacred Transgender Identities, Temple Wives, Guru Mothers, and Superwomen Gurus.Speaker BioDr. Sravana Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur. As a historian, she studies Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, particularly in Hinduism (Goddess Tantra). As an educator, she is currently a lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. She is on leave from her parent organization, the University of Houston where she is the Instructional Assistant Professor. In the past she has taught at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, the University of Montana, Rice University, and Dalian Neusoft University, China.There are five forthcoming book projects that Sravana is simultaneously working on: A monograph titled Divinized Divas: Superwomen, Wives, Hijṛās in Hindu Śākta Tantra, a co-written book titled The Serpent's Tale: Kuṇḍalinī and the History of an Experience, two co-edited volumes titled Living Folk Religions and Religious Responses to the Pandemic & Crises: Isolation, Survival, and #Covidchaos, and a co-edited special issue journal Digital Tantra. Her published articles can be found on sravana.meAs a social entrepreneur, she is the co-founder of a nonprofit, Lumen Tree Portal. Sravana invests in building communities with individuals from various faith backgrounds who believe in kindness, compassion, and fulfillment. LinksYS 120 | Women and Gender in Hindu Tantra 
5/20/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 52 seconds
Episode Artwork

31. Rajiv Ranjan | On Teaching and Learning Hindi

In this episode we sit down with Rajiv Ranjan to discuss all things Hindi. We learn about Rajiv's remarkable journey from growing up in rural north-east India to MSU university professor, scholar, and author. We discuss the relationship between Hindi and Urdu, as well as Sanskrit and Hindi. We hear about the making of his textbook, Basic Hindi I, and the reasons for making it free and open-access. Rajiv shares with us some of his favorites from the vast world of Hindi literature, and we get a preview of his upcoming series of online Hindi courses at Yogic Studies, HINDI 101 | Elementary Hindi I.Speaker BioDr. Rajiv Ranjan is a professor of Hindi and Urdu language at Michigan State University. He received his PhD in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) from the University of Iowa in 2016. He has been teaching Hindi and Urdu languages in the U.S. since 2010. In addition to his classroom-teaching experience, Rajiv has also taught online at MSU and at Kean University. He taught an immersion program for the South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and he has also taught in a study abroad context for the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in India.Rajiv has published an Open Educational Resource (OER) Hindi textbook Basic Hindi I. Rajiv’s primary area of research is generative approaches to SLA. His research interests also include socio-cultural approaches to SLA, second language writing and speaking, language pedagogy, and morpho-syntax.LinksHINDI 101 | Elementary Hindi I Basic Hindi I 
5/3/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

30. Raj Balkaran | The Significance of the Devīmāhātmya

In this episode we sit down with return guest Raj Balkaran to catch up and dive deep into the world of the Devīmāhātmya. Raj shares with us about the publication of his latest book, The Stories Behind the Poses (2022) and how it grew out of the teaching of his previous YS course. We discuss the academic field of Purāṇa study, and how the Devīmāhātmya fits within this larger world of Sanskrit narrative and religious texts. We then discuss the "Greatness of the Goddess," Śākta traditions, the nature of Devī, her theology and nature, and the power of story and narrative to codify and express her divinity. We end with a preview of Raj's upcoming course, YS 208 | Devīmāhātmya: Greatness of the Goddess. Speaker BioDr. Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Indian mythology and a spiritual adept. A seasoned online educator, he is also the Founder of the online School of Indian Wisdom where he creates and delivers original online courses integrating scholarship, storytelling and spirituality to apply Indian wisdom teachings to modern life. Beyond teaching and research, Dr. Raj runs a thriving life coaching practice, delivers public talks, and hosts the Indian Religions podcast. LinksYS 208 | Devīmāhātmya: Greatness of the GoddessThe Stories Behind the Poseshttps://rajbalkaran.com
3/21/202257 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

29. Varun Khanna | The Wisdom of the Upaniṣads

In this episode we sit down with Varun Khanna to discuss his upcoming course, YS 207 | The Upaniṣads. We first learn about his background as a pre-med student stumbling into Sanskrit when he tried to study Ayurveda in India, learning Sanskrit as a spoken language, and going on to earn his PhD at Cambridge University. We discuss the mysterious nature of the Upaniṣads, their relation to the earlier Vedic tradition and to later Indian philosophy, the schools of Vedānta, the meaning of key terms like Ātman and Brahman, and what studying the Upaniṣads offers us today in 2022.  Speaker BioDr. Varun Khanna earned both his master’s degree in Sanskrit and his PhD in Hinduism (studying consciousness in the Upaniṣads) at the University of Cambridge. He has been teaching spoken Sanskrit, Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar, and topics in Indian philosophy since 2008, and is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics teaching Sanskrit at Swarthmore College.Varun’s research interests lie in the intersection of Sanskrit grammar, Vedānta philosophy, and social justice. His latest work centers on the perspectives that ancient Sanskrit literature offers for thinking about equality, freedom, and justice. He is also working on a new Sanskrit primer that incorporates Pāṇinian grammar in order to help students learn the exact boundaries of the rules of Sanskrit.LinksYS 207 | The Upaniṣads
1/25/20221 hour, 32 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

28. Keith Edward Cantú | Esotericism, Bauls, and Sabhapati Swami

In this episode we sit down with Keith Cantú for a wide ranging conversation on the language and categories of esotericism, the occult, and yoga. We learn about Keith's background, travels, and language training as well as unique experience learning from the Bauls of Bengal.  Listeners/viewers are treated to a live rendition of a Baul song. Keith shares with us his fascinating dissertation research on Sri Sabhapati Swami, lesser-known Tamil yogi who had a substantial impact on nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asian and Western occult movements. We close out by previewing Keith's upcoming online course, YS 119 | Yoga and Esotericism.Speaker BioDr. Keith Edward Cantú is an Assistant Professor (postdoctoral research associate) at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, where his current research focuses on the political patronage of yogic “meditation halls” (maṭālayams) and “tumuli” (jīva-camātis) in Tamil Nadu. He recently completed his doctoral dissertation at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the focus of which was the Tamil, pan-Indian, and international reception of the early modern yogi Sabhapati Swami’s system of Śivarājayoga. In addition to his dissertation, which is soon set to be published with an academic press, Keith was the co-editor with Saymon Zakaria of City of Mirrors: Songs of Lālan Sā̃i (Oxford University Press, South Asia Research series, 2017), a volume of nineteenth-century Bengali Bāul Fakiri songs translated by Carol Salomon. He also has published several articles and chapters relating to topics as varied as yoga and cultural authenticity, theosophical orientalism and yoga, the ethnography of Tantra, and Islamic esotericism, and has translated a Sanskrit chapter of the Rasāyanakhaṇḍa on the alchemical wonders of Śrīśailam (forthcoming via the Ayuryog project). When not researching he is also working with the Bengali community at a non-profit clinic as a health education and outreach specialist.LinksYS 119 | Yoga and Esotericism https://ucsb.academia.edu/KeithCantu "Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels": Western Esotericism, Yoga, and the Discourse of Authenticity"
12/13/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

27. James Mallinson | The Source Texts of Haṭha Yoga

In this episode we welcome back Jim Mallinson for an update on his pioneering research into the earliest Sanskrit texts of Haṭha Yoga. We review some of the major findings from the 5-year ERC Haṭha Yoga Project and learn about his latest project, the Light on Hatha Yoga Project (2021–2024) which will produce a critical edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā. We discuss the latest methods in digital Sanskrit philology and the challenges of working with large amounts of manuscript data. We then dive into the Amṛtasiddhi, the "Attainment of Immortality," to learn about this fascinating and important tantric source text for the Haṭha Yoga Traditions, giving a rich preview for Jim's upcoming online course, YS 206 | The Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭha Yoga's Source Text. Speaker BioDr. James Mallinson is Reader in Indology and Yoga Studies at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on the history and current traditional practice of yoga and his primary methods are philology, ethnography and art history. Dr. Mallinson led the Haṭha Yoga Project (2015–2021), a six-person research project on the history of physical yoga funded by the European Research Council. The project’s core outputs will be ten critical editions of Sanskrit texts on physical yoga and four monographs on its history and current practice. Together with Professor Jürgen Hanneder (University of Marburg), Dr. Mallinson is now leading the Light on Hatha Yoga Project (2021–2024) which will produce a critical edition of the Haṭhapradīpikā.Among Dr. Mallinson’s publications are The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha, a Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text on Haṭhayoga (Routledge, 2007), a revision of his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Professor Alexis Sanderson at the University of Oxford, where Dr. Mallinson also read Sanskrit as an undergraduate, Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics, 2017, co-authored with Mark Singleton) and The Amṛtasiddhi and Amṛtasiddhimūla: The Earliest Texts of the Haṭhayoga Tradition (École française d’Extreme-orient, Pondicherry, 2021). Dr. Mallinson has spent more than ten years living in India with traditional ascetics and practitioners of yoga, and at the 2013 Kumbh Mela was awarded the title of Mahant by the Rāmānandī Saṃpradāya.LinksYS 206 | The Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭha Yoga's Source Texthttps://soas.academia.edu/JamesMallinsonThe Amṛtasiddhi: Haṭhayoga’s Tantric Buddhist Source TextHaṭhayoga's Early History: From Vajrayāna Sexual Restraint to Universal Somatic Soteriology
10/14/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

26. Adrián Muñoz | The Study of Yoga in Latin America

In this episode we speak with Adrián Muñoz about his academic path and research at El Colegio de México where he is currently heading an exciting new project on the history of yoga in Latin America. Adrián tells Seth about his early years and training in grad school in Mexico, discovering the Nāth yogis, travels and field work in India, as well as his love for poetry and the vernacular. We also discuss the Euro-American and Anglophone primacy of academia and the need for (as well as challenges of) non-English research and publications. We then discuss the history of yoga in Latin America, with particular attention to Mexico as we preview Adrián's upcoming course, YS 118 | Yoga in Latin America.  Speaker BioDr. Adrián Muñoz is an Associate Professor at the Center for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de México, where he earned his PhD in South Asian Studies in 2007. He has specialized in South Asian religious traditions, with an emphasis in early modern expressions, but is also interested in the intricate relationships between religion, mythography, and literature across time and languages.  Adrián’s research has usually focused on the history and literature of yoga, often dealing with issues of hagiography, variability, and identity. In recent years, he has been developing a research project on the reception and practice of yoga in Mexico, and coordinates a wider research group devoted to tracing the history of yoga in Latin America.  He has authored various articles and book chapters these issues. His books include Historia minima del yoga (2019, co-authored with Gabriel Martino), Radiografía del hathayoga (2016), and Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Naths (2011, coedited with David N. Lorenzen). He also writes poetry.LinksYS 118 | Yoga in Latin Americahttps://colmex.academia.edu/AdriánMuñoz  
9/14/20211 hour, 56 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

25. Edwin Bryant | Bhakti Yoga and the Bhāgavatapurāṇa

In this episode we speak with Edwin Bryant about his upcoming course,  YS 205 | Bhakti Yoga: The Bhāgavatapurāṇa and his latest book Bhakti Yoga: Tales and Teachings from the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017). Dr. Bryant regales Seth with stories of hitchhiking through India in his youth while studying Sanskrit and Hindi, and meeting his guru in the holy city of Vrindavan. He also talks about his translation of the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, his dissertation exploring the Indo-Aryan migration theory, and his upcoming work In Defense of a God with Form.Speaker BioEdwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published eight books, and authored a number of articles on the earliest origins of Vedic culture, yoga philosophy, and the Kṛṣṇa tradition. These include Bryant’s translation of and commentary on The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009), and more recently its sequel entitled Bhakti Yoga: Tales and Teachings from the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017).LinksYS 205 | Bhakti Yoga: The Bhāgavatapurāṇahttps://rutgers.academia.edu/EdwinBryanthttps://www.edwinbryant.com 
6/12/20211 hour, 32 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

24. Jvala Singh | The History of Sikhi and Yoga

In this episode we sit down with Sikh scholar and historian Jvala Singh to discuss the history of yoga within Sikhi, the topic of his upcoming Yogic Studies course YS 116 | Sikhism and Yoga. Jvala tells Seth how he met his teacher, his work translating tales of the ten Gurus from the 19th century Sūraj Prakāś, the joys of podcasting, and the publication of Jvala's recent book 54 Punjabi Proverbs (2019, Tattva). They also discuss the legacy of Yogi Bhajan within the Sikh community.Speaker BioJvala Singh is a lecturer for UC Berkeley at the Institute for South Asia Studies. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of British Columbia, where he is examining pre-colonial Sikh historical narratives. His research explores literature in Punjabi and Brajbhāṣā from the 18th and 19th centuries, building off his previous M.A. research completed at the University of Toronto, where he focused on Sikh Brajbhāṣā versions of Sanskrit epics, such as the Rāmāyaṇa. In furthering the accessibility of pre-colonial Sikh Brajbhāṣā texts, Singh runs the Suraj Podcast, where each episode is a chapter summary in English of the voluminous Sūraj Prakāś (1843 CE)—a historical narrative covering the lives of the ten Sikh Gurus written by Santokh Singh (1787-1844).LinksYS 116 | Sikhism and Yogamanglacharan.com54 Punjabi Proverbs (2019, Tattva)
5/10/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

23. Patton Burchett | Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India

In this episode we talk with Patton Burchett about his latest book A Genealogy of Devotion: Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India (2019, Columbia University Press) and his upcoming course, YS 115 | A History of Yoga and Devotion. Patton tells Seth about the teachers who inspired his studies, and how academics confuse the social and interactive nature of Indian devotional practices with a more solitary Judeo-Christian concept of devotion. They also dive into the competing influences of Persian and Sanskritic culture in North India that shaped the growing Bhakti movements of the time, the communalist politics of modern religious identities in North India, and the relations between bhaktas like Kabīr and yogīs like Gorkhnāth. Speaker BioPatton Burchett is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He earned his PhD in South Asian Religions from Columbia University in 2012 and then spent three years as an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in Religious Studies at New York University (NYU).  Patton's research focuses on early modern devotional (bhakti) traditions and tantric and yogic religiosity in North India and on the interrelations of magic, science, and religion in the rise of Indian and Western modernities.  He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on bhakti literature and Mughal-era Indian religious history (among other topics), and his first book, A Genealogy of Devotion: Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga, and Sufism in North India (Columbia University Press) was published in 2019.  Linkshttps://wm.academia.edu/PattonBurchett YS 115 | A History of Yoga and Devotion
4/18/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

22. Kate Hartmann | Buddhism, Pilgrimage, and BSO

In this episode we sit down with Kate to celebrate the launch of Buddhist Studies Online. We learn about her story, her background in academia and Buddhism, travels in Asia, how she first met Seth as grad students at Harvard, building course websites for Harvard professors. We discuss her research on pilgrimage and the importance of place and perception within Tibetan Buddhism. Kate gives us a sneak peak at her upcoming online course, BSO 101 | Intro to Buddhism: History, Philosophy, and Practice. We discuss historical Buddha, the 4 Noble truths, common misperceptions about Buddhism, and much more. Speaker BioKate Hartmann is a scholar of Buddhism and professor of Buddhist studies. She received her PhD in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University in 2021. Her research explores the theory and practice of Tibetan pilgrimage to holy mountains, and focuses on the goal of transforming perception. She also holds an MA in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. She is currently Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wyoming, and is the new Director of Buddhist Studies Online. As part of her training, Kate has spent extended periods of time living in Asia. She has spent summers backpacking across India, living with Tibetan Buddhist nuns in Ladakh, in Dharamsala working in the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, studying at the Dunhuang caves in China, traveling to Lhasa, and conducting research around Boudha in Nepal. She speaks modern colloquial Tibetan and conducts research in Classical Tibetan and Sanskrit. Linkshttps://www.buddhiststudiesonline.com BSO 101 | Intro to Buddhism: History, Philosophy, and Practice
4/9/20211 hour, 46 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

21. Philipp Maas | What is Sāṅkhya Philosophy?

In this episode we speak with return guest Dr. Philipp Maas about the ancient school of Sāṅkhya—which he describes as India's philosophy par excellence for its wide and enduring influence on Indian culture. Giving us a taste of his upcoming course: YS 204 | The Sāṅkhyakārikā: Stanzas on All-Embracing Insight,  Maas discusses Sāṅkhya‘s relationship with the Yoga of Patañjali, and dives into the Kārikā—the oldest surviving text of the tradition. We discuss what little we know about the work's author Īśvarakṛṣṇa, its roots in the lost treatise, the ancient Śaṣṭitantra, and much more. Speaker BioPhilipp Maas is currently a research associate at the Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies, University of Leipzig in Germany, where he works on a digital critical edition of the Nyāyabhāṣya, a Sanskrit work on spiritual liberation through proper reasoning. Previously he had served as an assistant professor and postdoc researcher at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Bonn Germany.He received his M.A. (1997) and Dr. phil. (2004) degrees from the University of Bonn, where he had completed studies in Indology, Comparative Religious Studies, Tibetology and Philosophy. His first book (originally his PhD thesis) is the first critical edition of the first chapter (Samādhipāda) of the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra, i.e. the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali together with the commentary called Yoga Bhāṣya. He has published extensively on classical Yoga and Sāṅkhya philosophy and meditation, Āyurveda, the relationship of Pātañjalayoga to Buddhism as well as on the textual tradition of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. He is a member of the “Historical Sourcebooks on Classical Indian Thought” project, convened by Prof. Sheldon Pollock, to which he contributes with a monograph on the development of Yoga-related ideas in pre-modern South Asian intellectual history.  LinksYS 204 | The Sāṅkhyakārikā: Stanzas on All-Embracing Insighthttps://uni-leipzig.academia.edu/PhilippMaas
2/26/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

20. Suzanne Newcombe + Karen O'Brien-Kop | Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies

In today's episode we talk with Dr. Suzanne Newcombe and Dr. Karen O'Brien-Kop about their recent collaboration co-editing The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (2021), and the labor of love that went into creating this interdisciplinary collaboration. We also discuss the history of yoga studies, the difference between academic "field" and "discipline," how academic work can overlap with the daily spiritual practice of the scholar, and what makes Modern Yoga Studies a unique field.Speaker BiosSuzanne Newcombe is a senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University, UK, and honorary director of Inform, based in Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College, London. She has published on topics relating to the popularisation of yoga and ayurveda including the monograph Yoga in Britain: Stretching Spirituality and Educating Yogis (2019). She researched the transformation of yoga and ayurveda in modern India as part of the ERC-funded AYURYOG project from 2015-2020.  Karen O’Brien-Kop is a lecturer in Asian Religions and Ethics at the University of Roehampton, UK, and was formerly a senior teaching fellow at SOAS University of London. She received her PhD from SOAS, titled Seed and Cloud of Liberation in Buddhist and Pātañjala Yoga: An Intertextual Study and continues to research classical Sanskrit texts on yoga and meditation. She has published articles in Religions of South Asia and the Journal of Indian Philosophy and is currently working on a monograph on classical yoga and Buddhism.  LinksListeners can receive 20% off the book with the promo code: FLR40 (Should apply to both hardcover and e-book versions).https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Yoga-and-Meditation-Studies/Newcombe-OBrien-Kop/p/book/9781138484863Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (2021)https://open.academia.edu/SuzanneNewcombe https://roehampton-online.academia.edu/KarenOBrienKopYS 109 | Classical Yoga and Buddhism 
2/20/20211 hour, 34 minutes, 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

19. Theodora Wildcroft | Post-Lineage Yoga: From Guru to #MeToo

In this episode Dr. Theodora Wildcroft discusses her new book, Post-Lineage Yoga: From Guru to #MeToo (2020). We explore the historical shifts that have been reshaping yoga in the west: from the ways schools of yoga have been forced to pivot after the deaths or public denouncements of their charismatic founder-gurus, to the need of modern practitioners to seek out eclectic sources in their education beyond a single voice of authority, and how both recent historical research and social movements have undermined old systems of power in the yoga world, leaving us to wonder if we are indeed in a "post-lineage" era of yoga?Speaker BioTheodora Wildcroft is a teacher, trainer, writer and scholar, and the author of the new book Post-Lineage Yoga: From Guru to #MeToo (Equinox 2020). Her research considers the democratization of yoga post-lineage, and the many different ways yoga communities are responding to concerns about safety in practice. She is at the forefront of the movement for trauma sensitivity, diversity and inclusion.In 2019, she completed her PhD with the Open University in Religious Studies, with the thesis title: Patterns of authority and practice relationships in ‘post-lineage yoga.’ An accomplished writer with two decades of experience in group facilitation, she not only delivers compelling lectures and inspiring writing, but holds careful and thoughtful spaces for groups and individuals to deepen their knowledge, share experiences and acquire new skills. Links http://postlineage.yogahttps://www.wildyoga.co.uk
2/9/20211 hour, 58 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

18. Jacqueline Hargreaves | The Luminescent and Embodied Philology

In this episode, we talk with scholar-practitioner Jacqueline Hargreaves about her work with the Hatha Yoga Project, her unlikely background as an engineer that first brought her to India, and her life as a nomadic yoga researcher with her partner Jason Birch. Jacqueline shares some wonderful stories about her work including a rare audience with Mysore's Royal Family and the discovery of a lost manuscript thousands of miles from India in a very unlikely place. We also discuss her upcoming online course, YS 114 | Rāja Yoga: History, Theory, and Practice which will be co-taught with Jason Birch. Speaker BioJacqueline Hargreaves is an Engineer, senior Yoga Teacher, and independent researcher who examines the contemporary meeting place between historical Yoga practices and their application in the modern world. She is a founding member of the Journal of Yoga Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal, and the co-founder of The Luminescent, an independent open-access educational platform for publishing cutting-edge, original research from primary sources. She has travelled throughout India for fieldwork into the origins of Haṭhayoga and studied meditation extensively, including mindfulness-based meditation and intensive Zen practice in a remote part of Japan.Hargreaves collaborates with scholars, artists, and scientists to communicate research on both premodern and modern facets of Yoga. Most recently, she curated the exhibition Embodied Liberation I and II at the Brunei Gallery in London for the Hatha Yoga Project (SOAS University of London). In collaboration with the AyurYog Project (University of Vienna), Jacqueline curated the Untangling Traditions series and designed a web-based visual and interactive timeline for premodern yoga and Āyurveda. Hargreaves is currently producing a documentary film, which aims to bring to life the unique content of the postural practice preserved in an eighteenth-century Sanskrit yoga text, Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, through a visual reconstruction of its extraordinary section on āsana. LinksThe Luminescent (www.theluminescent.org)Journal of Yoga Studies (www.journalofyogastudies.org) Embodied Liberation - The Textual, Ethnographic and Historical Research of the Hatha Yoga Project (www.soas.ac.uk/gallery/embodied-liberation/) AyurYog Timeline (ayuryog.org/timeline) Hatha Yoga Project (hyp.soas.ac.uk)Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati: A Precursor of Modern Yoga (hathabhyasapaddhati.org)  
1/24/20211 hour, 42 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

17. Stuart Sarbacker | Tracing the Path of Yoga

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Stuart Ray Sarbacker about his newest book Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (2021, SUNY Press). We explore the origins of yoga, what Stuart calls the numinous and cessative dimensions of yoga, early tantric sources for Haṭhayoga, as well as unique yoga teachings from the Purāṇas. We discuss the importance of mantra and sacred sound, varying interpretations of Aṣṭāṅgayoga, and the under-appreciated influences of Buddhism and Jainism throughout yoga's history.Speaker BioStuart Ray Sarbacker is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University. His work is centered on the relationships between the religious and philosophical traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, especially with respect to the practices of yoga and tantra, including both bodily disciplines and contemplative practices. He also works on issues related to method and theory in the study of religion, with a particular focus on religious experience and its interpretation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has performed institutional study and fieldwork in India, Nepal, and Japan.He has written three books, including Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga (SUNY Press), The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook for Living Yoga Philosophy (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), and the forthcoming Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (SUNY Press).He is a co-founder and former co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Yoga in Theory and Practice unit, and has also served as the co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Mysticism section. In addition to his academic credentials, Professor Sarbacker is an active yoga practitioner and teacher, having trained extensively in contemporary yoga and meditation traditions in India and the United States.Links https://oregonstate.academia.edu/StuartSarbacker Tracing the Path of Yoga (Sarbacker 2021)
1/3/20211 hour, 40 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

16. Daniel Simpson | The Truth of Yoga

In this episode we talk with Daniel Simpson about his upcoming book, The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices (2021, North Point Press). We discuss his writing process, his background as a foreign correspondent, making the historical texts and philosophies of yoga accessible to modern practitioners, perceptions on yoga in China, and the idea of authenticity in modern yoga practice.Speaker BioDaniel Simpson teaches courses on yoga history and philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and on teacher trainings at Triyoga in London. He earned a Master's degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS, University of London, where he had the good fortune to study with some of the leading researchers in the field. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent – initially for Reuters, then the New York Times – after studying at Cambridge as an undergraduate. His interest in yoga developed in parallel, including frequent trips to India since the 1990s. Daniel's new book, The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices, will be published on January 5, 2021, by North Point Press. Linkshttp://www.truthofyoga.com http://www.danielsimpson.infohttp://www.danielsimpson.info/archive/china-yoga-superpower-iyengar
12/25/20201 hour, 26 minutes, 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

15. Mark Singleton | Yoga Body, 10 Years Later

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Mark Singleton about his journey and career in yoga and academia, his dissertation turned book Yoga Body and its reception 10 years after publication,  the "birth" of modern yoga in the 19th and 20th centuries, the contested history of yoga postures (āsana), as well as his current work on the fascinating relationship between yoga and technology. We also discuss his upcoming online course, YS 113 | Yoga's Past, Present, and Future. Speaker BioMark Singleton’s research interests lie in the intersection of tradition and modernity in yoga. He was research assistant to Dr. Elizabeth De Michelis at Cambridge University’s Dharam Hinduja Institute of Indic Research in 2002-3, and went on to complete a Ph.D at Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity on the modern history of yoga. He taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses at St. John’s College (Santa Fe, New Mexico) between 2006 and 2013.His books include Yoga in the Modern World (Routledge 2008, ed. with Jean Byrne); Yoga Body, The Origins of Modern Posture Practice (Oxford University Press 2010); Gurus of Modern Yoga (Oxford University Press 2014, ed. with Ellen Goldberg); and Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics, 2017, with James Mallinson). He has also written numerous articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries on yoga.His work on the now-concluding 5-year Haṭha Yoga Project focuses primarily on the history of physical practices that were incorporated into or associated with yoga in pre-colonial India. He is involved in the critical editing of three of the project’s core texts (the Yogacintāmaṇi, Haṭhasaṃketacandrikā and Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati). He is currently writing a new monograph on the subject of Yoga and Technology.Linkshttps://soas.academia.edu/MarkSingletonYoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice (2010, OUP)The Yoga of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati: Haṭhayoga on the Cusp of Modernity (2019, Journal of Yoga Studies)Haṭha Yoga Project
12/11/20201 hour, 21 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

14. Amanda Lucia | White Utopias, Yoga, and Transformational Festivals

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Amanda Lucia about her new book, White Utopias: The Religious Exoticism of Transformational Festivals (2020, UC Press). We discuss transformational festivals in California, the nature of religious exoticism, white possessivism, and cultural appropriation in North American yoga and bhakti communities.Speaker BioAmanda Lucia is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Riverside. Her research engages the global exportation, appropriation, and circulation of Hinduism. She is author of White Utopias: The Religious Exoticism of Transformational Festivals (October 2020), which investigates the intersections of whiteness and religious exoticism among the “spiritual, but not religious” at transformational festivals, such as Bhakti Fest, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle, and Burning Man, with a particular focus on yoga practice. Her previous publications include Reflections of Amma: Devotees in a Global Embrace (2014) and numerous articles. She is currently crafting a body of research on sexual abuse in guru-led religious communities.Linkshttps://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520376953/white-utopiashttps://www.amandajeanlucia.comhttps://ucriverside.academia.edu/AmandaLucia
11/28/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

13. Raj Balkaran | Purāṇas and Hindu Mythology

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Raj Balkaran about his early days of spiritual seeking in Toronto, discovering religious studies, the power of myth and narrative in Hindu traditions, his work on the Purāṇas, the Devī Māhātmya and Sūrya Māhātmya of the Mārkeṇḍeya Purāṇa, as well as a preview of his upcoming online course, YS 112 | Yoga and Hindu Mythology. Speaker BioRaj Balkaran is a scholar of Hindu mythology and author of The Goddess and the King in Indian Myth (2018) and The Goddess and the Sun in Indian Myth (2020), both published as part of Routledge’s Hindu Studies Series. He holds advanced degrees in Hinduism from the University of Toronto and University of Calgary.Alongside his academic training, Dr. Balkaran apprenticed with an Indian master for twelve years as part of a living oral tradition dedicated to the preservation and application of Hindu philosophy. He therefore brings hundreds of hours of traditional transmissions of yoga philosophy to the table, which he dovetails with academic rigor and captivating storytelling.A seasoned online educator, Dr. Balkaran also teaches online courses privately and at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Beyond teaching and research, he enjoys a thriving life consulting practice and hosts the New Books in Hindu Studies Podcast.Linkshttps://rajbalkaran.com/https://ochs.academia.edu/RajBalkaranYS 112 | Yoga and Hindu Mythology
10/20/20201 hour, 27 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

12. Ruth Westoby | Women and Gender in Yoga

In this episode, we speak with Ruth Westoby (PhD Candidate, SOAS) about her background in Ashtanga, her doctoral research on women and gender in the history of yoga, female practitioners of Haṭha yoga and asceticism, frameworks for understanding the yogic body, rajas and bindu, as well as a preview of her upcoming online course, YS 111 | Women and Yoga: A History of Female Practitioners.Speaker BioRuth Westoby is a doctoral candidate at SOAS, University of London, researching for a doctoral thesis on the yogic body in premodern Sanskrit texts on haṭhayoga, under the supervision of Dr. James Mallinson. As well as offering workshops and lectures at studios and conferences, Ruth teaches on some of the principal teacher training programmes in the UK and beyond. She facilitates Yogacampus’ online History of Yoga course and serves on the steering committee for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies.Ruth is also a longtime Ashtanga practitioner. She began to explore yoga practices in 1996 and started teaching postural yoga in 2004. In 2010 she received an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS with Distinction. In 2016-17 Ruth collaborated with the Haṭha Yoga Project’s ‘embodied philology’, interpreting postures from the 18th-century Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, an important textual precursor of modern yoga. The film has been showed as part of the Haṭha Yoga Project’s Embodied Liberation exhibition in 2020.Linkshttps://soas.academia.edu/RuthWestoby http://www.enigmatic.yogaYS 111 | Women and Yoga: A History of Female Practitioners
9/10/20201 hour, 27 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

11. Philipp Maas | The Pātañjalayogaśāstra and its Textual History

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Philipp Maas about his pioneering textual research on the Yogaśāstra of Patañjali and its commentarial tradition, the authorship and dating of the Yogasūtra and its commentary the Bhāṣya, the surviving Sanskrit manuscripts of the PYŚ, the relationship between Sāṅkhya and Yoga, the nature of Īśvara for Patañjali, Maas' critical edition on the PYŚ, and more.  Speaker BioPhilipp Maas is a research associate at the Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies, University of Leipzig in Germany, where he is currently working on a digital critical edition of the Nyāyabhāṣya, a Sanskrit work on spiritual liberation through proper reasoning. Previously he had served as an assistant professor and postdoc researcher at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Bonn Germany. He received his M.A. (1997) and Dr. phil. (2004) degrees from the University of Bonn, where he had completed studies in Indology, Comparative Religious Studies, Tibetology and Philosophy. His first book (originally his PhD thesis) is the first critical edition of the first chapter (Samādhipāda) of the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra, i.e. the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali together with the commentary called Yoga Bhāṣya. He has published extensively on classical Yoga philosophy and meditation, Yoga and Āyurveda, the relationship of Pātañjalayoga to Buddhism as well as on the textual tradition of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. He is a member of the “Historical Sourcebooks on Classical Indian Thought” project, convened by Prof. Sheldon Pollock, to which he contributes with a monograph on the development of Yoga-related ideas in pre-modern South Asian intellectual history.  Linkshttps://uni-leipzig.academia.edu/PhilippMaas "Pātañjalayogaśāstra" (Brill Encyclopedia Entry, 2020)"A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy" (2013)
9/4/20201 hour, 39 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

10. Ian Baker | Tibetan Yoga, Hidden Lands, and Bringing Esoteric Teachings to Light

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Ian Baker about his many journeys into Tibet and Tantric Buddhism, the power of hidden lands (beyul), isolated mountain retreats, Tibetan physical yogas (trulkhor), receiving guidance from H.H. the Dalai Lama, the nature of secrecy and esoteric teachings, and a preview of the upcoming online course, YS 110 | Tibetan Yoga. Speaker BioIan Baker is the author of several books on Himalayan and Tibetan religion and culture, including Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices, The Dalai Lamas Secret Temple: Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet, and The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise.He received a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Oxford, pursued further graduate studies in Buddhism and Medical Anthropology at Columbia University and University College London, and recently completed his doctorate in Medical Humanities at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland. He was lead curator for the 2015-16 London exhibition, ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism’ and was recognized by National Geographic Society as one of seven ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his fieldwork illuminating the Tibetan tradition of ‘hidden lands’ (beyul), idealized sites of yogic practice. His current research focuses on the contemporary interface of Indo-Tibetan yoga with art and science.LinksYS 110 | Tibetan Yoga: Histories, Practices, TransformationsTibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices (2019, Inner Traditions)https://independent.academia.edu/BakerIanhttps://ianbakerjourneys.wordpress.com/about/Note: We apologize for the lesser audio quality of this episode. We experienced some technical audio difficulties while recording. 
8/9/20201 hour, 29 minutes, 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

9. Jason Birch | Manuscript Hunting and the History of Medieval Yogas

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Jason Birch (SOAS, University of London) about his early training in yoga and Indology, the early 2000s yoga scene in Rishikesh, Sanskrit manuscript hunting in India, his Oxford thesis on the Amanaska, Rāja Yoga traditions, the history of āsana, the significance of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, Krishnamacharya and the legendary "Yoga Koruṇṭa", embodied philology, and more. Speaker BioJason Birch is a post-doctoral researcher fellow at SOAS, University of London. After completing a first class honours degree in Sanskrit and Hindi at the University of Sydney under Dr. Peter Oldmeadow, Jason was awarded a Clarendon scholarship to undertake a DPhil in Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. Alexis Sanderson. His dissertation (submitted 2013) focused on the earliest known Rājayoga text called the Amanaska and included a critical edition and annotated translation of this Sanskrit work along with a monographic introduction.He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at SOAS working on the Haṭha Yoga Project, a 5-year ERC funded project which is now in the final year of completion. His particular area of research for the project is the history of physical yoga on the eve of colonialism. Jason is currently editing and translating six principle texts on Haṭha and Rājayoga, which will soon be available for publication. He also collaborates with Jacqueline Hargreaves on The Luminescent, an online hub for sharing yoga research. LinksThe Proliferation of Āsana-s in Late-Mediaeval Yoga Texts (Birch 2018)The Yoga of the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati: Haṭhayoga on the Cusp of Modernity (Birch & Singleton 2019)http://hyp.soas.ac.uk/https://soas.academia.edu/jasonbirchhttps://www.theluminescent.org
7/26/20201 hour, 52 minutes, 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

8. Sravana Borkataky-Varma | Śākta Tantra, Female Practitioners, and Misperceptions of Tantra

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Sravana Borkataky-Varma about her experience growing up in India, receiving initiation into a Śākta tantra lineage at Kāmākhya, discovering Religious Studies and the academic path, her doctoral research, the role of female practitioners, tantric sexual rites, being censored by Facebook, online pūjā services, and much more.  Speaker BioSravana Borkataky-Varma is a historian, educator, and social entrepreneur—who holds a PhD in Religions from Rice University. As a historian, she studies Indian religions focusing on esoteric rituals and gender, particularly in Hinduism (Śākta Tantra). As an educator, she is currently working as a Lecturer at Harvard University and at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where she teaches introductory courses on World Religions and higher-level courses on Hinduism, Buddhism, Religion and Film, and the History of Yoga.In the past she has taught at the University of Houston, University of Montana, Rice University and DaLian Neusoft University, China. In a previous non-academic avatar, Sravana worked in customer service, in the financial and IT industry. As a social entrepreneur, she is the co-founder of a non-profit called Lumen Tree Portal.  Sravana invests in building communities with individuals from various faith-backgrounds who believe in kindness, compassion, and fulfillment. LinksYS 106 | Śākta Tantra: Yoga and Hindu Goddess Traditionshttps://uh.academia.edu/SravanaBorkatakyVarmahttps://www.lumentree.org
7/12/20201 hour, 56 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

7. Karen O’Brien-Kop | Pātañjala Yoga, Yogācāra Buddhism, and Re-Thinking the Category of "Classical Yoga"

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Karen O’Brien-Kop (University of Roehampton) about her intertextual research on Pātañjala and Buddhist Yoga, rethinking the category of “Classical Yoga,” the yoga of Yogācāra Buddhism, Buddhist definitions of yoga, botanical metaphors for liberation, the mysterious Dharmamegha Samādhi ("the raincloud of Dharma”), her forthcoming co-edited volume, The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (2020), her upcoming online course YS 109, more. Speaker BioKaren O’Brien-Kop is Lecturer in Asian Religions and Ethics in the Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Roehampton, London, UK. She received her PhD from SOAS University of London, is a specialist in the historical study of meditation and yoga within Asian religious traditions, and analyses early Hindu and Buddhist meditation manuals in Sanskrit.She has taught on the MA Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS University of London, and at the University of Roehampton she has designed a new BA module 'Yoga, Meditation and Health'. Since 2018, she has served on the committee for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies, an academic research and teaching centre focused on public engagement. In the American Academy of Religion, Karen is a committee member for the Yoga in Theory and Practice Unit and co-chair of the Indian and Chinese Religions Compared Unit. She has published peer-reviewed articles in Religions of South Asia and Journal of Indian Philosophy and is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies (2020), an interdisciplinary volume of 34 chapters from global contributors. Karen is currently working on a book project on rethinking classical yoga in relation to Buddhism.LinksYS 109 | Classical Yoga and Buddhism "Classical Discourses of Liberation: Shared Botanical Metaphors in Sarvāstivāda Buddhism and the Yoga of Patañjali" (2017)"Dharmamegha in Yoga and Yogācāra: The Revision of a Superlative Metaphor" (2020)https://roehampton-online.academia.edu/KarenOBrienKop
6/28/20201 hour, 38 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

6. Ben Williams | Śaiva Tantra, Abhinavagupta, and the Tantric Sahṛdaya

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Ben Williams (Naropa University) about his story of growing up in spiritual community, the scholar-practitioner, the scriptures and world of non-dual Śaiva Tantra, the Kashmiri exegete Abhinavagupta and his concept of the guru, the view of Aṣṭāṅgayoga within tantra, the new MA program in Yoga Studies at Naropa University, and more. Speaker BioBen Williams is an intellectual historian focused on Indian religions and the history of Śaiva tantra. He has received extensive training in Indian philosophy, literature, and aesthetics in Sanskrit sources. Ben received a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Vermont, a Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and completed his PhD in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Hinduism at Naropa University, where he has recently co-created a low-residency MA program in Yoga Studies that will launch in fall 2020. Ben also serves on the academic advisory council of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute, which is dedicated to the preservation of scriptural and philosophical texts of classical India.  Ben’s doctoral thesis is on revelation and the figure of the tantric guru in the writings of Abhinavagupta, an eminent intellectual figure of medieval Kashmir. Building upon this study, one of his current research projects is charting the transmission of tantric traditions to South India that are indebted to non-dual Śaiva teachings and lineages that originally flourished in Kashmir.LinksYS 107 | Yoga and Śaiva Tantra: An Uncharted History"Abhinavagupta's Portrait of a Guru: Revelation and Religious Authority in Kashmir" (Williams 2017)Yoga Studies Master of Arts Program, Naropa Universityhttps://www.patreon.com/closereadings
6/21/20201 hour, 54 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

5. James Mallinson | The History and Practice of Haṭha Yoga

In this episode, we speak with Dr. James Mallinson (SOAS, University of London) about his travels through India, meeting his guru, his journey to becoming an Indologist, his pioneering research on the history of yoga and yogīs, key findings from the Haṭha Yoga Project, and more. Speaker BioDr. James Mallinson is Reader in Indology and Yoga Studies at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on the history and current traditional practice of yoga through the methods philology, ethnography and art history. He is currently in the final year of the Haṭha Yoga Project, a five-year six-person research project on the history of physical yoga funded by the European Research Council. The project’s core outputs will be ten critical editions of Sanskrit texts on physical yoga and four monographs on its history and current practice. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, Dr. Mallinson’s publications include Roots of Yoga (Penguin Classics, 2017, co-authored with Mark Singleton) and The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha, a Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text on Haṭhayoga (Routledge, 2007). The latter is a revision of his doctoral thesis, which was supervised by Professor Alexis Sanderson at the University of Oxford, where Dr. Mallinson also read Sanskrit as an undergraduate. Dr. Mallinson has spent more than ten years living in India with traditional ascetics and practitioners of yoga, and at the 2013 Kumbh Mela was awarded the title of Mahant by the Rāmānandī Saṃpradāya, which was documented in a BBC film entitled West Meets East, featuring his childhood friend and actor Dominic West. LinksYS 108 | Roots of Haṭha YogaThe Haṭha Yoga Projecthttps://soas.academia.edu/JamesMallinson West Meets East BBC Documentary
6/14/20201 hour, 45 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

4. Philip Deslippe | Making Sense of Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Yoga

In this episode, we speak with Philip Deslippe (UC Santa Barbara) about his research on the modern history and construction of Kundalini Yoga, the controversies surrounding the late guru Yogi Bhajan, as well as the role and positionality of the scholar and historian of yoga. Speaker BioPhilip Deslippe is a historian of American religion with a background in American Studies and literature. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is writing a dissertation on the early history of yoga in the United States from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. Philip has published articles on the history of modern yoga in academic journals such as the Journal of Yoga Studies, Amerasia, and Sikh Formations, and in popular venues including Yoga Journal, Air and Space Smithsonian, and the Indian news site Scroll.LinksYS 102 | Modern Yoga in the WestPremka: White Bird in a Golden Cage (Dyson 2020)"From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Yoga" (Deslippe 2012)www.philipdeslippe.comhttps://ucsb.academia.edu/PhilipDeslippe
6/7/20201 hour, 30 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

3. Antonia Ruppel | On Teaching and Learning Sanskrit

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Antonia Ruppel (LMU, Munich) about her study and teaching of the Sanskrit language, from elite universities to the St. James Senior Boys' School, the richness and diversity of Sanskrit literature, her recent Sanskrit textbook, and her upcoming series of online Sanskrit courses. Speaker BioAntonia Ruppel is a Classicist by training who came to Sanskrit through a series of fortunate accidents. She learnt the language as an autodidact, and one of her reasons for writing her textbook, The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (2017), was to make the experience of studying Sanskrit easier and more pleasant for others.  She has been teaching Sanskrit for 15 years at universities such as Cornell, Oxford and now the LMU in Munich, Germany, as well as offering courses in variety of formats online.Language pedagogy is at the heart of her life, and she is currently working on an Intermediate Sanskrit Reader. It is designed to help students gain reading fluency in an enjoyable and straightforward way, and will come out in late 2021.LinksSKT 101 | Elementary Sanskrit I (June 1 - Aug 21, 2020)The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (2017)https://oxford.academia.edu/AntoniaRuppel 
5/25/20201 hour, 29 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

2. Daniela Bevilacqua | Hindu Asceticism and Haṭha Yoga

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Daniela Bevilacqua (Post-Doc Research Fellow, SOAS) about her background in History and Anthropology, her doctoral work on the Rāmānandī Sampradāya, her ethnographic fieldwork for the Haṭha Yoga Project, and the role of yoga among sādhus today in contemporary India. Speaker BioDaniela Bevilacqua is a South-Asianist who received her PhD in Civilizations of Africa and Asia from Sapienza University of Rome and in Anthropology from the University of Paris Nanterre. Her PhD research was published by Routledge under the title, Modern Hindu Traditionalism in Contemporary India: The Śrī Maṭh and the Jagadguru Rāmānandācārya in the Evolution of the Rāmānandī Sampradāya. She is now a Post-Doc Research Fellow at SOAS, working for the ERC-funded Hatha Yoga Project (2015-2020).Through her groundbreaking fieldwork in India, Daniela looks at the present practices of Haṭha Yoga among sādhus belonging to “traditional” samprādayas connected with the physical practice of yoga and austerities. The purpose of this research is to confront ethnographic material with textual and historical evidences to reconstruct the development of these practices.LinksYS 103 | Yoga and Hindu Asceticsm, Past and Present"Let the Sādhus Talk. Ascetic understanding of Haṭha Yoga and yogāsanas"Modern Hindu Traditionalism in Contemporary India (Routledge, 2019)Yogasana | Embodied Liberation II | Brunei Gallery | SOAS University of London (YouTube video)https://www.instagram.com/dhanya_83
5/17/20201 hour, 32 minutes, 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

0. Seth Powell | Introducing the Yogic Studies Podcast

In this brief introduction, Seth introduces listeners to the Yogic Studies Podcast. He shares his story of how yoga led him to academia, to the PhD at Harvard University, the study of Sanskrit, the world of yoga research, and the birth of Yogic Studies. BioSeth Powell is a longtime practitioner of yoga and a scholar of Indian religions, Sanskrit, and yoga traditions. He is currently a PhD Candidate in South Asian Religions at Harvard University. His research focuses on the history, theory, and practice of medieval and early modern Sanskrit yoga texts and traditions, as well as their intersections with the culture and practice of modern transnational yoga. Seth also holds degrees in the study of religion from the University of Washington (MA) and Humboldt State University (BA).His doctoral dissertation at Harvard consists of a critical edition and study of a 15th-century Sanskrit yoga text from south India, known as the Śivayogapradīpikā (Lamp on Śiva's Yoga). Seth founded Yogic Studies in 2018 to provide continued educational services for the broader yoga community. Yogic Studies aims to bridge the gap between the yoga studio and the academy—seeking to make accessible the highest quality and most cutting-edge research on yoga for teachers and students. We offer a comprehensive online curriculum in yoga history, philosophy, and Sanskrit studies.Linkshttps://www.yogicstudies.comhttps://harvard.academia.edu/SethPowell
5/11/202013 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

1. Finnian Gerety | Vedic Ritual, OṂ, and Early Yoga

In this first-ever Yogic Studies Podcast episode, we speak with Dr. Finnian Gerety (Brown University) about his background as a musician, his journey to Indology and Sanskrit studies at Harvard University, his fieldwork among Nambudiri Brahmins in the south-Indian state of Kerala, the Sāma Veda performative tradition, his short film "Mantras 2 the Max", the origins of sacred sound and the syllable OṂ, the practice of OṂ at the time of death, OṂ in the Yogasūtras of Patañjali, and the practice of "Embodied Philology."Speaker BioDr. Finnian M.M. Gerety is a historian of Indian religions focusing on sound and mantra. After earning a PhD. in South Asian Studies from Harvard University, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music. Finn is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, the Contemplative Studies Program, and the Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University, where he teaches courses on mantra, yoga, ritual, and the senses.Integrating the study of premodern texts with insights from fieldwork in contemporary south India, Finn’s research explores how sound has shaped religious doctrines and practices on the subcontinent from the late Bronze Age up through today. His current book project for Oxford University Press, This Whole World is OM: A History of the Sacred Syllable in India, is the first-ever monograph on OM, the preeminent mantra and ubiquitous sacred syllable of Indian religions.LinksYS 104 | The Story of OṂ: Sacred Sound and the Vedic Roots of Yoga "Mantras 2 the Max" https://brown.academia.edu/FinnianGeretyhttps://www.instagram.com/thiswholeworld_is_om
5/11/20201 hour, 36 minutes, 17 seconds