UPCOMING COURSE! SKT 101: SANSKRIT FOR YOGIS

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Yogic Studies news, writings, interviews, media, and other vṛttis. 

YS 102 Preview | The Story of Rishi Singh Gherwal

Rishi Singh Gherwal demonstrating uḍḍīyāna bandha. From Complete Yoga, September 1937. From the collection of the Philip Deslippe.

 

The above black and white photograph depicts a fascinating yet lesser-known figure in the history yoga’s early transmission from India to the West, one "Rishi Singh Gherwal." The Rishi's tale is paradigmatic of an informative, albeit lost, period in yoga's transmission from East to West, and is a case study we will be exploring in the upcoming online course, YS 102: Modern Yoga in the West.

Rakha Singh Gherwal (1889-1964), born an...

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What is the Bhagavad Gītā? A Preview of YS 202

 

Approaching the Gītā

The Bhagavad Gītā, the "Song of the Lord"—or simply the Gītā, as it is affectionately known—is many things. At approximately 700 verses, spread across 18 chapters, it is first and foremost, an “epic” poem, situated within the sixth book (parvan) of the great Mahābhārata, one of India’s and the world’s longest stories ever told; it is ancient Indian treatise adjudicating the ethics of battle and just war; an excursus on proper conduct (karma) and one’s moral and social duty (dharma) within the cosmic order. It is...

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Happy Mahāśivarātri 2019 from Yogic Studies!

Image source: Śivaliṅga at Elephanta (photo Seth Powell).

 

Today is Mahāśivarātri, the great night of the celebration of Śiva, which is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Śaivas, and Yogis, around the world. Śiva is often conceived as the archetypal yogi, and the great Lord of Yoga (yogeśvara). It is a day of auspiciousness, of contemplative practice and reflection, where the power (śakti) of yoga practice (sādhana) is believed to be intensified. 

As a small offering on this day, I share with you a brief excerpt from my ongoing translation and study of the 15th-century ...

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How to Use Online Sanskrit Dictionaries Tutorial (Video + PDF)

 

 


Click here to download this tutorial and workflow as a PDF

Note: this PDF was generated on Feb 19, 2019 using Mac OS Mojave 10.14 and Chrome


 

Getting Started

There are many different methods and tools for utilizing Sanskrit dictionaries. Each student or scholar of the language will have their own preferred approach. In this workflow, I will demonstrate a few common and easy-to-use methods.

 

Printed Dictionaries

The first thing to note is that, especially for a beginning Sanskrit student, it is always best to use a printed physical dictionary. By...

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How to Type Transliterated Sanskrit with Diacritics in Mac OSX (Video + PDF)

 

 


Click here to download this tutorial and workflow as a PDF

Note: this PDF workflow was generated on Feb 14, 2019 using Mac OS Mojave 10.14


 

Getting Started

There are various schemes for transliterating Sanskrit (as well as Pāli, Hindi, etc.) into Roman characters. Most common is the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) which utilizes a system of special “diacritic” marks above and below the characters (e.g., ā, ī, ś, ṣ). It is actually very easy to type on a Mac using diacritics, once you get your machine properly...

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Podcast Interview With J. Brown

In this wide-ranging long form interview with prominent yoga teacher and podcaster, J. Brown, the two discuss Seth's personal background, journey into yoga, and pursuing a PhD at Harvard. In the second half J. and Seth get into some issues regarding the history and interpretation of yoga philosophy, Patañjali's Yogasūtras, the practice of yoga philology, scholarship and practice, and much more! 

Listen to the full episode here: https://www.jbrownyoga.com/yoga-talks-podcast/2019/1/seth-powell 

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An Introduction to Sanskrit: The Language of Yoga

sanskrit Jan 04, 2019

संसकृत 
saṃskṛta
“refined, ornamented, perfected”

देववाणी
devavāṇī
“language of the gods”

Sanskrit is one of the most ancient continuously used languages in the world. Known by tradition as the language spoken by the gods (devavāṇī), it is understood as the “perfected” language (samskrta). For many, Sanskrit is revered as the language and voice (vac) of the entire cosmos—the vibratory ground of reality itself (śabda-brahman). In the Ṛg Veda, Vāc is personified as a Goddess, from whom the entire world assumes its multitude of forms. In later...

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Interview with Accessible Yoga Part 4: Modern Misconceptions about Early Yoga

 

Part 4/4 of Seth Powell's interview with Patrice Priya Wagner from Accessible Yoga. Reposted with permission. The original post can be found here

Priya: Regarding access to yoga practice throughout India’s history, or more recently in the West, what misconception would you most like to see teachers revise for their students, and why?

Seth: The first big misconception that still needs to be addressed is the notion that there is one single, unchanging, “original” or “authentic” yoga tradition that existed in premodern India, and that we...

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Interview with Accessible Yoga Part 3: Who Had Access to Yoga in Premodern India

The Great Stupa at Sanchi. Madhya Pradesh, Stone Relief, (c. 50 BCE- 50 CE).
Image from Diamond (2013, 28).

 

Part 3/4 of Seth Powell's interview with Patrice Priya Wagner from Accessible Yoga. Reposted with permission. The original post can be found here

[Priya]

While taking an online course “An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Yoga” with Seth Powell, I became very curious about the origins of yoga instruction for people who weren’t male and from an upper caste in India—the primary demographic we had studied. When, for example, did...

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Interview with Accessible Yoga Part 2: Early History of Yoga for Women

 

Part 2/4 of Seth Powell's interview with Patrice Priya Wagner from Accessible Yoga. Reposted with permission. The original post can be found here

[Priya]

While taking an online course “An Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Yoga” with Seth Powell, I became very curious about the origins of yoga instruction for people who weren’t male and from an upper caste in India—the primary demographic we had studied. When, for example, did people with disabilities gain access to the teachings of yoga in India? What about women or other...

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