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

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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Interview with Accessible Yoga Part 1: Early History of Yoga for People with Disabilities

 "Ascetics Performing Tapas," South India c. 1820, Opaque watercolor on paper, 23.5 x 29 cm., The British Museum.

 

Part 1/4 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,...
Continue Reading...

The Ancient Yoga Strap: A Brief History of the Yogapaṭṭa

Guest blogpost for The Luminescent. Original post can be found here: http://www.theluminescent.org/2018/06/the-ancient-yoga-strap-yogapatta.html

Download as a PDF

Abstract

This article will provide a small window onto the longue duree of the yogapatta, or “yoga strap,” and introduce a brief selection of the textual, visual, and material sources available for constructing its history. It will demonstrate that although the use of a yoga strap in postural yoga is typically credited as an “invention” of BKS Iyengar in the 1960s, the notion of a cloth...

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