Faculty

Our faculty is comprised of world-renowned scholars and educators in the field of yoga studies.


Seth Powell

PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Founder and Director, Yogic Studies

Seth 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).

Seth founded Yogic Studies in 2018 and serves as the Director and Head Faculty. 

 

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Guest Faculty


Dr. Daniela Bevilacqua

Post-Doc Research Fellow, SOAS, Haṭha Yoga Project

Daniela 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 Mah 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, she looks at the present practices of Haṭha Yoga among sādhus belonging to “traditional” samprādayas connected with the physical practice of yoga and with austerities. The purpose of this research is to confront ethnographic material with textual and historical evidences to reconstruct the development of these practices.

 

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Philip Deslippe

PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara

Philip 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 StudiesAmerasia, and Sikh Formations, and in popular venues including Yoga JournalAir and Space Smithsonian, and the Indian news site Scroll.

He has presented his work at several dozen academic conferences, given guest lectures for courses at Stanford, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara, and has been a lecturer for the teacher training program at Avalon Yoga in Palo Alto, California for the last five years. His writing has been translated into Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Turkish.

 

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Dr. Finnian M.M. Gerety

PhD, Harvard University

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.

 

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