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Om-Shanti: Studie en Academie Materiaal
Yoga


Om-Shanti: - Studie en Academie Materiaal
HATHA YOGA - PRANAYAMA - Deel 1 - 01


Sanskrit Made Simple - a Study of Asana Names
by Marie Roulleau & Gwynneth Powell*

Can't quite tell "Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana" apart from "Prasarita Padottanasana"? Not sure what to do when the teacher calls for "Karnapidasana"? Not clearly visualising "Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana"? Fear not, help is on the way... Two things will make identification of asanas (poses) easier. First you must know that those long Sanskrit words are in fact like strings of pearls. For example, Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana has 5 words in it; Urdhva (upward); Mukha (face); Paschima (West or backside of the body); Uttana (intense); Asana (pose). Learning to identify the smaller words within the long name makes it easier not only to recognize but also to start to pronounce. The second thing is that in English (as well as other languages) we use words that are distant cousins to Sanskrit.
Lees verder  download pdf

 


Om-Shanti: - Studie en Academie Materiaal
HATHA YOGA - PRANAYAMA - Deel 5 - 01


Pranayama & The Art Of Breathing
Written by  Christine Breese, D.D., Ph.D.

Introduction.
The Sanskrit word pranayama (also known as pranayam) is translated as "the science of breath"in some circles, and in others it has a broader meaning, "expansion, manifestation of energy." Pra (first unit) na (energy) is the vital and primal energy of the universe. According to some Eastern writings, the universe comes from akasha (ether, space) through the energy of prana. Akasha is the infinite, raw material of the universe. Prana is the infinite, raw energy of the universe. One who has learned how to control prana controls all the energies of the universe, thus controling his or her body, emotions and mind.

Lees verder  download pdf

 


Om-Shanti: - Studie en Academie Materiaal
HATHA YOGA - PRANAYAMA - Deel 5 - 02


Pranayama in Theory and Practice
by
Sankara Saranam

Introduction
According to the ideals of Yoga, true knowledge, vidya, comes from within through the practice of interiorizing the consciousness, not from without through the medium of the senses. For this reason have Yogis, from the Buddha to Ramakrishna, rebuked the lovers of books and adored the lovers of pranayama and meditation. This work is therefore by no means intended to take the place of the invaluable practice of pranayama nor even substitute for direct and personal guidance in the practice of pranayama. As a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, I was never one to intellectually study pranayama without at the same time practicing the techniques; to do so would be unthinkable, even deplorable. Further, scholars who believe that they retain a level of objectivity in the study of pranayama by refraining from the practice of pranayama have, in my view, no objective standard at all. However, such scholarly activity does lend itself to the cultural, historical, and philosophical understanding of Yoga. Still, it is the practicing Yogi who can observe the effects that the techniques of Yoga have on the body and mind, not to mention experience the changes in consciousness. While self-deception among practitioners of Yoga is not lacking, the single rule by which true mastery of pranayama is measured, breathlessness, cannot be simply imitated. I submit that anyone who authoritatively speaks about Yoga and at the same time does not practice Yoga should not be taken seriously.
Lees verder  download pdf

 

 

Om-Shanti: Studie en Academie Materiaal
Boekbespreking Yoga


A Genealogy of Devotion

Bhakti, Tantra, Yoga and Sufism in North
India. Columbia University Press 2019

Patton E. Burchett

How distinct is Indian devotionalism from other strands of Indian religiosity? Is devotionalism necessarily at odds with asceticism in the Hindu world? What about the common contrasting of Hindu devotionalism as “religion” with tantra as “black magic”?  The author re-examines what we assume about the rise of devotionalism in North India, tracing its flowering since India’s early medieval “Tantric Age” to present day. It illumines the complex historical factors at play in Sultanate and Mughal India implicating the influence of three pervasive strands in the tapestry of North Indian religiosity: tantra, yoga and Sufism. Burchett shows the extent to which Persian culture and popular Sufism contribute to a (now prevalent) Hindu devotionalism that is critical of tantric and yogic religiosity. Prior to this, Hindu devotionalism locally flowered in fruitful cross pollination with yogic and tantric forms of Indian religiosity.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 015:  klik hier

 

Bhakti and Power

Debating India’s Religion of the Heart
 University of Washington Press 2019

John Stratton Hawley, Christian Lee Novetzke and Swapna Sharma

What is the relationship between religion and power? With this important overarching theme in mind, this book combines 17 fascinating studies which explore the ways in which bhakti - “India’s religion of the heart”, loosely translated as devotionalism - tears down power barriers, and also build them up. Bhakti and Power offers important insight on both the power and powerlessness of bhakti at various social and historical junctures.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 017:  klik hier

 

Shakti’s New Voice

Guru Devotion in a Women-Led Spiritual
Movement, Rowman and Littlefield 2017

Angela Rudert

This book is the first academic study of the popular contemporary North Indian female guru Anandmurti Gurumaa. In drawing from, e.g., Sikh and Sufi traditions, Gurumaa’s syncretic approach innovates Hindu religiosity, as does her progressive attitudes towards treatment of women. Is a female guru of benefit to female disciples? What is the role of the internet and modern media in transmitting traditional teachings? What is the relationship between ashram life and social activism? How might Gurumaa compare to other contemporary female gurus, e.g. Amma?

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 025:  klik hier

 

Yoga in Modern Hinduism

Hariharananda Aranya and
Samkhyayoga, Routledge 2017

Knut A. Jacobsen

This book examines the Kāpil Math, a Sāmkkhyayoga institution emerging in the late nineteenth century Bengal. This movement (developing contemporaneously with modern yoga) is centered on the cave-dwelling renunciant yogin Hariharānanda Āranya. This book offers a rare glimpse into Sāmkhyayoga as a living tradition in terms of documenting the practices of modern Sāmkhyayogins. It moreover maps the production of a novel sort of yogin forged by the nineteenth-century transformations of Bengali upper class religious culture.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 031:  klik hier

 

Yoga in Britain

Stretching Spirituality and
Educating Yogis, Equinox 2019

Suzanne Newcombe

Paying special attention to sociocultural threads form the period 1945-1980, the author charts the trajectory of how yoga became mainstream in Britain to the point of being taught to thousands of middle-class women in adult education classes. Drawing on archival evidence and interviews, the book shows the diverse figures and movements responsible for the popularization of yoga in Britain.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 033:  klik hier

 

Inhaling Spirit

Harmonialism, Orientalism and the Western Roots
of Modern Yoga, Oxford University Press 2020

Anya P. Foxen

In this book, Foxen traces several disparate yet entangled roots of modern yoga practice to show that much of what we call yoga in the West stems not only from pre-modern Indian yoga traditions, but also from Hellenistic theories of the subtle body, Western esotericism and magic, pre-modern European medicine, and late-nineteenth-century women's wellness programs. As such, this book richly contributes to the discussion of cultural appropriation as pertains to modern Western yoga.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 048:  klik hier

 

A Conversation with Chris Chapple

Part I, MA in Yoga Studies
New Books Network 2020

Christopher Key Chapple

In this interview, we have a candid conversation with Chapple of Loyola Marymount University about his outlook, teaching philosophy, and new developments in the field - his Master of Arts in Yoga Studies in particular.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 053:  klik hier

 

A Conversation with Chris Chappel

Part II, Living Landscapes
New Books Network 2020

Christopher Key Chapple

Join us as we continue discussion with the author on meditations on the Five Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas. The ancient Indian philosophers conceptualized the universe as comprising 5 elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space), corresponding to the five human senses. This philosophy is encoded in Indian religion at every turn. This book draws from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions to explore the extent to which elemental meditations in the Indian context transcend these “religious” boundaries as we understand them. It is also a fascinating look into the lived practice of ideating upon the elements.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 056:  klik hier

 

A Discussion with Seth Powell about Yogic Studies

New Books Network 2020

Seth Powell

Today I talked with Seth Powell, founder of Yogic Studies “where the studio meets the academy” rendering rigorous research accessible to studios, teachers, and students. Beyond completing his Yoga Studies doctorate at Harvard University, Seth is at the cutting edge of online education, at the intersection of academic expertise and public access.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 057:  klik hier

 

Routledge Handbook of Yoga and Meditation Studies

Routledge 2020

Suzanne Newcombe and Karen O’Brian-Kop

This book is a comprehensive and interdisciplinary resource, which frames and contextualises the rapidly expanding fields that explore yoga and meditative techniques. The book analyses yoga and meditation studies in a variety of religious, historical and geographical settings. The chapters, authored by an international set of experts, are laid out across five sections: Introduction to Yoga and Meditation Studies History of Yoga and Meditation in South Asia Doctrinal Perspectives: Technique and Praxis Global and Regional Transmissions Disciplinary Framings In addition to up-to-date explorations of the history of yoga and meditation in the Indian subcontinent, new contexts include a case study of yoga and meditation in the contemporary Tibetan diaspora, and unique summaries of historical developments in Japan and Latin America as well as an introduction to the growing academic study of yoga in Korea. Underpinned by critical and theoretical engagement, the volume provides an in-depth guide to the history of yoga and meditation studies and combines the best of established research with attention to emerging directions for future investigation. This handbook will be of interest to multi-disciplinary academic audiences from across the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 076:  klik hier

 

The Truth of Yoga

A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts,
Philosophy and Practices, North Point Press 2021

Daniel Simpson

Succinct answers to nearly any question about yoga's origins, development, key texts, concepts, and practices. Much of what is said about yoga is misleading. To take two examples, it is neither five thousand years old, as is commonly claimed, nor does it mean union, at least not exclusively. In perhaps the most famous text -The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - the aim is separation, isolating consciousness from everything else. And the earliest evidence of practice dates back about twenty-five hundred years. Yoga may well be older, but no one can prove it. Scholars have learned a lot more about the history of yoga in recent years, but their research can be hard to track down. Although their work is insightful, it is aimed more at specialists than at general readers. Simpson draws on many of their findings, presented in a format designed for practitioners. The aim is to highlight ideas on which readers can draw to keep traditions alive in the twenty-first century. It offers an overview of yoga's evolution from its earliest origins to the present. It can either be read chronologically or be used as a reference guide to history and philosophy. The intention is to keep things clear without oversimplifying.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 077:  klik hier

 

Post-lineage Yoga

From Guru to #metoo
Equinox Publishing 2020

Theodora Wildcroft

This book presents a ground-breaking model for scholars to understand the contemporary teaching and practice of yoga, one where peer networks are more relevant than either brand loyalty or lineage affiliation. Previous research has considered the history and science of yoga, but rarely the ways in which it has been shared. This book aims to change that. From the very advent of group classes, yoga teachers have dictated the movement, and experience, of their students. But threaded through yoga’s history is a more democratic, individualised way of sharing practice with others. With the recent #MeTooinYoga movement, and the growing popularity of accessible yoga, teachers are increasingly turning to this hidden history for answers. In a diverse profession strongly resistant to official regulation, it is vital for scholars and policymakers alike to understand the risks and rewards of this development. In 2004 there were estimated to be 2.5 million yoga practitioners in Britain alone, and numbers are still rising today. As more and more people enjoy the practice, this book asks: in communities based more on peer-networks than hierarchal leadership structures, how are the highest ethical standards negotiated? How does practice relate to life off the mat? What does best practice look like, in “post-lineage” yoga?

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 084:  klik hier

 

Tracing the Path of Yoga

The History and Philosophy of Indian
Mind-Body Discipline, Suny Press 2021

Stuart Ray Sarbacker

Clear, accessible, and meticulously annotated, this book offers a comprehensive survey of the history and philosophy of yoga that will be invaluable to both specialists and to nonspecialists seeking a deeper understanding of this fascinating subject. Sarbacker argues that yoga can be understood first and foremost as a discipline of mind and body that is represented in its narrative and philosophical literature as resulting in both numinous and cessative accomplishments that correspond, respectively, to the attainment of this-worldly power and otherworldly liberation. Sarbacker demonstrates how the yogic quest for perfection as such is situated within the concrete realities of human life, intersecting with issues of politics, economics, class, gender, and sexuality, as well as reflecting larger Indic religious and philosophical ideals.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 086:  klik hier

 

Yoga in Jainism

Routledge 2015

Christopher Chapple

Jaina Studies is a relatively new and rapidly expanding field of inquiry for scholars of Indian religion and philosophy. In Jainism, “yoga” carries many meanings, and this book explores the definitions, nuances, and applications of the term in relation to Jainism from early times to the present. The book begins by discussing how the use of the term yoga in the earliest Jaina texts described the mechanics of mundane action or karma. From the time of the later Upanisads, the word Yoga became associated in all Indian religions with spiritual practices of ethical restraint, prayer, and meditation. In the medieval period, Jaina authors such as Haribhadra, Subhacandra, and Hemacandra used the term Yoga in reference to Jaina spiritual practice. In the modern period, a Jaina form of Yoga emerged, known as Preksa Dhyana. This practice includes the physical postures and breathing exercises well known through the globalization of Yoga. By exploring how Yoga is understood and practiced within Jainism, this book makes an important contribution to the fields of Yoga Studies, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and South Asian Studies.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 094:  klik hier

 

The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana

A Reconsideration of Classical
Yoga, Suny Press 1998

Ian Whicher

We begin with a discussion on how he began his journey towards yoga philosophy before probing his assertion that the Yoga-Sūtras do not advocate abandonment of the world, but rather support a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification. The book centers on the thought of Patanjali, the great exponent of the authoritative and Classical Yoga school of Hinduism and the reputed author of the Yoga-Sutras. In this textual, historical, and interpretive study, Whicher offers a plausible and innovative reading of the “intention” of the Yoga-Sutras, namely that Yoga does not advocate the abandonment or condemnation of the world, but rather supports a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification. Challenging and correcting misperceptions about Yoga drawn by traditional and modern interpretations of the Yoga-Sutras, the author argues for a fresh vision of the spiritual potential present in this seminal text, thereby contributing to our understanding of the meaning and practical relevance of Yoga and its reception today.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 100:  klik hier

 

Ian Whicher on Yoga Philosophy

New Books Network 2021

Ian Whicher

What does yoga have to do with wisdom? What do traditional yoga texts teach about the human experience? What relevance does ancient Indian yoga have to the modern world? Learn yogic insights from seasoned scholar-practitioner Dr. Ian Whicher, Professor of Religion at the University of Manitoba.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 113:  klik hier

 

Ben Williams on Contemplative Education

New Books Network 2021

Ben Williams

Is it possible to integrate scholarly study with contemplative practice? What are the benefits and potential pitfalls of doing so? Join us as we speak to the author about Naropa University’s vision of Contemplative Education along with their brand-new Masters in Yoga Studies program.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 127:  klik hier

 

Is this Yoga?

Concepts, Histories and the Complexities
of Modern Practice, Routledge 2021

Anya P. Foxen and Christa Kuberry

This book provides a rigorously researched, critically comparative introduction to yoga. The authors recognize the importance of contemporary understandings of yoga and at the same time provides historical context and complexity to modern and pre-modern definitions of yogic ideas and practices. Approaching yoga as a vast web of concepts, traditions, social interests, and embodied practices, it raises questions of knowledge, identity, and power across time and space, including the dynamics of “East” and “West.” The text is divided into three main sections: thematic concepts; histories; and topics in modern practice. This accessible guide is essential reading for undergraduate students approaching the topic for the first time, as well as yoga teachers, teacher training programs, casual and devoted practitioners, and interested non-practitioners.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 131:  klik hier

 

Darren Main on Inner Tranquility

New Books Network 2021

Darren Main

In this episode we speak with yoga and meditation instructor, Darren Main, who is author of Inner Tranquility: A Guide to Seated Meditation, Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic, and River of Wisdom, among other titles. We have a fascinating conversation ranging from his personal journey to mythological storytelling, ancient and modern.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 133:  klik hier

 

Meditation and Mindfulness Training

New Books Network 2021

Mark Van Buren

This podcast features the wisdom and work of Mark Van Buren, Bergen County's go-to guide for all meditation and mindfulness-based training. With well over a decade of experience in the field, Mark instructs meditation workshops, lectures, professional development days, corporate wellness classes, and silent retreats in a practical, yet accessible way. He offers simple tools and practices that can reduce stress, help with anxiety and depression, manage pain, and transform the many difficult aspects of life.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 149:  klik hier

 

The Psychology of the Yogas

Equinox Publishing (UK) 2021

Gidi Ifergan

This book explores the dissonance between the promises of the yogic quest and psychological states of crisis. Western practitioners of yoga and meditation who have embarked upon years-long spiritual quests and who have practiced under the guidance of a guru tell of profound and ongoing experiences of love, compassion and clarity: the peaks of spiritual fulfillment. However, after returning to the West, they reported difficulties and crises in different areas of their lives. Why did these practitioners, who had apparently touched the heights of fulfillment, still suffer from these crises?

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 151:  klik hier

 

Swami Vivekananda

His Life, Legacy and Liberative
Ethics, Lexington Books 2021

Rita D. Sherma

This book re-assesses the life and legacy of Swami Vivekananda from the vantage point of socially-engaged religion in a time of global dislocations and inequities. Due to the complexity of Vivekananda as a historical figure on the cusp of a new era, few works offer a nuanced, academic examination of his liberative vision and legacy.

Raj Balkaran: Audio - Podcast 173:  klik hier



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