Instructor: Associate Professor Megan Adamson Sijapati
Department: Religious Studies
This course explores the meanings and manifestations of yoga from ancient India to 21st century America and Europe. The Sanskrit term yoga means ‘to yoke’, and has historically referred to the yoking of the self to the absolute, or divine. In India, and now in the west, this union has been sought through various paths: meditation, physical postures (‘asana’), religious devotion, knowledge, and social service. In this seminar we explore these multiple paths to self-realization and the religious world-views behind them through Indian religious literature, art, and culture, and modern postural yoga both in India and the West—now a global phenomenon and an estimated 5.7 billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. Guest lecturers include teachers and practitioners of yoga, and we visit an ashram and yoga centers in the Washington D.C. and Harrisburg areas. The course also has a ‘lab’ component, in which we explore yoga through the practice of postures and meditation.