Spring 2012

Yoga Traditions

Listed in: Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-242  |  Religion, as RELI-242

Formerly listed as: ASLC-16  |  RELI-29


Steven D. Heim (Section 01)


(Offered as RELI 242 and ASLC 242 [SA].) While yoga is often practiced today at the gym for health and exercise, it has a long philosophical history in the religions of India. This course traces the intellectual traditions of yoga from early South Asian texts to its modern global and secular forms. Yoga entails training in contemplative, postural, and respiratory techniques as a means to such varied goals as knowing the true self, experiencing nirvana, meeting god, making good karma, and enhancing well-being. We will examine yoga philosophy in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the writings of Patanjali, and then turn to its flowering in the development of medieval and modern Hinduism as we look at tantrism, guru devotion, and bhakti religiosity. Finally, we will explore the history of its modern expressions in physical exercise, stress management, and “secular spirituality.”

Spring semester.  Visiting Lecturer S. Heim.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2010, Spring 2012