What exactly is yoga? How did it evolve from a meditative way of transcending the world to a global industry worth billions of dollars? This talk explores the meaning of yoga in multiple contexts: from ancient ascetics who never sat down to modern stretching for affluent urbanites. Despite what Hindu nationalists claim, there is no such thing as “One True Yoga.” Come and find out more on Tuesday, March 12 (7:00 PM), at Cafe 1001 on Brick Lane, E1 6QL. Tickets available here.
Alan Wallace has reacted to my essay on Buddhist meditation and cognitive sciences. We exchanged a few emails, archived here. As the essay noted: "To Wallace’s frustration, science dismisses 'nonphysical influences in organic evolution or in human affairs,' despite having 'no technology that can detect the presence or absence of any kind of consciousness, for scientists do not even know what exactly is to be measured.' His critique is sound but he makes few suggestions (apart from endorsing meditation)..."
In October, I'll be teaching yoga history and philosophy on a teacher training course in London. There'll be 15 hours of classes over two days (22 / 23 October), exploring what we know about the evolution of practice from the distant past to the present day. This essay gives a brief introduction to what to expect. The photo shows Jim Mallinson, with whom I've been studying at SOAS as part of my MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation.