Douglas Brooks is a scholar of Hinduism, south Asian languages, and the comparative study of religions. He lived in India in the home of his teacher, Dr. Gopala Aiyar Sundaramoorthy, Professor of Sanskrit at Madurai-Kamaraj University where he also held a visiting fellowship as a Fulbright Scholar. Currently Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester, he holds both Masters and his doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
You are enjoined throughout yoga traditions to become consistent and diligent in practice, especially in the processes that invite repetition and recursion. In early Sankhya-Yoga traditions the key term is abhyasa, and a strong connection is made with the notion that repeated practice creates a deepening ability to discern and comprehend with clarity. You will explore this in original sources. Here, explore the notion that practice makes perfect. Props Needed: A blanket or a bolster to sit on.
To understand the role of abnegation in Yoga traditions you need to begin with early sources. Here, consider the early Upanishadsâ€™ ideas about self-restraint, bodily control and disciplines, and other forms of physical and mental effort directed at your somatic and psychic experiences. This is a vast and important topic in Yoga traditions and to begin your studies, you will need a clear foundation for understanding the role of ascetical behaviors. Props Needed: A blanket or a bolster to sit on.
Practices of discipline, self-abnegation and world renunciation are at the center of yoga traditions. Explore the origins of asceticism historically and systematically, considering how and why it emerged and the extent of its revolutionary claims. In some important ways a counter-movement, even a rejection of Vedic values and aspirations, the ascetics bring a new vision and establish precedents and claims that shape the history of yoga.