800-Hour Traditional Yoga Studies

In Session – Expected Graduation Date: June 2012

This 800-hour program is a distance-learning course on the history, philosophy, and literature of Yoga created by IndologistGeorg Feuerstein.

Here is the curriculum:

1. Preparation (based on 6 audiotapes or CDs of Georg Feuerstein’s The Lost Teachings of Yoga). COMPLETED.

2. Introduction

· East/West technologies
· The primary ideal of self-transcendence
· Reality and models of reality
· Yoga symbolism

3. Building Blocks [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 1]

· The essence of Yoga
· Basic definitions
· Is Yoga a religion?
· Types of yogins
· The function of the guru
· Initiation
· Discipleship and the spiritual process
· Crazy wisdom and crazy adepts

4. The Wheel of Yoga [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 2]

· Forms, branches, schools, and lineages of Yoga
· The branches of Hindu Yoga
· Integral Yoga
· Verticalism vs. Integralism
· Contemporary approaches

5. Yoga and Other Hindu Traditions [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 3]

· The cultural history of Hinduism
· Yoga and asceticism
· Yoga and renunciation
· Yoga and the six philosophical systems (darshana)
· Yoga, Âyurveda, and Siddha medicine
· Yoga and Hindu religion
· Questionnaire #1

6. Yoga in Ancient Times [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 4]

· History for self-understanding
· From Shamanism to Yoga
· The Indus-Sarasvati civilization
· A new chronology of ancient India
· The ritual solar Yoga of the Vedas
· Yoga and magic in the Atharva-Veda
· The mysterious Vrâtya brotherhoods

7. Yoga in the Upanishads [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 5]

· The Vedânta tradition
· Wisdom and knowledge
· Karma and rebirth
· Âtman and brahman
· Yoga in the most ancient Upanishads
· The theistic Yoga of the middle Upanishads

8. Yoga in Jainism [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 6]

· The history of Jainism
· The sacred literature of Jaina Yoga
· The yogic path of self-purification
· Questionnaire #2

9. Yoga in Buddhism [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 7]

· The history of Buddhism
· The sacred literature of Buddhism
· The yogic teachings of Hînayâna
· The Yoga of Mahâyâna
· Vajrayâna (Tantric) Buddhism

10. Yoga in the Epic Literature [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 8]

· Morality and spirituality
· Yogic teachings in the Râmâyana
· Yogic teachings in the Mahâbhârata
· The Bhagavad-Gîtâ
· The Moksha-Dharma
· The Anu-Gîtâ
· Questionnaire #3

11. The History and Literature of Classical Yoga [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 9]

· Patanjali
· The Yoga-Sûtra
· The Commentarial literature

12. The Philosophy and Practice of Classical Yoga [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 10]

· Self and world
· The spiritual psychology of Patanjali’s Kriyâ-Yoga
· The eight-limbed path
· Liberation
· Questionnaire #4

13. Yoga in Shaivism [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 11]

· Left-hand devotees of Shiva
· Bhakti-Yoga of Northern and Southern Shaivism

14. Yoga in Vaishnavism [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 12]

· Bhakti-Yoga of Northern and Southern Vaishnavism
· The Bhâgavata-Purâna
· Jnanadeva and other yogins and saints of Maharashtra
· The Bauls of Bengal
· Questionnaire #5

15. Yoga in the Purânas [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 13]

· The history and nature of Purânas
· Yoga in the early Purânas
· The yogic teachings in later Purânas

16. The Yoga-Vâsishtha [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 14]

· The Mind Only doctrine
· The yogic path of Sage Vâsishtha

17. The Yoga-Upanishads [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 15]

· The teachings of the Yoga-Upanishads
· Sound and Breath
· Inner Light
· Sage Vidyâranya and the Jîvan-Mukti-Viveka

18. Yoga in Sikhism [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 16]

· The history and literature of Sikhism
· Yoga in contemporary Sikhism
· Questionnaire #6

19. The History, Philosophy, and Practice of Tantra [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 17]

· The beginnings of Tantra
· Tantra and the Vedas
· The flowering of Tantra
· The scope of the Tantric literature
· Bliss vs. pleasure
· The Siddhas and Mahâsiddhas
· Subtle realms of existence
· The subtle body and its structures
· Esoteric ritualism
· Tantra’s magical universe
· Paranormal powers
· Tantric sexuality
· Traditional Tantra vs. Neotantrism
· Questionnaire #7

20. The History, Philosophy, and Practice of Hatha-Yoga [= Yoga Tradition, Chapter 18]

· The origins of Hatha-Yoga
· Goraksha Nâtha and other great masters
· The Kanphâta sect
· The principal texts of Hatha-Yoga
· Shri Krishnamacharya and the Hatha-Yoga renaissance
· Multiple bodies
· The enlightenment of the body
· The various paths of Hatha-Yoga
· Drinking the nectar of immortality
· Questionnaire #8 and Essay #1 (topic to be agreed with tutor)

21. Nineteenth-Century Yoga

· A brief survey of Yoga’s arrival in the West
· The pioneering gurus
· The importance of Swami Vivekananda

22. Twentieth-Century Yoga

· The evolution of Western Yoga
· The TM revolution
· Current styles of Hatha-Yoga
· The future of Yoga in the West
· Essay #2 (How has studying this course changed my life and spiritual practice?)

The curriculum for the distance learning course closely follows the contents of Georg Feuerstein’s The Yoga Tradition (2d revised edition, copyright 2001, 510 pages) but is both more extensive and in depth.

The 988-page Study Guide provided by TYS includes many additional essays and translations of Sanskrit texts in full or in part in order to round out the discussion of particular topics.

Each of the 22 segments has homework assignments, but only 10 of them (8 questionnaires and 2 essays) need to be submitted to Traditional Yoga Studies. There also are many practical assignments (e.g., meditation, reflection, self-observation, service). Thus our distance-learning course involves body, emotions, and intellect, and also facilitates the important process of integration on the spiritual path.

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