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The Language of Yoga: An Intro to Sanskrit
April 21 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The Language of Yoga: An Introduction to Sanskrit for Yoga Teachers & Students with Seth Powell
Sanskrit is one of the most ancient languages in the world, and is the lingua franca of yoga. In ancient and medieval India, Sanskrit was the dominant intellectual, spiritual, and cosmopolitan language—its literature spreading across the broader South and Southeast Asian world.
In this workshop you will be exposed to this rich legacy of Sanskrit’s past, and guided through a unique experience of studying the Sanskrit language today. We will begin with a brief introduction to the history of Sanskrit—learning about its grammatical nature, scripts, literature, and Sanskrit’s unique role as the purveyor of yogic wisdom through its precise syllabary.
We will then learn how to read Sanskrit in transliterated roman script with diacritics. We will focus on the pronunciation of common yogic terminology and the names of yogic postures (āsana). Slowly, we will progress towards chanting a few Sanskrit mantras, some verses from the Yogasūtra of Patañjali, building towards our “peak” practice—the recitation of traditional Sanskrit verses (śloka) from yogic scriptures.
Students will walk away from this workshop with:
*A deeper appreciation for Sanskrit’s spiritual and cosmopolitan
*A better understanding of Sanskrit’s literary past
*A brief introduction to Sanskrit grammar
*An understanding of the importance of sound within the Sanskrit
*Confidence in their ability to correctly pronounce yogic terms in
*Knowledge of the most commonly mispronounced Sanskrit words
in the yoga world!
*Participants will also receive a free copy of Seth’s unpublished workbook, “Yogabhāṣā: The Language of Yoga.”
*No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required. Workbook will be provided.
Seth Powell is a longtime practitioner of yoga and a scholar of Indian religions, Sanskrit, and yoga traditions. He is currently a PhD Candidate in South Asian Religions at Harvard University. His research focuses on the history, theory, and practice of medieval and early modern Sanskrit yoga texts and traditions, as well as their intersections with the culture and practice of modern transnational yoga. Seth also holds degrees in the study of religion from the University of Washington (MA) and Humboldt State University (BA).
Saturday, April 21
$50 if paid by April 14, $60 if paid after April 14