AN 11-PART LECTURE SERIES

Radical Practice

Living the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita

Learn from 11 Respected Teachers as they explore the profound teachings of the Yoga Sutras & the Bhagavad Gita

The Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita are two of the most beloved texts of the Yoga tradition. However, most yoga students today have only a limited knowledge of these important texts or how to apply them to their yoga practice and embodied lives. 

In this 15-Hour Video/MP3 Series, 11 well-respected voices on yoga philosophy take you on a deep and expansive exploration of the most important teachings that arise from these texts. They share with you personal stories and anecdotes as well as deep philosophical insight, as these ten speakers range from the devotional to the scholarly, from the yoga teacher to the academic.

Speakers Include

Raghunath

Edwin Bryant

Rev. Jaganath Carrera

Christopher Wallis

Nikki Costello

Pandit Dasa

Dhanurdhara Swami

Joshua M. Greene

Manorama

Matthew Remski

Christopher Tompkins

You'll Learn About

YOGA SUTRAS
BHAGAVAD GITA
CHANTING
YOGA PHILOSOPHY
SANSKRIT

Talks Include

Astanga Yoga in Sutras and the Gita: A Comparison

with Edwin Bryant

 The Gita defines yoga very differently from Patanjali, given the text's emphasis on action in the world.  But it does accept and outline a version of Patanjali's citta-vritti-nirodhah type of yoga, which it calls dhyana (and the commentaries call astanga), in its 5th and 6th chapters.  There were two types of Yoga, Krishna tells Arjuna: the generic dhyana type, but also an action in the world type.  This latter, Krishna says, became lost in time, and He presents himself as reestablishing this lost action yoga, encouraging Arjuna to follow this.  But the Gita nonetheless honors the Patanjalian type.  This lecture will focus on the verses in chapter 5 and 6 of the Gita that express an astanga type practice, and compare these with verses in Patanjali. Comparative attention will also be paid to the action in the world yoga, which the Gita favors, and which culminates in bhakti.

The Yoga Sutras: Mastering the Game of Life

with Rev. Jaganath Carrera

In every game, there is a goal, a purpose behind the game’s actions. It is usually the first thing about a game that we learn. This is because it is only when we understand the goal and keep it in mind that the rules of the game start to make sense. Additionally, the rules – the list of actions that are allowed or disallowed – help make the game an interesting challenge.

However, if we do not know what the goal is, the rules lose their meaning. They are reduced to a collection of random acts that lead nowhere and only add to a feeling of confusion and anxiety. This is how we often feel about life. We are like ships without rudders trying to navigate seas with unpredictable currents and storms. That is why our first order of business in attempting to master the game of life, as with any game, is to find out what the ultimate goal is.

This is precisely the subject of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Join Rev. Jaganath Carrera in exploring this teaching as it outlines the Ultimate Goal and the rules for Mastering the Game of Life.

One Sutra for a Lifetime

with Nikki Costello

"I accepted the invitation to teach yoga over 22 years ago. The transformation that was taking place within me had created a well of enthusiasm to draw from, and yet, when I began to speak about yoga, the vastness of the subject was overwhelming. There was one sutra I could hold on to.

Young people sat in front of me each day, and it was my responsibility to engage them in the subject. What I quickly recognized was that their presence was giving me purpose. My studentship accelerated, and in my own practice they were there with me, as I studied the asanas in my body, for their bodies. I found myself observing students in class and later critiquing myself and all the ways I could have explained or demonstrated something better. This type of contemplation also known as self-inquiry led to ongoing refinement and the realization that I was having an inner dialogue with the subject of yoga that filled my days and inspired a new focus in my life.

The first sutra I heard, sthira sukham asanam, was the thread that tethered me to the practice and has continued to reveal its essence with greater clarity, depth and experiential wisdom. In the hatha yoga tradition, it is one we repeat with discipline and regularity. Yet, beyond its Steady walls there is an inexplicable Joy that words aim to describe and only time and practice can reveal."

Surrender Unto Me: The Theme of the Gita and the Goal of Yoga

with Dhanurdhara Swami

Dhanurdhara Swami will explore in depth the concept of devotional surrender to the Lord (Isvara) and show by classical hermeneutics how it is undoubtedly the theme of the Gita and the essence of all yoga practices. 

The Bhagavad Gita: Understanding the Self, Duty, Death, Reincarnation and God

with Pandit Dasa

The Gita is the most prominent wisdom text of India and has been commented on more than any other Hindu text. Making up a fraction of the greater epic, the Mahabharata, it covers, within a short 700 verses, the essential lessons that can enable an individual to live a life that engages body, mind, and soul.

In this lesson, we will address the highly controversial topic of Krishna (God) encouraging the warrior Arjuna to engage in a fratricidal war to reacquire the kingdom. We will board the chariot with Arjuna and attempt to put ourselves in his shoes as he faces the biggest dilemma of his life and possibly the biggest dilemma any human has ever encountered, warring against ones own family members.

We will explore the concepts of material dharma (duty) and spiritual dharma and understand the true nature and purpose of the self. The question of whether we live only once or have lived before and will continue to live, will also be addressed through a scientific lens. 

The Hero's Journey: Bhagavad Gita as Monomyth

with Joshua M. Greene

In this one-hour presentation, author-lecturer Joshua M. Greene provides listeners with a unique and exciting way to grasp the Gita’s core concepts and themes. This popular talk includes a summary of the Gita’s 18 chapters, an overview of Gita’s place in the history of spiritual journeys, and practical advice for bringing the Gita’s millennial wisdom into contemporary context.

The Rishis' Wisdom: Yoga Sutra and Bhagavad Gita

with Manorama

In this Sanskrit Studies & Luminous Soul session, Manorama shares how both the Yoga Sutra & the Bhagavad Gita are revealed texts. She shares in-depth teachings around select sutras from the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. She then threads through how the Bhagavad Gita though different in Sanskrit structure similarly offers the student of yoga guidance on how to stay connected with the light of God through all experiences. 

Arjuna & Climate Change: A Thought Experiment Inspired by the Bhagavad Gita

with Matthew Remski

A yogi stands on the battlefield of an impending conflict. He can see in the faces of his compatriots and rivals the inevitable history that's brought them there. He can see that friends and villains alike need care, support, resources, and autonomy. He knows the earth cannot provide for every desire and that civilization groans under the weight of its own expansion. He knows there will be mass chaos and too many deaths to count. What should he do? How can he help?

We're talking about Arjuna at Kurukshetra, pleading to Krishna for advice. But we might as well be talking about our own lives on the precipice of climate disaster. What does the Gita have to say about taking action in times of critical uncertainty? How can knowledge and service be supported by longing and devotion? How can robust personal action lead away from pride, and into an understanding of interdependence? 

In this presentation, we'll look at two modern-day Arjunas on the battlefield of climate change. They may not be devotees of Krishna, but each in their way, they face the perennial dilemmas of the Gita with uncompromising grace.

New Findings that Change our Understanding of the Yoga-Sutra

with Christopher Hareesh Wallis

Many people don't realize that the field of critical scholarship on Sanskrit literature is still relatively young, and therefore we make new discoveries all the time. In fact, some crucial new breakthroughs have been made in the last few years that change our understanding of the Yoga-sūtra significantly. In this new talk, I will summarize these findings and what they mean for all those who study and practice yoga thoughtfully. Specifically, we will address the influences on the Yoga-sūtra; the identities of Patañjali and 'Vyāsa'; the real meaning of Yoga-sūtra 1.2 and of the word 'anga'; and Vedāntic criticisms of AND commentaries on the Yoga-sūtra. Though it might sound academic, this talk is delivered in an accessible manner and I take care to point out why these issues matter.

Aversion vs. Connection: The Goal of Yoga & Its Evolution

with Christopher Tompkins

Yoga: Spirituality or Religion?

with Raghunath

What You'll Receive

11 VIDEOS
11 MP3S
11 PDF TRANSCRIPTS
15 YOGA ALLIANCE CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS
15 EMBODIED PHILOSOPHY CREDITS

About the Speakers

Edwin Bryant

Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published six books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community. 

As a personal practitioner of yoga for 35 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with sensitivity towards traditional knowledge systems. In addition to his academic course load, Edwin currently teaches workshopson the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Hindu Philosophy at yoga studios and teacher training courses throughout the country. His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is specifically dedicated to contributing to the growing body of literature on yoga by providing insights from the major pre-modern commentaries on the text with a view to grounding the teachings in their traditional context. 

Rev. Jaganath Carrera

Reverend Jaganath is the founder and spiritual head of  Yoga Life Society. He is a direct disciple of world renowned Yoga master and leader in the ecumenical movement, Sri Swami Satchidananda, the founder and spiritual guide for the Integral Yoga Institutes and Satchidananda Ashrams worldwide.Guruji has taught at universities, prisons, Yoga centers, and interfaith programs both here and abroad. He was a principle instructor of both Hatha and Raja Yoga for the Integral Yoga Teacher Training Certification Programs for over twenty years and co-wrote the training manual used for that course. He established the Integral Yoga Ministry and developed the highly regarded Integral Yoga Meditation and Raja Yoga Teacher Training Certification programs.

He served for eight years as chief administrator of Satchidananda Ashram -Yogaville and founded the Integral Yoga Institute of New Brunswick, NJ. He is also a spiritual advisor and visiting lecturer on Hinduism for the One Spirit Seminary in New York City.

Carrera is a master bodyworker and holds a Masters Degree in Acupuncture. He has supervised the student clinic at the Eastern School of Acupuncture in Montclair, NJ, where he also served as Academic Dean and helped develop its highly acclaimed curriculum. Reverend Jaganath Carrera is the author of Inside the Yoga Sutras: A Sourcebook for the Study and Practice of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.  Reverend Jaganath released a CD of his translation of the Guru Gita titled From Darkness to Light.

Christopher Hareesh Wallis

Christopher Wallis, also known as Hareesh, has a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. on the traditions of Śaiva Tantra from Berkeley. He received traditional education at yoga āshrams in upstate New York and India in meditation, kīrtan, mantra-science, āsana, karma-yoga, and more. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darśana (philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling.

Hareesh is the Founder and Head Faculty of the Mattamayura Institute. Hareesh is the author of Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition.

Nikki Costello

Nikki Costello is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. She has been teaching yoga for 22 years and was previously certified in Jivamukti Yoga and Anusara Yoga. For 8 years, she taught exclusively for the SYDA Foundation, as a hatha yoga and meditation teacher. As part of the organization she taught hatha yoga in retreats and events in North America, South America, Europe, India and China. It was during this time that she began cultivating a practice of meditation and deepened her study of yogic scriptures and philosophical texts.

She lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and teaches public classes at Kula Yoga in Tribeca and Williamsburg and Yoga Shanti. She maintains a well-recognized private practice in New York City, training and guiding individuals on all levels of their health and well-being.

Nikki is passionate about sharing her study and practice of yoga. She has created several unique educational opportunities for yoga students which include: The Teachers Practice, The Mentor Practice, The Sutra Practice and The Enrichment Practice. She continues to lead retreats and workshops all over the world and in 2013-2014 was a contributing editor at Yoga Journal, writing the magazine’s “Basics Column.”

Pandit Dasa

Pandit Dasa is an inspirational speaker, meditation teacher, and well-being expert. He has conducted stress management workshops and meditation sessions in corporations such as Google, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Intel, Novartis, Columbia and many other institutions. During his 15 years as a monk in New York City, he extensively taught the Bhagavad Gita at Columbia University and college campuses and yoga studios across the country.  Pandit has spoken at a TEDx conference and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, PBS, NPR, The New York Times, and writes for The Huffington Post.  In his book, Urban Monk, Pandit writes about the turning point in his life that came after his family lost their multimillion-dollar business, which caused them to lose everything. This served as a catalyst for Pandit’s journey that would take him from Los Angeles, to post-Communist Bulgaria, to a monastery in Mumbai, India. 

Dhanurdhara Swami

Dhanurdhara Swami was initiated into the Gaudiya Vaishnava lineage by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1974. In 1982, He accepted thesannyasa ashrama or renounced order of life.

Dhanurdhara Swami is the author of three books — Waves of Devotion: A Comprehensive Study of The Nectar of Devotion,Greetings from Vrindavana, a selected collection of his thoughts and realizations from 2000–2004, and Japa Meditations: Contemplations on Entering the Holy Name, a collection of selected personal realizations on japa meditation by Maharaja and others. He is currently working on several writing projects including a contemporary book on bhakti and a book on kirtana.

Dhanurdhara Swami spends half of the year in India where he focuses on bhajana, studying, writing and taking people on pilgrimage of holy places. The other half of the year Maharaja is in the west where he spends his time traveling and speaking about bhakti-yoga.

Joshua M. Greene

Manorama

Manorama evokes healing through the universal arts of language and conscious living. “Happiness,” she often says, “is the free flow of energy, and communication is energy. When we use our voices authentically and confidently, we create harmony between ourselves and others.” A renowned, highly respected teacher, Manorama offers Sanskrit Studies Methodprograms for yoga teacher trainings, as well as Luminous Soul Method trainings and retreats. She tours the globe, training students in the Sanskrit Studies Method and the Luminous Soul Method.

Matthew Remski

Matthew Remski has been practicing meditation since 1996 and asana since 2000. He’s taught yoga, yoga philosophy, and Ayurveda in Toronto and beyond since 2005. He maintains an active Ayurveda consultation practice from his home, which he shares with his partner Alix, and their son Jacob. He’s authored several books on yoga and related subjects, and is working towards completing What Are We Actually Doing in Asana? — an examination of pain, injury, and healing in modern yoga. His blog hosts an average of 20K readers per month: http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/

Raghunath

Raghunath (born Ray Cappo) was a Lower East Side hardcore/punk singer-songwriter icon, touring the globe in his teens. In a decadent music scene infested with hard drugs, negativity and intoxication, he was an anomaly and a light propounding clean living, positive attitude and vegetarian lifestyle, inspiring tens of thousands of fans internationally. Since his youth, he was fascinated with Eastern thought, taking his inspiration from Emerson, Ghandi, Thoreau, the Buddhist Sutras, the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. He started practicing yoga in NYC in 1987 with the esteemed Sri Dharma Mitra as well as Shivananda Yoga. The pettiness of the business of music and the untimely death of his father led him to India in 1988, where he dove deeper into the lifestyle and spirituality of India.

He became a celibate monk at a Krishna Bhakti Ashram for six years, where he intensely studied, meditated and lived the ancient yogic texts. In 1991, in the sacred village of Vrindavan he was awarded the name Raghunath and two years later in that same holy town awarded diksha, or the sacred thread, for his study. Now, 23 years later, he's an accomplished yogi in many styles, married with four children. He leads retreats, workshops and yoga teacher trainings especially in Los Angeles and New York City. He is an expert at taking the esoteric yoga philosophy and making it understandable and practical for the contemporary world. He is an inspirational force in the community by living yoga and taking the esoterica of yoga philosophy and making it practical and understandable in contemporary life.

Christopher Tompkins

Christopher is a Yoga practitioner and Sanskrit scholar specializing in the tradition of Tantric Shaivism.  His research focuses in particular on the ritualized practices of ‘Hatha’ Yoga as originally presented in the earliest surviving (un-translated) Tantras which pre-date the later ‘Hatha Yoga’ manuals by centuries.  He holds advanced degrees in Religion and Sanskrit and presents internationally on the history, practice, and philosophy of Yoga. In 2012, he founded the ‘Kashmir Shaivism Preservation Project,’ which seeks to preserve and to freely share the literary legacy of Kashmir Shaivism, To date, he has acquired over 24,000 pages of manuscripts, most of which have never been seen in the West, that span the vast subject range of Philosophy, Ritual, and Yoga representing the medieval Tantric tradition.

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Radical Practice
Living the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita

AN 11-PART LECTURE SERIES
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