Note: This portion of the course is pre-recorded and released on 9 consecutive Sundays from January 17 - March 14. There will also be three live Q&A sessions held on Thursday, January 28, February 11, and March 4 @ 2 pm - 3 pm ET.
In this course, students will begin by learning to read and write the devanāgarī alphabet. We will then put this into practice by reading yoga-related words, focusing on proper pronunciation as well. As we learn to connect consonants to vowels and then consonants to consonants, we will read more complex words and eventually verses and sūtras. We will then begin to learn some simple grammar and translate verses together. Students will study from Zoë's book, “Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” which she wrote to join Eastern and Western methods and theory and practice together.
In each session, we will cover a few new concepts. It is suggested that students develop a Sanskrit study practice. Like with yoga, Sanskrit is best learned through consistent practice, rather than through quantity. It is recommended that students do 15-20 minutes a day rather than an hour a couple of times a week.
Part II will be held Sundays, March 21 - May 16 @ 2 - 4 pm ET. We will skip April 4 because of the Easter holiday.
In this course, students will build upon what we learned in the Introduction to Sanskrit course. We will begin by learning masculine and neuter nouns, ending in -a, together with their eight cases. We will go through specific examples of each case together, reading from texts such as the Bhagavad Gītā and Haṭha Pradīpikā. We will then learn ātmanepada present tense verbs and feminine nouns ending in ā, finishing with a review of sandhi, word combination. Students will study from Zoë's book, “Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” which she wrote to join Eastern and Western methods and theory and practice together.
In each session, we will cover a few new concepts. Students will be given weekly homework assignments to do for the next class. Answers will be reviewed in the following class and posted on the Facebook forum. It is suggested that students continue to develop a Sanskrit study practice. Like with yoga, Sanskrit is best learned through consistent practice, rather than through quantity. It is recommended that students do 15-20 minutes a day rather than an hour a couple of times a week.
To read and write the devanāgarī script.
To read key yoga terms and understand their meaning.
To read verses and sūtras from classical yoga texts.
The structure of the most common type of verse.
To translate simple verse
Proper Sanskrit pronunciation.
Masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns
The eight cases of all nouns
To read verses and sūtras from classical yoga texts
To read more fluently, with a continued focus on proper pronunciation.
Sandhi rules for joining words together.
9 Downloadable Videos & MP3s
8 Live Sessions on Zoom
11 Live Q&A Sessions on Zoom
Video/Audio Recordings of All Sessions
45 Yoga Alliance Cont. Ed. Credits
45 Embodied Philosophy Credits
In this session we will learn the devanāgarī alphabet, focusing on proper pronunciation of the different sounds as well as writing the letters. We will then learn to read some simple words. We will also learn about the use of virāma to take away the final a sound and how to write the shorthand version of the vowel ā in the middle of a word.
We will begin by reviewing the alphabet and the homework exercises. We will then learn how to write all of the other vowels in the middle of a word, learning their shorthand versions. We will read some more words together, using this vowel combination. We will also learn our first simple rule of sandhi or word junction.
Vowel combinations will be reviewed before learning how to combine consonants together, first through horizontal combination and then vertical combination in addition to considering some exceptions. The conjunct consonant chart will also be explored.
Consonant combination will be examined in Module 4 followed by a learning of the last type of combination with the letter r. We will also begin a collective review of the chapter.
A review of Chapter 1 leads students into Chapter 2, where Zoe teaches how to conjugate first class present tense verbs. We will then learn pronouns and read some simple sentences together.
First class verb conjugations and sentences will be examined at the beginning of Module 6. Then students will learn how to conjugate fourth, sixth, and tenth class verbs, and begin to read and write more simple sentences.
In Module 7, Zoe will guide students to review fourth, sixth, and tenth class verbs. We will then read our first verse together, talking about verse structure and ways to approach translation. We will also study the irregular verb as, to be, allowing you to read more verses.
Group analysis of verses introduces session 8 followed by a review of simple sandhi rules, with examples from the Yogasūtra.
After reviewing the chapter together, Zoe will briefly introduce students to nouns and the grammatical cases, offering a glimpse of what is to come.
In this session, we will start Chapter 3 of "Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” beginning with the eight declensions for masculine and neuter nouns ending in -a and learning some common nouns. We will then look at the nominative, or subject case, in detail, with examples.
We will begin by reviewing the declensions of masculine and neuter nouns and the examples of the nominative. We will then look at the accusative or object case and the instrumental case, which is used to show agency and explain how things are done, going through examples of each together.
We will start with a review of the verses focused on the accusative and instrumental cases. We will then look at the dative case, used for the indirect object or purpose, and the ablative case, used to express action from something or to express an origin or reason. We will also look at examples of both cases.
To begin, we will review the examples of the dative and ablative cases. We will then look at the genitive case, used to express possession, and the locative case, used to express location in time or space. We will look at verses that illustrate both of these.
In this session, we will start by reviewing the verses on the genitive and locative cases. We will then learn the final case, the vocative, used to address a person, god, or personified object. We will then take some time to review the whole chapter.
We will start by going over the review exercises from Chapter 3. We will then begin Chapter 4 of Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga.” We will learn present tense verbs in the ātmanepada voice, originally considered self-reflexive verbs. We will go through the conjugations in detail and look at an example.
After reviewing the exercises on the ātmanepada voice, we will learn the declensions for feminine nouns ending in -ā and -ī. We will learn some common nouns and then go through an example together.
In this session, we will review the declensions of feminine nouns ending in -ā and ī and the verse examples. We will then do a review of the sandhi (word combination) rules we have learned in the previous chapters.
Zoë Slatoff has a Master’s Degree in Asian Languages and Culture from Columbia University. She is the author of “Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” a Sanskrit textbook for yoga students, which uses extracts from classical yoga texts to integrate traditional and academic methods of learning the language. She is now working on a PhD in South Asian Studies at Lancaster University, centering on a translation of the Aparokṣānubhūti, a text attributed to Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, which by integrating Yoga and Advaita Vedānta, teaches how āsana practice can actually help one transcend the attachment to bodily form and provide a vehicle for recognition of the Self.
Zoë has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years. She teaches daily Mysore classes at her yoga shala in New York, Ashtanga Yoga Upper West Side.