Current Events and Research Projects
American Academy of Religion Yoga in Theory and Practice Group
Seeks to elucidate the religious and sectarian representations of yoga in South Asian history and the contemporary yoga culture that have emerged in the past century.
Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia
This five-year ERC-funded project is examining the histories of yoga, ayurveda and rasaśāstra (Indian alchemy and iatrochemistry) from the tenth century to the present, focussing on the disciplines’ health, rejuvenation and longevity practices.
The Haṭha Yoga Project (HPY) is a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council and based at SOAS, University of London, which aims to chart the history of physical yoga practice by means of philology, i.e. the study of texts on yoga, and ethnography, i.e. fieldwork among practitioners of yoga. The project team consists of four researchers based at SOAS, one at the École française d’Etrème Orient, Pondycherry, and one at the Maharaja Man Singh Pustak Prakash, Jodhpur.
Yoga Scapes: The Economics of Imagination and Utopian Aspirations of Transglobal Yoga in Japan
A two-year postdoctoral research project starting November 2017 at Kyoto University. In an effort to shift the gaze of global yoga studies away from a Western perspective, this anthropologically-informed project seeks to privilege the lived experiences of yoga practitioners in Japan. This project focuses on several yoga studios, yoga retreats and yoga teacher training courses dislocated across urban and rural regions of Japan. The focus is to compare the consumption and reconstitution of global yoga lifestyles and narratives within the Japanese imagination. Analysis of marketing rhetoric demonstrates how yoga is commodified into spiritual tourism packages for Japanese citizens and international tourists. The principal questions are: What is quintessentially Japanese about ‘Yoga in Japan’? And, how is yoga infused into the popular culture?
Past Events and Research Projects
Yoga darśana, yoga sādhana: traditions, transmissions, transformations
International academic conference on yoga in Krakow 19-21 May 2016
Organised by the Jagiellonian University Institute for the Study of Religions and the Modern Yoga Research group.
Yoga and the Body, Past and Present: A Symposium 4-6 May 2016, Australian National University, Canberra.
Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on a Global Phenomenon
A conference at the University of Vienna, Austria held 19-21 September 2013.
The Magic of Yoga: Conceptualizing Body and Self in Transcultural Perspective
An international workshop organised in 2009 by the “Mind and Body” research group, part of the wider “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” research programme.
Yogic Perception, Meditation and Altered States of Consciousness
2006 Symposium. The proceedings have been published; see further details.
2006 Modern Yoga Workshop at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Report by Benjamin Smith.
2006 The Theory and Practice of Yoga in Switzerland
A conference coming out of the a 2002-2004 research project of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of Lausanne entitled “Yoga Between Switzerland and India: The History and Hermeneutics of an Encounter”
2004 Modern Yoga Reading Group, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
A brief report and list of the readings used.
2001 Modern Yoga Workshop
These last two events were part of the Indic Health and Medicine Research Programme (2000-2004) of the Dharam Hinduja Institute of Indic Research (DHIIR), Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.