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Yoga - Anticolonial Philosophy

An Action-Focused Guide to Practice
Providing a decolonial, action-focused account of Yoga philosophy, this practical work from Dr. Shyam Ranganathan, pioneering scholar in the field of Indian moral philosophy, focuses on the South Asian tradition to explore what Yoga was like prior to colonization. It challenges teachers and trainees to reflect on the impact of Western colonialism on Yoga as well as understand Yoga as the original decolonial practice in a way that is accessible. This book is accessible but thought provoking in its approach, but it will also challenge the way you think. Each chapter takes the reader through a journey of sources and traditions, beginning with an investigation into the colonial -Platonic and Aristotelian- approaches to pedagogy in colonized yoga spaces, through contrary, ancient philosophies of South Asia, such as Jainism, Buddhism, Sankhya, and various forms of Vedanta, to sources of Yoga, including the Upanisads, Yoga Sutra, Bhagavad Gita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. With discussions of the precolonial philosophy of Yoga, its relationship to social justice, and modern postural yoga's relationship with colonial trauma, this is a comprehensive guide for any yoga teacher or trainee to activate and synergize their practice.
Dr Shyam Ranganathan (MA South Asian Studies, MA and PhD Philosophy) is a field-changing researcher, scholar, author, and teacher of philosophy, and an expert in the neglected traditions of Indian moral philosophy, including Yoga. He translated Patanjali's Yoga Sutra (Penguin 2008). Dr Ranganathan founded Yoga Philosophy, a scholar practitioner initiative, to bring anti-colonial, anti-Eurocentric, research-based knowledge about Yoga and Philosophy to practitioners. He is a yoga teacher (E-RHT-500 and CYA-RYT Gold). He is a member of the Department of Philosophy, and York Center for Asian Research, at York University, Toronto.
Field-changing overview of Yoga philosophy through a decolonial lens, showing the origins of a progressive, anti-oppressive, and inclusive practice.
As a deeply respected South Asian scholar on Yoga and historian Dr Ranganathan offers a much needed nuanced perspective on the history of colonization of South Asia and the ongoing impact this has had on Yoga in the west. Dr Ranganathan's work is rooted in a long overdue decolonial perspective dismantling harmful neoliberalism and cultural appropriation and guides us on the path of how we can embrace and live the philosophy of Yoga in our daily lives in a practical and sustainable way. This is a must read book for us all! I am truly honored to learn from Dr Ranganathan's vast knowledge and ancestral wisdom and have him as a dear friend and colleague in my life. -- Anusha Wijeyakumar Adjunct Professor San Diego State University and Wellness Consultant Hoag Hospital
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