Yoga is a body of practice that spans two millennia and transcends the boundaries of any single religion, geographic region, or teaching lineage. In fact, over the centuries there have been many "yogas"--yogas of battlefield warriors, of itinerant minstrels and beggars, of religious reformers, and of course, the yogas of mind and body so popular today. Yoga in Practice is an anthology of primary texts drawn from the diverse yoga traditions of India, greater Asia, and the West. This one-of-a-kind sourcebook features elegant translations of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and even Islamic yogic writings, many of them being made available in English for the very first time. Collected here are ancient, colonial, and modern texts reflecting a broad range of genres, from an early medical treatise in Sanskrit to Upanishadic verses on sacred sounds; from a Tibetan catechetical dialogue to funerary and devotional songs still sung in India today; and from a 1930s instructional guide by the grandfather of contemporary yoga to the private papers of a pioneer of tantric yoga in America.
Emphasizing the lived experiences to be found in the many worlds of yoga, Yoga in Practice includes David Gordon White's informative general introduction as well as concise introductions to each reading by the book's contributors.
David Gordon White is the J. F. Rowny Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include Sinister Yogis and Tantra in Practice (Princeton).
"In this volume, which is designed to serve as a course on the historical development of the practice of yoga, editor White brings together many leading scholars to present and analyze twenty significant primary texts drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism (and a text from Islam). . . . Featuring a useful glossary, this work would be excellent as a course text or for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students undertaking research on yoga. It would also benefit practitioners who want to deepen their understanding."--Choice
"For upper level undergraduates, graduate students, and intellectual practitioners desiring to engage the true variety of yoga, this dense and disparate collection is indispensable."--Lloyd W. Pflueger, Religious Studies Review
"This volume fills a vacuum in yoga studies. An indispensable resource for teachers and students, it is also of immeasurable value to every thinking yoga practitioner. Through an astute selection of key texts, White effectively demonstrates that yoga is a collection of vibrant, disparate, and distinctive traditions, and he also highlights continuities that unite ideas and practices of yoga through two thousand years of history."--Suzanne Newcombe, Inform, based at the London School of Economics and Political Science
"Yoga in Practice deals with a topic of great academic significance and broad popular appeal, and the contributors are solid scholars who know their material inside out. Yoga is a global phenomenon, and this collection provides clarification of key points and careful contextualization of the history of ideas that has produced yoga. There are really no other books comparable in range, presentation, or quality."--Joseph S. Alter, University of Pittsburgh
Table of Contents
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by David Gordon White:
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