$15 - $30
Yoga - To Mortify or Cultivate the Body
Early Sanskrit texts tell us that Indian yogis of old undertook yoga as a practice of severe austerity. They mortified their bodies through fasting, extreme breath-control, and penances such as holding their arms in the air for years on end. It was only when the first texts on hatha yoga began to appear, around a thousand years ago, that the promise of the physical benefits of yoga began to be made.
By the 18th century, the practice of yoga integrated more and more dynamic physical movements aimed at strengthening the body, and in the present day, yoga has become an instrument for physical wellness, to the point of mythification. James Mallinson takes us on a historical journey, explaining how and why yoga has changed from being a practice for world-renouncing, self-mortifying ascetics, to the body-cultivating one that it is today.
When he is not paragliding across the Himalayan sky, or being anointed a 'Mahant' at the Kumbh Mela, Sir James Mallinson (SOAS, London) is an internationally recognized textual scholar, yoga practitioner, and documentary filmmaker with a public intellectual profile that speaks in equal measure to Sanskrit scholars as well as international yoga practitioners.
This event is in partnership with UBC Asian Studies as part of the World Sanskrit Conference and Indian Summer Festival with support from UBC Faculty of Arts and SSHRC.