A single book to clear up all the questions over history, lineage and traditions of yoga, by the dorkiest of yogadork scholars? Sound like the the yoga bible you’ve been looking for?
Mark Singleton and James Mallinson have set out on a mission to combine their yogic knowledge with two years of research, translations of ancient texts (about half never before translated) and trips to India to create the ultimate collection of yoga info in the Roots of Yoga, “a comprehensive, single volume collection of centuries of traditional yoga knowledge for scholars, practitioners and teachers of yoga.”
They’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 to fund the project over the course of the next couple of years. (They’re currently at 37% with $18,779 pledged and 17 days to go)
Why do we need such a definitive tome? Singleton and Mallinson explain:
It’s the kind of book we would have liked to have when we started our own investigations into yoga. So much of the material on yoga in today’s popular market is inaccurate, vague, or misleading. It’s very hard to tell what you’re getting, or where the ideas and practices being put forward come from. Often, it turns out, they are straight from the creative imagination of the authors themselves, rather than from a yoga tradition as such.
They intend the book to be “arranged thematically and highlight the major historical moments of yoga’s evolution within the Indian subcontinent (from about 500BCE to 1750CE), showing the continuities, disjunctions and developments that have characterized its theory and practice across the centuries.”
Topics covered include:
- Preliminaries (ethical rules, the yogi’s abode, diet, vows etc.)
- Pranayama (breath-control)
- Asana (posture)
- Mudra (manipulating the vital energies)
- Bindu (the drop/vital energy)
- Nada (internal sounds)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Siddhis (attainments)
- Mukti (liberation)
Interested? Check out their kickstarter page for more info and to make a donation should you so wish. If they don’t reach their goal, the project likely will not happen. Read an interview with the two dudes here.
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