Jun 18, 2024  
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Catalog

RELG 364 - Yoga and Tantra

Credits: (3)
College Curriculum: COLL 200
Domain (Anchored): ALV
Domain (Reaching Out): CSI
This course traces the historical development of the traditions of Yoga and Tantra in South Asia and examines modern-day understandings and practices of Yoga and Tantra in the West.  We will discuss contemporary debates and controversies surrounding Yoga and Tantra, while also investigating the origins of these traditions and how they came to be perceived and practiced in the way they are today.  Special attention will be given to: key primary texts of the Hindu yogic traditions; the different historical forms of yogic and tantric meditation, asceticism, and “magic;” colonial/orientalist perceptions of these traditions; and the intertwined roles of consumer culture, scientism, and “spirituality” in modern yoga.  The course is anchored in an investigation of larger theoretical questions regarding the (ritual) use of the body and altered forms of consciousness in religious-spiritual practices of disciplining and transforming the self.  Additional topics may include: traditional Buddhist and modern-day secular practices of mindfulness; sexuality and transgression in yogic-tantric practice; the role of the guru in South Asian yogic and tantric traditions; the influence of Yoga and Tantra in modern occultism and the Human Potential Movement; psychedelic drugs and mystical experience; and the links between yoga and Hindu nationalism in modern-day India.