New yoga studios are popping up around Houston all the time, and it’s no surprise with how popular the practice has become. More than 20 million Americans currently practice yoga for a variety of reasons – stress relief, flexibility, training the mind, etc. – and more and more people are becoming fans every day. However, every “yogi” in downward dog may not be fully aware of the philosophy behind their movements. Sravana Borkataky-Varma, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice, will delve into this concept in our new course, “Eight Limbs of Yoga: Effort and Surrender.” She explains that “in the Indian context where yoga originated, it was a lot more than postural yoga. There is a deep philosophy embedded in a mental and physical discipline. Many times yoga is only seen as a fitness regimen and the philosophy is sidelined.”
Throughout this seven-week course, Borkataky-Varma will lead discussion and activities highlighting different aspects of yoga, including yogic breathing, meditation, observations, senses and concentration, and more. For instance, participants will gain an understanding of what happens when you focus on your breathing, including its impact on organs, blood flow and cognition. Each class will end with a challenge or optional out-of-class assignment to complement the next session. Borkataky-Varma is confident that understanding yoga can have a positive influence on your daily life as well as your postural practice. Whether you are simply curious to learn what yoga is or are a regular yogi, this interactive course is sure to be enlightening. Claim your seat in either the daytime (begins September 23) or evening session (begins September 21).
Kim Espinosa, Marketing Specialist