In this episode, we welcome back Dr. Stuart Ray Sarbacker for a wide-ranging discussing about his upcoming course, YS 121 | 8 Limbs of Yoga: History, Theory, and Practice of Aṣṭāṅgayoga. We discuss the nature of Patañjali's "classical" model, some of its possible sources and influences, comparisons with Buddhist meditation and paths, Aṣṭāṅga beyond Patañjali including Purāṇic and other medieval sources, as well as modern innovations, adaptations, and continuities with ancient modes of practice.
Stuart Ray Sarbacker is a scholar and seasoned practitioner of yoga and the author of three books, Tracing the Path of Yoga: The History and Philosophy of Indian Mind-Body Discipline (2021), The Eight Limbs of Yoga: A Handbook of Living Yoga Philosophy (with Kevin Kimple, 2015), and Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga (2005). He has published a wide range of articles and essays on classical and contemporary yoga philosophy and practice. He is particularly interested in the ways in which historical and philosophical traditions of yoga can be placed in comparison and conversation with modern and contemporary practice.
He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a specialization in the Languages and Cultures of Asia from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has performed research and fieldwork in India, Nepal, and Japan. He is an enthusiastic and innovative teacher, incorporating contemplative practices and social and environmental justice service-learning into his courses at Oregon State, where he contributes to certificate and teacher trainings in yoga as well as to the philosophy and religion curriculum.