University of Virginia starts Ashtanga Yoga Program

Ever since the University of Virginia announced its grant from Sonia and Paul Tudor Jones (the backers of Jois Yoga), we’ve been keeping an eye out for developments around the school’s Contemplative Sciences Center.

There hasn’t been much, which isn’t too surprising. Universities (in our experience) err on the side of not talking too much about programs, studies, etc. until “after” they succeed.

Today there’s something to point out:

The Contemplative Sciences Center is collaborating with U.Va. Intramural-Recreational Sports to offer an Ashtanga Yoga instructional program of traditional character and uncompromising excellence beginning in October 2012. Principal instructor John Bultman is recognized as an “authorized level 2” instructor by the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India.

The curriculum will be entirely traditional as based upon the system of Sri Pattabhi Jois and will be open to students, faculty, staff and community members.

The Mysore Ashtanga Yoga program is for all levels (beginner to advanced) and will be offered in Memorial Gymnasium (Multi-Purpose Room #2). Participants practice individually at their level and pace in a group with personalized instruction and may show up anytime between 12:00 PM & 3:00 PM Sunday–Friday. Schedules may change due to intramural, athletic, special events, inclement weather or as needed.

So there you have some development. There also are some discussions coming in November, according to this set of talks:

Contemporary research findings from contemplative neuroscience, higher education, and positive psychology point to the significant potential of reflection, meditation, and other contemplative practices. How can these findings be applied on a university campus? For example, how can contemplative practices inform the pedagogy and/or the content of academic courses, or the nature of co-curricular campus offerings?

This presentation will survey relevant research studies and describe the work of George Mason University’s Center for Consciousness and Transformation, founded four years ago. Contemplative practices play a central role in that university’s undergraduate minor, and the Center offers an array of contemplative-based co-curricular activities to all students, as well. This session will also offer an opportunity for participants to reflect on and share with others the value of consciousness and transformation as it applies to them, where they live and work.

Finally, last month the alt weekly in Charlottesville did a piece on the center and Tudor Jones. You can find it here. It touches a bit on the Vanity Fair story on Jois Yoga, the university’s controversy surrounding its president and the question of what the center might do for UVa’s reputation.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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