In this seminar, students will begin by learning to read and write the devanāgarī alphabet. We will then put this into practice by reading yoga-related words, focusing on proper pronunciation as well. As we learn to connect consonants to vowels and then consonants to consonants, we will read more complex words and eventually verses and sūtras. We will then begin to learn some simple grammar and translate verses together. Students will study from Zoë’s book, “Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga,” which she wrote to join Eastern and Western methods and theory and practice together.
In each session we will cover a few new concepts. It is suggested that students develop a Sanskrit study practice. Like with yoga, Sanskrit is best learned through consistent practice, rather than through quantity. It is recommended that students do 15-20 minutes a day rather than an hour a couple of times a week.
Zoë Slatoff has a Master's Degree in Asian Languages and Culture from Columbia University. She is the author of Yogāvatāraṇam: The Translation of Yoga, a Sanskrit textbook for yoga students, which uses extracts from classical yoga texts to integrate traditional and academic methods of learning the language. She is now working on a Ph.D. in South Asian Studies at Lancaster University, centering on a translation of the Aparokṣānubhūti, a text attributed to Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, which by integrating Yoga and Advaita Vedānta, teaches how _sana practice can actually help one transcend the attachment to bodily form and provide a vehicle for recognition of the Self. Zoë has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years. She teaches daily Mysore classes at her yoga shala in New York, Ashtanga Yoga Upper West Side.