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COURSE: Yoga as Concept and Practice: A Brief History

  2023-11-26 11:00

  Ashtanga Yoga Malmö

In the autumn of 2023 we have the honour to welcome back Dr. Martin Gansten to our shala. Martin will teach a monthly course of 4 sessions in the autumn of 2023.

Yoga as Concept and Practice: A Brief History
Yoga is one of the most multifaceted aspects of Indian culture, with a history extending over more than two millennia. It has formed part of or interacted with all major spiritual traditions in the subcontinent, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Sikhism. Over the course of four lectures in the autumn of 2023 (one Sunday a month), historian of religion Dr. Martin Gansten explores the origins of yoga in the contacts between Vedic and non-Vedic traditions and its subsequent development and transmission, as well as major criticisms and reinterpretations of yoga throughout the ages.

Each lecture will take place one Sunday a month between 11:00-13:30 (with a short break in the middle). You may take part live in the classroom, via Zoom and/or watch the recorded sessions afterwards. The themes and dates for each Sunday are:

  1. The Early Roots of Yoga – Sunday 27/8
    Yoga and ascetic practices in the Upaniṣads, the Mahābhārata, and the non-Vedic renouncer traditions

    2. Yoga and Philosophy – Sunday 24/9
    Yoga as a formal school of philosophy and as a practice within other schools

    3. Yoga in Medieval India – Sunday 26/11
    Tantra, haṭhayoga, and theistic devotion (bhakti)

    4. Yoga and Modernity – Sunday 17/12 (at 11.30-14hrs)
    Hindu reform, Indian nationalism, and transcultural reinterpretations


Full course 1500 SEK (Early bird offer before 30/6 1300 SEK)

Single class 450 SEK

*Booking rules: book before 1/8-2023. No cancellation or refund possible. Participants may give their spot to another person, and/or in case of a waiting list the spot will go the first person on the list.

Bookings and enquiries are made to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Martin began learning Sanskrit on his own at the age of thirteen in 1982. He had Michael Coulson's primer and Whitney's grammar to help him. His interest in Indian forms of thought and religion eventually led to studies in Indology and Sanskrit at Stockholm University (1994–96) followed by history of religion at Lund University (MA 1998). Nowadays, he both writes and speaks Sanskrit fluently and pursues continuous studies in languages such as Pali, medieval Latin and Koine Greek.

Martin's PhD thesis (2003) combined the field of Indian religions with astrology in a study of South Indian nāḍi divination, based partly on ethnographic methods but mainly on Sanskrit texts originating in Kerala and dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Since 2010, he has been associate professor in the history of religion in Lund and continues to conduct research in two main areas: India's indigenous religions - in particular classical and modern Hinduism - as well as the emergence and intercultural spread of horoscopic astrology.

In addition to teaching at Lund University, Martin has also worked at Stockholm and Linnaeus Universities, as well as teaching Indology and Sanskrit at the University of Copenhagen. He has published several publications and, among other things, translated the Indian text Bhagavad Gita from Sanskrit into Swedish (2001) and also the first direct translation of the Upanishads into Swedish (2005) together with Måns Broo.

Please read more about Martin on his website:



List of Dates (Page event details)

  • 2023-08-27 11:00 - 13:30
  • 2023-12-17 11:30
  • 2023-11-26 11:00

This page is regularly updated with new events.