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A comprehensive, single volume collection of centuries of traditional yoga knowledge for scholars, practitioners and teachers of yoga.

What is it?

We (Mark Singleton and James Mallinson) are putting together a new sourcebook of yoga texts from the Indian traditions. Entitled Roots of Yoga, the book will make available for the first time in a single volume many of the most important primary texts of yoga through the ages. All the translations will be our own and many will be from texts not previously translated. Roots of Yoga will be arranged thematically and highlight the major historical moments of yoga's evolution within the Indian subcontinent (from about 500BCE to 1750CE), showing the continuities, disjunctions and developments that have characterized its theory and practice across the centuries.

**PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS PROJECT BY TELLING EVERYONE YOU KNOW, AND BY FOLLOWING US ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roots-of-Yoga/262301770546060

Here's what respected author and one of America's preeminent teachers, Richard Rosen says about the project:

I’ve seen a proposal for the contents of this anthology, and rest assured it will be the most complete survey of traditional yoga literature now available, an invaluable source of information and inspiration. This is a Kickstarter project that simply cannot fail, so if you’re a member of the yoga community, please contribute generously and play a role in what I’m sure will become a classic in the field and a standard textbook in every serious training program in the country."---Richard Rosen, Director, Piedmont Yoga.  [By the way, look out for Richard's fabulous new book, Original Yoga, Rediscovering Traditional Practices of Hatha Yoga--MS].

Who are we?

We are among the foremost scholars of modern and traditional yoga in the world today. Jim's previous work has been called “a quantum shift in the study of yoga and yogis" by William R. ("Vijay") Pinch of Wesleyan University. Professor Kenneth Liberman of Oregon University has said Mark's work has "the potential to transform much of the yoga world". You can read our full bios at below the list of rewards on the right side of this page.

Yoga luminary Dr. Georg Feuerstein writes as follows:

"Both Drs. James Mallinson and Mark Singleton are two leading Yoga researchers. In this momentous volume they have combined their expertise and scholarly talents to investigate this rich tradition. We can expect original ideas and substantial insights that will significantly advance this field of knowledge. I am very excited about this collaboration and have the highest expectations."—Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. Director of Research and Education - Traditional Yoga Studies. Author of Dictionary of Yoga and Tantra, The Bhagavad-Gita: A New Translation, The Yoga Tradition.

And here's what US yoga legend Danny Paradise has to say about us and our project:

"In the evolution of the studies of the ancient Science Of Yoga, two of the world's brightest, most respected and accomplished scholars and researchers, James Mallinson and Mark Singleton, are coming together to bring a deeper understanding of the real origins of Yoga to serious practitioners, teachers and researchers throughout the globe. With impeccable credentials, education, vast experience in the study and practices of Yoga, and years on the path with the Yogis of India, James and Mark are putting together a valuable new resource book called Roots Of Yoga. This book will clear up many misconceptions, fallacies and fantasies that have been perpetuated and institutionalized by numerous contemporary teachers and teachings. They are asking for your support to help them complete their research and writings and bring Roots of Yoga to the public. I highly recommend to the global Yoga community to support James and Mark through their 'Kickstarter' project with your kind donations to enable them to bring this to completion and make it available to the world."

Danny Paradise, International Yoga Instructor Practitioner since 1976 and Teaching Worldwide since 1979. www.dannyparadise.com

SEE BELOW FOR "HOW TO CONTRIBUTE", AND OVER TO THE RIGHT FOR A LIST OF PLEDGES AND REWARDS. AND REMEMBER TO HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THE PROJECT THROUGH EMAIL, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!!

Yogis under a banyan tree, Mughal, 1630
Yogis under a banyan tree, Mughal, 1630

Who is it for?

We intend this book to be of immediate practical value to yoga practitioners, teachers and scholars everywhere. It's the kind of book we would have liked to have when we started our own investigations into yoga. So much of the material on yoga in today's popular market is inaccurate, vague, or misleading. It's very hard to tell what you're getting, or where the ideas and practices being put forward come from. Often, it turns out, they are straight from the creative imagination of the authors themselves, rather than from a yoga tradition as such. Even in serious teacher training programs, the exposure to the Indian yoga traditions is often confined to just three or four well known texts, which provide a very limited and disjointed vision of yoga as a whole. And academic studies are often simply inaccessible for a general audience.

Ganga White, teacher of teachers, "pioneer of yoga" and one of the “architects of American yoga” according to Yoga Journal, says this about our project:

“Please support the Roots of Yoga book project. Mark Singleton and James Mallinson have already made an enormous contribution to understanding the evolution, and evolutionary nature, of Yoga. With all the myth and misinformation in the Yogasphere this research and the resulting book will be a much needed resource for yogis, practitioners, teachers and scholars. Please help hasten its arrival."

Ganga White, author Yoga Beyond Belief, Director White Lotus Foundation.

First folio of 1477 CE manuscript of the Vivekamārtaṇḍa
First folio of 1477 CE manuscript of the Vivekamārtaṇḍa

Topics covered include:

  • Preliminaries (ethical rules, the yogi’s abode, diet, vows etc.)
  • Pranayama (breath-control)
  • Asana (posture)
  • Mudra (manipulating the vital energies)
  • Bindu (the drop/vital energy)
  • Nada (internal sounds)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)
  • Mantra
  • Kundalini
  • Chakras
  • Samadhi
  • Siddhis (attainments)
  • Mukti (liberation)

How will it help?

With Roots of Yoga we hope to help rectify the unreliability and/or inaccessibility of material on yoga by providing a reliable, comprehensive and useable account of yoga's development through the ages: and all of it in the original words of the root texts themselves. The book will include material on all aspects of yoga practice and philosophy, as conceived by the original practitioners and scholars. It will draw from a variety of traditions in which yoga practices have flourished, including Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam.

It will also include commentary and notes on the obscurer parts of the text. There will be an extensive introduction outlining the important features of the collection, and situating the texts in the wider historical context. But the main thing will be the texts themselves. We're hoping that the book will become a first stop for anyone wishing to learn more than they are told at their yoga class, and that it will be an enduring and valuable resource for all serious yoga practitioners.

Judith Hanson Lasater, one of America's most highly respected and senior yoga teachers--rightly called a “yoga teaching star” by the New York Times--writes this about the project:

“When I heard about Mark and James' ambitious project, I couldn't help but be excited. The literature on yoga is vast, to understate things. To have two scholars and practitioners of this stature devote several years of their life to the production of such a tome is an awe-inspiring thing. I believe that this work will shape the understanding of yoga for decades to come, if not longer. I have donated to their project myself because I know Mark and admire his work and dedication to not only understanding yoga with his brain, but also to living its precepts in this tumultuous world. Please join me with a donation of any amount so that all of us in the yoga community can help to get this book published. I think we will be helping to give birth to a book which will be useful today, as well as a clear and complete legacy for all those yogis and yoginis to come. Namaste"---Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., PT, and yoga teacher.

Yogic practices, Tamil Nadu, c.1830
Yogic practices, Tamil Nadu, c.1830

Where your money will go

Most of our initial work will be in the gathering, editing and translation of the texts themselves. We are are hoping to raise $50,000 to fund this. We think that this is the bare minimum (split two ways) that we would need to fund the first phase of the work, including research trips to India. It is substantially less than we might expect to receive for an academic research scholarship. But this is not an academic work as such: it's a labor of love (although we will of course be bringing all our combined academic expertise to bear on the translations). We don't want to get rich from this project, but we do need adequate funds so we can commit to seeing it through to the end.

We estimate that it will take two years to bring the book to final completion, so we're really hoping to raise more than our initial goal. If we don't make the target (as per Kickstarter rules) we won't see any of the money, and the project won't go ahead as planned. So please help us reach it! And if you can help us go beyond that to fund our second year (when we will be working hard on annotations, commentaries, introductions, and the final production of the book), that would be tremendous.

A final word from John Abbott, former CEO and President of Yoga Journal:

“This collection of practice-oriented texts from across the centuries will introduce readers to a whole new range of possibilities in yoga. The credentials of the authors (scholars and practitioners both) are impeccable. Anyone interested in furthering the evolution of yoga in the modern world should pledge generously to this project. We sorely need resources like Roots of Yoga." ---John B. Abbott (Former CEO and President of Yoga Journal LLC; Board of Directors, Yoga Dana Foundation)

Yogi mural on wall of Mahamandir, Jodhpur, c.1820
Yogi mural on wall of Mahamandir, Jodhpur, c.1820

How to contribute

Over on the right of this screen, you'll see a range of pledges, from $5 to $10,000, with different rewards attached to each one. We'll mail or email out the goodies as soon as we make full funding, or as soon as the items become available. Some of the rewards, such as webinars, classes and workshops, can be arranged with you for a convenient date. Others, such as the “meet the yogis” trip to the Kumbh Mela in India, are scheduled in advance.

To pledge to a project, just click the green “Back This Project” button on this page. You will be asked to enter your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. If the project is successfully funded, your card will be charged when the project reaches its funding deadline. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged. Kickstarter will send you an email when funding ends, no matter the outcome.

If you want to learn more about Kickstarter, there's an FAQ here: http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter%20basics

Help us get this book done. Thanks for contributing!

Warm wishes,

Mark and Jim

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED WITH THIS KICKSTARTER PAGE: To Judith Lasater, Ganga White, George Feuerstein, Danny Paradise and John Abbott for believing in us and our work and for writing such nice things. Special thanks to Richard Rosen for his support. To Jennifer Morrison for kindness and support. To Mags Dennis and Ronnie Biggs for making the film. Gratitude to Carol Horton, Priya Thomas, Matthew Remski, Philip Goldberg and Roseanne Harvey for helping us to get the word out. Thanks to National Geographic photography tutor Jennifer Davidson for donating two of her amazing yoga shots (see below. To see more of Jennifer's work go to http://jenniferdavidsonphotography.com/).

If you'd like an exclusive print of this image, see reward No. 10
If you'd like an exclusive print of this image, see reward No. 10
If you'd like an exclusive print of this image, see reward No. 10
If you'd like an exclusive print of this image, see reward No. 10

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    Our eternal gratitude and your name added to our mailing list for workshops and events.

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    Original unpublished translation of the Dattatreya Yoga Shastra, the first Sanskrit text to teach hatha yoga, sent to you in pdf format.

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    Roots of Yoga in ebook format.

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    Signed first edition of Roots of Yoga.

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    Signed first edition of Roots of Yoga, plus your choice of Mark’s Yoga Body or one of Jim’s translations (Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita and Khecarividya), signed.

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    Signed first edition of Roots of Yoga, plus your choice of any two of Mark’s Yoga Body and Jim’s translations (Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita and Khecarividya), signed.

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    Signed first edition of Roots of Yoga, plus signed copies of Mark’s Yoga Body and Jim’s Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita and Khecarividya translations.

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    Signed first edition of Roots of Yoga, plus your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section.

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    Your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section, plus three signed first editions of Roots of Yoga

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    Your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section plus EITHER five signed copies of Roots of Yoga OR an exclusive framed, professional print of one of Jennifer Davidson's incredible yoga photos (featured in our video and at the bottom of this page: jenniferdavidsonphotography.com. Limited to 3 of each image).

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    Private or group yoga class with Mark plus signed copy of Roots of Yoga (airfare and accommodation not included). Your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section. Class any time after April 2013.

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    Personal webinar on the Roots of Yoga with Jim and Mark. Any time after the launch of the book. Plus your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section

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    One author will travel to your city and present a one day practical workshop on The Roots of Yoga to patron and a selected group of friends (We will request 50% of our airfare and accommodation expenses). Any time after August 2014. Plus your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section

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    24 hours at the Kumbh Mela with Jim, Mark and the crew of Jim's film on the yogis of India. Part of your money will go towards throwing a feast for the yogis and sadhus and making a donation to the camp (Airfare and accommodation while in India additional). Your name included as a "patron" in the Acknowledgments section.

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    Trip to the Kumbh Mela, plus THE BOOK DEDICATED TO YOU!

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Funding period

- (30 days)