Pearland Bikram Yoga is offering a series of 3 classes on World Religions beginning in January, 2013. The classes will introduce the student to the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism by taking a look at the underlying Dharmic worldview. The classes will provide a high-level overview of the foundational core concepts and values of the Dharmic traditions, the four main religions that come out of that foundation, and the rich history of yoga as it is understood in the Dharmic context. Classes will begin in January 20th, 2013 and will be held at Pearland Bikram Yoga Studio on the 3rd Sunday of the month, at 2:00 pm. The classes are 2 hours long, include a handout, and cost $35 for all 3 classes. Classes are taught by Jeannette Darcy who holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She has been studying the religions and cultures of India since 1990 and is a practicing yogini.
January 20th, 2013, Sunday, 2:00 pm
Lecture 1 – Being Different
This class compares the core values of the Dharma traditions of India with the Abraham-based traditions of the West. The class will go through a side-by-side comparison of the fundamental concepts of time, space, causation, the human place in the cosmic scheme and many other topics.
February 17th, 2013, Sunday, 2:00 pm
Lecture 2 – The Land of Dharma
This class lays out a mind-map of the major spiritual traditions of India: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The class will introduce the different ‘ darshanas‘ or points of view that are found within each of these Dharmic traditions, and will provide and overview of the scriptural treasures of each tradition.
March 17th, 2013, Sunday, 2:00 pm
Lecture 3 – The Dharmic View of Yoga
This class will provide a look at the rich and deep history of yoga as it is presented in the Sanskrit texts. We build upon our understanding from the previous classes and look at how yogic philosophy, anatomy, and practices fit within the context of the Dharmic worldview. The class provides an overview of the development of yoga in the West in the 20th century.
When & Where
I stumbled upon Bikram Yoga in 1990 after reading “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda and both events turned out to be total life changers! I began studying the religions and cultures of India in earnest while working as an engineer at NASA and practicing Bikram yoga. Over the years I practiced many other types of hatha yoga but I always kept coming back to the wonderful hot room of Bikram yoga whenever I needed a healing from injuries that I sustained doing other types of “cold” yoga! As time went on, my passion for Indian culture and religion grew so much that I decided to quit my job and return to school to study Indian philosophy at the university level. In 2008, I earned a Masters Degree from University of Chicago Divinity School but decided not to pursue an academic career at that time. Instead, I returned to Houston and developed my own engineering consulting business that allows me the time and freedom to travel and teach world religion classes outside the academic system. Meanwhile, my yogic wonderings also settled down as I found the perfect combination of physical and spiritual practice for my temperment. For my physical practice, Bikram Yoga is my yoga of choice. There are so many things to love about it! I love the healing heat, the benefit of sweating out the toxins, the perfectly sequenced routine which warms up each part of the body before stressing it, the fact that we do the same routine every time which prevents a sense of competition with others and which teaches us to notice how our bodies change every day, the calming effect the class has on my mind, and the kick-butt aerobic workout I get while doing a gentle, non-impact flow series. After many years of working out doing all sorts of yoga and aerobics, it wasn’t until I settled down into a weekly Bikram yoga routine that my cholesterol numbers finally dropped (40 points!) and my heart rate lowered. For my own spiritual practice, I have found Kundalini yoga to be the best guide for meditation and daily living. For me, these two very different modes of yoga are a perfect combination for lifelong health and spiritual development.