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This paper discusses the risks and rewards of integrating theory and practice in the study of yoga and meditation in college classes. It focuses on a case study of my Yoga, mindfulness, and Indian philosophy course. The course combines hatha yoga and meditation practice with the study of those practices and their origins. We use yoga and meditation to relieve stress and anxiety. We study Buddhist and Hindu worldviews. We examine ethical issues in the ways that yoga and meditation are appropriated and removed from their religious contexts (including the ways we’re using them in the course itself), we reflect on the ways in which our practice differs from traditional practices, we assess different types of contemporary practice, and we weigh the benefits and the costs of our Western embrace of yoga and meditation.
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The Wabash Center Journal on Teaching is published pursuant to a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License (CC-BY-NC).