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BIO

Yoga Philosophy, a scholar-practitioner initiative, is founded by Dr. Shyam Ranganathan. Dr. Ranganathan is a field-changing researcher, scholar, author and teacher of philosophy, and an expert in the neglected traditions of Indian moral philosophy, which covers practical questions of how to live, what to aim for, and what we should value—including Yoga.  Unlike many gurus of yoga and the Indian tradition, and unlike most western academics writing on the Indian intellectual tradition, Dr. Ranganathan is a trained scholar and researcher of philosophy and is author, editor and translator of numerous peer reviewed, scholarly works. Dr. Ranganathan's areas of specialization include: 

  • Ethics/Moral and Political Philosophy

  • Philosophy of Language 

  • Philosophy of Thought

  • Philosophy of Religion, and 

  • Asian Philosophy (especially South Asian philosophy) 

Dr. Ranganathan's ​research began in graduate school on exploring the wide spread colonial myth that South Asian philosophers were uninterested in moral and political issues --- and that BIPOC traditions are instead religious and spiritual.  

After tracing the origins of this myth to problematic and common assumptions involved in translating philosophy (defended at length by Analytic and Continental philosophers alike), and after his many peer reviewed publications  (including Ethics and the History of Indian Philosophy MLBD 2008 and 2017; Ethics 1 E-PG Pathshala; the Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Ethics 2017;  Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation, Routledge 2018---and numerous scholarly articles in prestigious volumes) Dr. Ranganathan’s work has changed the literature on Indian philosophy, Translation Studies and Yoga: the literature hence no longer unanimously supports the old orientalist myth. 

Dr. Ranganathan's recent book, written for lay practitioners of Yoga, draw many of these themes together in an easy to read, informative and challenging short presentation. 

While writing his PhD dissertation in philosophy on the topic of translation (how it is done accurately, and how to avoid problems of projecting our world views on to objects of study), a dissertation in contemporary Western (especially Analytic) philosophy,  he applied his research findings to translating Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra from the Sanskrit (Penguin 2008), which has sold over 5000 copies world wide.  

 

Dr. Ranganathan is a scholar practitioner of yoga as described in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra. He has written widely on Indian philosophies of meditation (Yoga, Buddhist and Jain).  In his introductions to philosophy and critical thinking, Dr. Ranganathan draws liberally from Indian and Chinese traditions to teach the discipline of philosophy. 

Shyam is a CYA-E-RYTGOLD (over 1000 hours training) and an E-RYT500. Yoga Philosophy is GOLD Registered Yoga School (CYA-RYSGOLD) and  Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP).

He is a member of the Department of Philosophy, and York Center for Asian Research, York University, Toronto. 

For a selection of relevant publications, see here.  

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