About

Where the studio meets the academy—making accessible the highest quality and most cutting-edge research on yoga for studios, teachers, and students.

Our Story

In recent years, the popularity of yoga has skyrocketed around the world, with tens of millions of practitioners rolling out their sticky mats daily. Alongside the global yoga boom, the last decade has also witnessed an exciting surge in critical yoga research in the academy. Much of this scholarship is reshaping the history of yoga as we know it! Unfortunately, however, much of this knowledge is secured behind institutional paywalls and specialized academic jargon, and is thus largely inaccessible to the larger yoga public.
 
On the other hand, within yoga studio culture and teacher training programs, yoga practitioners continue to be met with “wishy-washy” claims about yoga’s past, and misleading interpretations regarding yoga’s philosophical traditions.
 
Yogic Studies was founded by Seth Powell in 2018 to provide continued educational services for the broader yoga community. Yogic Studies aims to bridge the gap between the yoga studio and the academy—seeking to make accessible the highest quality and most cutting-edge research on yoga for teachers and students.
 
We offer online courses and in-person trainings on yoga history, philosophy, and Sanskrit studies—seeking the balance between the highest standards in academic scholarship, yet readily accessible, affordable, and meaningful for the modern practitioner.
 
 
 

Seth Powell

PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Founder, Yogic Studies

Seth Powell is a longtime practitioner of yoga and a scholar of Indian religions, Sanskrit, and yoga traditions. He is currently a PhD Candidate in South Asian Religions at Harvard University. His research focuses on the history, theory, and practice of medieval and early modern Sanskrit yoga texts and traditions, as well as their intersections with the culture and practice of modern transnational yoga. Seth also holds degrees in the study of religion from the University of Washington (MA) and Humboldt State University (BA).

In addition to his academic pursuits, Seth has spent much of the past decade “on the mat” in the American yoga studio culture, engaging in a variety of forms of modern postural yoga. Beginning in 2010, Seth has spent extended periods abroad studying with teachers and traditional yogīs in India, as well as conducting doctoral field work and research into the textual and material cultural history of yoga. He is an Experience Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 200) and Yoga Alliance Continued Educational Provider (YACEP).

As a scholar-practitioner, Seth is gifted in his ability to present the ancient teachings of yoga clearly in an accessible, light-hearted, and inspiring manner—while maintaining a rigor and sensitivity to traditional Indian knowledge systems. Seth conducts online courses and lectures regularly on the history and philosophy of yoga at studios, teacher trainings, and universities around the country.

All courses and trainings with Seth are eligible for Continued Education (CE) credit hours with Yoga Alliance.

"Seth’s reverence for all things yoga, depth of knowledge and highly engaging personality takes his students on an exquisite journey that leaves them wanting more. As a studio owner and facilitator of a teacher training program I assure you your students and your studio will benefit greatly from Seth Powell’s enriching contributions. "

Megan Grace
Owner, Perennial—Yoga, Wisdom, Community, Madison, WI

"Seth has taught the Yoga Sutras in our yoga teacher training program as well as conducted public workshops on yoga history and philosophy at our yoga studio. He brings forth a wealth of academic knowledge and presents it in a way that both honors the historical context and makes it applicable to modern day experiences on and off the yoga mat. His innate thoughtful and passionate way of teaching provides a welcoming space for study and self-reflection and his clarity of presentation keeps the material memorable. Seth brings forth a unique opportunity for asana students to access the ever evolving academic understanding of yogic teachings."

Daniel Max
Yoga Teacher, Owner, JP Centre Yoga, Boston, MA

"Having Seth on staff for the Balanced Yoga YTT was a brilliant decision. He was very available and easy to coordinate with. He brought such a solid understanding of the Yoga Sutras to the students, tying together the ancient wisdom of these sacred texts to our modern day practices. Every one of my students loved him. Seth is an ocean of knowledge. A very clear and poised educator. I'm looking forward to future trainings with Seth on my staff."

Lori Bonazzoli
Yoga Teacher, Owner, Balanced Yoga, New Haven, CT

"As a longtime practitioner of yoga, Seth’s direct experience and intuition inform his understanding and presentation of the most current yoga history, philosophy, and scholarship. Although his indefatigable research alongside the world’s top yogic scholars makes him a living, breathing source of Yoga Vidya, his humble, clear, and concise delivery of the material facilitates a palatable and memorable Satsang for all who are fortunate enough to study with him. Our shala doors are always open to Seth as a friend, yogi, and formidable scholar."

Joey Paz
Yoga Teacher, Om Shala Yoga, Arcata, CA

Householder Yoga

Yogic Studies is a homegrown family operation. Seth currently resides in Northern California's Napa Valley, with his wife and two young children. 

“Living in a house filled with children and a wife and so forth, internally abandoning attachment, and then seeing the mark of success on the path of Yoga, the householder has fun having mastered my teaching.”

— Śivasaṃhitā 5.260

Contact Yogic Studies

Question about an online course? Interested in setting up an in-person workshop or training with Yogic Studies? Contact Seth today.

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