Presentation by Dagmar Wujastyk: AyurYog: Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia


Presentation by Dagmar Wujastyk: AyurYog: Entangled Histories of Yoga, Ayurveda and Alchemy in South Asia

Image of Yogi at the Mahamandir at Jodhpur by Jacqueline Hargreaves

March 2, 10:30, Lehar Gasse 6-8, 1060 Vienna


Yoga, ayurveda and rasashastra (Indian alchemy and iatrochemistry) are three closely-related South Asian disciplines that are distinguished by a deep literary past and a thriving contemporary practice. As the concepts and practices of these disciplines are increasingly integrated into the daily lives of millions of people worldwide and the multi-billion dollar industries connected with them continue to grow, there should be a more rigorous understanding of the connected histories and ideologies of yoga, ayurveda, and the lesser-known but still critically influential discipline of rasashastra. 

The AyurYog project aims to discover and document the commonalities and disjunctures between yoga, ayurveda and rasashastra from the tenth century to the present, focussing in particular on practices aimed at achieving longevity, physical rejuvenation and transmutation. Our hypothesis is that these practices constitute a key area of exchange between the three disciplines, preparing the grounds for a series of important pharmaceutical and technological innovations and also profoundly influencing the discourses of today's medicalized forms of globalized yoga as well as of contemporary institutionalized forms of ayurveda and rasashastra.

Drawing upon the primary historical sources of each respective tradition as well as on fieldwork data, AyurYog explores the shared terminology, praxis and theory of these three disciplines. We examine why, when and how health, rejuvenation and longevity practices were employed; how each discipline’s discourse and practical applications relates to those of the others; and how past encounters and cross-fertilizations impact on contemporary health-related practices in yogic, ayurvedic and alchemists’ milieus.



Science Days 2018

1 & 2 MARCH 2018
START: 13.00 PM


The Science Days are organized by the Young Academy with the aim that researchers across all
disciplines get to know each other and their fields of research. In addition to members of the Young
Academy itself, all members and employees of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Academy
of Fine Arts Vienna will be invited.
The talks presented by members of the Young Academy will be short and leave lots of room for
questions and in-depth discussion. They are dedicated to making people from all kinds of disciplines
understand what the speaker’s research is about, see connections to other areas of research or
probable implications of research for our daily life or our society.

The event will be in English. In the evening of 1 March we will offer guided tours in the Glyptotheque
of the Academy of Fine Arts. Food and drinks will be provided throughout the event.

ORGANIZERS: Anna Artaker, Thorsten Schumm

Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

REGISTRATION: Elis Eder, Bakk. Aktuariat – Junge Akademie

Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2, 1010 Wien | T: +43 1 51581- 1294 |

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