ACADEMIC APPRAISAL of TYS’s 800-hour Distance-Learning Course
by Martin Jerry, M.D.
This course on the Yoga tradition is the first one that I have taken using a distance-learning format. It has been a thoroughly stimulating and positive experience.
I was very excited when the materials for the course arrived. This was serious stuff which appealed to some of my higher criteria as an academic and university professor.
The course text itself [i.e., The Yoga Tradition ] is excellent. Its particular emphasis on history, literature and philosophy as well as practice is unique.
The loose-leaf binder [i.e., the Study Guide] with its profusion of notes and commentaries that expand the course text is a prize. The material is always interesting and informative. The layout with illustrations is attractive. The many extensive bibliographies are an exceptional resource. These notes add enormous value to the course overall.
It would have been easy to simply take the course without the work of the exercises. But I chose to do the whole thing and am very glad that I did, even with the extra work. The many “For Reflection” questions are thought provoking, and the questionnaires required one to review and search the notes and texts in depth.
I found that the essays allowed me to explore and synthesize some of my own thinking about various aspects of Yoga. The quick and personal feedback on the essays and exercises was much appreciated. I would certainly advise someone to take on the extra workload and homework to gain the full benefit of the course.
Along with the text, the binder with the copious notes will be a frequently consulted and permanent addition to my reference library of publications on Yoga.
The course will mature both my writing and my teaching in the future.
To go on a journey one needs two things. One needs a method to make the journey, but one also needs a map of the territory so that one does not get lost. The Yoga Tradition course makes a major contribution to the map. Indeed, it is the only text that I know that surveys the complexity and breadth of that map of the Yoga tradition so completely.
I would recommend both The Yoga Tradition and the course highly to any serious student, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have benefited from the generosity, richness and scholarship of their author. [ Excerpted from a longer statement. ]
—Prof. Martin Jerry, M.D., Alberta