About Bhakti Yoga and the Mythology 


For many millennia, myth has been an integral aspect of humanity’s evolution. Humans created story and meaning out of the world around them, poeticising their relationship to it and their wonder around it. Images and artwork representing this reverence and deification of Nature have been excavated from the Harappan culture and civilization dating all the way back to 2600-1900 BCE. This civilization was as advanced as those in Egypt and Mesopotamia and are our starting point in learning about the deified world as seen through the eyes of early humanity. 


The Vedic era followed the Harappan culture and this is where we begin to see more detail and specificity around the potency and characteristics of the deities. And the deities are, among many other things, a way to be in relationship with the subtlety of the world around us. So much has changed since this time, but the essence remains, that a deepening of our understanding into primal myth patterns enables a greater capacity for relationship to the subtleties of being human.


The Bhakti era arose out of the Vedic culture which is where our familiar Gods and Goddesses Viṣṇu, Śiva, Durgā, Sarasvatī, Gaṇeśa, and Hanumān arise, and these archetypes continue to hold sway over temple culture and religious Hindu practices in India. 


This course is an introduction to the relevance of these myths and the development of personal relationships with the subtlety of Nature, whether or not you ultimately choose to revere a particular form from the Indian traditions.



About the Course




Spring 2021 - An Intro to Myth, Deity, and Devotional Practices

Pre-recorded: details HERE




Summer 2021 - Vedic and Nakṣatra Deities

Summer Session: Fridays, 6:00 - 7:00pm ET, July 30 - Sept 24

This course will approach the earlier elemental deities from the Vedas who set the tone for the deities that evolved into the Bhakti era. We’ll focus on Ādityas (heaven realm deities), Rudras (atmospheric realm deities), Vasus (earthly realm deities), and more. 


There will also be some discussion on nakṣatras, or the lunar constellations, and the deities and myths associated with the stars. As well as more cultural and devotional background on how we can develop relationships with these subtle realities.


Reading suggestions: 

Alain Danielou: The Myths and Gods of India: The Classic Work on Hindu Polytheism

Radhe: The Divine Forces of the Lunar Nakshatras as Portrayed in the Vedas: mystical forms, ancient epithets and sacred mythology

Amar Chitra Katha: Gods and Goddesses: From the Epics and Mythology of India

Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda: Light on Life: An Introduction to the Astrology of India



Autumn 2021 - Rāmāyaṇa Storytelling Class

Dates tba


Allison will tell the stories from the Rāmāyaṇa! This epic story tells the tale of Rāma, an avatar of Lord Viṣṇu, born a prince, but thrust into exile due to jealousy on the day he was to become King of Ayodhya. Rāma travels the forest with his wife Sītā and his brother Lakṣmaṇa and has wild escapades slaying demons and meeting enlightened sages along the way. Sītā’s kidnapping by the 10-headed demon Rāvaṇa enables Rāma to meet the monkey God Hanumān who becomes the devoted friend and servant to Rāma’s new sole purpose which is to save Sītā. 


Reading suggestions: 

William Buck: Rāmāyaṇa

Sanjay Patel: Rāmāyaṇa: Divine Loophole



Winter Session 2022 - Śrīmad Bhāgavatam Storytelling Class

Dates tba


Allison will tell stories from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam! This classic Indian epic ultimately traces the birth of Kṛṣṇa and all the karmic implications of his existence. Kṛṣṇa is an avatar of Lord Viṣṇu, descended to clean the material world of delusion. The stories are an absolute delight as the stage is set for his birth. His myth re-shapes the world away from ritual worship into a deeper more interactive relationship to caring for the land and people in your family and within your purview.


Reading suggestions: 

Kamala Subramaniam: Srimad Bhagavatam








Pricing

Four Sessions, Nine Weeks each, One 60-minute class per week

  • $432 for all four sessions
  • or $162 each session
  • Lifetime access to the videos





Enroll in the Full Course here.


$432

One-Time Payment

One-Time Payment for Four 9-Week Sessions

Allison Dennis holds a BFA in Musical Theatre with a Minor in Music from ECU where she studied Sanford Meisner's acting technique. She sang in jazz, funk, and folk bands, recorded and performed as a singer-songwriter, and performed supporting and leading roles in a variety of plays and musicals. 

In NYC at the turn of the millenium, she acted and sang in Off Broadway shows, and ultimately flew in the wildly popular Argentine circus De La Guarda. A back injury during a show brought her to yoga in 2001. 

A herniated disc with nerve impingement made movement quite painful for the first three years of the injury, so her entry point to yoga was the philosophy of India, not the poses. She concentrated on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras for a decade while becoming a yoga asana teacher as therapy for her own physical pain. Once mobility returned, Allison was finally permitted by her physical therapist to take on an asana practice. Within months she had signed up for her first Yoga Teacher Training in 2005.

From 2010-2018 Allison owned and operated Heart of Yoga School out of Carrboro, NC where she designed and taught three distinct yoga teacher trainings, culminating in a full 800 hour YTT program. She led nineteen long-term trainings while managing the School, guiding curious seekers to become teachers and home practitioners. 

She also spends 2-3 months a year in India, deepening her understanding of the culture and wisdom systems.

Visit www.allisondennis.com for more info and to learn about her tours and retreats in India and Indonesia.