Laura von Ostrowski

Laura von Ostrowski, M.A. © privat

PhD Supervisor Prof. Dr. Andreas Nehring
PhD Co-Supervisor Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anne Koch
Start 2015
Contact laura.von.ostrowski(at)
Topic/Title The Significance of the Yoga Sutra in Modern Postural Yoga


The Significance of the Yoga Sutra in Modern Postural Yoga My Ph.D. project analyzes the German yoga scene from the turn of the millennium to the present day from a religious studies perspective, with a special focus on the reception of ancient Indian Sanskrit yoga texts in Modern Postural Yoga.

A key passage in the Yoga Sūtra, arguably the most important textual source for the yoga scene in question, refers to a state beyond intellectuality: yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ (Sūtra I/2), which roughly translates into “[y]oga is the cessation of the fluctuations of mind” (Sarbacker). This state has been described for example as one of immediate self-awareness, and various practices for attaining it have been established and legitimized by making recourse to the texts (body, breathing, meditation, and recitation exercises, in particular). These constitute performative presentifications of tacit bodies of knowledge, i.e. the ritual / somatic performance of social, somatic, emotional, and semantic knowledge. In this context, the question arises as to how this knowledge – as textual knowledge of the texts’ translations – is transferred to the level of tacit experiential knowledge. Both the yoga texts and the practices associated with them undergo cultural transfer and processes of appropriation; therefore, they shed light on social phenomena and developments.

My Ph.D. project examines the discourses relevant in this context and furthermore aims to analyze ethnographically how textual contents are translated into practices and rituals. By employing a variety of methods such as participant observation and qualitative interviews, I aim to provide a thick description of the field in order to capture the multifarious significance of ancient Indian yoga texts for the members of the late modern, alternative religious scene.

  • for further information click here
  • News
    "The Paris-Lodron-University Salzburg sincerely congratulates its honorary doctor, Peter Handke, on the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2019", emphasizes Rector Hendrik Lehnert. The University’s bond to the life and work of this important Austrian author is documented on several levels, in particular with the Salzburg Germanists and the Literary Archive, according to Lehnert.
    On 8 October, the priest and theologian, Gideon Pwakim, was awarded the Erwin Kräutler Prize 2019 for his successful liberation-theological and socio-scientific discussion of religiously charged conflicts in his homeland of Nigeria. The prize is named after the longtime Bishop of Xingu/Brazil and alternative Nobel laureate, Erwin Kräutler, who has campaigned for over five decades for the rights of the people in the Amazon.
    On his 39th wedding anniversary, the University of Salzburg adopted university professor, Heinrich Schmidinger, as Rector. He now looks forward to a little less responsibility, he said at the ceremony in the Großen Universitätsaula.
    On 18 September, 2019, the second round of Karriere_Mentoring III, the career development program for female scientists (PhD and post-doctoral students) of the Universities of Krems, Linz and Salzburg, began.
    Dr. Stéphanie E. Binder (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) Wednesday, 16 October, 2019, 18:00 c.t., Room, E.33 (Abguss-Sammlung), Residenzplatz 1, 5020 Salzburg.
    What is needed is your creative potential! Get to know the district club, which is staged in the Andräviertel. Get into conversations, make contacts, implement your ideas and have fun doing it.
    The Impact Forum Europe is coming to Salzburg for the sixth time with the topic ESG Regulation - Impact of the EU Action Plan.
    This year Japan and Austria celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral friendship treaty. On this occasion, the University of Salzburg is organizing the conference "Japan and Viennese Modernism" in cooperation with the city and province of Salzburg.
    The Department of Slavonic Studies would like to cordially invite you, together with the cultural center DAS KINO, to the fourth part of our successful cinema series of East and Central European films. The film club "Slawistyka, Slavistika, Cлавистика" presents award-winning current Polish, Russian and Czech films with social and political themes.
    Democracy and the rule of law seem to have experienced better times in Europe. The recent developments in many countries point to a dismantling of the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy.
    On 24.10.2019, the Salzburg Social and Medical Law Days, which were launched in the previous year in cooperation between the Federation of Austrian Social Security Institutions and the Department of Labor and Economic Law of the University of Salzburg, will take place for the second time. The aim of this series of events is the discussion of current social security issues from the perspective of science and practice.
    Salzburg-born author, Franz Paul Horn, presents his first novel »Over the Borders«. In the summer of 2015, he ventured with two friends on a bike ride to Iran. This journey changes his life….
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 14.10.19 Large Roman ships in the Eastern Mediterranean
    15.10.19 Ästhetik des Vergessens - Emmanuel Guiberts "Alans Krieg" als Testbeispiel
    15.10.19 >>Über die Grenzen
    17.10.19 Salzburger Juristische Gesellschaft
  • Alumni Club
  • Uni-Shop
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's instagram site University of Salzburg's flickr site University of Salzburg's vimeo site