Mailing List Guidelines

Definitions is an internet discussion group whose primary purpose is to provide a forum for academic discussion among professional scholars of Yoga Studies. The central focus of the list is research in modern and pre-modern yoga from a broad range of the humanities and social science perspectives, such as Sanskrit philology and religious studies.

Membership and eligibility was created to serve as a medium of academic communication between accredited scholars who are engaged in teaching and research at colleges, universities, and research institutes. Full Membership with posting privileges is therefore restricted to those holding advanced degrees (M.A., Ph.D., or equivalent), or who are currently enrolled in an advanced degree program, who either specialize in, or do a significant portion of their work in relation to yoga. Affiliation with an academic institution is strongly preferred, even though individuals who are not formally affiliated with a university or a similar organization may join provided that their scholarly commitment can be made plausible to the committee through their CV.

Special exceptions are made in two cases. First, special exceptions to the advanced degree requirement are occasionally made in cases where applicants have significant scholarly publication records in Yoga Studies. Second, in order to encourage exchange of information and inter-disciplinary research on a high level, exceptions are also made for established scholars in in the humanities and social-sciences who are developing a research interest in yoga studies provided that they can demonstrate a serious interest in yoga studies and can make their scholarly commitment in general plausible through CV and publication list. In these cases, the committee reserves the right to ask for references from established yoga studies scholars should the supplied credentials appear insufficiently decisive.

Membership decisions are made on these principles at the discretion of the Mailing List Committee (see below)

Access for non-members

Non-members are cordially welcomed to read the discussions in the archive. But they will not be able to post messages to the group. They may, however, send questions to the committee for forwarding to the list.

Application procedures

Please subscribe through Once you have filled in the form and sent your CV to the committee, the committee members will consider and vote on your application on a rolling basis.


Members will be expected to maintain commonly-accepted standards of decorum in their postings to the group. Contributions are expected to be polite and well-considered. Members who violate these standards will be warned and may have their membership privileges suspended or revoked if the behaviour continues. In particular, personal attacks of an ad-hominem nature, rude language, and off-topic postings are violations of the list rules. The definition and understanding of what constitutes improper use of the forum shall be a matter for the Committee. Members must be familiar with the standard rules of netiquette, such as those in the famous RFC 1855 Netiquette Guidelines. The Committee may penalize personal attacks or defamatory speech directed against other list members with a temporary or permanent removal from the list. The committee takes especially seriously the inciting or endorsing of violence of any type.


The Mailing List Committee consists of between three and ten persons who are Full Members of the List chosen by a vote of the existing Committee members. They are drawn from diverse geographical areas and are active teaching and research scholars in the interdisciplinary areas of yoga studies in the humanities and social sciences. Committee members will be responsible for the maintenance and smooth functioning of the list and will be asked to share moderation duties on a rotating basis.

Encouraged forms of communication

Members may start discussions, ask or answer questions, post announcements of publications, meetings, conferences or other forms of events characteristic of academia. Job announcements are equally welcome. Announcement of book publications as well as of new journal issues on the part of their authors or editors is welcome. Book catalogues should not be posted directly to the list. Messages should be concise, typically we consider one screen-full of text a maximum size of message. If you wish to write about several different points, please divide your message into separate short posts with separate subject lines.

Discouraged forms of communication

List members are discouraged from posting messages that are not part of a discourse on Yoga studies. In particular, commercial or advertising messages are strongly disapproved, and may lead to suspension. Members should not post job-seeking requests to the list. Long posts that make multiple argumentative points are strongly disapproved.

Technical limitations

Due to the danger of spreading computer viruses, and the widespread availability of free cloud file-sharing services, sending email attachments to the list is discouraged. Rather, send members a link to the file in question. This will also have the advantage that the archived version of the message will still make sense, since attachments are stripped out of the archived messages. Do not post the full text of articles to the list.


Posting a message to the forum implies agreement that your message can be read, distributed and copied under the terms of a Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. This protects your rights as author, and means that the same freedoms also apply to any use of your message by anyone else. In particular, it must be attributed to you. Be aware that anything you post is public and that you should not post materials that are under copyright restriction.

Scroll to Top