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Philosophy

The word ‘yoga’ is most frequently associated in the West with the practice of physical postures (asana) but, as Iyengar writes, ‘if you think that learning to touch your toes or even stand on your head is the whole of yoga, you have missed most of its bounty, most of its blessings and most of its beauty’. Yoga is a wisdom tradition containing a wealth of insight on all aspects of existence.

Yoga offers a particular view of the human being, an understanding of the relationship between individuals, and insight into the connection between the human and the sacred. Yoga therefore has as many benefits for the mind and the heart as it does for the body. Understanding the key philosophical concepts of yoga and finding a way into the texts of the tradition can enrich our daily practice, giving us a context for the practice of asana (yoga postures) and pranayama (breath control).

Short Courses in Yoga Philosophy run throughout the year offering an introduction to the key texts of the yoga tradition and an exploration of the relevance of the central concepts of yoga philosophy for today.

Courses for the academic year 2018/19:

Introduction to the Yoga Sutra
September to December 2018

The Upanisads
January to April 2019

The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga
May to July 2019