This course will provide an overview of yoga from a historical and philosophical perspective to situate its evolution and application in our culture and our times. The philosophical foundation of yoga and the key teachings of the tradition (including traditional texts: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads) will be covered. Topics include:
Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga: The psychology and practical implication of each limb, and practices for putting them to work in our lives.
The 5 Kleshas: “hinderances” or obstacles to practice (as described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras), and how to practice and teach when we are stuck.
The 10 Vayus: “pranas” or movements of breath/energy/mind, and the psychology of the breath and mind in vinyasa and pranayama practice.
The 5 Koshas: “sheaths” or energetic bodies.
The 5 Skandhas: “aggregates” or what we hold onto to define ourselves
The Bandhas: energetic “locks” or “seals” (as described in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika), and how to use and teach them as internal measures of practice.
What is a yoga studio? Is a studio a commercial enterprise, a temple or a community centre?
Bhagavad Gita: Lessons on taking action in an imperfect world. Non-violence in communication and action.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Understand the relationship between various traditional yoga philosophy texts and how to read them, learn, study and take insights into your teachings. To encourage a personal exploration of this philosophy in a modern context that is relevant to our lives, and how to teach from this perspective. How share yoga as a teacher in a way that supports yourself, the needs of your community and effects real change.
REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED READING
The Inner Tradition of Yoga (Michael Stone), Yoga Body by Mark Singleton, Preliminary matter to translation of the Yoga Sutra: Edwin Bryant, Philosophy 101 Manual.
Basic understanding of yoga asana and a consistent yoga practice of at least one consecutive year. Attending regular classes at Naada Yoga and/or another institution. Reading all required assignments. Keeping a practice journal and in-class notes, and discussing practice-related questions.