The Shala London

Yoga Philosophy – Know Your Own What, How and Why

What exactly is yoga and what is it for? There are many different answers in ancient texts, and few of them apply to modern life without being reframed 

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Yoga Philosophy – Know Your Own What, How and Why

The practical benefits of yoga philosophy training

by Daniel Simpson

What exactly is yoga and what is it for? There are many different answers in ancient texts, and few of them apply to modern life without being reframed. Teachers often do that without even realising, then source their ideas to Patañjali – the influential author of the Yoga Sūtra – creating confusion.

Studying yoga philosophy alongside some history makes that less likely. The Shala’s training in these subjects is billed as “accessible” for two main reasons. Firstly, it demystifies complex ideas, dispelling misconceptions while providing a clear and comprehensive overview. Secondly, and more importantly, it helps teachers to find their own way to engage with philosophy, and to feel more confident discussing it with students. Unless we think for ourselves about what yoga means, it’s hard to relate this to earlier ideas, except by pretending their goals match our own. And if we don’t have an answer for how what we do links to older descriptions, we might have to ask why we call it yoga in the first place.

Our 30-hour online immersion includes four in-depth livestreamed discussions that get to grips with these sorts of questions. They build on the ideas in my book, The Truth of Yoga, and look at distinctions – as well as connections – between modern practice and traditional teachings.

The course is compatible with The Shala’s modular 300-hour training, but can also be studied independently – you don’t even have to be a yoga teacher. All that’s required is an open mind and a commitment to inquiry!

What we explore will help to make sense of contemporary yoga and how it evolved, as well as highlighting themes in yogic texts that facilitate contentment in everyday life.

Accessible Yoga Philosophy runs from February 1 to March 16, 2024. You can find out more and sign up below.

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