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Yoga Sutras an Introduction

19 January @ 11:30 - 12:30

Organised by : Martin Thompson

The aim of this workshop is to provide a clear introduction to one of the main bodies of yoga philosophy. Understanding the message of the sutras, and applying them will…

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The aim of this workshop is to provide a clear introduction to one of the main bodies of yoga philosophy. Understanding the message of the sutras, and applying them will have profoundly positive impact on our lives and those around us.

To study the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali it is essential to have a clear understanding of the historical, philosophical and social circumstances of its age. It is clear when we study the four ages of yoga (Yugas) why the Sutras were introduced, and why at that time.

The Yoga Sutras is set out in four chapters, and each chapter deals with a different aspect of yoga. The Yoga Sutras is yoga of the mind, and makes almost no mention of asana (postures) The Yoga Sutras is not Tantric, so it does not include any techniques such as postures (asana), breath exercises (Pranayama) or mention the subtle body and including kundalini.

The first verse in the Yoga Sutras: Atha yoga anushasanam means,  and now begins the exposition of yoga. This seems a fairly simple statement on the face of it, but has a far deeper meaning when studied. It means this text, the Yoga Sutras, is an authentic text which can to be trusted as a reliable source to draw on. It comes back to the first paragraph, and the four ages of yoga and why and when the sutras was introduced. The sutras draws on earlier concepts and texts, and re-introduces them for a different age.

The second verse of the sutras, and perhaps one of the most well know quotes in yoga, Yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah, which means the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga. This statement sets out the purpose of the Yoga Sutras and we study this statement in some depth on this course.

As I said earlier in this article, the sutras are not Tantric in their origin, and indeed evolved from a completely different timeline in yoga history. This concept is also explained and discussed in depth, and the two paths of yoga are charted clearly for all to understand. Also included is an understanding of Samkhya philosophy and its part in the evolution of the sutras.

There are two clear and distinct historical paths of yoga, and at a point in yoga history they converge leading to modern yoga.

In this workshop the main themes of the Yoga Sutras are explained and room is allowed for discussion and feedback. The four chapters are looked at and particularly the second book, a portion on practice. The second book sets out the eight limbs of yoga, and includes Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana. These themes are discussed in connection with how we apply them in modern day life.

The aim of this workshop is to provide a clear introduction to one of the main bodies of yoga philosophy. Understanding the message of the sutras, and applying them will have profoundly positive impact on our lives and those around us.

Martin Thompson.

 

Yoga Dharma





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