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New Programme for Jan '24:

The Mystics' Way

For most of us, yoga begins as a physical workout but quickly becomes something much more. The connection between movement and stillness,  breath and attention, allows us to connect to ourselves and that which is beyond self (or deeply part of it?) in ways that are unparalleled in day-to-day, secular, Western life, which has lost its sense of the sacred. 

 

Through a combination of theory and practice in community, this is what this 5-week course seeks to address. 

 

'Yoga' comes from the Sanskrit root 'yuj', translated as 'to unite' or 'yolk.' 'Yoga', traditionally conceived, is both a multi-layered practice and a goal; the goal of union with the divine, although this has been understood and sought in different ways across time. 

 

But it is not only in the Eastern traditions that 'yoga' has been sought. We find it in the West too. In particular, through the figure of the mystic, who seeks union with God through prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

Yoga today may be a far cry from its ancient roots, where 'asana' or physical posture was only one part of the practice aimed at ultimate union as liberation: moksha or samadhi. But 

New Programme for Jan '24:

The Mystics' Way

For most of us, yoga begins as a physical workout but quickly becomes something much more. The connection between movement and stillness,  breath and attention, allows us to connect to ourselves and that which is beyond self (or deeply part of it?) in ways that are unparalleled in day-to-day, secular, Western life, which has lost its sense of the sacred. 

 

Through a combination of theory and practice in community, this is what this 5-week course seeks to address.

  • Intro Lecture: an overview of the history of yoga philosophy (!): one hour

  • Week 1: Tapas and Austerity 

    • x1 sheet of reading (multiple sources and overview, inc East and Western traditions)​

    • x1 yoga and meditation class TAPAS theme (60min)

    • x1 contemplation study group (75mins)

  • Week 2: Pratayahara and withdrawal (renunciation, withdrawal of senses, inward contemplation)

  • Week 3: Ethics and Being-in-the-world (notion of jivamuktah, activism, niyamas and yamas)

  • Week 4: pleasure (kama) and pain (dukha) (tantra/hatha; world affirming and world-denying)

  • Week 5: 

 

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