In The Yoga Mind we will identify important insights in the flow of ideas that make up ‘the story of Yoga’, and our daily asana, pranayama and meditation sessions will provide us with a rich and meaningful way to put theory into practice. Through a comprehensive enquiry into Yoga Philosophy, our knowledgeable teachers will demystify the tradition of Yoga into contemporary language for the modern yoga practitioner.
The Yoga Mind will explore the different ways in which yogis have contemplated and engaged with the nature of existence throughout the millennia. We will trace the history and evolution of Yoga from the pre-classical through to the contemporary, and we will contextualize the evolution of yoga by examining some of the different forces that it has come into contact with since its beginnings. Together, we will 'return to the source' with the study of traditional texts such as The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, and The Yoga Sutras and then move into a study of the Tantra and Hatha Yoga traditions that followed. A survey of contemporary Yoga will highlight some of the key figures in its rise in popularity over the past century and help put into context the current myriad of interpretations of this extraordinary form.
With these reference points and others, we will also approach The Yoga Mind from the inside out - beginning with single pointed concentration practices that incorporate various objects of meditation including the breath, mantra and visual tools such as yantra (geometric designs) and trataka (candle gazing). Buddhist meditation practices will be explored including anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), mindfulness of sensations, mindfulness of thinking and Metta (loving kindness) meditation.
In studying the traditions of Tantra and Hatha yoga, students will learn about the principles of Prana and the subtle energy body. They will explore the powerful practices of mudras and bandhas and be introduced to the cleansing practices of the shatkarmas. With a new found understanding of Prana and its effects on the body/mind complex, we will continue on from The Yoga Body with our progressive approach to pranayama - moving toward more advanced techniques and longer sits.
As a consequence of the journey through The Yoga Mind, students will have new reference points for their own practice and a better understanding of how it fits within the larger tradition of Yoga. They will discover exciting concepts and ideas, deepen their understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of the form, and find fresh inspiration for the evolution of their own yoga.
The Yoga Mind Intensive study topics include:
An overview of Yoga history
The Bhagavad Gita – the 4 paths of Yoga
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – 8 limbs of Yoga
Dharana - single pointed concentration techniques & practices
Pratyahara & the importance of Shavasana
'Mindfulness of thinking' and other Buddhist meditation practices
Original Tantra and the emergence of Hatha Yoga
The nature of Prana
Vayus, bandhas & mudras
Contemporary Yoga from 19th century to the present day