The Science of Yoga
Yoga Theory & Philosophy for Beginners and Beyond
5 Week Series | Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:45 pm | May 10, May 24, May 31, June 7 & June 14
Please note there is NO class on Wednesday, May 17
$99 for Full Series | $29 per Workshop
Welcome to “A Journey into the science of Yoga – A passage into Self.” The intention of this series is to offer a glimpse into the science behind Yoga.
The vast and great practice called yoga is so much more than meditation, pranayama (breathing exercise) and asana (postures) it’s an important science for humanity in todays world. If we open ourselves up to the theory and philosophy behind the practice we have this extraordinary opportunity to break habitual patterns that stand in the way of self-development and realization of Self.
It’s important to note that all classes are guided from a genuine place of scope of practice, and study and scripture based. Resources include the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the works of Baba Hari Dass, Tias Little, David Frawley and from personal study at the Mount Madonna Center and Ayurveda Institute.
Week 1 – May 10
The Lay of the Land – Introduction into Ashtanga Yoga
Yoga’s Ethical and Moral Compass – the Yamas and Niyamas
This first workshop on the science of Yoga begins with an introduction into yoga and the various systems practiced today, with special focus on the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, the eight-limbed path. Explore Ashtanga Yoga and how to utilize the practice as a ‘road-map’ to guide you on your life’s journey.
The eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are;
- Yama – five self-regulating behaviors
- Niyama – Five personal practices that relate to our inner world
- Asana – A steady and comfortable meditative pose; a specific position of the body, which channels prana (vital energy), opens the chakras and removes energy blocks
- Pranayama – technique of breathing and breath retention which increases pranic capacity
- Pratyahara – sense withdrawal; first stage of concentrating the mind
- Dharana – practice of concentration
- Dhyana – one-pointedness of mind through concentration on either a form, thought or sound
- Samadhi – union with the object of meditation
This discussion will provide an all-encompassing introduction into the practice of Ashtanga Yoga and an in-depth experiential discussion on the external limbs 1 and 2 and how we can apply these moral and ethics into our daily life on and off the mat and in our teaching practice. Class will include a grounding meditation practice, short asana practice and handouts upon registration to enhance your learning journey.
Week 2 – May 24
Ashtanga Yoga – Part 2
Asana, Pranayama, Meditation and Pratyahara (limbs 3-6)
Study and practice of Ashtanga Yoga’s external and internal limbs
Delving deeper into the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, we’ll explore the benefits and purpose behind Asana, Pranayama and Meditation as a means to move inward -Pratyahara, allowing space for cultivating inner peace and awareness. Class will include hand mudras, breathing techniques, benefits and contraindications and two meditation practices for you to practice at home.
Week 3 – May 31
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Verses 1-4
An introduction to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Books I – Samadhi Pada. The Yoga Sutras are texts that represent the earliest known systematic statement of the philosophical insights and practical psychology that define yoga. The Sutras (meaning thread) are full of meaning and help one to understand the very essence of yoga philosophy and practice. Special focus, discussion and study on Sutras 1-4, Book I. Learn methods to apply these practices into our daily lives and teaching practices. Class will include meditation and asana practice that weaves in the sutras that will be studied as well as handouts to support your learning journey.
Week 4 – June 7
Mala, Mantra and Sacred Sound – Meditation through Japa
Mala necklaces and bracelets are highly effective and useful tools to support your meditation practice. Mantra, the chanting of sacred words or sounds, is a central part of yogic meditation. Mantra comes from the combination of two syllables: “man,” meaning “to reflect” or “be aware,” and “tra,” meaning “tool for” or “agent of.” A mantra is a tool for reflection and the cultivation of awareness, and is used for both concentration and contemplation. Within yoga, mantras are based upon sounds that reflect the energy of our divine nature. OM is considered to be the universal, consummate mantra. Learn proper methods to hold your mala as well as three, easy to chant, mantras to explore. Malas from India will be provided and yours to keep if you wish.
Week 5 – June 14
Energetic Asana and Subtle Body Alignment
Explore the energetic body, the animating spirit with the physical body in order to enhance your asana practice. Beginning with an in-depth discussion on Prana as the tangible manifestation of the higher Self, we’ll travel to the inner landscape of your body through the lens of energy channels called nadis, the chakra system and vayu’s as means to sustain your practice from the inside out and expand inner awareness and connection to Self. Class includes subtle body energy cleansing techniques in pranayama, meditation. Handouts and common definitions will be provided upon registration to support your learning journey.
You will receive helpful information and handouts upon registration for each workshop. For those with questions regarding the topics or workshop, or who are interested in suggested and helpful (not required) reading material and videos to assist in your learning journey, please contact Anjali at firstname.lastname@example.org.