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This workshop will explore the meaning of yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali and Samkhya philosophy.  The first 45 minutes will consist of a talk exploring the nature of consciousness and the manifestation of our perceived reality according to Patañjali.  We will look at Vyasa's commentaries (earliest commentaries of the yoga sutras) which unpack the Sutras in more detail. We will also look at how the mind functions according to this teaching by exploring the 3 gunas (aspects of manifest reality or prakṛti) and puruṣa (pure, untouched, enlightened consciousness). 


We will look at how the practice of the eight limbs of yoga has a direct effect on the gunas and we will explore in detail how, through certain practices, one is able to still mind or chitta in order to invite deeper stages of samadhi or concentration.  We will also look at the potential of the mind or siddhi in samyama, a combination of dhāraṇā (concentration), dhyāna (meditation) and samādhi (union). Lastly, we will examine what final liberation or kaivalya means in Yoga.


Following the talk and discussion, we will work our way through the eight limbs of yoga as described in the sutras. We will start by reflecting on the Yama (behaviour which promotes a harmonious mind and life) and Niyama (personal attitudes conducive to subtle states of mind) in a personalised manner. 

We will work through a series of Asana or yoga postures to relax the muscles and soothe the nervous system followed by pranayama to awaken more subtle awareness as described in the Vyasabhasya (early commentary on the yoga sutras).  We will then explore a series of guided meditations with an object progressing through to objectless meditation.  There will be elements of devotional practices and mantra woven into the practice.

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