Ruth Westoby is a doctoral researcher in yoga and an Ashtanga practitioner.

Ruth is fascinated by yoga both in academia and practice. Alongside practice and doctoral research Ruth runs workshops and teaches on some of the principle teacher training programmes in the UK. Please contact Ruth with any queries or opportunities to collaborate on the provision of yoga studies at ruthwestoby[at]gmail.com.

Ruth’s current teaching projects include facilitating Yogacampus’s online course A History of Yoga: The Latest Research. She works on teacher trainings with Naomi Reynolds at Yoga on the Lane and Gingi Lee at The Shala, and Heather Elton in London and Nepal (https://www.eltonyoga.com/nepal-yoga-teacher-training/). For a full list of forthcoming training courses please contact Ruth. As well as helping coordinate the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies (https://www.soas.ac.uk/yoga-studies/) she is working on SOAS’s Yoga Summer School. 

In terms of research and writing Ruth is researching for a doctoral thesis in constructions of gender in Sanskrit texts on haṭha yoga at SOAS under the supervision of James Mallinson. To this end she continues to study Sanskrit. Ruth has convened study groups on yoga and gender at SOAS to share the work of new and leading researchers in the field. Ruth collaborated in 2016 and 2017 with SOAS’s Haṭha Yoga Project interpreting postures from a precursor of modern yoga, the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati (http://hathabhyasapaddhati.org). She has also helped run the Sanskrit Reading Room (https://sanskritreadingroom.wordpress.com) and written regularly for Pushpam (http://www.pushpam.co.uk).

In relation to practice Ruth began to explore yoga practices in 1996 and started teaching postural yoga in 2004. In 2010 she received an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS with Distinction. The most influential teachers on Ruth’s practice have been Hamish Hendry, Richard Freeman and Sharat Jois. In 2015 she was authorized by Sharat to teach Ashtanga level 2. Ruth does not practice at studios which display images of Pattabhi Jois on altars in solidarity with those who were sexually abused by him. For resources and dialogue on this please contact Ruth directly.

Ruth sends out an (infrequent) newsletter. Please contact her to be added to the distribution list.