History of Modern Yoga and Critical Issues 11 November

WorkshopHistory of Modern Yoga and Critical Issues
Date11 November
Time11.30 - 14.30
LocationAstanga Yoga London
Price£25 / Concession

History of Modern Yoga and Critical Issues

This workshop will present the history of yoga in the last 200 years and tease out key trends and critical issues in contemporary yoga. We will explore ideas of Orientalism, Western Esotericism, Vivekandanda’s Raja Yoga, and the predominance of physical yoga postures.

Blog: Lost in the past, finding the present

I’ve been jotting down some notes for this workshop and it’s just so exciting. The intention is to offer a clear historical timeframe for the main developments in yoga in the last 200 years, illuminate the sometimes-hidden context of the contemporary practice of yoga, and provide a space for discussion of the critical issues buzzing around Yoga World.

I listed some ‘sometimes-hidden assumptions of our era’ and out zip the predominance of āsana, capitalism, science and psychology. The contrast between the next two items tickle me, ideas which we often oscillate between – ‘Lamentations of Decline for a By-Gone Golden Era’ coupled with ‘Messianic Belief in Self-Improvement Culminating in Universal Consciousness’. Which camp are you in?

Questions I would love discussed in this workshop include –

  • Does yoga create greater freedom in our lives or imprison us with expectation?
  • Is abuse inherent in hierarchical power structures or are stratified learning environments necessary to the transmission of teachings?
  • Is a secluded retreat from the bonkers business of our daily lives the only way to nirode those vṛttis (still the mind) or should we stride into social activism armed with our yogic ideals?

If, like me, you try not to talk about yoga too much to your ‘normal’ friends, lose hours in the yoga art history aisle of the library, and crave enough bandwidth to click around Suzanne Newcombe’s timeline (http://ayuryog.org/timeline) then come along and geek out with me.