Whether you are new to yoga or have an established practice, you may have asked the question: what is yoga? Where does it come from? How did it develop until it became the global phenomenon it is today, attracting millions of people around the world? And more importantly – how can this information inform my practice and my life off the mat?
I started to question and reflect on the origins of yoga from a very early stage in my practice, and now I am fortunate to be studying a master’s degree in the Traditions/History of Yoga at SOAS University of London. It came as an initial surprise to see how yoga has been understood, incorporated, and practiced in multiple ways; it has been fashioned by different persons and groups and has been adopted by schools of thought with strikingly different philosophical views.
But why should we study the philosophy of yoga – is it not just an intellectual undertaking? In my opinion, studying the history gives us a framework to understand the richness and depth of the practice. As practitioners we want to know why we come to the mat; as teachers, we have the responsibility to pass down our teachings correctly. The better we understand a tradition the more we can internalise its teachings and it can help us to have a clearer intention and sense of direction both on and off the mat. Studying yoga has been a huge source of inspiration and motivation to my practice, which I hope to pass on to others.
Thus, the aim of this workshop is to introduce students to some of the main traditions of yoga in a fun, interesting, and engaging way. Through image, video, meditation and mantras, I hope to help students see yoga beyond its health benefits and to present yoga in its multiplicity of traditions, philosophies, and religious contexts.
Throughout this workshop, we will travel through the history of yoga. However, it is important to remember that the history of yoga is incredibly diverse, complex and that it spans across many centuries and a number of different groups and societies. As we move through the chronology, my modest aim is to build a framework for our understanding of yoga and reflect as well as discuss how these teachings are applicable to us today.
Two hours is a drop in the bucket of a practice that started more than five thousand years ago. So, while I cannot include the entire history of yoga, we will cover a lot of ground – from the ancient origins, to the Vedas, and Epics to Patanjali, Tantras,and Hatha Yoga until we reach Modern Postural Yoga.
Join Christian for an inspirational journey into the history of yoga. Booking is now open.
I have been practicing various styles of yoga for eight years and have always been passionate about the integration between breath-body-mind in a constant flow. Having started my practice in Rio de Janeiro, I have since trained in India, Thailand and London with a number of experienced teachers. I aim to guide students through classes that are dynamic, intellectually stimulating and uplifting – whilst being devoted to many aspects of yoga. For more information about my training, studies and class schedule, visit www.christiancoelho.com