History of Yoga: 3 Week Course

With Ruth Westoby
21 March – 4 April 2018, 20:00–21:30

The Life Centre, Islington
1 Britannia Row, London N1 8QH

020 7704 0919


Explore the history of yoga from ancient traces to modern manifestations in these three exploratory workshops with Ruth Westoby.
Through chanting, lectures, discussion and contemplation, we inquire into the historical framework of practitioners and movements. Over three weeks, we will look at the ideas and texts that have evolved into the contemporary yoga we practice today.

Session 1 will offer a timeline and thematic overview, before exploring the ideas that underpin Indian thought, and yoga:

  • karma (retributive action)
  • duḥkha (unsatisfactoriness)
  • saṃsāra (the wheel of repeated birth and death)
  • moksa (freedom)

Session 2 will present yoga in the classical period:

  • the Pātañjalayogaśāstra,
  • the Sāṃkhyakarikā, and
  • the Bhagavad Gītā.

And session 3 explores how yoga develops through Tantra and haṭhayoga before morphing into transnational modern yoga.

The lecture sections of the workshops will be accompanied with rich visual images. Whilst there will be sitting practices there will be no postural practice. No prior experience or knowledge is required, just a burning curiosity to learn!

No preparation is required. Textual extracts will be provided to accompany the sessions. If you would like to get a copy of James Mallinson and Mark Singleton’s Roots of Yoga, published by Penguin in 2017 this is an extremely useful text for exploring the history and ideas of yoga.

Dates & Times

3 Week Course
21 March – 4 April


No prior experience or knowledge is required.