Daniel presents ancient texts for modern times.
Combining storytelling, humour and insight, his practical approach makes yoga philosophy accessible and relevant. He teaches courses for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on teacher trainings around the UK, and at Triyoga in London. He also offers private tuition, online and in person.
A former reporter, Daniel brings clarity to complex subjects. Drawing on a master’s degree from SOAS, and two decades of experience, he aims to help students explore their own path.
He is writing a book about yoga philosophy aimed at practitioners. He also writes for magazines, while working freelance as an editor.
The start of the year brings a chance to reflect on what we want to develop and what needs letting go. In this workshop (on 6 Jan), we will explore these ideas through yogic texts and apply them in practice. Finding a balance of resolution and release is of vital importance in yoga philosophy. It’s the basis of guidance in the Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita. We will examine what this means by reading verses from both before exploring them practically.
Can wisdom be taught or does it have to be lived? Siddhartha is a classic account of the spiritual quest, exploring a path between self-indulgence and self-discipline. Over four weekly sessions (from 18 Feb), we’ll read Hesse’s novel and discuss its themes. How do we find the right teacher? Can we follow our hearts without being ruled by desires? Does silence speak louder than words? Can fiction get closer to truth than philosophy and history? Come and share your ideas!
Control of the breath - or pranayama - is one of the earliest recorded forms of yogic practice. It was described by the Buddha, and in Vedic Upanishads, which describe how it helps to train the mind. The ultimate aim of manipulating breathing is to eliminate obstacles to getting absorbed in meditation. In contrast to the modern fixation on bodily postures, the defining practice in ancient texts is pranayama.
It can feel daunting to study alone. We often have books that we’d like to explore, but don’t find time to sit and read. And even if we do, they might spark questions we struggle to answer. It helps to discuss ideas with someone else who offers structure and support. Whatever your priorities — from reading a text to a broader inquiry on how modern practice relates to tradition — we’ll focus clearly on your goals, devising a plan that helps achieve them. Online and in person (location permitting).
A sample of earlier work. Use the search box below to browse for more.
Mindfulness adapts Buddhist meditation to everyday life. It seems effective at managing depression and anxiety, and is taught in schools to boost resilience and grades. Whilst it can help to share techniques to cope with stress, this limits the scope for transformation. A fixation on self gets reinforced, which serves a brutal market system. However, if mindfulness in schools were to cultivate "moral and civic virtues," as British MPs suggest it should, it could foster compassionate "pro-social" action.
It was an honour to be part of this discussion with two of the foremost scholars on yoga, James Mallinson and Mark Singleton, reflecting on the work behind their book Roots of Yoga, which was recently published. The conversation took place in the members' room at the New York Society Library, and was filmed. An audio recording is available for download.