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!
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).
How do we find peace in the midst of life’s challenges? Does yoga detach us or help us to act? What is our purpose? These timeless questions are the heart of the story in the Bhagavad Gita. It can be read in an evening and shape a whole lifetime. Exploring it together, we will find our own ways to relate to its insights. Over three weekly sessions (starting 26 Nov), we will look in depth at the Gita’s ideas, from teachings on yoga to moral dilemmas.
Yoga For Men: This four-week course (from Sunday 28 October, 11.00-12.00) is an accessible way to start practising yoga. It is suitable both for beginners and those with some experience. You don't have to be bendy, or exceptionally fit. Sportsmen use yoga to help them recover and stay injury-free: it helps focus the mind while developing strength and flexibility. The cost for all four sessions is £25.
Daniel’s next online course for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies begins on 13 January. There are seven weekly lessons on yoga philosophy, with supplementary reading, a forum for discussion and an optional essay at the end of the course. Including all materials, it costs £95 (or $120). Enrol via the OCHS website, which has more details.
In the past 2,500 years, yoga has evolved from a way of transcending the world to a multi-billion-dollar industry. But where did it come from and what was it for? A Brief History of Yoga is a four-week course that puts practice in context, presenting an overview of how it developed. Accessible and fun, combined with academic depth, it explores common themes in yogic teachings, and their relevance today.