Yoga is about our relationship with everything. It has evolved over thousands of years, from seated meditation to sequenced postures. Traditionally, practices involve concentration and connection, stilling the mind while developing strength and flexibility.
The ultimate goal is transcendent. Originally, this meant freedom from rebirth. Practitioners today have other priorities. Although ancient texts are still inspiring, some of their teachings might need reinterpreting.
Combining scholarly knowledge with practical insight, Daniel makes modern sense of timeless wisdom. His experience includes an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation (from SOAS in London), and over fifteen years of study with senior teachers round the world.
He teaches online for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on teacher trainings and in workshops. He also works with private students.
I’m co-teaching this weekend immersion (May 4-5) on Patanjali’s sutras, traditional commentaries and modern applications. It’s a great opportunity to focus in depth on foundational aspects of yogic philosophy, to ask lots of questions and meet fellow students. This might have added appeal if you’ve already taken an online course through the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, which is hosting the event. There’ll be presentations from Dr Nick Sutton and other OCHS staff, plus some guest contributions.
Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has inspired millions of readers to live in the moment, learning to let go of emotional pain and accept what happens. This involves seeing clearly how thoughts can control us. However, is there a risk that tuning out of the mind promotes dissociation, using spiritual ideas to avoid facing pain? Does it put too much faith in the power of the present? Over four weekly sessions (from June 18, at Triyoga Camden), we discuss the ideas behind Tolle’s teachings and ways to interpret them in practice.
An afternoon workshop of history and practice. Most postural yoga is technically called “hatha”. Nowadays, this term is often used for a gentler class, but its original meaning was “forceful”. We’ll explore where this came from and how it made yoga more dynamic, evolving into modern forms of practice. We’ll start with texts, looking at the first to teach “hatha” by name (the Dattatreya Yogashastra), then implement some of their teachings. Booking now for Saturday, 13 April (14:30 - 17:00), at Triyoga Shoreditch.
Daniel’s next online course for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies begins on 28 April. 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 $130). Enrol via the OCHS website, which has more details.
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).
This approach to yoga is dynamic and accessible. It is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience. You don't have to be bendy, or exceptionally fit. Many sportsmen use yoga to help them recover and stay injury-free: the practice helps to focus the mind while building strength and flexibility. Classes are on Saturday mornings (11.00-12.00) at Upper Rissington Village Hall. The cost for four sessions is £25. If you have any questions, please contact the teacher, Daniel Simpson.