Course SummaryOver the past 2,500 years, yoga has evolved from a way of transcending the world to a multi-billion-dollar industry. But where did its practices come from and what was their purpose? How has that changed as traditions transform? Are there common ideas that make practices yogic? If so, are they relevant to modern practitioners?
This four-week course puts contemporary yoga into context, with an insightful and engaging overview of history and philosophy. From the Vedic Upaniṣads, via the Bhagavad Gītā and Yoga Sūtra, to more recent texts on haṭha yoga, we will trace the main themes in yogic teachings, and look at some less commonly studied sources.
Accessible and fun, combined with academic depth, the course explores the latest scholarly findings. Daniel Simpson earned his Master’s degree at SOAS, University of London, where he studied with several of the foremost researchers of yoga history. He is also a devoted practitioner, and approaches the subject from this perspective.
About Your TeacherDaniel Simpson has been studying yoga in various forms since his first trip to India in the 1990s. He holds an M.A. in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation (from SOAS in London), and teaches courses on yoga philosophy for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. His presentations combine practical experience with the latest research from academia, drawing on his skills as a former reporter to make complex subjects clear and interesting. He also writes about yoga for magazines and on his website: http://danielsimpson.info.
I decided to make a conference QR code and added it to the poster. You can share the QR code and conference flyer, as well as download :-)
This map is another work in progress, which visually represents many places around the world that offer trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed yoga therapy / classes. I was interested to see how these concepts were spatially arranged, and in which countries these ideas were more prevalent. This helps us to see which cultures value an evolved understanding of the way in which yoga can work therapeutically.
Please consider contributing to #yoga research by completing this 5-min survey - It's available in both English and Japanese. You don't have to be in Japan to complete it. It's really shareable with yoga buddies and students ;-)
The Call for Papers for the Yoga, Movement and Space Conference is now released.
The conference will be held in Kyoto, Japan over 2 days from 2-3 November 2018. The provisional venue is Doshisha University.
The website also contains background information about the conference, how to register and confirm payment, as well as other travel-related issues.
Thank you, for your interest in the conference. Please, feel free to ask any questions.
Last Friday evening, I was lucky enough to attend David France's class at Tamisa Yoga.
I am quite often spent after a long week at work. I always like the idea of going to a yoga class on a Friday evening, so that I can kick off the weekend in a nice way. Sure, sometimes, I don't mind going straight to a bar, and saving the yoga for another day. Quite often, I am still at work after 9pm... but yoga, on a Friday night is good. It's something that I aspire towards.
I had met David, briefly, the week before. I was looking forward to his class, even though I was really tired. I could have been happy with just starting, staying and finishing in shavasana..., but David had none of that. It said on the timetable 'Vinyasa 2'. I guessed, from this title, that it would be a level 2 Ashtanga Vinyasa flowy-like class. It wasn't. Well, not in the way I thought it would be.
Instead, David turned the idea of a vinyasa upside down, at least for me. Without much ado, after a brief warm up session, we started working with what David called the 'cossack squat'. I later found out it was something that he had recently come across on Instagram. However, it was clear, by the depth of thought, and our lunges/squats he took us into, that he had seriously thought about, not just the workout this would give us, but also, an earnest enquiry into the bio-mechanics of moving into and through these movements. The class, then, was anchored by this cossack squat, which, as I told him after the class, is one move that I am, more or less terrified off. I avoid it. Simply because I don't have the best knees in the world. But, David helped me work through these fears. He offered insightful adjustments and alternatives, based on a variety of skill levels, experience and confidence.
We finished the 90 minute class with a lengthy, quiet shavasana, which was ended by a few quick trills of some bells.
I'm looking forward to my next class with David. I think, also, that he's running another 1-day workshop in Osaka, soon. You should contact him, if you want, to find out more about it.
I just published this short article about yoga on medium. I thought I'd share some of my own journey and how I came to be where I am today.
There is an interesting picture developing about temple yoga in Japan. Have a read of this short 6-min article I just published.
Here are some thoughts of mine on moving to Japan, yoga and tourism that I just published on Medium (14 min read).
In late March, there is going to be a yoga festival amongst the cherry blossoms in Nishinomaru garden at Osaka Castle Park that surround the Osaka Castle. The event is run by a larger event management company (BOOST) that organises many types of sporting and cultural events. Here is the link to the website about the event, which is an all-women event. It is the first year it will be held, and the organisers tell me that they hope to get at least 500 people, but have a capacity of 1000.