Yoga Sutra / Hatha Yoga Course with Jen Peters
This 6-week course will explore the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (an important text written 2,500 years ago about the practical and philosophical underpinnings of Yoga) within the context of a balanced hatha yoga practice session. Each 90-minute class will be based on one or more sutras (with a different focus each time), coupled with dynamic hatha yoga directed toward providing a basis for understanding how hatha yoga techniques can help bring this ancient wisdom into our everyday lives.
The Yoga Sutras offer us many options for reaching the ‘state of Yoga’, where we cease to identify with the fluctuations of the mind (and are no longer bound by our mundane thoughts and distractions) so that our Self can merge with the Cosmic Consciousness. The Yoga Sutras describe in detail the traps and obstacles that we tend to encounter on our path, as well as listing ways to overcome them. What is described is (or could be) a conscious, ethical, passionate, and goal-oriented way of life, far removed from some mere extracurricular activity. The anticipated result is that once we understand these basics, we can practice every single second of the day, not only when we are on the mat!
Yet our physical hatha yoga practice still remains valuable in providing a safe, laboratory-like setting for us to explore our minds, our bodies, the way in which we see ourselves, the causes of our suffering, the desires that we truly cherish, and the manner in which we can triumph over fear in order to live up to our unlimited potential… Yogis have long used breath, postures, chanting, cleansing practices and concentration exercises as their key means for increasing awareness and breaking down automatic and conditioned behavioral reactions. In each class, we will use a combination of such techniques to shed light on the deeper instructions contained within the Sutras.
This course is open to practitioners of all levels who enjoy dynamic hatha yoga. We will set out to explore, armed with a sense of humor and with a willingness to identify and understand our own limitations (real or imagined) as the first step to transcending them! Each class will be dynamically challenging, with the aim of giving us (at least briefly) some glimpses of Yoga. In so doing, we will come to better appreciate that Yoga is not a thing that we can do or attain, but rather a realization of who and what we truly are: samadhi, bliss and ecstasy! Our work in the studio will very simply help us to lift away the dirt (ignorance) that hides our true nature from ourselves.
In the fifth year of her Ph.D. research, Jen accepted the invitation of a friend named Nick to attend an Ashtanga yoga class...