London Yoga Workshops

The History and Philosophy of Yoga Part 1:

An Overview

with Ruth Westoby


Sun 14 Oct 2018 | West London Buddhist Centre

London Yoga Workshops: The History & Philosophy of Yoga Part 1: An Overview


Sunday 14th October 2018 

8:30pm – 1:00 pm


How much?


Ruth Westoby presents an overview of the history of yoga over the last four thousand years or more. Through a timeline and thematic breakdown Ruth discusses the principle definitions of yoga, practices of yoga, and objectives or states of yoga. We will explore the ideas that underpin Indian thought: karma (retributive action), duḥkha (unsatisfactoriness), saṃsāra (the wheel of repeated birth and death), and moksa (freedom) as they are formed in the Vedic and Upaniṣadic period.
This is the first in a series of five seminars on the history and philosophy of yoga which can be taken individually or collectively. Whilst each session will build on the material presented in earlier sessions a recap will be given to enable students to attend individual sessions. Each session will open with chanting sections of texts relating to the subjects of study. The lecture will be accompanied with rich visual images.
Primary sources, key concepts and further reading suggestions will be given. There will be plenty of time for contemplation and discussion. Whilst there will be sitting practices there will be no postural practice. The best text to accompany these sessions is James Mallinson and Mark Singleton’s Roots of Yoga, published by Penguin in 2017.

Ruth is fascinated by yoga both in academia and practice. She is a doctoral researcher in yoga and an Ashtanga practitioner. Ruth began exploring yoga practices twenty-two years ago and has taught for over thirteen. She teaches history and philosophy on workshops and yoga teacher trainings.

The teachers who have been most influential for Ruth are Hamish Hendry, Richard Freeman and Sharat Jois. Ruth was awarded an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS in 2010 with distinction since when she has been studying Sanskrit. Ruth collaborated with SOAS’s Haṭha Yoga Project interpreting postures from the 19th century Sanskrit text the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati which will be released as a documentary in 2019. She is currently working on doctoral research into gendered constructions in haṭha yoga at SOAS under the supervision of James Mallinson. Ruth helps coordinate the Sanskrit Reading Room and SOAS’s Centre of Yoga Studies. For more information about Ruth, visit our Yoga Teacher Training Faculty page.

For more information about Ruth, visit our Yoga Teacher Training Faculty page.

Special offer!

You can either book just this event using the form below, or you can book parts 1-5 together for the discounted price of £125. Click here to book parts 1-5.


West London Buddhist Centre
Royal Oak House
45a Porchester Road
London W2 5DP

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