Yoga styles and traditions to complement your practice

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Beyond the Mat

This "style" offers you a vast array of yoga topics beyond time on your mat. Here you will discover these other elements of yoga through lecture on the following topics: history, mythology, philosophy, practices and lifestyle. Join world-renowned scholars and yogis sharing their knowledge and wisdom on the depth of yoga. We hope you'll find it equally as enriching to your life as your asana practice!

The spiritual path begins with an experience of yearning for something greater than the humdrum of daily existence and its dramas. By exploring your own karmic narrative, you enter the path of yoga. You cultivate benevolence through the practice of the Five Great Vows. Consequently, you're able to meditate, and enter a state of equipoise; whether in circumstances of praise or blame, culminating in overcoming the karmas that characterize mundane life, leading to freedom.
Practice Focus: Lecture & Philosophy
1-2 15 Dr. Chris Chapple
Listen to a lecture and look at the key concept of pramana - how you know what you know. Learn how yoga inherits theories of knowing called pramana, "towards thinking." No matter how rooted you become in personalized experience, the traditions of Sankhya-Yoga remind you there are ways to distinguish the processes of thought so that all have means to fathom delusion, deception, and the pursuit of truth.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2-3 15 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Listen to a lecture and learn how 24 perfect yogis provide inspiration for the attainment of Siddha Loka, the realm of freedom. Adhinath (or Rishibha) reportedly invented agriculture, marriage, and law; his daughters, Brahmi and Sundari, created writing and mathematics. Neminath renounced the world on the way to his wedding. Parshvanath was rescued from drowning by two cobras as he practiced his meditation. Mahavira taught the precepts of Jaina Yoga as practiced today.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2-3 60 Dr. Chris Chapple
Listen to a lecture and learn how with more than 150 different variants on the verbal root/yuj, from which you create the word "yoga", the Bhagavadgita provides an indispensible resource for broadening the concept that is more narrowly defined in other early sources. What does the Bhagavadgita have to say about how "yoga" can be used in so many different ways? Props Needed: A blanket or a bolster to sit on.
Practice Focus: Lecture & Philosophy
2-3 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Listen to the story of Queen Amritamata, who cheats on her husband and then kills him and his mother. Mother and son take a succession of several births beginning as a dog and a peacock, until finally, twin chickens. The chickens learn Jainism from a monk and are born as prince and princess in the palace. Mom becomes a nun, son a monk, and they teach Jainism and the way of peace.
Practice Focus: Lecture & Philosophy
2-3 30 Dr. Chris Chapple
Listen to a lecture about how in the oldest sources of Indian traditions, rta and rna, order and debt, are introduced. Begin to understand how these are features not only of your social contracts and matters of personal conscience, but they are understood to be qualities of the natural world. Think of how you can apply these teachings to all areas of your life.
Practice Focus: Lecture & Philosophy
2 15 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Listen to a lecture and learn how according to Jainism, every situation must be assessed through a sevenfold prism. Every thing, every life, combines aspects of presence and absence. Furthermore, words cannot capture the totality of any given narrative in process. Hence, in order to avoid harm to oneself and others, one must always acknowledge the ineffability of each entity in its presence, absence, and its ambiguity.
Practice Focus: Lecture & Philosophy
2-3 15 Dr. Chris Chapple
Listen to a lecture and learn how the process of bringing the somatic experience of consciousness into focus is said to confer benefits that apply to both your limited awareness and your expansive possibilities. The Yoga Sutra charges you to perform a repeated practice to solve certain practical problems that come with life's limitations, distractions, and disturbances. Ask why yoga claims that the eradication of distraction creates superior awareness.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Jainism, a religion older than Buddhism, teaches that countless souls suffuse the universe. Whether dwelling in a rock, a pond, a bonfire, a gust of wind, a microbe, an insect, or a human, all beings desire to live. 2500 years ago, the sage Mahavira taught a way of life to protect life in all its forms, perfecting the path of nonviolence. Use this discussion as an introduction to understanding an essential aspect of this religion.
Practice Focus: Lecture
1-2 15 Dr. Chris Chapple
Learn how in one of the most profound sources of yogic thinking, the Shevtashvatara Upanishad, the universe is understood to have taken shape through the power of yoga. This comprehensive and unruly definition of yoga aims to bring a new dimension to yoga's meaning and purpose. Contemplate what this text has to say about yoga as the cosmogenic power and why you experience the world as you do.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2-3 30 Dr. Douglas Brooks
The concept of "mental impression" is of particular importance in the early sources of yoga, Buddhist, Jaina, and Hindu. The key term is 'samskara' and it comes with specific definitions and broad implications. How are you made up of and influenced by these impressions? As assets these mental impressions help you understand the creation of experience and its boundaries. As liabilities, they are the very source of limitation and self-misrepresentation.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2-3 15 Dr. Douglas Brooks
Listen to a lecture about the sevenfold yoga of the Yogavasistha. Yoga begins when one turns away from worldly concerns, leading to deep thinking, non-attachment, seeing the world as if it were a dream, moving into a non-dual state, returning to the world in a state of liberation, and then finally making a conscious exit from the body at the time of death.
Practice Focus: Philosophy & Lecture
2-3 30 Dr. Chris Chapple

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