Moon Days

Philosophy

Yoga is one of the six orthodox philosophical schools In India. It has been systematized in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali which is a collection of 196 verses, a compact package of knowledge and instructions for the higher consciousness. An intellectual approach wouldn't allow capturing the essence of these verses. It needs first of all to be understood through one's own spiritual experience, but can be brought some light on by someone with more experience.

It's important to start the yoga philosophy studies right from the beginning of the yoga path when the yoga practice itself is often just physical. The intellectual answers to life's deepest questions don't usually feel sufficient or satisfying. The Yoga Sutra is the frame of reference which gives light to our practice and to the questions that raise within our heart. As yoga is a tool to comprehend the mystery of life, it itself is mystic and thus are the scriptures describing it. Life in its totality can't be explained, but it can be lived with a deep connection to the divine. Patanjali's text gives guidance to go deeper in this mystic experience. The guidelines for life are not intellectual or moral, they are spiritual. The yoga sutra is a text of divine spiritual wisdom. Patanjali's point of view is however also very practical. The text is a concise handbook of meditation where we can read between the lines what kind of changes in our actions, our thinking, our breathing patterns or our health in general have to take place before the meditation can be called meditation.

I teach the Yoga Sutras referring to several translations and interpretations when needed and clarifying some parts by the Sanskrit language. Not being a Sanskrit specialist, I can help with the pronounciation and the understanding of the separate words and their meanings. The constituent part for beginners is the beginning of the first chapter, Samadhi Pada, up to the sutra I.34. When the essence of the Samadhi Pada is understood or in process, I teach the second chapter, Sadhana Pada, until the end. I feel it's important to understand how the yoga theory and the practice are related to our daily life. My teaching is not very theoretical, but connected to our day-to-day life. The text gives the inspiration and life is the experimental field which enriches and nourishes the text back again.

I've studied this text myself from 1999 and continue to study, alone and with my teacher, M.A. Narasimha, in Mysore, India.