Sutras

A new modular online course begins in November 2021

Module 1: November 13-17, 2021
Module 2: January 8-12, 2022
Module 3: March 26-30, 2022
Module 4: October 9-13, 2022

About the Course

Iyengar Yoga is firmly rooted in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (an Indian sage who is believed to have lived around 200 bc). He wrote down the Yoga Sutras which had previously been passed on from Guru to teacher for thousands of years. These Yoga Sutras hold the teaching for finding a right way of living, leading towards peace and enlightenment. They are as relevant today as ever and during this course we will study the meanings of the Yoga Sutras and how we apply them to our lives.

This International course, run over two years, will guide you through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to bring understanding and meaning to this work. It is designed for teachers and students who are ready to explore these texts, with the aim of bringing philosophy into the yoga practice for all round development, as was originally intended. The course will also help in preparation for the philosophical aspects required in the Iyengar Yoga teaching system at all levels of assessment.

Each module will consist of philosophy lectures with Gitte Bechsgaard together with asana and pranayama practice with Sheila Haswell

  • There are 5 modules to the online course, each over a period of 5 days and recordings of the lecture and classes are available right after the course for a short time
  • The modules must normally be studied in sequential order

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Module 1 (online)
Foundations of Patanjali’s Philosophy and Iyengar Yoga Sadhana, Module 1: The Soul-Psychology of Yoga

Teachers: Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell

Dates: November 13-17, 2021

Times:
Lecture and Mantra Sadhana: 6:00-8:00am PST, 9:00-11:00am EST, 2:00-4:00pm GMT, 3:00-5:00 CET
Iyengar Yoga Sadhana: 8:30-10:30am PST, 11:30am-1:30pm EST, 4:30-6:30pm GMT, 5:30-7:30 CET

Price: $300.00

Registration: via the Vidya Institute website (click ‘Schedule’ then scroll down to find the entry for this course).

Description:
You cannot hope to experience inner peace or freedom without understanding the workings of your mind and of human consciousness” BKS Iyengar

During this five day workshop, we will explore the soul psychology of the Yoga Sutras. We will examine the model of the mind and consciousness (citta) as laid out by the sage Patanjali, including the higher states of mind and the perennial guna-theory. Additionally, we will explore the multi-faceted meanings of yoga and its relevance for Iyengar Yoga practice. We will examine how yoga is a holistic system in which all the definitions and meanings of yoga play a vital role in moving the practitioner towards positive transformation and the inner Abiding Self (Purusha).

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Module 2 (online)
Foundations of Patanjali’s Philosophy and Iyengar Yoga Sadhana, Module 2: The Path of Practice

Teachers: Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell

Dates: January 8-12, 2022

Times:
Lecture and Mantra Sadhana: 6:00-8:00am PST, 9:00-11:00am EST, 2:00-4:00pm GMT, 3:00-5:00 CET
Iyengar Yoga Sadhana: 8:30-10:30am PST, 11:30am-1:30pm EST, 4:30-6:30pm GMT, 5:30-7:30 CET

Price: $300.00

Registration: via the Vidya Institute website (click ‘Schedule’ then scroll down to find the entry for this course).

Description:
Yogic practice is traditionally viewed as a life-long endeavour of Self-cultivation. It is an inner pilgrimage of the soul, and consists of the Eightfold limbs of Practice. All the limbs work synthetically in the yogic system to create optimal conditions for human development and eventual access to higher states of consciousness and the Innermost Self. The two disciplines of abhyasa (repeated practice) and vairagya (detachment) establish a set of practice principles which work at every level to create the conditions necessary for unlocking our spiritual potential. Integrated practice as a transformative power is at the very heart of the teachings in this workshop.

                                                                                                        —————-

Module 3 (online)
Foundations of Patanjali’s Philosophy and Iyengar Yoga Sadhana, Module 3: Contemplative Practice and Heart-Based Sadhana

Teachers: Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell

Dates: March 26-30, 2022

Times:
March 26, 2022
Lecture: 7:00am-9:00am PST, 10:00am-12:00pm EST, 2:00pm-4:00pm GMT, 3:00-5:00 pm CET
Asana: 9:30am-11:30am PST, 12:30pm-2:30pm EST, 4:30pm-6:30pm GMT, 5:30-7:30pm CET

March 27-30, 2022
Lecture: 6:00am-8:00am PST, 9:00am-11:00pm EST, 2:00pm-4:00pm BST, 3:00-5:00pm CEST
Asana: 8:30am-10:30am PST, 11:30pm-1:30pm, 4:30pm-6:30pm BST, 5:30-7:30 pm CEST

Price: $300.00

Registration: via the Vidya Institute website (click ‘Schedule’ then scroll down to find the entry for this course).

Description:
In this third module, we will explore the rich variety of contemplative practices described in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras. As a group, these meditative techniques are referred to as the Citta Parikarma Sadhana. This term encompasses a wide range of inward-minded practices all of which hold the power to calm the mind and clarify consciousness. Some of these practices concern the Yoga of right relationship – they relate to the cultivation of concentration in ways that can help us to heal and grow through healthy relationships, either with other people, with a Guru or mentor, with a chosen deity, or perhaps even with our own heart, breath, and higher mind. Together, these practices offer a most essential and life-giving medicine, a solution to be applied in the face of roadblocks, stress, or any form of inner agitation. The discussion of these perennial “roadblocks” or obstacles, examining how they affect our mind, path, and heart, will be taught flexibly in both modules three and four. During this intensive, we will also go through the four stages of meditative training, a topic that will be continued in the fourth module.

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Module 4 (online)
Contemplation and the 3 Margas of Karma, Bhakti and Jnana
(Note this module is combined with some other related teachings so comes under a different title but it is the Module 4 work for those who have been with us for the previous 3 modules.)

Teachers: Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell

Dates: October 9-13, 2022

Times:
Lecture: 6:00am-8:00am PST, 9:00am-11:00am EST, 2:00pm-4:00pm BST, 3:00pm-5:00pm CET
Asana: 8:30am-10:30am PST, 11:30am-1:30pm EST, 4:30pm-6:30pm BST, 5:30pm-7:30pm CET

Price: $300.00 (US Dollars)

Registration: via the Vidya Institute website (click ‘Schedule’ then scroll down to find the entry for this course). Or go directly to https://vidyainstitute.ca/workshop-info-contemplation-and-the-3-margas-of-karma-bhakti-and-jnana/

Description:
“Man was blessed with a head, a heart and hands that are made for: jnana, bhakti and karma. Karma cannot be done without knowledge and love. Bhakti cannot be understood without action and knowledge. Jnana cannot be gained without knowledge and action. True knowledge, true love, true action cannot be acquired without a regular practice and without adopting rigorous discipline.” BKS Iyengar

The brilliance of Patanjali’s teachings in regards to contemplative practice is the overall lack of dogma, and his openness to a variety of methods. Some of these meditation methods concern the Yoga of Right relationship. These relate to practices of contemplation, prayers, mantra and reflection which can help us to heal and grow through sacred relationship – either with our own heart, breath and sacred sound, or with our Guru or chosen deity. In this 5 day workshop we will focus on the integrated approach of karma, bhakti and jnana in daily contemplation and Iyengar Yoga Sadhana.
A special focus will be the Mother of all mantras: the Gayatri mantra as well as selections from the Sacred text of the Guru Gita. Aside from these perennial practices we will study sutras on flowering of our intuition through daily sitting. In the session of Iyengar Yoga there will be an emphasis on Pranayama practice and the cultivation of 4 stages of in Practice.

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Previous Courses
Course 1 between May 2015 and April 2016
Course 2 between August 2016 and January 2018
Course 3 between April 2019 and January 2021