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“Doing Yoga with your body is not Yoga”

A hybrid (zoom and live) workshop in five sessions of three hours by Angela Ashwin

Venue: Gift of India Yoga School, Exmouth or zoom

Dates: 20 th September; 11 th October; 1st November; 22 th November; 13 th December

Time: 9.30am-12.30

Cost: £175 for all five; £40 for single ones

Join us to explore and practice the old Sanskrit instructions, you will beastonished to find planes within yourselves you did not know existed and you will be astonished to realise that the process of asana, pranayama, mudra and mind control leads to much more than physical benefits.

Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline, deeply rooted in a philosophy which differs from our today Western view. We believe we have this one body, Yogis knew that there are many more aspects than just the physical. Yoga works with inner aliveness with the mental planes, uncovers inner wisdom and happiness. The benefits and effectivity of the original Indian instructions are so much more profound than the modern, Western discipline of muscle stretching. The Yogis described the fruits of Yoga practice as: health, longevity, being more alive, gaining a controlled mind, reducing Ego, develop compassion, attain higher abilities, experience inner peace, happiness,

inner wisdom, spiritual opening, enlightenment…. You can discover the old Indian way, we have inherited, from India in the form of the ancient verses. In the workshops we will look at the concepts of the Indian mindset in the most authoritative verses; we will analysed verses, chant them, follow their instructions in asana, pranayama, mudras and mind control.

Workshop 1: Are we just a physical body?

Why are Western Yoga books, classes, courses and articles talking about muscular movement when the Indian Yoga tradition talks Self realisation? Not a single muscle name is mentioned in the scriptures. Why are Western Yoga books, classes, courses and articles talking about lungs, diaphragm and increase of lung capacity when the Indian Yoga tradition talks purification of the nadis? Not a single reference to respiration can be found in the scriptures. Why are Western Yoga books, classes, courses and articles talking about mindfulness, reducing stress and the nervous system when the Yoga tradition talks about finding peace and liberation? Have you noticed that any explanation we give in our culture must be based on anatomy and physiology, only then is it taken seriously. The Yogis nevertheless had no interest in

anatomy and physiology?… In the workshop we look at text evidence for practice instructions, discuss and chant it and explore in practice that we do not feel our physical body, it disappears in Yoga practice; it is our knowledge and memory that creates an inner image of the physical and we believe we feel it.

Workshop 2: The five outer senses perceive the physical body, are there other ways to perceive?

We have five senses, is this all? If so, is the 5 th limb pratyahara (withdrawing of the senses)

would create a state of perception deadness? We only believe in the existence of that what can be perceived with the five senses. Western science uses the 5 senses to come to conclusions. We cannot see, hear, smell, touch or taste life, consciousness, happiness, sadness, love, energy, presence of non-bodily entities and God. Does that all not exist? We certainly perceive to be alive, be conscious, be happy or sad love... We have an inner sense, that does not show us tangible items, direct perception. Yoga science always used direct perception to come to conclusion. How does this work and what can we perceive with direct perception?

Workshop 3: Direct perception perceive the pranic body

The pranic body lies not in the anatomy, we have five and not only one body, koshas. We will experience the “pranic anatomy,” find your way around it by inner experience We look at Hatha evidence of the pranic body and practice the Hatha instructions to become aware of our subtler reality; we will find our pranic existence by asana, pranayama and mudras. Working with direct perception and the pranic body is the Hatha Yoga way.

Workshop 4: How to perceive and work with the mental body

Work with the mental body is the Raja Yoga way, “Yoga is the cessation of thoughts in the

mind-space.” (Patanjali 1,2) When we think we are only aware of the content of the thought, nothing other; we are then not aware that it is us who is thinking, that the content of thought could be changed or thought could be stopped. Learn to become aware of the fact that you are thinking, learn to become the witness of your thought to realise and control the mental space instead of being victim of it. We will look at text evidence, chant, discuss, use asana and pranayama to learn the recognition of mind activity and meditate to see the wide range of human possibilities and to expand our horizons.

Workshop 5: wisdom, bliss and liberation are attributes of eternal consciousness

With the five senses we see an embryo developing, beforehand nothing can be seen. With our five senses we see humans born, age and die, afterwards we see nothing. We come to a very unreasonable conclusion that before and after there is nothing. No existence before birth means that human individuality is solely explained by genetics. No existence after birth means, that whatever we do in this life has no consequences. If we exist only between birth and death then all we have to learn in life would be for the sake of a career and to stay save and healthy. We are nevertheless in our core eternal consciousness with the attributes of wisdom, bliss and liberation. Yoga is the path to bring us in touch with our inner core, so that we can evolve to more complete and refined beings with the attributes of wisdom, bliss and liberation. We will try to go beyond the believe of us being a sole physical body, activate and discover deeper planes. Humans are conscious and alive beings, who cannot be explained in an anatomy book.

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