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Critical issues in Yoga Studies

8th November 2020
at The Light Centre

Critical issues in Yoga Studies

Tutor: Ruth Westoby

Date: 8th November 2020

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Location: The Light Centre

Type of Event: Other

Places Available: 27

The aim of this unique one-day training is to share the latest scholarly research in yoga to contextualise critical issues in contemporary yoga within historical and theoretical perspectives. 



Critical issues in the teaching and practice of contemporary yoga include gender (histories of men and women, gendered yogic bodies, gendered metaphysics), the neo-liberal critique (from the ‘Yoga Industrial Complex’ to the privatisation of self-care), spirituality and spiritual materialism, lineage structures (from teacher student relations to explicit consent) and politics (from cultural appropriation to the politicisation of bodies).


What teachers can expect from the day

The day will be part-lecture, part-discussion, and part-contemplation. 

Drawing on her own and the research of leading academics Ruth will frame the issues, ground them in historical context and explore theoretical approaches to engaging with these debates. 


There will be guided sits throughout the day to reflect and process the material.



Attendees can expect to be provided with clear, straightforward explanations of the topics which are grounded in historical research. 

Attendees will be encouraged to debate the complexities of these issues and their impact in contemporary yoga. 


Ruth hopes that this will result in a nuanced view of the debates raging though ‘Yogaland’, the opportunities for change, the enthusiasm and the resources to continue your studies.

Ruth Westoby is a doctoral researcher in yoga and an Ashtanga practitioner. As well as offering workshops and lectures at studios and conferences, Ruth teaches on some of the principle teacher training programmes in the UK. Ruth works on the SOAS Yoga Studies Summer School, facilitates Yogacampus’s online History of Yoga course, and curates yoga seminar programmes through the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies. Ruth collaborated with the Haṭha Yoga Project’s ‘embodied philology’, interpreting postures from an 18th-century text teaching a precursor of modern yoga, the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, in 2016 and 2017. Ruth began to explore yoga practices in 1996 and started teaching postural yoga in 2004. In 2010 she received an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS with Distinction. Ruth has studied closely with Hamish Hendry and Richard Freeman. She is researching for a doctoral thesis on the yogic body in premodern Sanskrit texts on haṭhayoga at SOAS under the supervision of James Mallinson. For writings, films and workshops please see


The Light Centre
114 London Wall


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Non BWY Member £75.00
Non BWY Member

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