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IST 18/56 Bringing Patanjali to the Mat.

15th September 2018
at Holt Village Hall

IST 18/56 Bringing Patanjali to the Mat.

Tutor: Wendy Teasdill

Date: 15th September 2018

Time: 10:00 - 16:30

Location: Holt Village Hall

Type of Event: IST Days

Places Available: 18

Wendy Teasdill

Bringing Patanjali to the Mat

Aims of the Morning

1. To enhance awareness of the Patanjalis Yoga Sutras

2. To bring the philosophy of Patanjali to the mat


By the end of the session, participants should be able to:
1. Perform asanas with attention to the philosophy expounded in Patanjalis Yoga sutras
2. Differentiate between aspects of consciousness Citta - Asmita, Savitarka, Savicara and Ananda.

Aims of the Afternoon

1. To encourage exploration and discussion of Patanjalis Yoga Sutras
2. To develop confidence in transforming theory into action on the mat.


1. Demonstrate, if asked, aspects of Pratyaksha (direct insight) as expounded in Patanjalis Yoga sutras
2. Devise a Yoga practice around philosophical elements of Patanjalis Yoga sutras using the Yamas and Niyamas, Kleshas and Antarayas.

Teaching Material Used On The Day

Flipchart (introduction of definition of Citta as that which links us to both Prakriti and Purusha)
Blocks and belts (morning asana practice of Bhujangasana and Anantasana)
Large-scale sheets of Patanjalis yoga sutras for game of Snakes and Ladders (after lunch) with dice

Methods of presenting the subject

Cards with the Yamas and Niyamas written on them - short introductory talk - practical posture work, integrating awareness of consciousness as outlined by Patanjali - demonstration - discussion - game, peer-teaching - meditation

About the Tutor

Wendy has been practising yoga for over thirty years and is a DCT and a BWY Modules tutor, currently serving on the education committee as Modules Officer. She has a back-ground in Iyengar Yoga and practises and teaches with attention to the pranic flow in asana,encouraging students to think creatively while honouring their own capabilities and limitations. She has spent many years in Asia and has written two books: Walking to the Mountain, about a pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, and Yoga for Pregnancy. Go to for more details. Wendy lives in Somerset, BA6 9NQ

Outline plan for the day

10.00 - 10.30 Patanjali invocation. Refresher on background to Patanjali and the 8 limbs. Group activity involving matching up the yamas and the niyamas with their meanings. A brief exposition of Citta and its importance as a moderator between Prakriti and Purusha, including a refresher on the Gunas. How Yoga affects Citta and vice versa.
10.30 - 12.30 Yoga practice working through the first 16 sutras Bhujangasana, Vashishtasana, Anantasana, Vrksasana, Virabhadrasana I, II & III, Ardha Chandrasana, Parivritta Janu Sirsasana & Shavasana. Gradually refining the practice of postures until stillness is achieved. Pratipaksha Bhavana the practice of replacing negative thoughts with positive (2.33)
12.30 -1.00 Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi Meditation and relaxation focussing on movement of consciousness Citta - Asmita, Savitarka, Savicara and Ananda.


2.00 - 2.45 Patanjali snakes and ladders game key sutras written on large sheets of paper and arranged so that students work in pairs with dice up the ladders and down the snakes towards Kaivalya. Penalties and rewards relating to the Kleshas are integrated.
2.45 3.15 Practice based around integrating the concept of Aparigraha with Parsvakonasana.
3.15 4.15 - In small groups, students choose one of the Yamas and Niyamas. Each group is given a posture to prepare to teach to the rest of the group with their allocated concept in mind. They then teach their posture/practice in sequence to the rest of the group.
4.15 4.30 - Feedback forms and final chant of second sutra.

Other information

Some back-ground reading on Patanjali before the day would be an advantage but not absolutely essential. It would be good to bring a copy of Patanjali to the day so translations can be compared.

Handouts include the sequence of postures practised along with the reminder of the sutras we considered, so participants have a memo and do not have to take notes.

Iyengar, though famous for his `alignment, is a serious follower of the sutras of Patanjali. All the asana practice of Iyengar is based on the philosophy of Patanjali. While in no way pretending to propagate the Iyengar method of teaching asana, Wendy takes the essential philosophy and applies it to the deeper interpretation of asana through Pratakshya direct experience.
We are situated in a beautiful hall with a wooden floor, you may need to bring additional padding for your knees.
Bring and share lunch, refreshments available - small donation appreciated.


Holt Village Hall
The Street
BA14 6YH


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