The Yoga Sutra is a two thousand year-¬≠old text that is considered to be the most important scripture in raja yoga (yoga of meditation). In it, the author Patanjali sums up the essence of the earlier texts in short, concise “threads” called sutras. Philosophy, psychology, ethics, and morality are emphasized in this timeless Indian classic to reach the highest stages of meditation called samadhi.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika was written in the 15th Century and is considered to be the most important scripture on hatha yoga (yoga of the physical body). Some believe it to be the tantric amplification of the Yoga Sutra. In it, the author Swami Swatmarama expounds upon postures, bodily purifications, breath control, and physical gestures to awaken dormant forces and reach samadhi.

This workshop will begin with a discussion on the similarities and differences of these two texts. After a short break, we will conclude with a gentle physical practice emphasizing breathwork as a way to slow down the mind and help us to sit for a long, guided meditation.

Photograph by The British Library. Artist unknown.