Philosophy in general and the philosophy of yoga has been a long standing interest and thread in my world.
Trying to understand the philosophy of yoga is not so simple. This essay is aimed at providing a general background and starting point for approaching the philosophy of yoga, and a brief look at what is involved. It assumes no previous knowledge, and is probably aimed primarily at student teachers or interested students.
There are several common yoga texts today including the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita. These three are usually the main texts in yoga teacher training reading lists. But there are many other texts. For example the Sankhya Karikar, the Gerand Samhita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It is not so easy to understand what any of these texts are saying, nor how to interpret them. There are differing view points, differing opinions, differing translations, different cultural and language references. Nor is it easy to pick out which of these interpretations is the right one – and right as defined by what definition of right?
For me personally, I am trying to understand what it is that I am seeing around me and to make the best of what I have. I am trying to navigate this ocean of life with as much human decency, dignity, wisdom and kindness as I can.
I have written a set of essays introducing the main texts. Please access them via the menus.
I will continue working at these essays, and writing new essays as I have the time and space. All of this will probably remain a work-in-progress for the rest of my days. Any thoughts or comments, I’d be happy to hear.