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The History and Philosophy of Yoga

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SOAS, Brunei Gallery

SOAS, University of London, Brunei Gallery

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

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On Wednesday 9th, Thursday 10th and Friday the 11th May, Dr, Matthew Clark will be giving three talks on the history and philosophy of yoga. These talks will be in the Paul Webley Building (opposite the main SOAS building) in Room 108 (lecture 1) and in the Brunei Gallery (lectures 2 and 3) from 18.00 to 19.30.

The talks are free of charge and will be aimed at beginners and students of yoga who would like to deepen their knowledge of the background of yoga.

The talks will begin with what we know of the historical origins of yoga and explore developments up to the present day. Each talk will cover different aspects of yoga but participants are free to attend either all three talks or just one or two.

Topics covered will include the Vedas, Buddhism and Jainism, the Upaniṣads, the Bhagavad Gītā, Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, Sāṃkhya philosophy, Vedānta philosophy, Tantra, medieval yoga texts (in particular the Haṭhapradīpikā/Haṭhayogapradīpikā), and modern yoga.

Lecture 1 (Wednesday 9th May)

PART 1: The origins of yoga, Aryan migration, the Vedas, Buddhism, Jainism, the Upaniṣads, the Bhagavad Gītā.

Lecture 2 (Thursday 10th May)

PART 2: Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra and its commentaries, Sāṃkhya philosophy, Vedānta philosophy.

Lecture 3 (Friday 11th May)

PART 3: Tantra, medieval yoga texts (in particular the Haṭhapradīpikā/ Haṭhayogapradīpikā), modern yoga.

Dr. Matthew Clark (MA, PhD) has since 2004 been a Research Associate at SOAS, where he taught Hinduism between 1999 and 2003. Since 2002 he has been lecturing on yoga philosophy and history at yoga centres in the UK, Europe, Israel, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA. To date, he has presented lectures at yoga retreats, workshops and teacher-training courses for twenty-five different yoga teachers and organizations. He has published articles and books on yoga, soma, and sādhus (yogis). His PhD, on a sect of sādhus (saṃnyāsīs), was published in 2006. His recent book, entitled The Tawny One: Soma. Haoma and Ayahuasca was published in June 2017. Matthew has been visiting India since 1977; he has visited several hundred pilgrimage sites and trekked about 2,000 miles in the Himalayas. He first engaged with yoga in the mid-1970s, and since 1990 has been regularly practising a form of Ashtanga Yoga. Matthew also plays guitar and writes songs (as Mahabongo).

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SOAS, Brunei Gallery

SOAS, University of London, Brunei Gallery

Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

London

WC1H 0XG

United Kingdom

View Map

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