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jane’s winter philosophy talks


I fear philosophy has a bad reputation among us people of action. Its original meaning is simply love of wisdom. I want to take us all back to those roots in the short philosophy talks I offer between classes: Wed. 8:30-9 am, Thur. 5-5:30 pm, and Fri. 10:30-11 am.

My dictionary defines philosophy as “the study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.” What’s not to love? People have been thinking and talking about yoga for thousands of years, refining its tools to enhance their quality of life. Join us as we continue this on-going cultural conversation. How do people use yoga to make the experience of life better?

The talks take place at the edge of the practice room between classes. Students should feel free to listen or not, come and go as their schedules demand. We will keep the atmosphere casual and playful.

Our talks this winter will be based around the book The Inner Tradition of Yoga by Michael Stone. This is a modern, psychological examination of Patanjali’s yoga sutras. We will focus our talks around concepts as they are presented in the book. Students will benefit without the reading. Keen students can go deeper by using the text. We have some copies of the book to sell and lend. This is the outline I will follow (for those of you who like to read ahead!)

Week of

Jan. 4    Introduction to Patanjali’s Sutras

Jan. 11 vidya/avidya: really seeing   chap. 1-2

Jan. 18 marga: the spiritual path     chap. 3-5

Jan. 25 yama: a firm foundation      chap. 6-7

Feb. 1  klesas: being human           chap. 8-10

Feb. 8  kosas: still being human      chap. 11-12

Feb. 15 samskaras & prana             chap. 13-14

Feb. 22 Jane’s gone; student-led review

Feb. 29 meditation                    chap. 15-16

Mar. 7 prana & citta               chap. 17-end

Mar. 14 summary and review

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