hathābhyāsapaddhati: a precursor of modern yoga with Jason Birch + Jacqueline Hargreaves

We are delighted to welcome Jason Birch + Jacqueline Hargreaves to triyoga this August to teach a day-long workshop focusing on some of the asanas unknown to modern yoga practitioners. We asked them some questions so we could find out a little bit more about this fascinating workshop – so if you were sitting on the fence about going, we guarantee you’ll be booking your spot straight after reading this…

Jason Birch + Jacqueline Hargreaves, 11 August 2018 at triyoga Camden

hathābhyāsapaddhati: a precursor of modern yoga

This workshop will present the history and practice of the only sequential āsana routine that has been preserved in a pre-modern manuscript. One hundred and twelve āsanas, many of which are based on the movements of animals, are described in an eighteenth-century yoga text called the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati, ‘a manual on the practice of Haṭhayoga’. The āsanas are divided into six sequences and some of them involve repetitive movement and require extraordinary strength and flexibility, as well as the use of rope. Many of these āsanas remain unknown to modern yoga practitioners.

The first session will introduce the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati with a general lecture on the practice it teaches and its place within the broader history of yoga and the second session will guide participants through a practice based on a truncated sequence using some of the more accessible āsanas in the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati.

So here’s a little more about what you can expect from the workshop:

Who is the target audience of the workshop?
Open to all students, practitioners and teachers who are interested in the intersection between pre-modern and modern practices of Yoga.

What is the percentage of yoga to discussions?
Each session (both the morning and afternoon sessions) will include 1-1.5 hour lecture followed by a 1.5-2 hour interactive practice session (with accessible āsana).

What are the key takeaways a student can expect from the day?
A deeper understanding of the history of yoga and the practice of premodern āsana.
It will be an opportunity to experience new forms of āsana unknown to contemporary practitioners.
Insight into the reconstruction of history from an obscure Sanskrit text to an embodied experience of ancient techniques.
An appreciation of how twentieth-century Indian gurus, such as Kṛṣṇamācārya, used pre-modern yoga texts to develop the styles of modern postural yoga popularised today.

What will I learn as a student?
Students will be introduced to an important text in the corpus of Haṭhayoga, namely the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati.
Students will learn about the text’s contribution to the traditions of yoga at the Mysore Palace and its possible influence on Kṛṣṇamācārya.
Students will learn to practice the more accessible āsana and explore the earliest documented sequences of āsana, as well as the earliest known dog and cat poses, which are very different to those in modern yoga.
Students will learn how historians work to reconstruct history using Sanskrit texts and visual sources.

Who can attend, beginners or advanced students?
Open to all.

What drives you to teach this workshop?
We aim to inform people of the rich and diverse history of yoga. We hope to broaden people’s understanding of what yoga can be, beyond the popular modern styles. This workshop is an opportunity to share our latest research on the history of Yoga with contemporary practitioners. It provides a unique opportunity to bring to life a piece of history.

What do you love about this workshop?
We love to watch people explore new and unknown postures, many of which are based on animal forms.
We love to see students appreciate the complexities and obscurities of Sanskrit verse, and the challenges faced by those who endeavor to translate them into English.
We love to see students deepen their appreciation of the vast history of Yoga that is survived in threads.

Join Jason Birch + Jacqueline Hargreaves at triyoga Camden on August 11 for a day-long immersion. Click here to book and find out more.

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