The Yoga of the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā

Join Dr Graham Burns for a lively and relevant look at the 17th/18th Sanskrit haṭha yoga text, the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā. Graham will present a brief overview of the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā and its historical and philosophical background, before leading you through an integrated practice addressing all of the seven means of ‘perfecting’ the human person, incorporating accessible physical cleansing techniques, āsana, mudrā and bandha, relaxation, prāṇāyāma, and meditation.

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‘There is no fetter like illusion, no force greater than yoga, no friend greater than knowledge, and no enemy greater than ego’ (Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā 1.3)

Workshop Description

The Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā is a Sanskrit haṭha yoga text, probably from the 17th or early 18th century. It draws in places on the better known Haṭha[yoga]pradīpikā from a few centuries earlier, but expands and refines several of that text’s teachings and practices, outlining several more āsanas and prāṇāyāma techniques, as well as introducing some innovative ideas of its own. In it, the practice of yoga is said to lead the practitioner directly to an understanding of a non-dual ultimate reality.

Which teachings of the The Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā will we study?

One of the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā’s more unusual teachings is of seven means of ‘perfecting’ the human person – purification, strength, steadiness, calmness, lightness, realisation, and abstraction. Each of those ‘means’ is associated with an aspect of yoga practice, elaborated on in the successive chapters of the text, presenting an interesting alternative to the more common eight or six ‘limbed’ yoga systems.

In this workshop, we will explore each of the seven means. Graham will present a brief overview of the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā and its historical and philosophical background, before leading you through an integrated practice addressing all of the seven means, incorporating accessible physical cleansing techniques, āsana, mudrā and bandha, relaxation, prāṇāyāma, and meditation.

Workshop Format

A 2.5 hour theory and practice workshop via Zoom.

Who is this for?

The workshop is suitable for all levels of yoga experience, other than beginners, though some familiarity with prāṇāyāma is desirable. We are sorry, but some of the practices will not be appropriate for those who are pregnant or who have recently given birth – you are welcome to join the workshop, but will need to modify your practice accordingly.

‘Like an unbaked pot in water, the body is always decaying. One should bake it with the fire of yoga…’ (Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā 1.8)

Replay

The live sessions are recorded and access to replay is included for 21 days after the event.

Certification & Hours

You will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Completion. The Yoga of the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā counts for 2.5 Continuing Education hours through Yoga Alliance.

In affiliation with OrangeYoga Education

YAP Senior Teacher

Certification

Upon completion of this workshop, you will receive a Yogacampus Certificate of Completion.

Meet the Teacher

Dr. Graham Burns has taught regular yoga classes for over 20 years. He is a faculty member of the Yogacampus Yoga Teacher Training Programme, where he teaches, amongst other things, the history and philosophies of yoga, Sanskrit, and meditation. He holds a Master’s degree in Indian religions and a PhD in Indian philosophy, both from SOAS University of London, where he has also lectured on the MA programme in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation. Graham particularly enjoys bringing some of the ancient textual teachings of yoga to life through practice, and is known for his accessible and light hearted style of teaching. www.samanayoga.com

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