Buddha and the Yogis: Crossing Paths - Bodhisattvas and Warriors

The intensive is open to all with an interest in yoga and/or Buddhist philosophy led by three of the world's most influential Spiritual and Yogic practitioners - Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor and Robert (Bob) Thurman.

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In today’s world, difference and diversity are being used as roots for divisiveness, and there is no room for understanding the common thread of compassion that is at the centre of every human heart. Lies are replacing truth, conscience is out of vogue, and diversity is becoming a breeding ground for hatred and violence. This sort of intolerance is not new, but it has reached epic levels in current times.

Yet the insight that invites transformation arises where seemingly contradictory or opposing things meet; where night meets day, inhale meets exhale, or peace meets war. If each differing side stands unwavering in its own form, intelligence can grind to a halt. However, instead of resisting the other, a healthy mind learns to compare and contrast, while both contemplating differences and questioning similarities. This is the path of yoga, and this is also the Mahayana path of Buddhism.

In this intensive, we will go deeply into practices and philosophical underpinnings of both Buddhism and yoga. We will train body and mind, opening both to new perspectives. We will explore central themes and corners of these two great schools, which share a common root yet have healthy dissimilarities. In doing so, we will aim to see beyond surface differences that might fool us into divisively pitting them one against the other.

We will do this using asana, meditation, chanting and lively philosophical discussions. We will cultivate the questioning mind and the clarity that is an open, tender heart. In particular, by comparing and contrasting the devotional Bhagavad Gita with the study of Mahayana Buddhism we will explore how these teachings may inform us on a path toward insight and compassion.

The intensive is open to all with an interest in yoga and/or Buddhist philosophy, so long as you have at least 6 months’ regular asana practice and are willing to come with an open mind and heart. No specific understanding of philosophy, yoga or Buddhism, is needed. Each day will begin with a two hour guided asana class which will focus on the internal forms of breathing, bandha, mudra and dristi. In this way, we will work to cultivate the natural intelligence of the body by joining together the complementary aspects of breath, movement, sensation and mind. Working carefully and with attentiveness to subtle detail in this way allows us to move into, out of, and between postures with ease and integrity so that the mind may remain open, clear and steady. This will then lead us into chanting, guided meditation, lecture and discussion.

The daily schedule:

9:30-11:30: Guided Asana (Richard/Mary)

11:30-11:45: Break

11:45-13:00: Chanting related to the Bhagavad Gita and the Mañjushrī Nāma Saṁgītī. Meditation (prana into apana a reflection of Shamata practice) (Richard/Mary)

13.00-14.30 Lunch Break

14.30 to 15.30: Lecture and meditation Mahayana (Robert)

15.30 to 15.45 Break

15:45 – 17.00: Lecture and discussion Mahayana and Bhagavad Gita (All)

Richard Freeman

Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968, and teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard’s metaphorical, often humorous, teaching style appeals to students of many backgrounds and nationalities. He teaches workshops and trainings throughout the world, and remains an avid student fascinated by the linking points between different traditions and cultures. He is the co-founder, with Mary, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado; has produced a number of highly regarded yoga audio and video recordings; and is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and co-author of The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).

Mary Taylor

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971 and upon finding her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in 1988, and the Ashtanga Vinyasa system that she experienced the profound and transformative impact that a dedicated and daily practice can have on all aspects of life. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings, travels and co-teaches with Richard Freeman and co-founded with Richard the Yoga Workshop. Mary is also the author of three cookbooks and the co-author of What Are You Hungry For? Women Food and Spiritualit_y (St. Martins Press) and _The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).


Robert Thurman

Robert Thurman is a recognised world authority on religion and spirituality, Asian history, world philosophy, Buddhist science, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and an eloquent advocate of the relevance of Buddhist ideas to our daily lives. He has become a leading voice of the value of reason, peace and compassion, was named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, and has been profiled by The New York Times and People Magazine.Bob is a gifted communicator who can make complex concepts understandable, introducing challenging ideas with intelligence and humour in a down to earth and comprehensible way.



Stunning the Mind with Yoga – Episode #178 of the Bob Thurman Podcast

Opening this podcast with an introduction to the Medicine Buddha and his long time co-teacher + friend Richard Freeman, Professor Thurman explore the connections between Hatha Yoga, Buddhist Philosophy + the Indic Inner Sciences through a close translation of the classic fifteenth-century Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga, “The Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā” by Svāmi Svātmārāma.


Upon full attendance of all days of the intensive, you will receive a Yogacampus 30H certificate of attendance.

What our students say

Observing Richard's mastery of his own practice was delightful and in itself taught me so much. A Yogacampus student on Richard Freeman Astanga Vinyasa Yoga Workshops, September 2009

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