Pranayama Practice Course

On this course six weeks online course, you will be given one or two breath practices each week to experiment with.
We will meet every week as a group every Wednesday evening (European time)  to discuss these practices, as well as other aspect of pranayama practice that may be relevant. You will be able to ask questions directly and to receive individual guidance on your pranayama practice.
Attending the online class is highly recommended, however, if you miss a class, a recording of it will be available.

Although this may change depending on the needs and wishes of the course participants, the following is an outline of what will be covered in this course:

Breathing with mindfulness: anapanasati
We will be starting by revisiting Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing mediation),  exploring how this practice can complement and enrich active breath practices such as pranayama.

Practicing with the timing of the breath
We will explore both Sama vritti and Visama vritti rhythms and discuss the pro and cons of various approaches to different breathing rhythms.

Pratcticing with the movements of the breath
We will explore different ways of working with the movement of the breath. This exploratiowill include Ujayi and Kapalabati practice.

Breathing for balance
We will explore the essential practice of NadiShodana and talk about swara yoga.

Finding stillness in the breath
Finally, we will return to the rhythm of the breath and look at the benefits of kumbacha (retentions)  and how we can safely introduce these into our practice.

Kapalabati masterclass

This is an interactive one hour Sunday morning online class which will be taught through Zoom.  It focuses on Kapalabati,but we will also talk about Bastrika and look at the differences between these two practices.
You will need to install the Zoom app (it’s free) on your phone or computer prior to the workshop.

This class is for people who have had some prior exposure to Kabalabati practice. You don’t need to be an expert at it, but if you don’t know what kapalabati is, then this is not for you !

Date: Sunday 10th of May, 8.30 to 9.30 am

Cost: This  workshop is taught on donation (dana), but please only enrol if you are sure you will attend, as places are limited.

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To enrol, you will first need to register on the site.

We will send an invitation to your registered email address the day before the workshop. Make sure you add to your address book so it doesn’t end up in your Spam folder!

Benefits of Kapalabati:

  • Tones the abdominal muscles
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Cleanses and strengthens the lungs
  • Increases energy levels

Contemporary ethics

This online course explores the importance of ethics in our contemporary world, from both a yogic and Buddhist perspective. In doing this, we will discover how ethics is not so much something that we think about, but rather becomes a practice,  something that we do  – both individually and collectively — within our lives and communities. Moreover,  given the climate, ecological and social justice crises we are living within, the practice of ethics is a necessary prerequisite for responding creatively and appropriately and bring about effective change.

We will first be inquiring into ethics as yoga practitioners. Does yoga, as it is commonly taught in the western world, enable us practitioners to become the sorts of people we aspire to be? (The etymology of ethics, ethikos from the Greek, means character.) How does the practice of ethics align with and inform one’s own formal yoga practice?
To do this, we’ll look again at the role of ethics in one of the most famous classical yoga text, the yoga sutras of Patanjali, through the work of Michael Stone in his book: Yoga for a World out of Balance, which is required reading for this course. This book emphasises particularly the link between ethics and social action.

We’ll also review two main teachings of Buddhism: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight Fold Path, firstly outlining what a traditional understanding of these may be and then looking at how Stephen Batchelor interprets and reworks these teachings from a secular dharma perspective.

And finally, we’ll look at a version of the five precepts of Buddhism re-worked for our contemporary world by the great Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Thanh.

Required reading for this course are:

  • Yoga for a World out of Balance by Michael Stone
  • Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World by Stephen Batchelor

Also recommended:

  • Chapter 2 of any translation of The Yoga sutras of Patanjali. We recommend Alistair Shearer’s translation.  There are also a number of translations available online, for example
  • Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life, by Charlotte Bell
  • For a future to be possible by Ticht Nhat Han

Like most of our online courses it is taught on donation.
You will need to register on the site to access this course. If you haven’t  done so already, you can register here.

You need to be logged in to enroll in this course