Practical Patañjali

the Yoga Sūtra-s: the stitches that can help us weave greater harmony into the fabric of our lives...

Practical Patañjali

Patañjali’s Sūtra is a work of staggering genius, brilliantly succinct, robust and inclusive.  But at first approach, the text may seem somewhat opaque.  Join us in the stunning setting of Ampleforth Abbey for a rare opportunity to mine the glorious depths of the Sanskṛt original and explore these teachings in practical ways with James Boag.

The Yoga Sūtra is the distilled presentation of the teachings of yoga as the Practical School of Indian Philosophy.  During this one week integrated retreat for deep rest and deep exploration we will explore Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra, working in-depth from Patañjali’s original Sanskṛt so we may begin to appreciate its vast reach, its inspiring universality and its practicality.  We will study the text closely, with space and time for discussion, and emphasis on the text’s practical application in the grounded reality of our lives.

Our topic and our inquiry are practical.  As well as our sessions working closely with the text, we will explore Patañjali’s teachings of yoga through a range of complimentary lenses, including principle-based āsana and movement; regular meditation
; meditative walking and sense rehabilitation exercises; storytelling; kirtan and sound.

Whether you are new to yoga āsana, the way we work during this week is intended to give everyone useful tools to take away and will be suitable for all ages and levels of experience. 
The āsana and movement work will all be principle-based, and what we explore will be relevant and applicable to ongoing practice with any yogāsana practice style or modality, or with broader movement disciplines. James’ approach, and our holistic exploration during this week, aims to allow every participant 
to develop a live, personal and lasting relationship with this amazingly practical wisdom text, and a deepening understanding of the broad spectrum, practical gifts that beat at the heart of the yoga tradition.

James Boag

Originally from Yorkshire, England, James teaches yoga and applied yoga philosophy globally. Known for his inspiring, inclusive and engaging teaching style and holistic approach, his workshops and retreats include live storytelling, a principle-based, practical and inclusive style of asana/natural movement work, meditations and kirtan; all informed by years of practical exploration and dedicated study of Sanskrit and traditional yoga texts. James has been teaching for over twenty years, teaching yoga since 2003 and leading integrated programs on applied yoga philosophy around the world since 2009. He completed his Sanskrit MA in 2012 in Mysore where he regularly leads courses on the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutra-s, working from the original Sanskrit texts, and Indian Mythology.

Mind for Cooking

Kate Zaleska aka the yogini of the kitchen, is a talented and inspiring vegetarian chef whose philosophy on life, food, and eating chimes beautifully with all things yoga. Her food is real, slowly prepared from simple healthy ingredients, full of interesting flavours and cooked and served with love, attention to detail and respect for our planet. This food is more than delicious; Kate’s sustaining and nutritious meals are full of joy and artistry and are an integral part of the retreat experience.

About the Setting

During this week we will be based in the peaceful Alban Roe house at Ampleforth Abbey, where people have been coming
 to meditate and contemplate for generations. With two spacious practice rooms for satsang, classes and kirtan, separate dining areas and access to the beautiful grounds of the Abbey, we can enjoy a wonderful environment conducive to deep rest and deep exploration. The bedrooms are basic, but spacious and comfortable. Throughout the week, there will be a team of retreat staff, participating in sessions, but also working to help ensure that all immediate needs are met so that you will be free to relax and dive into the unique opportunities available to you.