An Introduction to Yoga

Ref: C2224600

What is yoga? Is it more than another form of exercise and stretching - the answer is yes, far more. There are many different approaches in the original texts and just as many "styles" taught in the West today. This course will help you navigate the range of possibilities by introducing you to the underlying philosophy of yoga and while also giving you the opportunity to learn both a asana (yoga poses) pranayama (working with the breath in different ways) and foundation meditation practicesdraw on . We will start by looking at Patanjali's "8 Limbs of Yoga" and work through those that are accessible to this level of practice starting with the Yamas (ethical base) and Niyamas ( guide to behaviour) but ending before Samadhi (enlightenment!) Balancing this mental activity every week there will also the practice of asana and pranayama, ending with a relaxation practice or yoga nidra.

Course aim

This course will provide you with a brief introduction to Yoga, its philosophy and origins and to basic poses, breathing, cleansing practices and foundation meditation practices.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • You will need to fill in a confidential health form. Any practice of yoga can have a powerful effect on body and mind and the teacher will therefore need to know if there are any practices that a student should avoid and will provide alternatives.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a series of basic yoga postures that can be used in daily life.
  • Explain and demonstrate the abdominal breath and at least one other breathing technique.
  • Discuss at least 4 of the eight limbs of yoga and refer with confidence to a Sanskrit Text.
  • Be able to chant the Mantra Aum with knowledge and understanding.
  • Use the information from this course to make an informed choice about what yoga class to move on to.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Equipment is available but may be used by many others. Some people prefer to bring their own mats or blankets.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You may like to read "Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda. Alternately, sections of popular novels Shantaram or Eat Pray Love could be relevant. These two are widely available in charity or secondhand shops.

What can I do next?

  • You will be able to choose an on-going yoga class with more confidence.

Download full Course information sheet

An Introduction to Yoga

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This course has been cancelled.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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