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CE Workshop | Does Yoga Come From the Vedas?

October 24, 2022, 12pm ET

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About This Workshop

What does it mean to say that yoga has Vedic roots? The Vedas are India's oldest sacred texts, but their earliest mantras don't mention yoga as we've come to know it. The first description of yoga as a meditative discipline is found in the Upaniṣads; these philosophical texts are also part of the Vedic tradition, but they share a new worldview. In this workshop, Daniel Simpson will explore this distinction and why it matters. In the process, you will learn:

  • How yoga began outside the Vedic mainstream, yet drew on Vedic ideas
  • Why early yoga was not about action, but focused instead on renunciation
  • What links the liberating insights of early practitioners to modern forms yoga

About the Presenter

Daniel Simpson presents ancient texts for modern times. He is the author of The Truth of Yoga, which is a comprehensive guide to the history of the practice. His approach combines scholarly knowledge with humor and insight, making yoga philosophy accessible and relevant to today's practitioners. Daniel also teaches courses online, at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and in teacher trainings in the UK and internationally. Drawing on a master's degree from SOAS (University of London) and two decades of experience, he aims to help students explore their own path. Once upon a time, he was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times. His first book, A Rough Guide to the Dark Side, tells the story of the early misadventures that led him to yoga.


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