The purpose of this assignment (readings, practice and a written assignment) is to expand your understanding of the teachings of yoga, and to deepen relationship with them. As we discovered in Module 1, yoga is a vast system of practice, a philosophy, a psychology, and it is also a state of being in and of itself. It is therefore important as a practitioner and a teacher to study the principles, but also to recognize what yoga means to you, at this point in your life.

The due date of the written assignment is Wednesday February 5th.

Assigned Readings

Please read the following Chapters from the course textbooks. We recommend that you keep your notebook handy and write down anything you find interesting, questionable, or otherwise noteworthy.

Teaching Yoga by Mark Stephens

The Eight Limbs of Yoga by Stuart Ray Sarbacker, Kevin Kimple
Introduction and Chapter 1, Pages 3 – 18

Practical Homework

Part 1 – Asana

Practice the 60 or 90 minute Master Class in your program binder, once a week during the interim period before Module 2. It will help you prepare for the core postures that we will study in greater detail through the program. If you are not certain what the postures are, refer to the asana portion of the course binder.

Guided Recordings of Asana Class for Home Practice

Part 2 – Sadhana: Nadi Shodana and Mindfulness Meditation

Choose a time every day to practice 8 rounds of alternate nostril breathing, followed by a short meditation. We recommend doing this first thing in the morning, however you could choose another time of day that you regularly have 15 minutes of uninterrupted time.

Nadi shodana: Complete 8 rounds (with 16 full yogic breaths), then sit for a 8-12 minutes, or longer if you can.

Meditation: For the meditation, you are welcome to practice any style you wish, but if would like some guidance, follow these guided Mindful Meditations:

If you are sitting without guidance, we recommend you use a timer. If you are looking for a good timer app (iOs, Android, we recommend Insight Timer).

Part 3 – Work with a Yama

Choose a Yama to play with for the two months. You are welcome to journal about your relationship with this yama: why you chose it, how it shows up in your life.

Written Homework Assignment

Answer the questions below (4), and email it to by Wednesday February 5th. We encourage you to discuss the questions with each other. Keep in mind that there is no “right” or “wrong” answers, rather there is your relationship with the ideas that the questions raise.

Question 1

What are the 8 limbs of Yoga described in Patanjali’s Yogasutras? List them in Sanskrit. For each one, describe in your own words what this limb means (1-2 sentences).

Question 2

During the Occupy Movement of 2011, yoga and dharma teacher Michael Stone reflected on the impact of yoga on ones relationship with self, others, and our society. In an essay called Our True Nature is Our Imagination: Yoga and Non-Violence, he writes:

“Yoga teaches us that as we open to our lives, we open to suffering and pain – not just our own, but the suffering of all beings. Yes, we heal internally; yes, we find more ease in our lives; yes, we are less stressed. But the paradox of practice is that although we feel more free internally, we also become more sensitive to the pain of others. And from there, we begin to take action.”

Does your experience with yoga support or refute this statement? Write a brief reflection statement (1-2 short paragraphs).

Question 3

Discuss how your personal lifestyle and injury history has impacted / informed your practice? (1-2 paragraphs)

Question 4

Given the complexity of each individual’s history, what can an instructor do to ensure their students are supported in a group class? (1 paragraph)

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