It is human nature to wonder, to draw meaning from the experience of life. Whether as an informal attempt to comprehend, or as a scholarly study of the nature of reality, humans have been philosophizing for as long as we’ve been thinking. All of the philosophies of yoga, from the ancient Vedas to contemporary study, try to explain the experience of the practice of yoga as a means of awakening natural intelligence, giving insight into the meaning of life and consciousness, ethical standards, happiness and suffering, illusion and reality.
There are no short cuts to having insight into the meaning of the experience of life. The only way to truly understand reality is through direct experience. For this reason at the Yoga Workshop we encourage studying philosophy within the context of one’s own experience. We recommend “going to the source” and reading original texts whenever possible, as well as asking questions and examining why we believe what we believe. Studying yogic philosophies in context of other views such as Buddhism, Western philosophy and contemporary life can be helpful in assimilating a real understanding of philosophical subtleties.
By studying a variety of philosophies it becomes clear that there are endless minor variances of interpretation and perspective within any philosophical system. Differences in life circumstance, words or axioms used to describe the experience and understanding seed these differences, making variances natural and quite healthy in an open minded study of philosophy.
Through the study of a multiplicity of philosophies it is possible to have a direct experience of yoga rather than becoming trapped or stuck in one’s own belief system.
The articles on philosophy posted below are intended to shed light on yogic philosophies in context of a contemporary life.