Taught by our experienced international teachers

Yogic Philosophy & Practice: Patanjali (50 Hours)

With Shirley Woods

It is said that if all of the great texts of yoga were lost, with the exception of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it would be possible to retrieve them all. Probably the most relevant text for any yoga student, the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras will form the base for this 50 hours immersion, which will help you bridging the ‘formal’ practice of asana, pranayama, meditation, with the philosophy, the history of yoga and its major concepts.


Through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali we will familiarize ourselves with the major concepts and history of yoga, and develop a working vocabulary in both English and Sanskrit. The Yoga Sutra is a guide for Svadhyaya – study of self. Some reference to the Upanishads will help to deepen this understanding.


Practice – Abhyasa – is a generally accepted requirement in yoga. The understanding of its purpose and its counterpart – Vairagya – letting go will be part of our focus.


Our ‘formal’ practice will be based in the cornerstones of Vijnana* Yoga, which are asana, pranayama, just sitting, and the study of text. Vijnana means understanding at a deep level. It transcends our familiar state of thought and words and yet has deep rooting. (*Read more about Vijnana yoga in Shirley's article on our blog.)

Our morning practice will consist of sitting, pranayama, kriya and asana. In the afternoon we will study text with open discussion. In all practices, the student is expected to reflect and to look to the inner teacher. We will chant the Sutras using the CD from Dr. M.A. Jayashree to help ensure ‘perfect’ pronunciation.


Program outline

  • We will read from the Yoga Sutra in English and in Sanskrit
  • We will chant the Yoga Sutra which enhances understanding of the text
  • Looking into earlier texts will give wider ground to our understanding
  • This is an interactive programme, students will share personal findings and discoveries
  • Students will be challenged to find their own understanding of what at first appear to be difficult text
  • Independence is encouraged in asana practice and in philosophical study
  • In our morning practice we develop alignment from inside, movement from centre
  • We will practice basic pranayama with no tension and the Vayus, the ten vital winds

Extra hours

There will be regular reading assignments and one paper required, plus some ‘creative’ projects.
This 50-hours immersion is part of the Delight Yoga Advanced Studies, however this is not in itself a teacher training program.


  • An established practice (e.g. asana, sitting and pranayama) for a minimum of 2 years
  • Some study of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
  • An open, flexible mind
  • A desire to explore and a willingness to consider letting go of patterns and to apply and acquire new imprints in “formal” and “informal” practice.


  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Edwin F. Bryant
  • Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras– Orit Sen-Gupta
  • A Little Book of Yoga – Orit Sen-Gupta
  • Patanjali Yoga Sutras (call-and-response learning CD) – M.A. Jayashree (suggested)


What others say

"If you like to understand the yoga sutra's, the yoga philosophy, Shirley is the perfect teacher. She has a lot of knowledge, explains it very well and with so much joy.  Now I’m really able to translate it into my life!" 
​- Tieneke, Yoga & Philosophy participant

"This training is really revealing for body, soul and mind. If you think you know how to move in and through the asanas, after this course you really know. Shirley explains how you can move yourself, by only using your breath and your attention on a certain body part (which is Vijnana yoga). I loved the mix of studying the yoga sutra's, practicing 'just being', pranayama and asana practice. I learned to connect with my body on a deeper level and I learned more about the wisdom of life. Very interesting!"
- Dolores, Yoga & Philosophy participant 

Please note: registration closes 14 days prior to workshop start date. In case of any questions or last minute sign ups, please contact

Date / Time




21 January 2017, 14:00 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

22 January 2017, 09:30 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

04 February 2017, 14:00 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

05 February 2017, 09:30 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

11 February 2017, 14:00 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

04 March 2017, 14:00 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

05 March 2017, 09:30 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

25 March 2017, 14:00 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

26 March 2017, 09:30 - 18:00

De Clercqstraat

Shirley Woods

This workshop is only available as a full course, total price:



You can register for this workshop by paying with iDeal using the 'Book' link. Full payment is required to ensure your place. Registration is confirmed when payment is complete.

Cancellation policy

Are you entitled to a refund of the registration fee in case of cancellation? Please read article 16 ‘Cancellation of Workshop Registration’ in our General Terms and Conditions to know exactly where you stand.

About Shirley Woods

Shirley studies, practices and teaches Yoga in her studio Innerspace in Amsterdam. She was introduced to Astanga Yoga over ten years ago and now studies Vijnana Yoga (practicing from inside) with Orit Sen-Gupta.