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Foundations of Yoga Philosophy for Teachers: The Invention of Yoga


Foundations of Yoga Philosophy for Teachers: The Invention of Yoga is the fourth installment of foundational yoga philosophy courses for teachers by Douglas Brooks, Ph.D. and furthers our appreciation of yoga philosophy essentials while also expanding our understanding of the…

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Our students seek out yoga for many reasons, but ultimately they want to be happy and live more meaningful lives. Yoga philosophy holds the key to a more conscious experience of being alive and yet so much of yoga today only scratches the surface of this rich tradition.

Yoga has always been about wellness, about the whole person and, fundamentally, about cultivating a rich and deep love of life. As a yoga teacher your work reaches deeply into history and a vast array of traditions, values, and beliefs. A professional can’t ignore an investment in education and appreciation of yoga without reducing its practice solely to fitness. We all know there is so much more to yoga.

If you are like most yoga teachers the subject of yoga philosophy may seem overwhelming, even daunting! But here’s the truth: You need not know everything in the vast world of yoga philosophy to still teach asana classes. But having a basic understanding of the fundamentals of yoga philosophy can empower you and increase your confidence levels on the subject so you can share these valuable teachings with your students!

“Early Traditions” is the first of a series of foundational yoga philosophy courses for teachers by Douglas Brooks, Ph.D and explores the basics of yoga philosophy, looking at primary sources in translation, history and the development of ideas and practices. Through this course you will become more professional, better informed, and capable of assessing how the ancient traditions inform your own modern experience. Your task is not to inculcate or advocate a particular point of view but rather to be an educator and an authentic voice in the centuries-old project of deep engagement, of yoga.

What’s in this eCourse? Douglas Brooks, Ph. D delivers the course in lecture fashion with a knowledge assessment after each module to credit you as having completed the course. This course addresses some of the modern concerns in yoga that bump up against ancient ascetic ideals (sometimes no longer applicable in the 21st century) ultimately helping you offer a fuller, more authentic experience of yoga to your students!

In the eCourse you will:

  • Explore the basics of yoga philosophy every yoga teacher needs to know to feel more confident and genuine in the classroom
  • Discover the early origins of the history of yoga to bring your teaching into a larger context
  • Learn how to gracefully navigate the places where modern yoga rubs up against ancient ascetic ideals
  • Find ways to offer philosophical yoga teachings from your own voice and inspire your students to live more skillfully and happily
  • Gain more credibility in your field while offering a richer experience of yoga to your students
  • Four knowledge assessments (one after each module) to help credit you as having completed the course

How does it work? The course content is delivered via online streaming video and organized into 4 modules with 42 video lessons total. A discussion feature on the first page of the course under the video is included so you can interact with Douglas and other teachers in the course about your insights and questions. The total running time is four hours and thirty minutes.


Level: This course is designed specifically for all yoga teachers wishing to gain more credibility in their field and inspire their students through a more thorough knowledge and understanding of yoga philosophy.

This eCourse meets Yoga Alliance’s non-contact hours requirements for continuing education.


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