Making Yoga Philosophy Straightforward & Accessible with Daniel Simpson [Podcast 036]

In Episode 36 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Jivana Heyman sits down with Daniel Simpson to talk about yoga philosophy and his new book The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices. Daniel is a former foreign correspondent who has gone on to study and teach yoga, meditation, yoga history, and yoga philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Triyoga, and beyond. Jivana and Daniel discuss many concepts and themes from yoga philosophy including the role of ethics in yoga and how our individual interpretation of the teachings influences how we “live” our yoga. This conversation invites us to consider how we use self-study and practice to either retreat from the world or become a more conscious citizen.

Download Episode 36 Download Transcript

This week on the podcast:

  • Daniel introduces himself and talks about his background in journalism as a foreign correspondent and how that shaped his career
  • Jivana and Daniel talk about how the conversation in yoga has shifted
  • The role of ethics in yoga and being honest about what the teachings do and don't say
  • Jivana and Daniel discuss themes from his new book including renunciation and enlightenment
  • Union vs. separation in the yoga teachings
  • Yoga Sutras vs. Bhagavad Gita - do they contradict each other and how are they complementary?
  • Caution around spiritual bypass and using the teachings out of context
  • Right action, interconnectedness, and compassion in the Gita and Sutras
  • The connection between yoga and meditation, and the power in subtle practices

This week's question to ponder:

  • Do we want a relationship with tradition in the first place? And if we do, what are we actually trying to achieve with yoga?

About Daniel Simpson

Daniel Simpson teaches yoga history and philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and on teacher trainings at Triyoga in London. He holds a Master's degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS in London, and previously worked as a foreign correspondent. His interest in yoga developed in parallel, including frequent trips to India since the 1990s. Learn more about Daniel at his website.

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