Classical Yoga (250-Hour Course)

SUBJECT: Classical Yoga, or yoga-darshana, is one of the most important schools or phases of the yogic tradition within Hinduism. It is embodied in Patanjali’s Yoga-Sūtra and expounded in the Sanskrit commentaries thereon.

PURPOSE: This distance-learning course is designed to give students a clear understanding of the philosophy, psychology, and practice of Classical Yoga, also known as râja-yoga, based on a careful study of Patanjali’s extraordinary work. This understanding will enable students to also better comprehend other schools and phases of Yoga and will, moreover, encourage their appreciation of study (svādhyāya) as an integral part of the yogic work. At the same time, the course seeks to promote personal yogic practice by involving the student, through optional homework assignments, in concrete ways in the process of Yoga.

DESIGN: The course comprises 16 Lessons each consisting of readings, practical assignments (such as “For Reflection” questions, a questionnaire, suggested further readings, and not least a practical exercise). Since the course is not meant to be purely academic but also a life-enriching experience, it always bears in mind the practical implications of Yoga theory. The course includes a retranslation of the Yoga-Sūtra, which differs in some respects from the rendering found in Georg Feuerstein’s book The Yoga-Sūtra of Patanjali and makes the text more accessible. Dr. Feuerstein has studied the Yoga-Sūtra since the mid-1960s and therefore is able to provide students with deep insights into this extraordinary Sanskrit text. To view sample pages of our Study Guide, please click here.

CURRICULUM: The Lessons are organized so that the student is introduced to Classical Yoga in a progressive way, with each Lesson focusing on a given topic for which specifically selected aphorisms (sūtra) are discussed.

Lesson 01: Studying the Yogic Way
Lesson 02: Understanding Patanjali and His Yoga-Sūtra
Lesson 03: The Mystery of Spirit
Lesson 04: The Cosmic Machine
Lesson 05: Dispelling Ignorance Through the Light of Wisdom
Lesson 06: The Eight-Limbed Path to Liberation
Lesson 07: Solid Foundations: The Moral Disciplines
Lesson 08: Turning Up the Heat
Lesson 09: Sitting Still, Standing Tall
Lesson 10: The Breath of Life
Lesson 11: Controlling the Monkey Mind
Lesson 12: Dealing with Emotions
Lesson 13: The Shadow Realm
Lesson 14: Exploding the Mind in Ecstasy
Lesson 15: Moving Toward Liberation
Lesson 16: Glorious Freedom

COURSE MATERIALS: At the core of the course is a typeset 380-page illustrated manual, which includes a key to the questionnaires (except for those that are submittable). In addition, students also must acquire the following books by Georg Feuerstein:

(1) The Yoga-Sūtra of Patanjali: A New Translation and Commentary (Inner Traditions International, 1989)
(2)The Deeper Dimension of Yoga (Shambhala Publications, 2003), and
(3) Wholeness or Transcendence? (Larson Publications, 1992).

TIME FRAME: The course is estimated to extend over c. 250 hours. Students are given a maximum of two years and a minimum of one year to submit their homework for their tutor’s response. An extension of up to 6 months is possible, and the extension fee is $75.00.

HOMEWORK: Each of the 16 Lessons has homework attached to it, but students are required to submit only 4 questionnaires and 2 essays for feedback and evaluation. A key to the twelve nonsubmittable questionnaires is provided in the manual. The two essays are due at the end of the course. For those not wishing a certificate, homework is optional.

FOREIGN STUDENTS: The course contains technical material and involves homework, including writing two essays, which means that students need to have competence in English. Our tutoring does not include help with the English language. We ask overseas students to please carefully appraise their level of linguistic competence before signing up, as no refunds will be possible.

CERTIFICATE: Students who have successfully completed the course (which requires homework submission) are granted a certificate of completion.

COST: The basic fee for the distance learning course is $550.00 plus shipping for a binder containing the course information or $450.00 for the digital download version of the course (pdf), and the full amount is due when signing up for the program. Please note that dollar amounts are in Canadian currency.

PAYMENT METHOD: The course must be paid up front by either credit card, or by Personal Check (please contact us for details).

TAX AND CUSTOMS DUTY: Canadian residents are subject to GST/HST and/or PST on our educational materials. For foreign shipments, we will appropriately mark the customs declaration as “educational materials” and insure the package for the material value of the contents. Non-Canadian students may nevertheless have to pay a customs fee at their end.

REFUND POLICY: NO refunds will be made.


Do you offer academic credits?
Since relocating to Canada, we are no longer in a position to offer this option.

Does this course qualify for continuing education credits with the Yoga Alliance?
You need to contact the Yoga Alliance directly. Several of our students have been able to use our course for credits.

Do you offer workshops or retreats?
Our students are located all over the world, and for many it would be entirely impractical to travel long distances to attend a seminar or retreat. We believe that our well-designed course materials and tutoring are completely adequate to help you complete the course successfully.

When can I start the course?
We enrol new students all year round.

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: The terms stated herein do not constitute a binding agreement until we have accepted your application and received your payment for the distance-learning course.

Dated: March 2011

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