Yoga as Transformation

2-4 Credits, First Summer Session
July 21-26, The Evergreen State College

Sarah Williams, 867 6561,, Seminar Bldg 4161
Tim Kelly, 491 5641,

Prerequisites: Signature of faculty. Open only to participants of Yoga for Living’s Six Days on Freedom Retreat.

Supporting and supplementing the on-campus advanced training workshop, “Six Days on Freedom:
Teaching Yoga as Transformation and the Journey of Awakening,” this course provides
dedicated practitioners and yoga teachers with background readings, writing processes and
practices of scholarly reflection regarding the six workshop themes offered by renowned yoginis
and yogis Beryl
Bender Birch, Doug Keller, Judith Lasater, David Life, Shiva Rea, and Rod Stryker. Interested
students must first register for the retreat with Yoga for Living (at
or at 800 650 5662). Next, contact Sarah Williams for a faculty signature by providing your name
and student ID number via email or telephone. Students may also contact Sarah directly for her
signature on their registration forms during her office hours, 3-5 pm on Monday afternoon through
spring quarter. After contacting Sarah students may complete the registration process with TESC
Registration and Records in person or via fax or email.

Because of the intensive nature of this course and its focus on the Six Days on Freedom yoga retreat,
our academic work will evolve directly out of our retreat experience. We will meet during open
times during the retreat week for an introductory session, a seminar, and a reflective writing
and co-authored narrative evaluation workshop. Meeting times will be announced at on-site
registration, 20 July. Following the retreat students will have two weeks to complete and submit
their written work. Faculty will be available throughout the week to meet with students, and will,
themselves, be retreat participants. Because of the unique system of narrative evaluation at TESC,
students must participate in all course meetings during the retreat and complete the co-authored
evaluation assignment
in order to receive credit. No late work will be accepted.

The Assignment: Your work is to compare and contrast your experience of yoga with the yoga of
Patanjali’s yoga sutras. Discovering who Patanjali was or wasn’t for whom and why, and immersing
yourself in at least two versions of his sutras is step one. However, rather than becoming
overwhelmed with the overwhelming ambiguities, complexities, and apparent contradictions of the
numerous interpretations, translations, and commentaries, please make this first step, itself, an
experience of yoga. That is, if as evoked by Patanjali, yoga begins when a sincere student
experiences the stilling of the movement of thought, yoga may happen with your engagement with these texts.

Throughout your preparation for this course and your participation in the retreat, you are required
to maintain a journal. Your journal should live next to you when you read required texts and next
to your yoga mat during the retreat. It might be helpful to think of this journal as a place where
you record something like ethnographic notes regarding your experience of the mind’s vacillating waves
of perception. These notes of your experience of yoga will be the basis for your final essay. This
essay is due (or must be postmarked by) Friday, 8 August.

Although a journal is required, it will NOT be submitted to the faculty. Rather, students will
be invited to share from their journals during seminar and to excerpt from their journals in their
essays. In addition to reading the sutras, you are required to read one text from the list recommended
by the instructor with whom you have registered to work during the retreat’s afternoon intensives.
Again, the assignment is to compare and contrast your experience of yoga vis-à-vis this text with the
yoga of Patanjali’s sutras. The journal writing you do regarding this text, like that you do regarding
sutras and the retreat itself will be integrated and find expression in your final essay. This
essay must be 5-7 pages in length, contain a minimum of 4 journal excerpts, a minimum of 2 references
to the sutras, and a minimum of 2 references to the students’ choice of her or his instructor’s
recommended text(s). Essays must be typed and meet academic standards including 1”margins,
size 12 font, double-spacing, a title, and a consistent citation format. However, the style of
this essay is up to the student, although given the specifics of the assignment your writing must be
concise. Like the various interpretations, translations, and commentaries of the sutras, a student’s
writing may express her or his own engagement with yoga.

Required Texts: (Please read Stiles version of the yoga sutras and one other of your choice.)
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Mukanda Stiles)
Enlightened Living (Swami Venkatesananda)
How to Know God (Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood)
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (Swami Satchidananda)
All required texts will be available at the TESC Bookstore throughout the retreat. However,
students are required to have read at least one version of the yoga sutras prior to the retreat.

If you are unfamiliar with journal writing or would like inspiration regarding the process of journal
work, we recommend Journal to the Self (Kathleen Adams) and From Inside Out: A Yoga Notebook (Victor Van Kooten).

Recommended Texts (Select one text from the instructor with whom you will be working):
Judith Lasater
Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg)
Living your Yoga (Judith Lasater)
The Nine Stages of Spiritual Apprenticeship (Greg Bogart)

Shiva Rea
The Heart of Yoga (T.K.V. Desikachar)
Dynamic Yoga (Godfrey Devereux)
Tantra (Georg Feuerstein)
Yoga and Ayurveda (David Frawley)

Doug Keller
The Heart of the Yogi (Doug Keller)
The Doctrine of Vibration (Mark Dyczkowski)
Secret of the Siddhas (Swami Muktananda's)

Beryl Bender Birch
Everyday Zen: Love and Work (Charlotte Joko Beck)
Beyond Power Yoga (Beryl Bender Birch)
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Georg Feuerstein)
The Miracle of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Rod Stryker
Aghora II: Kundalini (Robert Svoboda)

David Life
Jivamukti Yoga (Sharon Gannon and David Life)
Diet for A New America (John Robbins)
Autobiography of a Yogi (Paramahansa Yogananda)