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Yoga Sūtra Intensive, Berlin
October - December 2017
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Why study Yoga Philosophy?

Yoga Sutra PatanjaliEver wondered, why Pattabhi Jois has named his method "Ashtanga Yoga" and why we are saluting to Patañjali before practice?

It is a common misunderstanding that "Yoga practice" (abhyāsa) is only what we do on the mat, which one of Pattabhi Jois' most famous quotes ("99% practice, 1% theory") seems to imply.
But physical effort has little to do with Yoga unless we use it for studying and refining our mind.

Patañjali's Yoga Sūtra is about 2000 years old and probably the single most important text about Yoga known today. It is a fascinating guidebook for learning how to "self study" your mind. According to Patañjali the goal of yoga is quite simple and logical: How to remove suffering and it's causes in it's obvious and subtle forms. The solution is to really understand the problem and to establish a non-selfish lifestyle based on mindfulness and concentration.

Yoga Sūtra Workshop starting

Grischa Steffin, Ashtanga Yoga TeacherThis workshop is not "yet another discussion of the eight limbs". You will understand

Grischa will also introduce you to the Sanskrit language and some basic grammatical and logical rules on which it is based and which allow us to verify if a/our translation is or at least can be correct.

Workshop Dates / Modules

We have split up the course over four weekend modules from Friday evening to Sunday morning.





19:30 - 21:00: Module Topics Overview

14:30 - 17:00: Yoga Sūtra Workshop

14:30 - 17:00: Yoga Sūtra Workshop

Module 1

06. - 08. October

Each weekend starts with

  • Chapter Overview
  • Relation to other schools of thought like
    Samkhya, Vedanta and Buddhism
  • Sanskrit
  • Vedic Chanting

Chapter 1) Samādhi-pāda, Yoga defined

  • Citta, vṛtti, nirodha, kliṣṭā, akliṣṭā, abhyāsa, vairāgya and more key terms.
  • The role of the first 16 sentences
  • The importance and real meaning of "īśvara" (is "god" or "the lord" really a translation helping to understand this passage?)
  • The difference and stages of nirodha and samādhi

Module 2

27. - 29. October

Chapter 2) Sādhana-pāda, the practical path

  • Kriyā Yoga, kleśa-s, karma,
  • Avidyā, the confusion of the seen with the seer, the root of suffering
  • Aṣṭāṅga (eight layers) of Yoga practice lead to "viveka khyātiḥ" (discriminative seeing) for removing avidyā
  • 5 external aṅga-s (yama-niyama-āsana-prānāyāma-pratyāhāra)

Module 3

17. - 19. November

Chapter 3) Vibhūti-pādaḥ: the power of concentration

  • 3 internal aṅga-s (dhārana, dhyāna and samādhi) = samyama
  • application of samyama appears like super natural powers and is used to deconstruct our "known" reality
  • it leads to viveka and kaivalya (freedom)

Module 4

08. - 10. December

Chapter 4) Kaivalya-pāda - the ultimate goal

  • The theoretical foundation of consciousness and existence
  • Reality is an endless array of discrete events and transformations
  • What is citta, what is it's function?
  • dharma-megha samadhi, the mystical experience
  • kaivalya, the realization of freedom from suffering


All four weekends function as separate modules but of course it is highly recommended to join all of them.

About Grischa

Grischa has been teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga since 2002.

Since Grischa picked up his first translation of Yoga Sūtra in 2001 he has studied about a dozen different translations and commentaries of it.

He has studied with different teachers. But ultimately it was Richard Freeman whose teaching showed him how to read with an open mind and how to continuously challenge and overcome your own ideas and concepts about something.

"When you think you've got it - forget it and start again"