Yoga: A Phenomenological Approach


The phenomenological approach to (classical) yoga is guided by direct experience.

  1. A phenomenological approach to yoga does not constitute an(other) ontology/metaphysics, epistemology or ethics—it is not a collection of arguments for a certain conclusion about yoga. A student looking for “reasons” (moral/psychological, scientific/physiological, cosmological/metaphysical, etc.) as to why one ought to begin/continue their practice will gain little/nothing from a phenomenological approach to yoga.

  2. A phenomenological approach to yoga is not committed to a(ny) version of history and/or any particular historical doctrine/tradition—it is not collection of historical/doctrinal truth claims. A student looking to mine this collection for already-established “facts” about yoga will gain little/nothing from a phenomenological approach to yoga.

  3. A phenomenological approach to yoga does not produce a collection of rules/regulations, the memorisation/enacting of which will necessarily produce yoga. A student looking for process/ritual that (can be mechanically performed in order to) guarantee yoga will gain little/nothing from a phenomenological approach to yoga. Yoga exceeds (any particular) process; it exceeds the sum of parts.

Teachings guided by a phenomenological approach to yoga intended to orient and attune the practitioner to the spirit and living sense of yoga—to reaffirm the spirit and reanimate the living sense—so that it may direct a practitioner’s every practice (regardless of what said practice is). Phenomenological teachings are intended to lead the practitioner to a direct knowing of this spirit/sense, that is, to the way or nature of yoga.