Category Archives: Philosophy

Chakra workshop Nov 13

Workshop 5  Sunday November 13th, 2–5pm: Akasha, the space element & Visuddi Chakra


This is the last in the series of Chakra workshops taught by Edgar and can be attended on it’s own or by those who have come to previous ones.

Suitable for intermediate and experienced students. At least a year of experience recommended; a good indicator will be that you are able to hold independent Sirsasana for 5 minutes (if appropriate of course!).



Read more here




Swati Chanchani’s visit next weekend…

Swati Chanchani is on her way!

Swati_2014Swati tells us she has now left Delhi and is on her way to Bristol!

We thought you might like to know in advance that Swati has let us know a few more details about the upcoming weekend. In particular, she has prepared a talk for us on the history of yoga (entitled Strange & Wondrous) which we think will be excellent.


The timings for both days will be as follows:

10am–12:15pm  asana & pranayama

Two hours break

2:15pm–2:45pm  presentation
STRANGE and WONDROUS:  An Illustrated of History of Yoga from Alexander to Iyengar.

2:45–5pm  asana & pranayama

Don’t miss this weekend…

There are still places available for this event, and we’d love to have a few more of you there. Swati is a brilliant teacher, and whether you are a teacher, an experienced student or more general level practitioner*, Swati will ensure a marvellous weekend for all that attend.

* Two years recommended


Whole weekend £140, single days £80.
It will be most beneficial to attend both days with Swati if you can.

Note: we are happy for you to use your Yogacard stamps towards this workshop if you wish.

Concession offer

A few of you have told us you’d love to come to the weekend with Swati but feel the cost is prohibitive. It’s true: this is more expensive than some of our weekends, and the reason is – apart from the fact that she is a world-renowned teacher! – that we are flying Swati to Bristol from India especially for this weekend. We think she is worth it (and are sure you will agree).

However, if you can’t afford to come otherwise, we are offering a few places at a concessionary rate of 20% off. This makes the weekend cost £112 and a single day would be £64. Email Jon or call him on 0117 924 3330 to arrange your place at this lower cost.


Book here or call us on 0117 924 3330 to secure your place.

A word from Zoë

Zoë Reason, who has been teaching at Yogawest over the summer while she’s been in Bristol, is a long term student of Swati’s. We asked her to say a few things about Swati’s teaching:

” I first worked with Swati in 2003 – and I had just one class with her and I remember she taught trikonasana and I can still manifest the feeling of how she adjusted me in it. But it wasn’t till 2007 that I started working regularly with her.

She structures these seemingly incredibly simple classes – and, at the time, they feel straightforward and accessible.  Yes you work hard for her – but it never feels like you’re being overly challenged (until the following day).  And then you come to write your notes and you realise how many layers of teaching she’s introduced you to.  And then you practice a class she’s taught and you realise the layers are in your body and your psyche and at some very deep cellular level.  She teaches principles in asana work – unlike some teachers where there’s a new technique or trick to something – so you come away with an understanding that can be applied across all asanas – from the simple poses to the complicated ones. So she really inspires and feeds one’s personal practice.

She has extraordinarily strong group skills (all those years of teaching school children) and she works fast but profoundly.  I often come away from her classes so impressed with her cleverness – in the way she sequences or gets me to understand the links between one asana and another.  The thing that I have come to appreciate more and more about her is how she weaves really subtle philosophical teaching into the straightforwardness of her asana teaching.

One of the things that I first loved about her is how often she would start a class with a story.  And the stories contextualise the why of doing yoga. In the last year many of her stories have been about BKS Iyengar – she was very young when she first met him and she became a dedicated student very quickly.  And in her stories about him I can hear not just how very very sad she is that he’s not with us anymore, but more importantly how much joy there is in that she had such gifts from him over such an extended amount of time.  In her telling of the stories what I think she does it to connect you to your own story about why it is that you do yoga and what yoga really could be about.  She’s an emotional teacher – not in the sense that she behaves emotionally – but because she sees yoga as being an emotional endeavour.  So her teaching is full of heart. “

Read more 


Autumn Yoga Day Sunday September 21st

with Indira Lopez-Bassols and Diana Penny

Prepare for Autumn

A whole day of yoga can sound daunting: Indira and Diana will help you discover what a beneficial thing it is to do, whatever level your practice is. The day is designed to prepare your mind and body for the change in season ahead. You can work at your own pace and gentler poses can be given at any point.

Diana and Indira teach yoga holidays and workshops together in Turkey and the UK; students say they enjoy the joint energy of their teaching, which combines sound yoga knowledge with a humorous and compassionate delivery.

Date:  September 21
Time: 10–4.30 (Tea will be served during a midday break.)
Level: All levels from beginner to experienced students. (Complete beginners may be given alternative poses if necessary.)
Cost: £50 (£5 early bird discount before Sep 5)

Download booking form here.

To read more about this day click here.

Philosophy workshop this weekend

We’ve had great reports from Sarva about how wonderful the Sutra weekend was last weekend.

Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell are at Yogawest on Friday June 27, Sat 28 and Sun 29th.

Here’s a quote from Cath who went last weekend:

I’ve just had the most inspiring weekend of yoga teaching from Gitte Bechsgaard and Sheila Haswell. Sheila’s asana teaching is incredible with her depth of knowledge and amazing eye for detail, she has such a  great skill for helping all levels of student understand the poses and take them into your body. Gitte has a beautiful, calming energy and gave us some wonderful philosophy talks – she really knows how to explain the yoga sutras so that you can relate them to your own life and yoga practice. Her blissful chanting voice added to the whole experience. Definitely not to be missed!

Full details here.

Thought for the Day

Rajiv Chanchani 2014 visit to Yogawest

Rajiv Chanchani Workshop

Rajiv is coming to Bristol to teach a weekend workshop at Yogawest on the last weekend of August 2014.

Hold the date and details will follow.

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Philosophy workshop 27-29 June 2014

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Upcoming Workshop with Gitte Bechsgaard & Sheila Haswell

Yoga Sūtras: A Road Map and Practice Workshop

Abhyāsa vairāgyabhyam tannirodhaḥ… The fluctuations of mind are
stilled by the twofold Yogic discipline: practice and detachment.
(Patañjali, sūtra 1.12)

Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras provides an incredible map of the potential of consciousness, a consummate guide to the inner journey, that this workshop seeks to explore in a variety of ways. The course offers an opportunity to deepen your relationship with the classical text of the Yoga Sūtras through integrated study and practice. Teachings will include recitation of the sūtras as well as an inspiring exploration of the relevance of Yoga philosophy to daily life and practice. A map of ‘practice essentials’ will be explored. In this balancing act between the study of Yoga Sūtras and Yogic discipline, we will also focus in part on the practice of āsanas (Yoga postures) and prāṇāyāma (breath control) according to the B.K.S. Iyengar method of Yoga. In Patañjali’s eightfold path, these so-called outer limbs (bahir-aṅga) are especially important in forming a foundation for the study of Yoga philosophy and the development of the inner limbs (antara-aṅga) of Yoga.

Full information and booking forms here

Invocation To Patanjali

YW_Patanjali_detail_lsIn some classes at Yogawest we chant the Invocation to Patanjali. Patanjali is known as the Father of Yoga and wrote down the sutras which is the foundation of the yoga practice we do today.

We can give you a handout with the words on it if you’d like to follow along during class and you can download the invocation pdf here.

If you find it easier to learn by listening, a Yogawest student has found this rather lovely youtube rendition of the invocation, thanks for sharing it Claire!