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Essential Yoga Philosophy: Text
Essential Yoga Philosophy: Events
Essential Yoga Philosophy: Image


Thinking of launching a 200hr / 500hr Yoga Teacher Training? Have Mike run your philosophy module. 
The training can be fitted into a month training, held as a weekend module or wrapped around your own philosophy notes as you like. 
The Essential Yoga Philosophy training takes between 12-20hrs, and can include engaging homework as requested. Just send me an email, and we can make some plans.


If you’re not setting up a teacher training, but want to learn about yoga philosophy, you’re also in the right place!
Check the dates and locations for joining an Essential Yoga Philosophy module below. Some events will be held independently, and some are already part of 200hr teacher trainings.
If you’re new to yoga, were left confused by other trainings, want some refreshing, or are simply curious, I’m confident almost anyone can gain a greater clarity in yogic history and philosophy from attending.


There isn’t a pre-recorded version of this course, you have to join an event! Check out the dates at the bottom of the page - events can be attended physically, joined on Zoom, or a combination of both, depending on what’s specified.
No dates that suit? Invite Mike to run an Essential Yoga Philosophy training for your local community. It doesn’t have to be part of a 200hr teacher training, just send me an email and we’ll have a chat.


This is going to be entertaining! Cartoons, skateboards, interactive games, competitions for candy; philosophy shouldn’t be boring. Especially Indian philosophy, it’s rich with stories, strange analogies, badly dubbed cartoons and 80s TV shows.
And if something doesn’t stick during the training, there’s a massive illustrated book included in the course to make sure you’ll have these teachings for life.


Essential Yoga Philosophy is a comprehensive, accessible introduction to key aspects of yogic thought, important texts and yoga’s history.
Presented to make complex subjects understandable and applicable to your yoga practice in a mixture of mild irreverence and profound contemplations. Taught from an academic perspective with research from modern scholars such as Mark Singleton, James Mallinson, Seth Powell, Christopher Wallis, Oxford University and SOAS in London.

Essential Yoga Philosophy: List

The Essential Yoga Philosophy training follows an academic perspective of the history of yoga.
We critique the widely-held conviction that sequenced postural yoga has been unchanged for thousands of years, disputing the popular claims that Indus Valley seals demonstrate a 5,000 year lineage, and recognising that yoga has been equated with seated mediation for a large majority of its history.


The training begins with a comic book: the story of Nachiketa - a young Brahmin boy in the Katha Upaniṣad, and his quest to find what happens after death. We learn about the Vedas through Nachiketa’s training, and how this text begins to critique the Vedic solutions to life’s problems.
Together we act out the famous chariot analogy, to learn about the Higher Self in the ‘secret cave of the heart’ and how to discover it through meditation.


The training continues in the age of the forest ascetics, or Śramaṇas. We look at the Buddha’s harrowing time as a hardcore renunciant, with readings from the Pali canon and Thích Nhất Hạnh. Learn about the practice of tapas and discuss the dedication it takes to be an ascetic.


The Bhagavad Gītā starts in the centre of a great battle, which can be a confusing place to start! We learn about the Mahābhārata, the epic that encompasses the Gītā, by getting to know the Kuru family, the Pandava brothers and just what they’re fighting about. 
With the scene set, we study excerpts of the Gītā to learn about Arjuna, Krishna and the lessons on dharma and yoga.


In this training, I cover a complete overview of the Yoga Sutras by breaking the text into sections and sticking each part to the wall in a giant collage.
It’s probably the most comprehensive study-guide you can get for the Sutras in a couple of hours, allowing a much broader picture of the text than simply a focus on the eight limbs.


Get acquainted with the well-known school of philosophy Advaita (non-dual) Vedānta. We meditate on the layers of ourselves, koshas, and how underpinning them all is the one, Brahman.


I contrast Classical Tantrik non-dualism with Vedāntic, discussing the alternative Tantrik Five Layers and how this beautiful, differing worldview of oneness became largely forgotten and is now conflated with sexual acts.


We briefly visit the Haṭha period of yoga, seeing the development of āsana into non-seated postures in this new, forceful kind of yoga, that merges the practice of tapas with Tantrik elements.


Concluding the training, I chart the course of Haṭha yoga through Krishnamacharya in 1930s Mysore to its explosion in the West as a sequenced postural practice. We look at the influences of Nordic gymnastics, the Nazi party, the adoption of yoga by Hollywood stars, and how yoga has become a more female-oriented industry.

We recap how yoga has seen periods of great innovation in its history and conclude in a discussion of the future of yoga from today.

Essential Yoga Philosophy: Publications


Includes a massive 100-page book, full of illustrations, cartoons and further reading.

Essential Yoga Philosophy: Image
Essential Yoga Philosophy: Image

Thank you so much for the course in philosphy, it´s a course that every yogi should take.

I gained a lot of insights and I loved the way you teach Philosophy including all of your knowledge, which you shared so generously.

Camilla Tell

Ingela Holgersson

THANKYOU for your splendid presentation of yoga philosophy - both live and the written edition on Essential Yoga Philosophy - it has been a pleasure to read and interact with you. Clear and insightful

Ulrica Cassel

I really resonated with your way of teaching. Your light-hearted and interactive approach certainly made the concepts more simple to grasp!

Toni de Wit

Essential Yoga Philosophy: Testimonials

Dates and Locations

  • Aarhus - Marie Haulrik
    ons. 11. jan.
    11. jan. 08.00 – 05. maj 08.00
    Hvilerum, Aarhus, Denmark
    Part of a 100hr Restorative Yoga Education
  • Bali / CPH - Sofia Rosenstand
    man. 06. feb.
    Basundari Retreat, Ubud
    06. feb. 08.00 – 07. maj 18.00
    Basundari Retreat, Ubud, Jl. Raya Pejeng Kawan, Pejeng Kawan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80553, Indonesia
    Part of a 200hr Therapeutic Yoga Education
Essential Yoga Philosophy: Events

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Essential Yoga Philosophy: Contact
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