Synopses & Reviews
The world of yoga is astonishingly rich in its array of schools and practices. Yet, as diverse as they seem, they share a common aim: the discovery of the essence of existence that can be found at the core of our being, and the liberation that comes from that discovery. With this worthy goal in mind, Richard Freeman presents an enlightening overview of the many teachings, practices, and scriptures that serve as the basis for all the schools of yoga—hatha, bhakti, jnana, karma, tantra, and others. He shows how the myriad forms are ultimately related, and can even be perceived to make up a vast, interpenetrating matrix, symbolizing the unity, profundity, and beauty of the ancient tradition.
Richard's wide-ranging discussion includes the Upanisads and Samkhya philosophies, the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the eight limbs of astanga yoga, the process and purpose of hatha yoga, and much more. He also explores the role of the guru, chanting, meditation, and the yogic imperative of offering service to others. All of this is applied to the actual practice, giving the reader the tools to digest and apply the wealth of information to daily life. The Mirror of Yoga will be a welcome resource to all yogis who wish to better practice the profound philosophy underlying their practice.
To learn more, visit MirrorofYoga.com.
Click below to download audio recordings of traditional Sanskrit chants described in The Mirror of Yoga. You can use these in connection with your yoga practice.
Download the audio tracks in ZIP format (~ 44MB).
The Mirror of Yoga
is a detailed overview of the rich teachings and sutras that inform the many schools of yoga. With great depth and clarity, Richard Freeman describes the various styles and schools of yoga; explains the Upanishads and Sankhya philosophy; and discusses the role of the guru, the practices of chanting and meditation, and the imperative to serve others. He gives clear explanations of the Yoga Sutra of Pantanjali
, of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga, and of the process and purpose of hatha yoga. All of this is applied to the actual practice, giving the reader the tools to digest and apply this wealth of information.
Looking back five thousand years to early texts, Freeman observes how the living roots of yoga philosophy have grown into many schools, techniques, and philosophies that are united by a vast, interpenetrating “matrix.” This matrix holds the key to understanding yoga’s full depth and greater purpose. He shows that all the styles, traditions, and practices are interconnected and contain each other. Ultimately all forms of yoga are concerned with freeing us from the never-ending quest of the ego-mind to reduce everything to theories. The various yoga disciplines are designed to help us see things as they really are in the present moment and thereby to give us a direct experience of the deepest truth about ourselves and the whole of being.
Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968. His background includes studying Ashtanga, Iyengar, bhakti, and traditional hatha yoga; Western and Eastern philosophy; and Sanskrit; all of which he incorporates into the Ashtanga yoga practice as taught by his principal teacher, K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Richard teaches at his studio, the Yoga Workshop, in Boulder, Colorado, as well as at studios and conferences throughout the world. He also has a video series, Yoga with Richard Freeman, which has inspired many people to take up yoga. He is also a frequent contributor to Yoga Journal.