The Berlin Yoga Conference is a unique experience in that it offers yogis from around Berlin, and even around Europe, the opportunity to talk about, practice, and experience yoga in ways that other yoga conferences may not offer. One of the most unique things it offers, in my opinion, are the variety of lectures available.

At the second day of the Berlin Yoga Conference, I was able to attend a lecture by Olga Oskorbina about Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras, and yogic philosophy. It was part lecture part workshop, which helped to give a good foundation for further studies of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

A Blast from the Past

When I was in the midst of my yoga training, one of the most enjoyable aspects was discussion about yoga philosophy. It’s an aspect of yoga that I didn’t know much about, and an area that might not get as much attention nowadays.

Olga’s lecture on the sutras felt like a blast from the past for me, taking me back to my time when I was studying to be a yoga teacher and was fully involved in yogic philosophy.

She was an excellent lecturer, and I really wish it could have gone on for longer than the allotted 60 minutes. Olga started out by giving some background about the Yoga Sutras; what they are, why they’re important to yoga, and their structure. She then presented us with just a few of the 196 sutras; just enough to leave us wanting more.

One of my favorite aspects of her lecture was her emphasis on how the sutras were passed down through an oral tradition…and how she continued that oral tradition herself. She would begin by saying the sutra in Sanskrit, then having us chant it in a call-and-response. Only after we had chanted it would she explain its meaning and what it means for a well-rounded yoga practice. Doing so allowed us to feel the vibration of the sutra and the language, and allowed us to take some of it in before starting to analyze it.

All in all, I would highly recommend attending one of Olga’s lectures if you get the opportunity and furthering your study of the Yoga Sutras. This lecture was truly a great start to an amazing conference, and helped to show exactly what makes this yoga conference so wonderful.