Ruth Westoby is a doctoral researcher in yoga studies and an Ashtanga practitioner. She combines an orientation towards practice with historical and textual studies at the nexus of bodies and matter, theory and history.
Ruth teaches yoga philosophy on teacher trainings in the UK and beyond, and at studios and conferences. Sheis pursuing doctoral studies at SOAS on gender and materiality in the yogic body. Ruth collaborated with the Hatha Yoga Project’s ‘embodied philology’, interpreting postures from the 18th-century text the Hathabhyasapaddhati and is on the steering committee for the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies.
This talk is an introduction to the histories of yoga. Ruth will define yoga and offer a timeline of yogas as the term and practices shift in different historical and cultural contexts. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions. This open level class is designed for those new to the history of yoga and for those who wish to consolidate their study.Read More
This lecture will explore gender in the philosophy and theory of yoga. It will offer an overview of gendered myths of creation, metaphysical understandings of the world and the inner workings of the yogic body. The discussion points to the absence of women in histories of yoga and thinks through what this means for gender in the practices of yoga. Whilst an understanding of the outlines of yoga history and philosophy will help students dive into this session, Ruth will pitch the material to welcome those new to this area of study.Read More
This workshop is a playful exploration of the history of postural practice through the practice of ?sana. We will take the long view, recreating and embodying practices via textual descriptions and material evidence from as long ago as 2,500 years. We will also explore modes of instruction, from textual reconstruction to Sanskrit counted sequences to self-practice. This workshop will safely approximate historical forms in a manner appropriate for all levels of experience and ability. Some experience of postural practice will help.Read More