An Introduction to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

with Marc-Cristobal Guilarte

Sundays, 4-6pm

March 17 & 31, April 14 & 28

Known as the brain of Yoga, the philosophy of the Yoga Sūtras lends guidance and purpose to the physical tools of Yoga which are all too commonly mistaken as Yoga itself. The Yoga Sūtras help us explore consciousness, reality, morality, and equanimity. Knowledge of the philosophy of Yoga enables the practitioner to get the most out of the discipline of Yoga.

As pertaining to the physical practice, the Yoga Sūtras answer questions such as: how much and how hard should I practice?; what should I focus on while practicing?; what are the goals of physical techniques? As pertaining to life, the Yoga Sūtras help us see reality clearly and distinguish what is true versus what is an illusion created by our emotions and misapprehensions. The physical techniques serve as our lab for dealing with ethical conflicts, issues of self-awareness, self-control, and self-knowledge.

These classes are meant to be a brief introduction to the Sāṃkhya philosophy of the Yoga Sūtras. If there proves to be interest in these four classes, an in-depth series on the Yoga Sūtras (and Sāṃkhya philosophy in general) will then be scheduled at a later date. Your teacher, Marc-Cristobal Guilarte, is a second generation yogin trained in Sanskrit, yogic texts and practices. Classes are held in a lecture-style which allows for some discussion and Q. and A.

No need to purchase any materials. Marc will be referencing free online resources.


Marc-Cristobal Guilarte

A second generation yogin trained in Sanskrit, yogic texts and practices

Marc-Cristobal Guilarte’s mother introduced him to Yoga in childhood. This, coupled with a natural affinity for scholarly pursuits, would turn into a life of seeking the secret of how to live well, how to live ethically. Around 16 years ago, as of the composition of this biography, Marc found the set of Yoga tools that spoke to him most: Aṣṭāṅga Yoga of Pattabhi Jois, and currently enjoys a steady home practice of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd series.

Marc, a nerd, began to study Heian-period court literature (Japan: c. 794-1185 CE) at the age of 13 and would go on to study the Japanese language for several years. When asked about this, Marc says,

“I always seemed to be on another page from everyone else, as if I was always on the outside of society looking in. It was very self-validating to discover a time and culture so different from what was “normal” according to the world I was born into. It’s as though I could say to people, ‘see, there are other ways of living and being.’” In his master’s degree, Marc studied Latin which opened the door for his current work in Sanskrit. As an ardent student of yogic texts and related literature, Marc knew he would not be satisfied experiencing the texts in translation alone.

All this work is to bring hard-earned knowledge to the student. Marc has been teaching yoga for about 10 years, but started his teaching career as an academic teacher for children and often remarks about the similarity between teaching children and adults. Marc is committed to teaching Yoga with its historical precedents and schools of thought intact, as well as to teaching the physical tools in a well-rounded and sustainable manner