Spirituality of Yoga

Spirituality in your Yoga Class

Tutor: Pauline Steenbergen

Date: Part 1 Recordning now available &Part 2 is Sunday 11th August 2024

Time: Part 1 is recorded and Part 2, 9am – 1pm

Location: Online two-session event over two days

(Recordings available to those who book)

Suitability: All levels

YS Member Price: £53

YS Love Yoga Member Price: £59.63

Non-Member Price: £66.25

Event Details

Day 1 – The Spiritual Teacher
18th May, 13:00 to 17:00

Pauline Steenbergen seeks to enable and empower teachers, student teachers and practitioners to become more self-aware, reflective, equipped and confident about Spirituality in a Yoga class – which can often be the elephant in the room. She says: “When you are practising pranayama, or Yoga postures or lying in relaxation or sitting for meditation practice – you may be exploring a growing sense of your own spirituality. Spirituality and Religion are not one and the same. Spirituality is the “Who am I?” Question. “What does my life mean?” “What is life for?” “Is there a higher power or being?” Some of us may find peace in humanist or atheist approaches to these questions. For others, specific religious traditions bring peace. Contemporary Yoga can draw from ancient Vedic texts, Hindu scriptures, Buddhist writings and philosophies – and from other wide-ranging traditions. Each Yoga teacher will have their own preference for where their inspiration for their teaching comes from. However, each student who attends a Yoga class has the right to their own personal search, spirituality – and possibly religious beliefs and practices too. As this is an expansive area of enquiry the May workshop is Part 1 with a second workshop to follow later in the year.  

Take a half- day online to reflect, learn, explore practices and local experiences and discuss Spirituality in Your Yoga class.” 

You may be interested in Paulines book just published, which supports the workshop (but not essential):  Embody Lent in 29 Yoga Postures by Pauline Steenbergen, Wild Goose Publications, 2024 

Day 1 Format

  • ‘Roots’ Hatha Yoga Practice 20 mins
  • Spirituality and Religion – Informed definitions, distinctions and dualism. B. The 9 Spiritual Temperaments 25 mins
  • Private self-reflection journal exercise ‘Who Am I?’ exercise 20 mins
  • Break Out Group discussion (rooted in local contexts)
  • ‘Spirituality: what our students and what we as teachers bring to a Yoga class?’ 30 mins and 15 minutes of plenary feedback.
  • Boundaries for Holding Space – Do and Don’t List 40 mins
  • Reference to Donna Farhi book ‘Teaching Yoga’. (Handout provided)
  • Is Yoga intersected with world religions even appropriate?
  • Case study ‘PANAH YOGA: Multi-faith women seeking asylum’ and signposting networks 20 mins
  • Hot potatoes! Zoom room questions… 15 mins
  • ‘Silence is unity’ meditation practice 15 mins
  • Thanks, and space to share in the chat for follow-up and networking.   

Day 2 – The Spiritual Student
11th August, 09:00 to 13:00

A collaborative group of contributors/practitioners/teachers (I would gather them and ask for suggested names) to offer diverse perspectives, personal experiences and, more importantly, some practices on the mat – showing how Yoga intersects with various spiritual and religious traditions in the UK e.g. Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Humanist and atheist….Yoga is a broad community that makes our experiences of unity even more profound and special!)

Recommended Reading 

Donna Farhi ‘Teaching Yoga – Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship’
Judith Hanson Lasater ‘Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life’
Christine Pickering ‘Maranatha Yoga – A Preparation for Christian Meditation’ 

There will be some pre-reading and journaling and a PowerPoint, break out room discussion, plenary reflection and asana, pranayama and relaxation Hatha Yoga practices.

Recordings will be available in the event you cant attend live for all dates/times.


Tutor Bio - Pauline Steenbergen

Pauline Steenbergen – Edinburgh 2016-8 YS Diploma graduate and Yoga Scotland teacher, Pauline Steenbergen, has lived in Carlisle, Cumbria since 2007. She teaches all abilities Hatha Yoga in a city leisure centre, village halls, a church, schools and on Zoom. This year, Pauline facilitated trauma informed embodied practices for Christian and Muslim women seeking asylum from Eritrea, Sudan and Iran. She is a Church of Scotland minister, pioneer of Christian embodiment and former spiritual and religious care lead in a hospice for adults and children of all denominations, faiths and none. An Associate member of the Iona Community, Iona Books will be publishing her first book of practices in January 2024. She is passionate about the experiences of equality, unity and peace which Yoga can offer us in our world today. Pauline is devoted to finding authentic and appropriate ways to hold space for diverse spiritual and religious needs of all students in a Yoga class, with no agenda or transference as a teacher. Post-menopausal, former workaholic, Pauline is a daughter, wife, Mum, step Mum and step granny. Her pleasures now are slow living, dark chocolate, swims, walks in the Lakes and a good night’s sleep! 


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