Ian Baker


SATURDAY TALK: TIBETAN YOGA: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES 

Recent scholarship reveals that, as a textual tradition, Hatha Yoga developed within a Vajrayāna, or Tantric Buddhist context. This seminar explores the little known practices of physical yoga within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that expand awareness ‘beyond mindfulness’ into a unitary experience of body, breath, and consciousness. These practices derive from teachings of the Tantric Buddhist mahāsiddhas, who revealed that all situations in life are workable and can be transformed into total freedom.


SUNDAY WORKSHOP: TIBETAN YOGA: METHODS AND TECHNIQUES

This workshop provides an in-depth overview and practical introduction to the Six Yogas of the Completion Phase of Tantric Buddhism, which use physical postures, breath work, and creative imagination to engage the autonomic nervous system and transform the human condition at all phases of existence. Special emphasis will be given to practical adaptations of the yogas of inner fire (tummo) and consciousness transference (powa).


ABOUT:

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‘Ian Baker’s journeys inspire others not only to venture into unknown lands on a geographical level, but also to discover the inner realms within which our own deepest nature lies hidden.’ – His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama

Ian is an anthropologist and cultural historian, as well as a practitioner of both Tibetan Buddhism and Tantric Śaivism. He is the author of seven critically acclaimed books on Himalayan and Tibetan cultural history, environment, art, and medicine including Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices, The Heart of the World: A Journey to Tibet’s Lost Paradise, Buddhas of the Celestial Gallery, The Tibetan of Art of Healing, and The Dalai Lama’s Secret Temple: Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet, a collaborative work with His Holiness The Dalai Lama that illuminates Tantric Buddhist meditation practices. Ian was also the lead curator for the 2015-2016 exhibition ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism’ at London’s Wellcome Collection.

In addition to his academic contributions in the fields of Tibetan Buddhism and yogic studies, Ian has also written for National Geographic, which honoured him as one of seven ‘Explorers for the Millennium’ for his groundbreaking field research Tibet’s Tsangpo Gorge and his team’s discovery of a waterfall that had been the source of myth and geographic speculation for more than a century. Ian also serves on the advisory board of the International Association of Bhutanese Studies, and leads travel seminars in Tibet, India, and Bhutan, focused on Tantric Buddhist practice and its interface with modernity and science. His extensive research on the subject of Himalayan ‘hidden-lands’ (beyul) currently emphasises the preservation of indigenous cultures and ecosystems in the eastern Himalayas, based on local models of environmental conservation that ensure sustained benefit to local communities.

Ian’s speaking engagements have included London’s Royal Geographical Society, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Asia Society, Smithsonian Institution, the Explorers Club, The Buddhist Society, and National Geographic Society in Washington D.C. He has been featured on numerous radio and television programs including National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN, and BBC.

Further news can be found at his website: www.ianbaker.com