Yoga and Buddhism

Comparing Buddhism and Yoga could be the study of an entire lifetime.  I had fifteen minutes to filter it all down for a presentation in Mindfulness and Meditation in Psychology.  Thankful for the opportunity to present in public (it had been over ten years, save my time in the classroom and yoga spaces), I spent a good few hours on this bad boy.

The power point below contains most of what was presented: a very brief history of how the two philosophies developed, a comparison between the Yoga Sutras and Buddhism, and a few shared techniques.  Both emerged around the same time and share many distinct similarities.

Fast forward 1300 years and comparisons between Tantra Yoga and Vajrayana Buddhism (especially the Vijnanavada and Yogacara schools, Sahajayana, Kalacakrayana, Cha’an and Zen) would be interesting to explore.  A more in depth analysis would include an illumination of the psychological theories within each practice, and their appearance in Western psychology (Aurobindo, Jung, Wilber, and Kabat-Zinn, although a good portion of our psychology class was already dedicated to the latter).

Buddhism and Yoga Power Point

Integrating aspects of Buddhism into yoga classes for the last several years, this subject was of particular interest to me.  Admittedly, I was also motivated to define yoga for the class after observing several misconceptions of it both in psychology texts and journal articles.  I also recently found out that there is a 500-hour yoga teacher training specifically integrating mindfulness practice in California – and a few new yoga friends just graduated!

It was amazing to participate in public speaking again – even if it did feel like the octave of my voice ran somewhere between Minnie Mouse and Pee Wee Herman . . .


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