yoga practice with James

22-30 July 2024

Living the Eight Limbs

An immersive whole life yoga course with James Boag at Dvůr Švata Marí, Southern Bohemia

This is much more than a yoga holiday or retreat. This is the immersive, empowering, educational retreat experience that can help you make every day more whole and fulfilling. Educational in the deeper sense of the word: to draw forth our innate gifts.

Whole Life Yoga gives us the practical means to become more fully who we really are, learning to work with all our amazing human capacities for greater skilfulness, joy, efficiency and grace, all life long.

This is not about passive stretching exercises, but about stretching your deeper human capacities to help you meet the inevitable challenges of life from a more integrated, more robust centre, from a seat of greater steadiness and clearer insight.

This is a rare opportunity to dive deep into the practical wisdom of the yoga tradition working closely from the original Yoga Sūtra text and exploring it through a holistic and inspiring course of practical inquiry to empower you in the context of your own life.

  • Seven full days immersed in the practical whole life teachings of yoga.
  • Deepen your understanding of the time-proven foundation principles of yoga and how you can work with them to help harmonise the whole of your diverse human experience.
  • Explore the principles of yoga through a range of mutually complementary techniques and practices to nourish all layers of your being and invite deepening integration and harmony.
  • Holistic study and practice of the core teachings of the yoga tradition as set out in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra. Focusing especially on the eight limbs in the context of the whole text and the broader yoga teachings.
  • Experience how the eight limbs work together to form a robust, evolving body of practice that we can apply in all aspects of daily life and all types of yoga practice technique.
James Boag teaching
sitting in group
teaching in circle
Kneeling next to wall of artwork
teaching yoga class

Yoga was made for the inevitable challenges of life

Yoga works to bring unity where we may otherwise experience division and fragmentation, to bring clarity and cohesion where there was obscurity and delusion. The eight limbs provide a robust, adaptable structure to help us do this, one that has been proven in the furnace of time.

The eight limbs of classical yoga – the aṣṭāṅga – constitute a cohesive and robust body of practice: eight members of a single body, eight constituents of a whole. This immersive retreat offers the rare opportunity to dive deep into the original Sanskṛt teachings in an active, pragmatic, accessible and highly inspiring learning environment.

James has been studying and practising this text for over twenty years and works direct from the original Sanskṛt. He is renowned for his capacity to bring the ancient scriptural teachings of yoga to vivid life so we can make them our own and work with them skilfully and authentically in our own lives and practices.

The eight limbs provide robust support for any type of yoga practice technique or method and a perennially reliable structure to help us cultivate greater harmony and awareness through all the challenges, changes and cycles of life.


We’ll work, playfully and with a spirit of inquiry, over seven full days. Exploring in different, complementary ways to invite cell-deep understanding of the eight limbs.

  • We will sing, we will dance, we will listen, question, inquire and explore.
  • We will sit, stand, lie down, walk, run, jump, twist, turn, roll, get up and stand up, move quickly, slowly, playfully, seriously and explore stillness and motion.
  • We will meditate, we will invite deep relaxation and rich invigoration of our whole bodily vehicle.
  • We will listen and inquire, we will talk and we will share joyful and restful quiet.
  • We will share a rich, deep journey of practical empowerment.

Immersion Content

Practical Yoga Philosophy

Over the course of the week, we’ll explore core teachings of the Yoga Sūtra and deepen our understanding of the aṣṭāṅga/eight limbs, working from the original Sanskṛt text and exploring it through many, mutually complementary practical exercises and activities. James has been teaching for over thirty years and works to include and recruit active, pragmatic, theoretical and reflective learning styles and explore in ways that activate all our learning intelligences. This will be yogic learning of the yogic principles that can help us live a more joined up, integrated and richer life.

We’ll explore how the eight limbs fit in to the foundation yoga method set out in the Yoga Sūtra and deepen our understanding of how this can support our lifelong learning, sensemaking, more robust health and deeper fulfilment.

This will include learning and deepening our understanding of:

  • The eight limbs as a frame/structure/support for ongoing, deepening practice
  • The vast practical teachings encoded in Patañjali’s description/presentation of the eight limbs in the yoga sūtra
  • How the eight limbs fit into the yogic method established in the opening chapter of the yoga sūtra and elaborated in chapters 2-4.
  • How to work with the eight limbs in daily life and when working with different yoga practice methods and techniques
  • The essence of all haṭha and physical/energetic yoga practices as distilled by Patañjali in the aṣṭāṅga section of the Yoga Sūtra
  • The eight limbs as essential members of our personal practice team.

The eight limbs applied to:

  • Being human, living and dying well
  • Movement, embodiment, health, fitness
  • Inquiry, communication, relating,
  • Listening, learning and sensemaking
  • Yogāsana, prāṇāyāma and meditation practices


Expand your yogic movement toolkit for an empowering lifelong practice. We’ll be applying the time-tested principles of yoga to broad spectrum movement.

This will include:

  • Daily morning practice to gather energy, check in with the different bodily systems, tonify, charge and help cleanse the organs, sense and action powers and set up the body for a more easeful journey through the day.
  • Daily movement workshops/playshops/principle-based practice sessions to deepen understanding of how to work skilfully with classic modern yogāsana and to build a robust, multi-faceted yogic movement practice to expand capability and support skilfulness and efficiency all life long.
  • Practices and principles to build strength, coordination and work with multiple intelligences at once, nourishing the whole system and promoting renewal and recreation through the system at all ages.
  • Moving in and through varied terrain, moving with others, walking practices.
  • You will learn and deepen understanding of techniques to nourish, fortify and renew the whole system that require little or no equipment and adaptable principles to support a nourishing movement practice in different settings, seasons and cycles of life.


We will sing at various points most days, enjoying the myriad benefits of singing together and helping us deepen our understanding of practical yoga principles.


Twice daily there will be consecrated time for meditation practice, in the morning and at the end of the afternoon session. We will likely also include additional meditation explorations.

If you already have a meditation practice, you can work with your regular techniques. In afternoon sessions and evening satsangs, James will also give guidance so even if you are new to meditation you will have technique to work with and build a practice over the week that you can then take home.

Our exploration of the aṣṭāṅga will also invite us into subtler understanding of how yoga meditation works and how we can work with it to support us in our lives. We’ll also explore standing meditation exercises and contemplation exercises in nature to expand our meditation toolkit.


Every evening we will gather for satsang – coming together to explore what is. This will include working in circle, storytelling and practical philosophy and mythology as we deepen our exploration of the Sūtra-s and the Eight Limbs and shared song.

Retreat Details

The Setting

Dvur Švata Marí provides a wonderful environment and beautifully peaceful accommodation for this type of work. The centre is an intentional space dedicated for healing, learning and remembering how to live in greater harmony with ourselves, each other and our environment.

We can enjoy a beautiful wooden floored pratice shala and outdoor deck, great walking right from the house and excellent, comfortable accommodation conducive to rest and relaxation.


The shared rooms are all spacious, peaceful and within the main building, steps away from the practice spaces and the dining area.

Rooms have two to four beds, all with plenty of space, with beautiful views over the valley and in the attic rooms up to the stars.

Please let us know if you’d like to share rooms with friends. Single accommodation may be arranged at additional cost. If rooms are full, there may be the possibility of staying in one of the centre’s two wooden caravans, or for one or two people to camp.


The food will be provided by Petra Šetelová. (@papacpetkahontas)

Petra is experienced catering for groups around the world and has catered and looked after many retreat groups at Dvůr Švata Marí. Petra’s food is hearty, nourishing and based on fresh, local ingredients as far as possible. The house runs a vegetarian kitchen and can accommodate dietary needs such as vegan or gluten free on request. There is also a fire pit outside, so if you are craving non-veg sustenance, self-barbecued sausages around the fire may also be an option once or twice during the week if this is asked for.

teaching yoga course
teaching yoga course
teaching kirtan

Course fees:

Regular fee: GB£1280 (approx 37000czk)

Newsletter rate: GB£1080 (approx 31200czk)

Special offer through February: GB£989 (approx 28550czk) USE COUPON CODE HESKY989

Special rates for participants in:

-Living the Yoga Sūtra-s online immersion and Prague April 12-14 weekend Immersion

James Boag Philosophy
James Boag Meditation
James Boag Movement
James Boag Yoga
James Boag Philosophy