It was part of the required pre-reading of a yoga teacher training course I took. On the first reading I was feeling a bit bogged down by the sanskrit, and especially by parts of Vibhuti Pada. There is So, this is quite a dense and intense read and I am glad to have read it after Light on Yoga by the same author, which prepared me for some of the deeper concepts. There is a big difference, however, between having somewhat of an intellectual and superficial grasp on this material and having fully absorbed and assimilated it into the psyche, and these are concepts that I will likely be willingly! I imagine I will be referring to this book time and time again as each sutra in itself potentially holds a lifetime of learning. I suspect that the yoga sutras are something that slowly reveal themselves, as the sadhaka moves along his or her journey through yoga and through life.

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This means the Sutras are most commonly packaged into a book-length manuscript that includes not only the translation but also analysis and commentary. There are many such books available, but the challenge is to find one that: a. While it may seem like it would be closer to the source material, it can also be thought of as injecting another layer of culture in between the original and the present-day reader. The Sutras are organized into four sections.

The first section introduces the reader to yoga and explains the state of mind called Samadhi. The second section outlines the eight-fold practice of yoga called Ashtanga Yoga. The eight limbs include the two aspects of yogic ethics, yama and niyama, as well as postural yoga asana, breath exercises pranayama, sensory withdrawal pratyahara, concentration dharana, meditation dhyana, and the aforementioned Samadhi. The final section discusses the liberation, that is the ultimate objective of the practice of yoga.

It includes the original Sanskrit, then a Romanized alphabet phonetic write up of the original Sanskrit Sutra, and then a listing of the various meanings for each of the Sanskrit word.

Then it has the English translation of the Sutra as literal as possible. Finally, there is B. I like the approach of providing the original as well as information that facilitates the reader systematically piecing together his or her own understanding of each Sutra. I think it shows both humility and eagerness to support students on the part of the editor.

There are various appendices, indexes, and a glossary to make the book more useful. I would highly recommend this book for all practitioners of yoga.


Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali



Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


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