Yoga Sutras of Sage Patanjali

Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Patanjali is known to be the compiler of the yoga sutras. The patanjali yoga sutras are a collection of sayings or aphorisms in the practice of yoga.

According to the patanjali yoga sutras, the ultimate endeavor of yoga practice is to attain a state of ultimate liberation.


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Emancipation or ‘kaivalya’ is the experience of the innermost self or soul of a person. By getting in touch with the soul, one is able to break free from the cycle of cause and effect or ‘karma’. In this state, a practitioner can exist in serenity and peace since he or she has gained the ultimate knowledge which is awareness of what is material and what is spiritual, unchanging and free of suffering. The meaning of these sutras and the practice of yoga in accordance with these sutras is taught in a patanjali yoga shala or yoga school.

Patanjali Yoga Asanas

According to Patanjali, one cannot practice yoga asanas (poses) in a class and then go back to living a life of material aspirations and undisciplined living. Yoga goes deeper than this and is helpful in cultivating the mind, body and spirit. Here we attempt to shed some light on the yoga sutras of patanjali.

Patanjali s 8 Limbs Of Yoga

Patanjali presented 8 disciplines to yoga. These must be practiced in order to become aware of one’s true self. Patanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga include;

  1. Yama - Social behavior which is the moral principles of non-violence, truth, non-stealing, non-lust and non-possessiveness.
  2. Niyama – Inner discipline which includes purity, contentment, austerity, study of the scriptures and awareness of the divine.

  3. Asana – Practice of the yoga postures.
  4. Pranayama – Prana is energy which is present everywhere and which flows through us through breathing. Pranayama refers to the control of breath.
  5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal and control over the human senses. This occurs while meditating, practicing yoga postures and breathing.
  6. Dharana – Concentration on a particular point or object to keep the mind free of distraction.
  7. Dhyana – Meditation in order to attain a state of heightened awareness.
  8. Samadhi – A higher state of being or bliss in which the ego ceases to exist and the true, pure nature of an individual emerges.

The yoga philosophy of patanjali which comprises the sutras is still considered to be one of the most enlightening studies of human awareness. By reading the patanjali yoga sutras in Sanskrit or in English at home or at a patanjali yoga center, you can learn the correct method of yoga practice.

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