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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Over 20 centuries ago, Patanjali assembled the oral knowledge of yoga into 196 aphorisms.  These cover all aspects of life, beginning with a prescribed code of conduct and ending with one's vision of one's true self.

Sutra Study Resources


  • Sutra podcasts at RIMYI:

  • Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, B.K.S. Iyengar

  • Core of the Yoga Sutras, B.K.S. Iyengar

  • Study of Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Prashant Iyengar

Sutra Study Questions


  • How many aphorisms make up the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali?

There are 4 Padas with a total of 196 sutras in all of them. What are the themes of each Pada?

Sutra Study - II.2

The practice of yoga reduces afflictions and leads to samadhi. The purpose of this yoga is to minimize all impediments to meditation and thus bring the intelligence to full, vibrant life.

  • Iyengar, B. K. S.. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (p. 142). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

Reflect on how past experiences can create biases and how these biases  cloud our perception of ourselves and reality.

Further Thought...

The sadhaka must learn to locate the sources of the afflictions, in order to be able to nip them in the bud through his yogic principles and disciplines (see I.8 viparyaya).

  • Iyengar, B. K. S.. Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (p. 145). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

How does one make the leap from a physical practice to one of self exploration?  Hint... read Light on Life

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