Articles About Patanjali's Yoga Sutras


  • Detoxing the Mind
    Detoxing the Mind

    Author Shannon Lough

    Ever wonder why we spend so much time worrying about spring cleaning, purging our overabundance of things, reorganizing our homes, and trying out new body detoxes to clean out those winter cobwebs and reemerge fresh and new for the season. We spend so much of our time rearranging the space around us, and the physical space within us through diet and exercise, but so little time on our minds.
  • Exploring Ishvara Pranidhana: Practicing Dedication to Find Bliss
    Exploring Ishvara Pranidhana: Practicing Dedication to Find Bliss

    Author Jennie Lee

    Through wholehearted dedication (Ishvara Pranidhana), we become intoxicated with the Divine. Sutra 11.45 *  Headlines are made by instructions like this. It is encouraging news when we receive such an enticing promise from the Yoga Sutras. Follow the instruction by practicing wholehearted dedication, and you will receive Divine intoxication or bliss. But how do we “practice” wholehearted dedication and to what are we being dedicated?
  • Lessons from the Yoga Sutras: 3 Ways to Call Upon Compassion
    Lessons from the Yoga Sutras: 3 Ways to Call Upon Compassion

    Author Emily Millen

    This is my favorite sutra from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.  This piece of text is known as the yoga bible, and is compiled into four chapters containing 196 sutras, or words of wisdom. Patanjali constructed his work in 400 BC when two styles of teaching collided. Samkhyan philosophy was known as the older style. As Samkhyan was dying out, it's best teachings were assembled with the new teachings of the Buddha.  Little is known about Patanjali himself; to some he is known as a great sage, to some an incarnation of Ananta, the mythical serpent.  Although not the creator of yoga, this scholar was a great expositor. 
  • Exploring the Eight Limbs of Yoga
    Exploring the Eight Limbs of Yoga

    Author Maggie Franz

    Every great discipline has a path or a structure that one must follow to fully attain its manifold gifts.  Yoga is no different.  The yoga master Patanjali in his work Yoga Sutras (which was believed to be written between 322-185BCE) outlines an eight fold path which provides the structure and teachings needed to live a moral and fulfilled life.  The paths each hold different lesson or skills to be obtained and culminate in the achievement or attainment of Samadhi, or bliss.  The eight limbs are as follows: Yama (moral restraints), Niyama (self disciplines), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (bliss or ecstasy).
  • 5 Ways to Create an Ethical Work Life
    5 Ways to Create an Ethical Work Life

    Author Maren Showkeir

    The question blossomed one afternoon during a teacher-training workshop: “How might my work life have looked if I had lived yoga’s guiding principles when I began an asana practice in the early 1990s.” If I had learned about the Eight Limbs, outlined thousands of years ago by the Indian sage Patanjali, I am certain it would have helped me better navigate a challenging career.
  • Aparigraha: The Forgotten Yama
    Aparigraha: The Forgotten Yama

    Author davidji

    Of all the yogic teachings, the most well known to newcomers and experienced yogis alike is asana (the postures) because we all physically practice them in yoga class. Students of yoga philosophy are also familiar with the first two limbs of yoga—the yamas and niyamas—described by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The yamas are the universal codes of ethical behavior and niyamas are the personal observances—essentially guidance for how enlightened beings can best interact with the world, our friends, our families, and our selves. These ten practices and their translations can become intuitive and awakened within us when we place our attention on them, live them, and practice them.
  • Life With Eight Limbs
    Life With Eight Limbs

    Author Jessie Blackledge

    As outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, yoga is an eight-limbed philosophy, the sum of which constitutes what Patanjali outlines as Ashtanga Yoga. These eight limbs are guidelines towards what we would contemporarily deem a yogic lifestyle. The ultimate aim and final limb in the process is samadhi, more commonly known as enlightenment.