Yoga sutras. Chapter 1

Picture of Yoga Mandir
Yoga Mandir

This is the second in the series of articles on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in which I hope to outline the main themes and highlight some of the key sutras. In doing so I wish to provide an introduction to the Yoga Sutras for those wanting to read more extensively. I have included page references in order that the student can read a more complete discussion of the points raised. This article does not set out to explain or provide an extensive commentary on the sutras but orientate the student to areas of further reading. I use Light on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar as the primary reference

References for this article

  • BKS Iyengar –Light on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • Barbara Stoller Miller – Discipline and Freedom
  • Alan Goode – Twin Pillars of Yoga (article
  • Alan Goode- Influence of the senses article )


The yoga sutra are divided into four chapters (Padas) and these outline the practices, benefits, attainment’s, and the ends of yoga. This is done in aphorisms or sutra – short terse statements which state the essence. This was done as yoga, being an oral tradition, was learnt by chanting the sutras after which the teacher would discuss the meaning. This has lead to the various schools of thought within the yoga tradition and the divergence in the practices across the schools. The four chapters of the Yoga Sutras are ….

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