Yoga Library: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Namaskar, dear readers!
As you may have noticed, I’ve made a few changes to the Samadhi Rush: Whole Yoga for the Whole Yogi blog. In addition to posting asana sequences on a weekly basis, I plan to add a few new regular posts this spring. Today is the debut of Yoga Library, a weekly post where I let you have a peek at what is on my bookshelf. Let’s get it started, shall we?

yoga library.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is essential for any yoga library. The sutras describe the philosophy of Yoga as well as the practice of Raja (royal) Yoga.

{In a nutshell, Yoga is a philosophy and not a religion. Yogic philosophy need not be applied to a religion, though it is compatible with one’s existing religious beliefs. The practices and philosophy described in the Yoga Sutras (and, concomitanly, through the practice of yoga itself) are designed to liberate one from suffering (kaivalya) and reconnect the practitioner with divine consciousness within all beings. The practice of Raja Yoga involves eight limbs (Ashtanga in sanskrit, though this is often confused with the physical practice of Ashtanga yoga as taught by Sri Pattabhi Jois). These eight limbs are Yama (ethical restraints), Niyama (personal observances), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath-work), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (one-pointed focus), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (bliss-consciousness).}

There are many translations of the Yoga Sutras, and it is important to find a version that speaks to you. The translations I enjoy are Mukunda Stiles (very straight forward, though still poetic) and George Feuerstein (side-by-side English and Sanskrit with wonderful historical commentary). I’m interested in checking out The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras by Nischala Joy Devi as well.

Reading the Sutras: though the Sutras illuminate the more esoteric teachings of Yoga, they can be a bit dense. I recommend reading one sutra at a time just prior to asana practice or meditation. Let the words wash over you. Allow yourself to absorb them slowly.

All good things.

Kelly Sunrose Yoga// Shiva

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