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The Yoga Sutras

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  4,924 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews

This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new deluxe printing of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on et
Paperback, 263 pages
Published October 15th 1990 by Integral Yoga Publications (first published January 1st 1950)
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Chris Daniels I don't think there's any information whether Patanjali (scholars agree there was at least two authors who wrote the Yoga Sutras, not one) gave this…moreI don't think there's any information whether Patanjali (scholars agree there was at least two authors who wrote the Yoga Sutras, not one) gave this information for free. It is certainly possible they were commissioned to write this, we just don't know. The original Sanskrit seems pretty obscure and difficult to interpret, which is why there are so many commentaries. It would probably be very disappointing to learn the language and realize new insights were sparse.(less)

Community Reviews

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Liz Rosenblum
May 24, 2012 Liz Rosenblum rated it it was amazing
I can't recall a time in my life where a "required" reading has changed my life immeasurably.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as explained by Swami Satchidnanda is a mandatory part of most yoga teacher trainings, and thankfully it was for mine. This is not a book that you read from cover to cover like a novel, but it is something that you pick up, read, absorb, think about, put into practice, and then read some more.

It has lessons about yoga, lessons about life and lessons about being a good person
Joyce Lagow
Nov 28, 2009 Joyce Lagow rated it it was amazing
This is not a book to be "read", but rather one to contemplate. I've "finished" it, but will return to it to reread many times.

Satchdananda was one of the best-known and best loved Yoga masters and teachers in the US. His commentaries on Patanjali's sutras are simple; he uses excellent examples to illustrate their meaning. But in the end, as so many others in Zen and related paths have said, he states that reading about a spiritual pathway is ultimately useless; it can help but is no substitute
Jul 28, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga, philosophy, hinduism
Good introductory translation. Excellent for first-time readers of the Sutras. If you want to dive deeper in, though, I suggest Edwin Bryant's translation. If you'd like a Buddhist perspective, check out Chip Hartranft's.
Daniel Prasetyo
Jan 02, 2012 Daniel Prasetyo rated it it was amazing
This book is the best translation of Patanjali's works that I found. It is because the author is living with the wisdom of The Yoga Sutras. This book contains the the translations of The Yoga Sutras, and the explanation about the meaning and the goal of each sutras, and Sri Swami Satchidananda's explanation is a very easy read, even if you never know the yoga philosophy before. Just read 1 sutra each day and practice it, you will see a dramatic changes in your life. If you just read 1 book about ...more
Victoria Klein
Jan 13, 2012 Victoria Klein rated it really liked it
There are countless interpretations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, originally compiled by Patanjali thousands of years ago. Personally, I've only read 2 others before reading this version, so my point of reference may be considered narrow.

I found Swami Satchidananda's version to be informative and somewhat blunt - and I mean that in a good way. He uses a few modern examples throughout the text to help improve the reader's understanding. This book was originally published in 1978 and the e
Aug 08, 2013 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very first sutra sets up the book so well, “If the restraint of the mental modifications is achieved, one has reached the goal of yoga.” (pg. 3) I like this because it shows that even though a person may not be able to move through all the asanas perfectly, they can still perform yoga by controlling their mind. If we can learn that the entire outside world is our own projection, then we can control our attitude. “Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude towards them d ...more
Monica Perez
Jan 12, 2009 Monica Perez rated it it was amazing
This book showed me that coming to the end of external knowledge about God is actually the beginning of the journey to look inward and know His nature. Made me interested in the early Christian Gnostics who believed we could know God through his reflection in ourselves. Also introduced me to the concept that the question of the existence of God is unanswerable and irrelevant--you can't prove it or disprove it, and no matter what, the path to contentment in this life is the same as the path to co ...more
May 16, 2012 Casey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, yoga
I read one or two sutras before each yoga practice. After finally finishing it, I know I need to go back to it and study the sutras with some intensity. There is much wisdom bestowed in these pages, and there were many moments while reading, I gained clarity on the way I interact and respond with my environment.

Highly recommended for any devoted yoga practitioner, but also for those who are interested in asian philosophy. Although yoga is not defined by one religion, the influences of Hinduism a
Sian Lile-Pastore
Jan 15, 2015 Sian Lile-Pastore rated it liked it
Shelves: yoga, spirituality
Ooo gosh, what to say about the sutras? And I guess I should 'review' the commentary rather than the sutras themselves.... The sutras are stuff like 'the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga' so they are kinda impenetrable and it's helpful to have the commentary.

This commentary is from 1978 I think, and it has a bit of a seventies feel to it in a slightly sexist gender binary way.
There are also some lovely bits and interpretations, also the cover is a delight.
Jen Schellhorn
May 05, 2012 Jen Schellhorn rated it it was amazing
Though I cannot sit and read this book in full - I love that I can open to a page and that it makes so much helpful sense.
Amy Boogie King
Jan 27, 2017 Amy Boogie King is currently reading it
I've read it through once but going through slowly in conjunction with 2 other yoga sutra books making study notes.
Mar 28, 2011 Roxanne rated it liked it
Shelves: spirituality, yoga
The Yoga Sutras, the key text in the study of yoga, is an ancient text dating back at least 2000 years. The sutras were compiled by the sage Patanjali (pah-TAN-ja-lee). Patanjali didn't invent the concept of yoga, but he made a system of it by bringing together all the existing teachings and traditions and giving them a structure for students to follow. The word "sutra" means "thread" - the text is a collection of almost 200 brief "threads" of wisdom. Patanjali used as few words as possible in e ...more
Lui Debono
Apr 04, 2016 Lui Debono rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yogis
A yoga classic that contains a lot of wisdom. Must be read carefully 'cause every verse has a very specific meaning and contains a beautiful yogic wisdom. Written 2,000 years ago Patanjali's yoga sutras are still applicable to all the yogis of the present day. A good commentary is a must. I also found that Sivananda Swami version of the book and the OSHO Rajneesh version is a valuable read for the good comparison and understanding of the sutras.
Jun 16, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyoneinterested n religions and the beginnings of religions.
Recommended to David by: Found it on my own.
Yoga means to ‘Yoke”. The Sutras are the method of yoking yourself to Yoga. The original Hellenistic Greek which was the ‘Lingua Franca” of pre Christian interpretations of the Bible had two definitions of Yoke. One was for Yoga and the other was to yoke two oxen together. Jesus said that his “yoke” was easy. I am convinced that this is a deliberate misinterpretation of the New Testament and the real meaning was that Jesus was referring to “Yoga” or “ My Yoga is easy” which makes more sense in t ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Terri rated it it was amazing
This is the must read for most new yoga teachers. The exploration of Patanjalis guidance for yogis is essential for anyone who wants to teach or deepen their practice. However, I do not personally think this is the only interpretation one should read. I'd recommend also looking at TKV Desikachar and modern thinkers like Matthew Remski to really dig deep into the sutras, and find a way to relate to them.
Azar Hoseininejad
Jul 30, 2013 Azar Hoseininejad rated it really liked it
Shelves: yoga-meditation
یوگا سوترا که توسط پاتانجلی نوشته شده شامل 196 سوترا هست. واژه ی سوترا به معنی رشته نخ و در اینجا به این مناسبت به کار رفته که در زیر هر لغت نوشته ایست که تفکر ممتد را حمل می کند تا یک فلسفه ی کامل را با عقیده های مختلف شکل دهد. سوتراهای پاتانجلی به عنوان دقیق ترین و علمی ترین متنی که تا به حال درباره ی یوگا نوشته شده در نظر گرفته شده است.
Sep 02, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who meditates
Recommended to Christine by: yoga
This is my bible. Hardly have completed reading it. And what I have read I need to re-read. Great book for meditation topics.
Sydra Mallery
Nov 30, 2014 Sydra Mallery rated it it was amazing
The commentary was more accessible than that in the Iyengar version. I am glad to have read both.
Kate Lumsden
Nov 03, 2012 Kate Lumsden rated it it was amazing
very accessible introduction to the yoga sutras
Camille Cusumano
Apr 27, 2015 Camille Cusumano rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual

The Bible may be the earliest example of yellow journalism. I can think of no other reason why it would be a bestseller and not Yoga Sutras, Patanjali's ancient spiritual guide that predates the Bible by a few thousand years. Indeed the Bible derives all its good stuff directly from Yoga Sutras. There were not that many people walking the earth in those olden times and they shared wisdom freely, so it is not farfetche
Oct 12, 2016 Mafer rated it really liked it
Basic book to read if you are doing yoga professionally
Carol Mahan
Oct 06, 2016 Carol Mahan rated it it was amazing
Excellent insight and such helpful information. It is helpful to read the Sutras of Patanjali with a guide, such as a teacher. My teacher is Vimala Pozzi and she has helped me beyond measure to read and understand this text, but also to use it as a guide to apply to life's ups and downs.
Jan 03, 2017 Sivaleela is currently reading it
Aug 02, 2016 Monet rated it liked it
The Yoga Sutras, split into four books, explains reincarnation and how a person filled with faith can ascend into the spirit world. Within each book there are a set of numbered instructions for how to attain spiritual bliss, enlightment, or peace once a person has died. The instructions aren’t concrete, instead it’s more like guidance for someone to lead a more beneficial life. For example, in Book II the means of yoga are mentioned and one of them are the “commandments.” The commandments includ ...more
Nov 04, 2015 Ludo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first commentary I read, so I can't compare it to others.
One of the attractions of this book for me is the fact that the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali is included, accompanied by translation of the sentence in broken down form plus transliteration, followed again by a full sentence translation in proper English. Good for Sanskrit practise.
I noticed some typos in the Devanagari version of the text - about a dozen in total - not enough reason for not buying the book though.
Josh Stroud
Sep 27, 2014 Josh Stroud rated it really liked it
this was a long slog. im one of the best readers I know, but I still had no idea what it was talking about. this is one to revisit in three months (like I did with tao de Ching) and to savor

on this time through, the most important ideas were:
we are not our mind or body. we are a consciousness that is connected to them. attachment to things, even identities of the mind (ie personality) or body (im skinny) just makes us unhappy.

yoga is basically a personal development system, where the goal is un
Chloé Meyer
Jun 03, 2016 Chloé Meyer rated it it was amazing
This was a standard for yoga teacher training. I would say for anyone seriously considering yoga as more than a form of exercise (which, you really should even do to the exercises in a way that is mindful) this is a really helpful and important read. This is essentially like the roadmap to yoga. The first part can be difficult to conceptualize if the whole concept of "being present" is new. The second part is much more about application. The third part, I can't remember lol. I personally love th ...more
Subhash Jawahrani
Mar 24, 2015 Subhash Jawahrani rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in history of Yoga or Yoga philosophy or
Recommended to Subhash by: Stephanie Snyder
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as explained by Swami Satchidnanda is a mandatory part of most yoga teacher trainings but OI wpuld read even if it wan't. This is not a book that you read from cover to cover like a novel, but it is something that you pick up, read, absorb, think about, put into practice, and then read it again and again. I have read many books on Yoga Philosophy but this book along with Living Gita is probably the most valuable book

Swami Satchidnanda has done amazing job of diggin
Shivani Loka-Laksmi
May 30, 2013 Shivani Loka-Laksmi rated it it was amazing
Written about 5,000 years ago, though generally attributed to Patanjali, who clearly wanted to scribe a clear system of yoga for people to follow. It is said this is the first written form of yoga practice which previously had been transmitted from guru to disciple verbally. All yoga practitioners and laymen alike benefit tremendously from this book. It's wisdom knows no bounds. Swami Satchidananada wrote a perfect translation of the Sanskrit; it just doesn't get any better than this. If you wan ...more
Jun 29, 2007 Mimi added it
Shelves: forthespirit
this is the basis of yogic thought. this is swami satchidananda's interpretation of the ancient sanskrit text. it is very accessible, has sort of a comical indian swagger to it. the yoga sutras speak to the true ashtanga yoga, the 8 limbs of yoga, not just what westerners think yoga is which seems to mean just asanas or poses. this is true yoga, which is in truth a way of being, living, breathing.
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Patañjali (Devanāgarī पतञजलि) (fl. 150 BCE or 2nd c. BCE) is the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, an important collection of aphorisms on Yoga practice, and also the author of the Mahābhāṣya, a major commentary on Pāṇini's Ashtadhyayi. However, it is unlikely that these two works are that of the same author.

In recent decades the Yoga Sutra has become quite popular worldwide for the precepts regarding
More about Patañjali...

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“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)” 377 likes
“If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy. (99)” 81 likes
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