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Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali
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Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  139 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Dating from about the third century A.D., the Yoga Sutra distills the essence of the physical and spiritual discipline of yoga into fewer than two hundred brief aphorisms. It is the core text for any study of meditative practice, revered for centuries for its brilliant analysis of mental states and of the process by which inner liberation is achieved. Yet its difficulties ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 2nd 1998 by Bantam (first published 1996)
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I've read Patanjali's Yoga Sutras two times cover to cover. The first time I read it I had been doing yoga for five years and I stopped after reading the book and did not pick up my practice again for two and a half years. The second time I read it I was practicing again and I did not stop my practice. "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit verb "Yuj." Sanskrit being the Mama of Indo-European/Indo-Iranian languages gives us a cognate of the word in our own language "yoke." Indeed, that is what the pract ...more
Dennis Littrell
Miller, Barbara Stoler. Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali (1995) ****
Excellent for a first reading

The main strength of this book is in the late Professor Miller's Introduction which is lucid and insightful in identifying and placing Patanjali's Yoga Sutras for the general reader. The weakness is in Miller's use of certain non-yogic and sometimes misleading terms in her translation, usage which stems from her position as an academic of yoga and not a practitioner
Aug 25, 2010 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: yoga
Very hard book to get through. Ancient and allusive, has been debated for a loooong time, but still a yoga must-read. I enjoyed the translator's discussion of the rationale behind the yamas & niyamas. The more I learn of yogic philosophy, the more it reaffirms my own faith in my own beliefs in a very positive & complimentary way.
Spoiler alert. I think this last line of Yoga Discipline of Freedom really sums up the point to the yoga sutras.

"In a real sense Patanjali has established what it means in terms of yoga for one's spirit to achieve its true identity as observer to the world - a witness rather than a suffering participant in a world of ceaseless volatile change." -Patanjali, Yoga, Discipline of Freedom.

Jess Moss
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I practiced yoga. As it is, I basically speed-read the book so I could count it as "read" before selling it back to the bookstore. I would have probably gotten more out of it had I taken my time.
This is the first book I have read of the Yoga Sutra. Although I have attended countless yoga classes and have a nice little yoga home video library, it was nice to read what this phenomenon called yoga is primarily aimed to achieve. I knew it had more to do with posture and breathing, those are just a means to an end in enlightenment, and that each asana involves not only the physically body but the mental and spiritual as well. It is the acknowledgement of spirit playing a central part in yoga ...more
excellent translation and very useful notes on each line. plus some great stories about the powers of adept yogis. there is one mention of the word "atom" which i really wish had been explained in some footnote - i can't imagine there was a word for the basic molecular building block in sanscrit. but patanjali does seem to know everything, so maybe i'm wrong there. nice commentary on yoga's similarities and variations on ancient buddhist doctrine that was being developed at the same time. it's s ...more
I struggled with this short summary of the Sutras. I think Miller did little to identify Classical Yoga's philosophy and method in the context of the greater conversation of yoga (about this particular text). My opinion is that the recitation of this Sutra is most useful for inspiring faith within the practitioner, and considering the brevity of Disciplineand emphasis on Miller's translation (rather than commentary) this text could be used for just that. -1 for no original Sanskrit.
A clear and concise translation with just enough commentary to flesh out the short but often obscure aphorisms. It's not a technical or academic treatment, but the commentary serves as a good jumping off point if you want to get into the deeper philosophical stuff. If you've already read the Sankhya karikas and are looking for a more rigorous connection with the Yoga Sutra you'll have to turn elsewhere. Miller's translation is an excellent way to get started though.
Miller's introduction and commentary are very helpful - although I obviously can't comment on the quality of the translation, her explanation of the nuances and polyvalence of particular terms and their possible translations is very thorough and interesting. A great way into understanding Patanjali's text.
Jennifer Christensen
Dec 05, 2008 Jennifer Christensen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yoga/meditation practitioners
Recommended to Jennifer by: required reading for yoga teacher training
Shelves: yoga
This translation is so much more accessible than some of the myriad of translations out there. I browsed several different copies in the used bookstore and no two translations were the same. Each translator puts their own spin on Patanjali's spartan sanskrit. This one resonated with me.
I enjoyed the introduction and commentary given by Miller. A great book that has a lot to offer those who study it.
Stacy Lynn
I enjoyed reading the concepts introduced, and I learned a lot in the process. Great book!
Arthur Brady
boy, am i glad this wasn't my first intro to the sutras.
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