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Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  64 reviews
BKS Iyengar’s translation and commentary on these ancient yoga sutras has been described as the “bible” of yoga.
This new edition of the classic text contains a new introduction by BKS Iyengar, as well as a foreword by Godfrey Devereux, author of Dynamic Yoga.

Patanjali wrote this collection of yoga wisdom over 2,000 years ago. They are amongst the world’s most revered and a
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 21st 2002 by Thorsons (first published 1966)
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 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Each page is a lifetime of learning. I'll be reading this book the rest of my life. ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, this is quite a dense and intense read and I am glad to have read it after Light on Yoga by the same author, which prepared me for some of the deeper concepts. It was part of the required pre-reading of a yoga teacher training course I took. On the first reading I was feeling a bit bogged down by the sanskrit, and especially by parts of Vibhuti Pada. I've since been over it again to summarise it, and found I was feeling more comfortable with it and more familiar with sanskrit words. There is ...more
Roxana Zirakzadeh
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and I highly recommend this translation. Iyengar has the sanskrit word by word translation, then each verse, then his own commentary. Amazing. Great if you want to see the original language and the Iyengar's insights. ...more
Karan Bajaj
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I dig the intellectual puzzle of esoteric yoga scriptures but even more so, they always leave me suddenly calm and full of perspective. Iyengar's translation was a standout for me among many others I read because he seemed to have lived his yoga. The book, especially the 3rd section, Vibhuti Pada, was a key inspiration for THE YOGA OF MAX'S DISCONTENT, my first international novel. ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I will actually be reading this book over and over for a long time. It is an in depth explanation on the philosophy of yoga. It is dense and there is much to be learned here. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in Hindu philosophy and yoga.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Intense. Not for the faint yogi or philosopher. Excellent description and explanation of the sutras. If you're working on your sanskrit, it's a good book for that. ...more
Sydra Mallery
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I've read it once. This is the start of a beautiful relationship with a book. ...more
Timmy Fearn
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had been wading through this book for some time. Finally something clicked and I was able to understand much more clearly the nuances of the consciousness that were being discussed. I find humor in this as it is actually written very clearly, but my mind was not able to remain focused on the subject in the beginning.
A wide ranging look at the consciousness and how it relates to our journey through life.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Concentration on the sutras is vital and reading them is one of contemplation and letting everything sink in. BKS Iyengar gives the most clear and concise definitions of the sutras. It is a must read.
Ellen Chamberlin
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So poetic, easy to understand, and beautiful. I will read this again and again. Has changed my life, I finished it last night and had the most amazing dream.
Speaker Stelios
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love the commentary, the graphs and pretty much everything in this great book.
Can t recomend it more to all Yogis out there who want to dive deeper into the Yoga Sutras
Dennis Littrell
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The theory behind the practice

There was yoga before the time of Patanjali but it was not written down, or at least no text survives. We find elements of the practice in the Upanishads and of course in the Bhagavad Gita. But before Patanjali's codification there was no systematic text to guide the aspirant. Since then Patanjali's sutras have been translated into many languages along with commentary to elucidate the concise text, with Vyasa's commentary from the ninth century--upon which Iyengar m
Bernie Gourley
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
The “Yoga Sutras” are 196 aphorisms about yoga that were penned by a sage named Patanjali around 400 CE (i.e. AD.) Unless you’re a Sanskrit scholar with expertise in the history of yoga and the region that birthed it, it’s hard to gain anything from reading the Sutras directly. The Sutras are written in a terse style in a sparse language, and so most readers aren’t equipped to interpret them – which takes not only knowing the language but have some understanding of the context in which they were ...more
Varsha Rao
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well explained commentaries on the brilliantly written Yoga Sutras. This was my first read and I could just scratch the surface with my limited experiential understanding. This book is going to be a long term companion in my life long path of Yoga. Highly recommended for anyone seriously pursuing the spiritual path, irrespective of their background.
Pragya Bhatt
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome interpretation of the Yoga Sutras. I gave it 5 stars because it was great in terms of breaking down and explaining every sutra in detail. However, the language is very colloquial, which a lot of readers might not appreciate. That said, some readers may not read the book in its entirety because many sutras are complex and would require a steady yoga practice to really understand. However, 5 stars because it was a great source for the English interpretaion of the sutras.
Ashok Krishna
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To anyone keen on entering the vast, wise world of Yoga and embarking on a spiritual journey, this book is a must read. The eternal wisdom of Patanjali, offered as intense nuggets, have been profoundly and brilliantly explained by the renowned yoga guru B.K.S.Iyengar. As the book progresses, you can't help but feel a change in your attitude towards life. A worthy read that will assist in your yogic practices and spiritual journey. ...more
Alex  L
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I mean. It's where yoga comes from! Anyone interested in buddhism, yoga, hinduism or just living with more compassion should definitely read this. But don't think too hard ... it is all meaningless ;) ...more
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga, spiritual
The only translation I own...I've heard of a really good translation by a woman. Let me know if you know of that one. ...more
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great primer on how to maneuver the world while staying in a yogic mode of right action. Even though I've read it a zillion times, I'm still failing! ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A complete guide to unravel the dynamics of disentanglement as portrayed in dualistic theories of Samkhya. Great start for students of classical yoga.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is not the type of thing you read and then put away. This is a book to dedicate oneself to. Intense.
Kat Page
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
good classic yoga reference!
Olya Chizh
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As if it were even possible to finish reading a spiritual treatise.
An essential book that you have to re-read every day.
John Hawkins
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably Iyengar's best work. He still sees the Sutras in a religious vein, but that is OK. He brings out wonderful ideas. ...more
Carolina Batres-Quinonez
Thank you to my dear teacher, Oma, who recommend this book.
It is by far the most user friendly version of the sutras I have read to date.
Brian Wilcox
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A masterful treatment by a master of the science of yoga.
Alex Boon
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not sure I'll ever "finish" reading this. Great resource for those interested in yoga philosophy. ...more
Rochelle Hartstrom
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much easier to understand than other translations and commentary. I am blown away at the wealth of knowledge shared in this book.
Yashaswi Kumar
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book that contains insight on yoga sutras of legendary bhagwan Patanjali. Bks Iyengar did awesome job.
May 28, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Technically on my DNF shelf. While I want to learn more about the yoga sutras, im not sure Iyengar is the way to go anymore. He verbally abused his students, many of whom have severe “this is the only way to practice yoga” complexes. Some of his students have also only recently been shown to have sexually assaulted their students.

There are many ways of practicing yoga. “Perfection in yoga” is not needed. This feeds into the body perfection bs that many many yogis have. Be careful.

There is some
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Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (Kannada: ಬೆಳ್ಳೂರ್ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮಾಚಾರ್ ಸುಂದರರಾಜ ಐಯಂಗಾರ್), (also known as Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar) (Born December 14, 1918 in Bellur, Kolar District, Karnataka, India) is the founder of Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yogic p ...more

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