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The Yoga Sutras

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  6,450 ratings  ·  186 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)

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4.41  · 
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 ·  6,450 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Liz Rosenblum
May 24, 2012 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 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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hinduism, yoga, philosophy
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 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 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
Monica Perez
Jan 12, 2009 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 rated it it was amazing
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
Kate Lumsden
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
very accessible introduction to the yoga sutras
Sarah Thomas Gulden
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Satchitananda's translation and commentary on Patanjali's Sutras is the best edition I've read. He makes these often pretty inscrutable ancient texts come alive with great clarity and even occasional humor. I treasure reading and meditating on these often.
Jen Schellhorn
May 05, 2012 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.
Aug 08, 2013 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
Lui Debono
Apr 04, 2016 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 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 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.
Sian Lile-Pastore
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.
Sep 02, 2008 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 rated it it was amazing
The commentary was more accessible than that in the Iyengar version. I am glad to have read both.
Beth Honeycutt
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I read pieces and parts of for my yoga teacher training this weekend. It is one of those books that I will come back to over and over again.
This text is absolutely essential to the history of yoga. I read this for the first time outside of a yoga teacher training because it's a text I thought you were "supposed" to read if you do yoga. Honestly I've never been that into it. However, it's 1000x more refreshing the second time through, I think spending the past 5 months discussing/analyzing it in training has helped. I don't know what I'd do without our yoga philosophy instructor, she has gathered such DETAILED historical and lineage ...more
A foundational text for yoga practitioners or anyone seeking a closer bond between body, mind, and soul. The commentary is quite helpful, providing a jumping off point for further exploration. Which is exactly what Patanjali inspires: a lifetime of investigation.
Togo Jalika
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have read seven different versions of commentaries on the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali often reading a few versions side by side to understand various perspectives. What made this version enjoyable to me is how Sri Swami Satchidananda offers so many practical, humorous, and accessible stories and insights to help you make sense of this ancient teaching on yoga (which is still so relevant today). The only reason it did not get five stars is the commentary pretty much drops off by Book Three (of th ...more
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: yoga, spirituality
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
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to review a text that's thousands of years old and that thousands of people have come to regard as a kind of scripture. I read this in preparation for a yoga teacher training, and it is so far the densest text I have read in that context. The experience of reading it felt like trying to see something through a very iced up window, in some places I could scratch through to really see/understand what was being said, whilst others, I read the words, but I felt the meaning was still opaque ...more
Nicole Lublin
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first encounter with The Yoga Sutras was the translation by Alistair Shearer, and it was eye-opening and wonderful, but in my quest to keep growing as both a teacher and a student, I felt it was time to revisit the Sutras from another's perspective.

I got a lot out of Satchidananda's translation and commentary. I particularly love how he incorporates stories and examples from not only Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other traditions as well. It's a gr
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Three-line review: I am not religious and have no spiritual text that guides my life, but the yoga sutras offer sound and sage advice on how to be a good person, live a fully life, and stay in the present moment. I don't believe every single sutra is an incredible nugget of wisdom that should be dissected and dwelt upon extensively as some people do, but there is a lot of food for thought in such a short text. The translation is done well, providing practical and readable interpretations of the ...more
Jul 30, 2013 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.
Amy Boogie King
I've read it through once but going through slowly in conjunction with 2 other yoga sutra books making study notes.
Stephanie Macdonald
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Many excellent examples of ways to liberate oneself, however as all the "old systems of beLIEf" it teaches "selflessness" and "surrender to outside sources"... This absurd programming of "ego is bad" and do EVERYTHING for others and "God" and not yourself.

None of the old systems are truly liberating, they are just more subtle forms of control to keep the masses disempowered, "less than", and in need of some God or Guru to offer yourself to. This strange idea of "find someone else to blame or fi
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
"What is the biggest fish you can catch? The "self-fish". Hook that fish. They you can probably have a nice big aquarium. You don't need to kill the self-fish. Just keep it in your aquarium."

This is an interesting look at the Yoga Sutras from Patañjali.

The translation includes modern English but doesn't sound particularly American (see the use of probably above) or British so it's a sort of neutral English translation. The book includes the sutra in Sanskrit, a rough English translation, and the
Christine Danhausen
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Two gripes:

First, it's important to be very careful when ordering, I searched for the Shearer translation The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sacred Teachings) and commentary and it came up as a hardcover, but with options for a Kindle edition or a soft cover. The soft cover was very inexpensive so I clicked on that option and ordered. What I did not realize was that the soft cover is not the same book. It's not the Shearer but the Charles Johnston. I only realized this once it arrived. I guess I shou
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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
“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)” 427 likes
“Truth is the same always. Whoever ponders it will get the same answer. Buddha got it. Patanjali got it. Jesus got it. Mohammed got it. The answer is the same, but the method of working it out may vary this way or that. (115)” 85 likes
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