What are the yoga sutras?

The practice of Yoga rejuvenates the mind and body.

 It is not merely asanas and some postures to ensure the balance between the body. Yoga has more than what practitioners do on the mat. 

The benefits of Yoga include enhancing physical fitness to others, such as stress management. At a higher level, the real purpose of Yoga helps in controlling the fluctuations of the mind. 

There are yoga texts to guide yogis to follow the physical exercises. It also teaches to incorporate the appropriate intention in life.  

However, there is still more about yoga sutras than teachings in a simple form. 

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Getting to know Yoga Sutras

The collection of maxims in Yoga by Patanjali are the Yoga Sutras. 

Each sutra forms a single statement. The sutras are as old as 400 CE. 

Patanjali was a sage who introduced yoga sutras consolidating the existing instructions into an easily understandable format. The Sutras are a total of 196. However, there lies a debate if there are 195 sutras. It is because one sutra is redundant. The sutras that also mean threads are full of knowledge that help examine the core purpose of Yoga. The translations are even available in English. Yet there is debate if the English translations are as effective as the original ones in Sanskrit. 

The yoga sutras by Patanjali have four chapters. The original term for these is padas. The four divisions are four compartmentalizations. They are as follows:

Samadhi Pada: The first one carries information about concentration and meditation. It consists of 51 sutras defining Yoga, the purpose and obstacles, valuing abhyasa and the concept of vairagya.

Sadhana Pada: The second pada consists of 55 sutras. The concentration of this pada is on practise. The 55 sutras in this pada outline Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, and Dharana. This pada allows a realistic strategy to achieve the purposes of Yoga. 

Vibhuti Pada: Consisting of 56 sutras, the Vibhuti Pada calls attention to the capacity of Yoga in empowering the mind. The chapter consists of working towards improving the results. It suggests controlling the power that one earns throughout the process. 

Kaivalya Pada: The last pada has 34 sutras. They concentrate on freedom and independence from suffering at levels. The term liberation also translates to moksha. The final chapter guides living in the world in an unconcerned manner. 

Final words

It is time taking and requires effort to read and understand sutras. It is also tiring to read all the sutras at the same time. However, choosing a pada or your choice and reading according to it is a fruitful affair. Yoga practitioners can read sutras to seek daily intentions for training and general life. Every concept in sutras is compact yet separate. Surprisingly, it is still possible to associate and present an entire meaning by combining these sutras.

Patanjali yoga sutras present with a rulebook for experiencing a yogic life. They include rules of morals and self-conduct. 

Sutras lead to a better and profound understanding of yoga and yoga practices. 

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