style: Philosophy

duration: 60 min

Philosophy – Overview of Sutras

Overview of Translations & Commentary

The Yoga Sutras are four chapters of a total 196 one-line verses that discuss: What the goal of yoga is, the difference between the mind and consciousness, enlightenment and its stages, the eight-limbed practices of yoga, and the mystical powers of meditation. They were written in short verses to be remembered easily and passed orally, and designed to be “unpacked” or elaborated on by a teacher.

“We forget that people throughout time are the same as us today,” says Edwin Bryant, translator and commentator on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. “Their minds too were subject to fears, anxieties, stresses, and insecurities. Just like we suffer and look for a way out, so did they.”

As with science and religion, yoga seeks to provide a solution to that suffering, says Edwin, which means the Sutras are as relevant today as they have always been. “While religion may go as far to say you are not the body, yoga takes this one step further—that the cause of human suffering is because we believe ourselves to be—not only the body—but also the mind. And so the Sutras begin with this: citta-vritti-nirodhah. It is a teaching of how to move beyond the mind.”


Cora Wen

Over the past 25 years, Cora Wen has built her reputation as an internationally acclaimed yoga practitioner and teacher.

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