Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is and has been a foundation text in Raja (Royal) Yoga since the 5th century C.E. We can not be sure if the Yoga Sutras were actually written by Patanjali or if they were put together by his students. The Yoga Sutra’s are a collection of aphorisms, pithy teachings, that are intended to be unpacked to reveal a deeper, more expansive teaching. The sutras hold one of the most followed systemization of yogic practice know as Aṣṭāṅga Yoga. Astanga Yoga refers to the eight-limb path, and is a guide for living a yogic lifestyle and adopting a yogic view. There are many lineages in the history and traditions of Yoga, the path of Royal Yoga is just one. I have found that it is good place to begin when wanting to study Yogas philosophy and roots.
This practice is designed so that each day one sutra from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is studied. The practice is arranged to include the contemplation of the sutra, a movement exercise from Haṭha or Modern Postural Yoga, a Pranayama, and a meditation. The practice for each day is clearly laid out and I will offer instructions and videos when needed.
The order for practice:
- Each day begins with a prayer. This is intended to invite the Divine into your practice, to ask for grace and guidance along the path of truth. I will provide a prayer, but I encourage you to feel free to change or add to this prayer as you feel compelled.
- Read the Sutra. I have provided the Devanagari and Roman Transliteration as well as multiple translations of each sutra. This is helpful if you do not already own the sutras. If you do own one or more copies of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras or it’s commentaries please read those as well.
- Movement practice. Please go through the movement practice suggested. If you feel inclined to do more movement or asana feel free.
- Pranayama – follow the practice instructed provided and then move straight into whatever concentration or meditation exercise suggested.
- Contemplation, Study, Reflect. Reread the day’s Sutra and any other study material provided, read anything that supports this idea or that comes to your mind, and write your reflection. I have included other translations. This is how I will reference other peoples work.
EFB – Edwin F. Bryant
SS – Sri Swami Satchidananda
DM – Dan Mulvihill
NB – Nicolas
- Reflect throughout the day. You could do this with a 6XBook if you wish.
- Reflect at the end of the day, write down anything else that you found relevant throughout the day.
- Thank God or the Divine, for the support and guidance through-out the day.