Yoga Sutras Archive

Approaches to Yoga: Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti yoga seeks salvation through the path of devotion to a personal representation of God. During the centuries that preceded Patanjali, India had been dominated by the atheistic or nontheistic philosophies of original Buddhism, Samkhya, Jainism, and the impersonal God of the Upanishads. The impulse to worship and serve a personal God (which a Christian […]

Yoga Philosophy: Eight Limbs of Yoga

Classical yoga practitioners are not interested in making their minds permanently blank, but rather to so discipline their minds that they no longer identify thoughts and sensory perceptions with their sense of self. This is accomplished by following Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga. The eight limbs of yoga involve strict moral, physical, and mental disciplines. […]

Yoga History: Historical and Conceptual Foundations

The yoga system was reputedly developed by the grammarian and Hindu sage Patanjali most likely between the third and second century B.C. Archaeological finds suggest that yoga in some form has existed since around 3,000 B.C., but in his Yoga Sutras (i.e., yoga aphorisms) Patanjali presented the system that we’re familiar with today. The aphorisms […]