Yoga Sutras

Definition - What does Yoga Sutras mean?

The Yoga Sutras are a collection of texts written by the sage, Patanjali, around 400 C.E. The collection contains what is thought to be much of the basis of classical yoga philosophy and is made up of 196 sutras ("threads" or discourses).

The 196 sutras are compartmentalized into four topical books:

  1. Samadhi pada (what yoga is)
  2. Sadhana pada (how to gain a yogic state)
  3. Vibhuti pada (benefits of practicing yoga regularly)
  4. Kaivalya pada (liberation or freedom from suffering)

Yogapedia explains Yoga Sutras

Although the Yoga Sutras are made up of short, simple verses, they are full of depth and practical wisdom. Those who follow a spiritual yoga practice may choose to study or meditate on the Sutras regularly. Many individuals attempt to put Patanjali’s wisdom to use in daily life, not just within times of meditation and asana practice.

The Yoga Sutras are thought to have gained high regard during the onset of popular yoga culture in the 20th century. Other texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and "Yoga Vasistha," were previously looked to as the primary authoritative yogic texts.

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