Yoga Sutras

Explore Latest Posts

A Nondual Approach to the Niyamas

Retaining what we’ve learned about the yamas, we now train our attention on the niyamas which occur in sutra 2.32. When prefixed to a noun “ni” can be a negation. It also means “down, back, in, into, within.” Thus, niyama is traditionally rendered “observances”...

Light on the Yamas & Niyamas: Aparigraha, More than Non-Stealing

We’ve come to the final yama (in the five yamas of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) and the last occurrence of Patanjali’s “via negativa” approach. Aparigraha, commonly referred to as “non-grasping,” is composed of graha (seizing) with two prefixes attached: a (not) and...

Light on the Yamas and Niyamas—Brahmacharya, More than Celibacy

There’s no doubt that Patanjali intended brahmacarya (brahmacharya) to mean “celibacy.” He wrote for and to young men who were monks in training. Let’s break the word down just a bit. Brahma means God, specifically the God of creation. And it also is a shortened form...

Explore Yoga Sutras Videos

More Articles
Light on the Yamas & Niyamas—Satya: What About Truth?

Light on the Yamas & Niyamas—Satya: What About Truth?

Satya, truth, stands second in Patanjali’s list of virtues or “restraints.” Most often rendered with respect to speech, like ahimsa, satya broadens to include thought and deed. Under the rubric of ahimsa, the commentators advocate that truth not be spoken unkindly,...

read more
The Science of Yoga, Part 6: Bringing It All Together

The Science of Yoga, Part 6: Bringing It All Together

In the last installment of this six-part series, Eddie Stern brings his analysis of Yoga and neuroscience to a close and a final, very illuminating conclusion. Let’s come back to Kriya Yoga to pull this all together. The components of Kriya Yoga, as mentioned earlier,...

read more
The Science of Yoga, Part 5: Yoga and the Brain Systems

The Science of Yoga, Part 5: Yoga and the Brain Systems

In this penultimate installment of this series on “The Science of Yoga,” Eddie Stern takes us for a further tour of the brain and its relationship with the kleshas, as taught in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Limbic System, Raga and Dvesha The limbic system is in...

read more
The Science of Yoga, Part 4: Yoga and Brain Functions

The Science of Yoga, Part 4: Yoga and Brain Functions

I wondered if I could look to Western neuroscience for clues on how, by working directly with the nervous system, we could pave a pathway to samadhi. I had an inkling through my studies of the autonomic nervous system—and in particular of homeostasis (the body’s...

read more
Light on the Yamas & Niyamas: Awakening to Ahimsa

Light on the Yamas & Niyamas: Awakening to Ahimsa

In this column, Rev. Dale Ann Gray offers reflections on the yamas and niyamas of the Yoga Sutras, incorporating insights from classical Nondual Yoga. In this article, she unpacks the first yama, ahimsa (non-violence, non-harming). In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,...

read more
The Science of Yoga, Part 3: The Five Kleshas

The Science of Yoga, Part 3: The Five Kleshas

In his translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Swami Satchidananda gives this introduction to the five kleshas: “Sri Patanjali gives the obstacles (kleshas), which will then be explained one by one. The order is significant: because of ignorance of...

read more
Light on the Yamas & Niyamas: Introduction

Light on the Yamas & Niyamas: Introduction

In this new column, Dale Ann Gray offers reflections on the yamas and niyamas of the Yoga Sutras, incorporating insights from classical Nondual Yoga. In this article, she offers an overview on the distinctions between the dualistic philosophy of Patanjali’s Yoga and...

read more
The Science of Yoga, Part 2: Kriya Yoga

The Science of Yoga, Part 2: Kriya Yoga

Patanjali called the things that cause us to suffer kleshas, or obstructions. He named five of them. The first, avidya, is that we do not fully know who we are. Avidya is often translated as ignorance. The ignorance it refers to is that, while we might know a lot...

read more
Raja Yoga Now: The Beginning

Raja Yoga Now: The Beginning

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali begins with a call that reverberates through the ages: Atha Yoganusasanam: Now the exposition of Yoga is being made. It is an invitation to seekers of truth everywhere, irrespective of place, time or circumstance. It offers a universal...

read more