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What are the yoga sutras

What are the yoga sutras 1

Yoga sutra

The history of yoga goes back five millennia. This physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual practice born in India was originally based on texts called yogas sutras .

Definition of Yoga

Yoga sutra


Before becoming westernized, yoga was essentially based on texts in Sanskrit: yogas sutras.

  • They were written by Patanjali who wrote them around 200 BC.
  • Yoga sutras are a collection of sentences or short statements, also called aphorisms.

These 195 aphorisms have an inspiring and philosophical scope and are at the base:

  • of yoga,
  • and more widely of all Indian philosophy.

The currents that are probably inspired by this are:

  • the Iyengar Yoga
  • the yoga of Energy.

Their primary goal is to achieve purification of the mind.

The 4 chapters of yoga sutras

The 195 aphorisms are divided into 4 chapters:

  • the first chapter deals particularly with concentration,
  • the 2nd chapter deals with spiritual practice,
  • the third chapter deals with yoga techniques to achieve higher states of consciousness,
  • the fourth chapter deals with a state called liberation: it is the ultimate stage which is the goal of yoga.

This last stage is attained with patience and above all a diligent and rigorous practice: so do not expect to reach it at the first yoga classes.

Yogas sutras: the 5 founding principles of yoga

5 great principles flow from yogas sutras. If they are observed in practice, these principles bring the practitioner to a global harmony:



The choice of exercise.

  • The exercise must be appropriate.
  • There is no question of mistreating your body by improperly exercising or exercising contraindicated to our state of health.
See also  Is enlightenment overrated?

The correct breathing.

  • Breathing has a primary place in yoga.
  • Each movement is punctuated by breathing.
  • Doing an exercise without knowing how to breathe correctly would not help.

The correct relaxation.

  • The exercise practiced with proper breathing must also be done with the correct presence of the practitioner.
  • The thought should not wander during practice.
  • This brings a certain concentration on the present moment, but at the same time the mental emptiness of all that does not concern present action and relaxation.


  • Less common in the West, this principle is however essential in the yoga of India.
  • Also include the concept of vegetarianism and a healthy diet for the good health of the body.
  • This principle is also found in Ayurveda.

Concentration / meditation.

This principle is both related to mind and spirituality.

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