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In our yoga teacher training programs in Hamilton, Vancouver, Victoria, (but also in Banff, Jasper Calgary. Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Halifax. St Johns), one of the main topics covered in the program is learning about the sutras? 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 bases of classical yoga philosophy and is made up of 196 sutras (‘threads’ or discourses).
The 196 sutras are compartmentalized into four topical books:
- Samadhi panda (what yoga is)
- Sadhana panda (how to gain a yogic state)
- Vibhuti panda (benefits of practicing yoga regularly)
- Kaivalya panda (liberation or freedom from suffering)
Patanjali was a Sage and the Sutras are described as practical wisdom. They are meant to be studies and meditated on by spiritual followers of yoga. By following the sutras, you provide meaning and purpose to your life (yogainternational.com).
To illustrate, one of these sutras or guidelines is discussed below:
Yoga International defines ‘Yoga Sutra 1.1 Recitation’ as: “To gain a direct experience of yoga, you must commit yourself to methodical practice” (yogainternational.com).
Methodical practice has a number of prerequisites.
The first is to be clear about why you are taking up yoga. What is it you are seeking? Things we want to get rid of? What’s missing from your life? Be as specific as possible. Setting some clear goals will minimize the possibility of you no realizing a methodical practice.
Although one practice of yoga may bring immediate benefits, regular practice can bring the many benefits outlined above. Yoga International suggests studying under a competent teacher (or taking classes that you enjoy!). Further, Yoga international suggests studying, or practicing under a competent teacher is best.