Studying the Yoga Sutras

Art: Henck van Bilsen

Art: Henck van Bilsen

The Yoga sutras have eluded my understanding for a long time. I have tried to read about the Yoga Sutras in the past but nothing seemed to sink in, and I was convinced that the study of the Sutras was probably reserved for the true Yoga scholar. During a couple of my 500-hr training courses, we had a wonderful teacher - Chase Bossart - who weaved the teachings of the Yoga Sutras with the study of Meditation and Yoga. Everything was starting to make sense, and I found myself wanting to know more about Pantanjali’s approach to Yogic studies. So I signed up for the online Yoga Sutras course with Yoga Well Institute.

What I found fascinating was how each Sutra was broken down - word for word - and each word applied to life as we live it today. There was no - “You have to go live in the mountains and give up all worldly desires in order to be enlightened!”. The beauty of the Yoga Sutras, and specifically Chapter 2, is that Pantanjali recognized that we are all human with the same wants, needs and desires - and in understanding our own behavior we can quiet the mind to better manage our desires and strive for a deeper human experience.


Since starting the course in December of last year, I find a noticeable change in myself. In adding the reflection on the weekly lectures to my daily Yoga and Meditation practice, my mind has slowed down for the better. I’m able to navigate through the mental clutter and discard the unnecessary thoughts. I now give myself permission to feel angry, sad, and even joyful, knowing that these are all feelings that come and go. In feeling (not repressing) emotions we can truly allow ourselves to be free.

I’m not perfect, and Yoga isn’t about aspiring to perfection. I have my ups and downs just like everyone else, but now I have the right tools in my chest to guide me on my journey. If you feel stuck, unsure about how to handle life’s challenges, or are generally a curious Yoga nerd like myself, do sign up for the online Yoga Sutras class with Chase Bossart. We will begin the study of Chapter 1 on March 31st (2016). You never know what you might discover about yourself!

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disclaimer: These are my personal thoughts and opinions. I am not being compensated for this or any other posts on this website.