I should have started with this blog before we went into the 8 limbs of Yoga, but I guess better late than never.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the basic philosophical writings on Yoga. The language of the Sutras is Sanskrit, and 'Sutra' means 'summary, essence'. A Sutra can be just 3 short words yet the meaning of it can be explained in pages after pages. It is condensed into a short statement. Think about a zip file, how it expands when you open it up.
In the Yoga Sutras there are 196 Sutras organised into 4 chapters. They were compiled by the sage Patanjali around 2000 years ago (exact dates vary here).
The 4 Chapters are as follows:
1st Chapter consists of 51 Sutras and is related to Union - Samadhi (mediation)
2nd Chapter consists of 55 Sutras and is related to Practice - Sadhana (detailing the 8 limbs of Yoga)
3rd Chapter consists of 56 Sutras and is related to Powers - Vibhuti (special Yogic powers)
4th Chapter consists of 34 Sutras and is related to Liberation - Kaivalya (realisation of ourselves)
picture credit: unknown
Let's look at an example.
Right at the beginning there is a Sutra in Chapter 1.2 which explains what Yoga is:<