Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Yoga Sutra Skype Study Group

by Randall Krause

The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is one of the central texts of Yoga composed at least 2000 years ago.  Comprised of approximately 196 sutras, or aphorisms, which lay out the philosophy and practices of yoga. An understanding of this text is essential for both yoga teachers and aspirants.  

The Yoga Sutras are as relevant today as they were when they were written and they provide a roadmap for living skillfully and joyfully.  In addition to an introduction and overview of the Yoga Sutras, we will focus on some key sutras and consider how they can be applied in our own day to day lives.

A year ago, when in India attending a seminar with Swami Veda Bharati, my preceptor in the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition, he asked the crowd how many there had studied the Yoga Sutras, and very few people raised their hands. This surprised me, because Swami Veda Bharati is one of the foremost experts on the Yoga Sutras alive today, and so few of his students had studied the sutras. So, with the permission of Swami Ritavan Bharati, who is in charge of the Ashram [Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama], I offered those present an opportunity to form a virtual Yoga Sutra study group via Skype. Several people, from all over the world, expressed an interest and gave me their email addresses. Out of this, two Yoga Sutra Skype study groups formed, one for Europe and one for India, and have been ongoing since. We meet approximately every other week for an hour, at a time convenient to all. 

At our sessions, we chant each sutra we’re learning that day in Sanskrit, and then I do an introduction to the sutra, followed up by group discussion. The goal is not to memorize the sutra, but to understand it and see how it might in our own daily lives. Several of the students have told me that they really enjoy the sessions.

The European group moved all the way through the first Chapter of the Sutras, and is beginning the second. This seemed like a good time to invite more people to join in, and Carolyn Hume placed my announcement on the Ahymsin Facebook page and quite a few people expressed an interest and have been invited to join the upcoming sessions.

If you would like to join, please email me at [email protected] .  You could join the groups already ongoing, or if there is enough interest, we might start a new group.

Editor’s Note:

Randall is registered as an experienced yoga instructor (E-RYT500) with Yoga Alliance, is a member of the faculty and senior mentor of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP), is director at Himalayan Yoga Meditation—Los Angeles (Hym-la) and is webmaster at www.bindu.org


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