How to get lost in the Yoga classics without feeling lost:
Classical Yoga philosophy represents the foundation for a yoga practice and is something every serious yoga practitioner ought to get familiar with. That being said, the texts can seem overwhelming and with the jungle of translations and publications out there, getting a clear overview of the basics is easier said than done.
Throughout this year, I have been taking an in-depth course in traditional Ashtanga Yoga where studying the classics has been at the core. Given how the course is coming to an end and exams are soon to be held, I am head-deep in my yoga books trying to get a grip of Patanjali’s wise words, the meaning behind the battle at Kurushetra and why doing sun salutations may bring about samadhi.
For sure, it is an adventure to dig into the origins of yoga and study its very core.
But, it is also challenging as the texts are not always easy to grasp and a lot is left for the reader to interpret as he or she wishes.
elephant journal, with its huge database on various themes related to yoga philosophy explained in a clear and easy-to-grasp manner, has been of significant help to me in grasping the essentials and translating the classics into my everyday life.
Given how I suspect I am not the only one feeling slightly more lost than found when it comes to yoga philosophy, here is a guide to articles on elephant journal that I have found most useful in the study of three essential classical works: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Maybe it can be of some use for not only my fellow students but also others who find it hard to put these “oldies” into a present context.
On the history and background of yoga:
On the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
On the Bhagavad Gita:
On the Hatha Yoga Pradipika:
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Editor: Cat Beekmans