Patanjali was a great sage who systemized and organized the study and teachings of yoga. He was not the first teacher of yoga, nor is he considered to be the originator of yoga science. But Patanjali was the one who developed a code for yoga science. His approach is very practical as he was a scientist and great philosopher who understood life. Patanjali organized the study of the internal human states into one hundred and ninety-six sutras.
The word sutra means “a string”, and the yoga sutras are connected with each other; one flows to the next.
Within the Yoga Sutras we come to what is known as “The Eight Limbs of Patanjali” or ashtanga yoga (ashta = eight, anga = limb). These eight steps act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature. It is believed that by following this path we can work towards obtaining samadhi or union with the divine.
Despite being thousands of years old, the sutras still have relevance today and the Inner Yoga teacher training in Bali uses them as a guide for their 200-hour yoga certification course. The 8 Limbs of Yoga act as a moral and philosophical direction for both the Inner Yoga Training teachers in terms of how they conduct themselves and the yoga teacher training; and they guide the overall philosophy of Inner Yoga Training as a Yoga Alliance Certified School.
While they may appear simple, each sutra carries a deep meaning. But we want to keep things simple for the purposes of this article, and if you decide to join our 200-hour yoga teacher training in Bali, you will look at them on a much deeper level.