Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Sutras 1.2-1.3
James Boag

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Illuminating discussion of Sankya! Thank you!!
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I have started an exploration of the Yoga Sutras with my Sanskrit teacher - a study of the original text and a comparative study of 7 translations. Coming back to James' analysis is very helpful, once again!
I am starting (under the guidance of my teacher) to prepare a little introduction to this text to some YTT students at the studio where I did my own YTT. Once again - I am so grateful to James for his exceptional analysis. What a wonderful resource.
I hear through the YA grapevine that James may be returning to provide an exposition of sankhya! Please please please!! This would be a brilliant addition to this course on Chapter 1...
I began this course today and am totally enjoying it. James’ teaching is wonderful, clear and expertly presented with kindness, understanding and gentle humour. I was awestruck by the invocation to Ganesha and after listing to the first lesson/Sutre I cried. Your explanation of the importance of aligning and understanding the self just hit me with clarity and emotion. I’m a qualified YTT200 yoga teacher that is looking for more and your excellent teaching of this first vital Sutre just blew me away and gave me the true explanation/translation I needed.
Thankyou Thankyou. Namaste Lou xx
Thanks for your encouraging and positive feedback Louise. I hope you continue to find the Sūtra-s course enjoyable and useful. I am looking forward to recording some more content for Yoga Anytime soon. Also, if you would be interested in attending online courses or eventually live immersions, please send me an email at if you would like to sign up for my newsletter where I announce the courses and programs I am offering.
It is good to hear a different interpretation of Sūtra 1.2 which is so often translated as stopping of thoughts.  It makes sense of course, thoughts never stop and it is helpful to think of this as checking that all the parts are working together in harmony, thank you for the super clear explanation!  And Sūtra 1.3 then, is it that when we get to the state of checking and harmonising we are able to recognise all the parts of who we are?  As a detached "seer"?
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Thanks Caroline, with regard to 1.3, like all the sūtra-s, they are 'valid at multiple layers', or what might be termed 'polyvalent' in French. So what you say here is definitely part of it. As the vṛtti-s of our citta become more nirodhaḥ, then yes, we can see/understand more of who we are and see different parts more clearly. At the same time, the reading that when the system is integrated and thoughts suspend, then rises the experience of pure awareness, is also valid. I hope this is clear enough!
Clear enough James, you remind me that yoga works on multiple levels, and that I need to listen to / read the sūtra again and again because my "habit" guides me to my / an interpretation, seeing the bigger picture is the name of the game!! Thank you !!
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