Study a seminal text of the yoga tradition...

Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali


  • Discover the foundational text of classical yoga
  • Discern facts from fictions about yoga philosophy
  • Deepen your practice through a greater grasp of yoga's concepts
  • Study with celebrated Sanskrit scholar, Edwin Bryant

This course offers

the unique opportunity to learn

  • foundational Sanskrit concepts,
  • apply this knowledge to personal yoga teaching and practice,
  • and study with the scholar who wrote the most popular translation of the Yoga Sūtras today.

The Yoga Sūtras is the classical text on meditative practice accepted as authoritative by all the orthodox Hindu schools.

Your reading of it will be informed by the primary commentaries that have elaborated on the source text over the centuries prior to the colonial period.

You will thus read the most important sections of the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali yoga and engage it through pre-modern perspectives.

You will encounter what yoga has meant in Indian traditions for two millennia prior to being transplanted to the West.


Are you ready to explore yoga beyond the mat or want to deepen your knowledge of yoga philosophy with the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject? Many yoga workshops and teacher trainings pay little attention to a close reading of yoga's core texts; but doing so is central to a deep and sensitive understanding of yoga's philosophy.

This course will undertake a close reading of yoga as presented in the traditional Hindu sourcebook on the subject, the 3rd century Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, where it is defined as “the stilling of all states of mind” (i.e. meditative practices).

Yoga Philosophy

Participants in this course will learn how to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the primary commentaries of the Yoga Sūtras
  • Read and unpack the most important sections of the text
  • Engage with the Yoga Sūtras through pre-modern perspectives
  • Encounter what yoga has meant in Indian traditions prior to being transplanted to the West
  • Cover the important concepts of the Yoga Sūtras and how its metaphysical underpinnings differ from other classical yogic texts


8 Pre-Recorded Lectures

Bonus Meditations

Course Readings

Three Bonus Resources




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In the introduction to the course, we will have a brief discussion on some of the earliest pre-Patañjalian expressions on yoga; the definition and goal of classical Yoga.



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In module 2, we will discuss the five vrttis and the ingredients of nirodha.



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Samādhi, Iśvara: the theistic element in the sūtras.



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The module will go cover the klesas - obstacles to enlightenment.



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In module 5, we will discuss the ultimate cause of suffering; karma and reincarnation



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In Module 6, we will take an in-depth look at the limbs of Patañjalian yoga: Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.



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In this module, we will explore the third pada of the Yoga Sutras that describe the siddhis, the mystic powers that can be attained through rigorous and disciplined practice.



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In the final module of this course, we will go through the fourth pada of the text and learn about yoga’s response to the Buddhist Idealist school and explore a few other concluding sūtras.

Study with Professor Edwin Bryant, who wrote the go-to translation of the Yoga Sūtras, in addition to many other accessible and scholarly texts on Hindu philosophy & the yoga tradition.


Ph.D., Professor of Hindu Religion and Philosophy

Department of Religion, Rutgers University

Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published eight books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community.

As a personal practitioner of yoga for 35 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with sensitivity towards traditional knowledge systems. In addition to his academic course load, Edwin currently teaches workshops on the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Hindu Philosophy at yoga studios and teacher training courses throughout the country. His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is specifically dedicated to contributing to the growing body of literature on yoga by providing insights from the major pre-modern commentaries on the text with a view to grounding the teachings in their traditional context.

Three Additional Bonuses Available for a Limited Time...

Vedanta is the core philosophy of Hinduism. It is based on the texts known as the Upanishads, which themselves form the highest teachings of the Vedas, the very ancient scriptures of the Hindus. What is the central teaching of Advaita Vedanta? What is the Advaita view of the world, individual, bondage and liberation? What are its methods and how can we make Advaita practical in our daily lives?

The Yoga Sutra has been the "go-to" text for the study and practice of Yoga since the emergence of Yoga in its modern form more than a century ago. This talk will highlight key features of how to use this text in the context of a Yoga class. Particular attention will be given to its ethical content, its meditation instructions, its psychological insights, and its underlying freedom-affirming philosophy.

The Yoga Sutras

Mastering the Game of Life

Teaching the Yoga Sūtras
with Christopher Key Chapple


Spirituality & Philosophy of the Upanishads

In every game, there is a goal, a purpose behind the game’s actions. It is usually the first thing about a game that we learn. This is because it is only when we understand the goal and keep it in mind that the rules of the game start to make sense. Additionally, the rules – the list of actions that are allowed or disallowed – help make the game an interesting challenge.

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Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

8 Modules | 16 Hours of Educational Videos

One-Time Payment


/ $249

8-Module Course

  • 8 Pre-Recorded Lectures
  • 16 Hours of Video Content
  • PDF Readings
  • BONUS 1: Tarka Issue "On the Scholar-Practitioner" (PDF)
  • BONUS 2: Teaching the Yoga Sutras (Video Workshop)
  • BONUS 3: 2022 Meditation Album (Audio)

Join scholar-practitioner, Dr. Edwin Bryant in a comprehensive exploration of one of the yoga tradition's most seminal texts.