Glimpses of Raja Yoga

Glimpses of Raja Yoga

An Introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
By Vimala Thakar
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Shambhala Publications
Pages: 128
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 9781930485075
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In Glimpses of Raja Yoga, Vimala Thakar introduces the basic concepts of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras by focusing on a different sutra, or aphorism, in each of the twelve chapters. In her opening chapter, she presents the historical and cultural background of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga. Chapter 2 contains an eloquent invocation of the dimension of Silence—the meditative state that one enters with the stilling of the mind. Chapters 3–6 examine the ethical principles and observances (the yamas and niyamas) that form the foundation of a healthy spiritual practice. Here Vimala discusses the importance of ahimsa (non-violence) and satya (truthfulness), and offers a radical interpretation of brahmacarya based on her understanding of Sanskrit. Chapter 7 concerns the kleshas or causes of suffering such as avidya (ignorance) and asmita (egotism). Chapter 8 discriminates between dharana (meditation with deliberate focus) and dhyana (effortless meditation), and reflects Vimala’s own experience. Chapter 9 describes the relation of prakriti (matter) and purusha (spirit) according to Patanjali. Chapters 10–12 describe the ultimate goal of the yogic journey—the absolute freedom of samadhi.
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"Despite yoga’s popularity, many students are unaware of the depth of its philosophy, its roots, and its applications. Vimala Thakar offers a remedy in Glimpses of Raja Yoga: An Introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. With scrupulous attention to language, she presents a clear interpretation of yoga’s timeless principles in ways that inspire and encourage. A careful reading will provide a better understanding of the basic concepts of yoga philosophy and, more important, help you to live your understanding." —Judith Hanson Lasater, PhD, PT, author of 30 Essential Yoga Poses: For Beginning Students and Their Teachers

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