Philosophie Du Yoga Patanjali

The Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali is a school of Indian philosophy that dates back to the 2nd century BCE. Founded by ancient sage Patanjali, it is one of six classical systems of Hindu thought and encompasses the eight “limbs” of yoga laid out in his seminal work, the Yoga Sutras. All forms of classical yoga trace their roots back to this foundational text.

The core philosophy of this school centers on the concept of purusha (innate consciousness), prakriti (the material world) and sanskrita (the evolving cause and effect relationship between the two). It is these three forces that serve as pillars for all other teachings found within the system.

Principles & Practices; Karma & Samsara At its core, philosophie du yoga believes that all reality consists of purusha and prakriti in perfect equilibrium, where each serves to balance out the other. When this balance is disturbed, it results in an imbalance which creates desire, or kama. The goal then becomes to restore equilibrium by cultivating understanding through knowledge and practice.

This involves a lifestyle that includes self-control, deep contemplation, meditation and physical exercise such as hatha yoga. In line with this notion, philosophie du yoga also teaches about karma – actions which create consequences – and samsara – cycles of karma created by false desires – both intended to help individuals focus on gaining spiritual insight rather than materialistic gains.

Yoga: Asana & Pranayama Patanjali’s system emphasizes physical postures called asanas along with localized breathing exercises known as pranayama designed to channel life force energy (prana) throughout the body while freeing the practitioner from distractions due to mental tension or emotional turbulence.

Collectively termed yogic practices they are intended to help prepare students for deeper levels stillness allowing them access states of creative clarity which can lead revelation and ultimately liberation from suffering caused by attachment to conceptual understanding or sense objects – something considered essential for revolution attainment.

Key Ideas of the Patanjali

Patanjali is one of the most influential figures in the history of yoga. Not only did he codify the eight limbs of yoga into what we now refer to as the Yoga Sutras, but his writing and teaching also provided us with a philosophical framework for understanding yogic practice. Here are some key ideas from Patanjali’s philosophy:

  • The concept of Isvara or ‘the Lord’ – Patanjali believed that pure consciousness (purusha) was experienced through controlling the fluctuations of mind (chitta). Isvara is an object of concentration that provides stability and focus to these meditations.
  • Kleshas – The five afflictions or kleshas include avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (attachment), dvesha (aversion) and abhinivesha (fear of death). These cause suffering in life, which can be avoided through self-inquiry and meditation.
  • Virtuous Actions – Patanjali’s philosophy emphasises virtuous actions, particularly those related to right conduct (yama) and right effort (niyama). He argued that by engaging in virtuous behaviours, one can become free from karmic bondage and attain enlightenment.
  • Yoga Practice – In addition to his teachings on reincarnation and karma, Patanjali outlines a system for attaining spiritual liberation through eight “limbs” or stages of yogic practice. This includes practices such as asana (postures), pranayama (breath control) and dharana (concentration).

Patanjali’s teachings form a cornerstone of modern Hinduism. His emphasis on transforming the mind through meditation allowed later generations to interpret their traditional religion in a more spiritual way. As such, he is seen as having contributed significantly to the development of both Yoga and Hinduism.

In Patanjali’s text, he outlines three main paths which lead towards enlightenment; karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga. Karma yoga focuses on selfless action; while bhakti revolves around devotion; finally jnana aims at realising knowledge about Brahman through contemplation.

These three paths are interrelated as they are all tools a soul needs in order to reach moksha – liberation or separation from samsara – karma put together throughout various life cycles according to Hindu belief systems. Moreover, each practice prepares individuals to acquire deeper knowledge by developing morality firstly before attempting spiritual practices such as Pratyahara – perception withdrawal from sensory objects – the fifth limb outlined under Raja Yoga according to Yogasutra.

Pratyahara helps sharpen cognitive skills by removing distractions present within inner thoughts manifested as cravings for sense pleasures; observing silence during this intense practice allows aspirants to absorb more deeply complex concepts revolving around nature – essential part being five great elements explained under Samkhya philosophy-.

Natural connection with elemental forces thus strengthens when practiced regularly by restraining overindulgence – one of many niyamas described within yogasutras – leading individual closer towards ultimate integration with environment around oneself allowing pondering on higher subjects such as Brahman/ Purusha without much obstruction.

The Influence of the Patanjali on Yoga

One of the most revered philosophers within in yogic tradition is Patanjali. Widely celebrated as the author of the Yoga Sutras, his influence on yoga has been immense and far reaching. The Yoga Sutras comprises 195 aphorisms, written in concise sutra form, offering incisive advice to those looking for a spiritual guidance on living a moral life filled with purpose and presence.

Patanjali delineated clear criteria for how to do this through his Eight Limbs of Yoga. These limbs include yama, or self-imposed social code; niyama or our own personal code of conduct; asanas or postures; pranayama or breath control practices; pratyahara withdrawal from senses; dharana, focus and concentration; dhyana meditation and samadhi relinquishment of ego in deeper states of consciousness.

This eight fold path also places as much emphasis on lifestyle and morality – santosha (contentment); tapas (self-discipline), sv nidra (awareness) – as it does on meditation practice and postures.

To summarize the influence that Patanjali’s philosophy has had on modern day yoga:

  • He articulated an eightfold philosophical system known as ashtanga yoga.
  • These components include yama, niyama, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
  • The philosophy puts an emphasis on lifestyle choices such as self-discipline and contentment.
  • His teachings have influenced modern day practitioners who are striving for mental clarity and physical health.

Exploring the Eight Limbs of the Patanjali

The disciplines of the Patanjali yoga system are collectively known as the ‘eight limbs’. This is a collection of practices that forms both the essence and foundation for a path of spiritual realization. Each of these eight limbs contain essential keys for mastering one’s physical and mental wellbeing, in order to ultimately attain enlightenment or nirvana.

Why Is Yoga Philosophy So Vague

Yama and Niyama

The first two limbs, Yama and Niyama, are both considered to be moral codes aiding in maintaining right attitudes towards life. The Yama focuses on refraining from harmful thoughts or behaviors towards others, whereas Niyama focuses more on personal discipline. Examples of Yama and Niyama include celibacy, truthfulness, forgiveness non-violence (Ahimsa), austerity (Tapas), contentment(Santosa), purity (Shaucha) and study (Swadhyaya).


The third limb of the Patanjali yoga system is Asana – physical postures which help to enhance our awareness of body, breath and mind. This helps to develop focus, concentration powers as well as physical strength and flexibility. It is important for practitioners to keep their minds centered on each posture in order to achieve its full benefits.


The fourth limb is Pratyahara – the detachment from sensory pleasures such as sight or sound. Practitioners must train themselves not only to control their senses but also to not be overtly affected by them in order to maintain inner balance when faced with external stimulus. The ultimate goal is being able to direct energy inward towards spiritual cultivation instead of outward towards gratifying wants or needs externally.


The fifth limb Dharana develops concentration further through single-minded focus achieved during meditation practice. One learns to draw energy within instead of dissipating it widely all around; this will lead sutdents onto meditative states more easily and profoundly.

With enough dedication one can improve his ability till he can enter into trance state with concentration at will like advanced yogis do even after normalization from extreme states like samadhi can still resume higher stages easily due its internal structure built aerobically by himself prior entering deeper meditative realms unknown before hand at initial stage itself.

Goals and Benefits of the Patanjali

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras by Patanjali is one of the most important works in classical yogic tradition. It offers an eight-fold path for the practitioner to achieve moksha (liberation), or spiritual enlightenment. This liberation and freedom come through mastering body, mind, and spirit, which can be achieved through rigorous practices like meditation, concentration, mantra (chanting).

The sutras provide a systematic approach towards understanding and pursuing yoga as a philosophy and practice. According to the sutras, yoga contains three interconnected goals:

  • Kriya Yoga – Through right action, discipline and engagement with the physical (body) aspects of yoga
  • Bhakti Yoga – Through devotion to the divine and forming a spiritual relationship with God
  • Jnana Yoga – Through exploration of inner wisdom and knowledge

Patanjali’s work also describes six obstacles that will impede one’s progress towards enlightenment: ignorance (avidya), afflictions (klesas), addictive egoism (Ahamkara), unfulfilled desires (Viksepa), fatigue (styana) and inability to retain knowledge (smrtibrady). These blocks are seen as hindrances on the path toward achieving higher states of consciousness which are essential in experiencing deep joys and peace within ourselves.

Core Practices

Patanjaili stresses practice over theory in his writing on yoga. The core principles he promotes all build upon each other to provide a practical framework for engaging with the world around us. He focuses on five primary practices that will lead us towards experiencing yoga: tapas, svadhyaya, isvara pradha na, pratyahara dan dharana.

  • Tapas: Tapas refers to practicing self-discipline, including physical activity such as poses practiced in yoga.
  • Svadhyaya: Svadhyaya is a term used for study of scriptures that bring knowledge about oneself.
  • Ishvara Pradhana: Ishvara Pradhana is about surrendering oneself to the divine powers.
  • Pratyhara: Pratyahara is about redirecting external awareness inward towards deeper reflection.
  • Dharana : Dharana involves focusing closely on an object or thought without distraction, cultivating alertness.

Common Practices Explained

The philosophy of Patanjali is an ancient practice that unites the body, mind, and spirit. It’s most widely associated with traditional forms of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga. This practice utilizes certain physical postures, philosophies, breathing techniques, and meditation to achieving a union between the three aspects of the self.

Patanjali talks about Yama and Niyama (self-restraints) as part of this philosophy. Yama includes abstaining from harming or lying to others while Niyana is related to inner practices and contains precepts such as cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline and study.

One of the key principles to living according to Patanjali’s philosophy is cultivating an attitude of gratitude for all aspects of life – no matter how small they may seem; coupled with an openness to both struggles and successes in all its forms. Here are some practical tips you can use when it comes to bringing Patanjali’s teachings into your daily life:

  • Start each day with intention – make them deliberate actions that resonate with Patanjali’s teachings.
  • Try not to let yourself become attached to any outcome or material gains.
  • Practice non-judgement – treat everyone impartially without forming snap judgements.
  • Learn about your limits – start doing things that push those boundaries but don’t overdo it.
  • Remain curious – regularly try out new activities or ideas if you’re feeling stuck in a rut.

In Yoga classes guided by the Patanjali philosophy, instructors often teach their students how other practices contribute to this path – such as aromatherapy, chanting mantras and studying scriptures. They also help students understand how integrating these techniques into everyday life can create harmony within themselves through simplicity – living consciously rather than returning unconsciously too often behaviour patterns; one day very idealistic decisions could be made on sheer emotionality without taking into consideration logical arguments.

Finally, Patanjali practitioners believe in being humble and acknowledge our smallness within this large universe; understanding that everything we do has an impact on the world around us: Love yourself first before loving others.

Common Misconceptions About the Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali

The Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali is a philosophical system developed in India thousands of years ago. It aims to help us to understand the nature of reality and our place within it. However, despite its ancient origins, the philosophy is still misunderstood by many. Here are some common misconceptions about Patanjali’s philosophy:

  • 1. That it is a religion – Patanjali’s philosophy does not require any specific religious beliefs or practices and is open to spiritual seekers of all backgrounds.
  • 2. That it only focuses on physical poses – although postures do have a place within the practice, the Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali entails more than just asana (posture). It also encompasses meditation, pranayama (breathwork), contemplation, and lifestyle choices related to diet and exercise.
  • 3. That it solely promotes self-fulfillment – while both mental and physical well being can be achieved through following the core principles of Patanjali’s philosophy, another fundamental focus of the system is achieving harmony with others in our lives.

In his treatise ‘Yoga Sutras’, Patanjali outlines 8 steps aimed at achieving dharma (righteous living) through understanding our true self (atman). The first two steps involve ethical observance (yama) and individual discipline (niyama). From here we progress into posture (asana) and breathwork (pranayama), before focusing on sense withdrawal (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and ultimately absorption into universal consciousness (samadhi). By following these practices we aim to free ourselves from suffering by realising that all phenomena are transient.

Challenges of the Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali

One of the many challenges presented by the Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali is its antiquity. It is believed to be a comprehensive compilation of yogic principles that were written Down in 200 BCE.

This practical guide on how to earn and enact yoga is written in Sanskrit, a language that in some parts is very difficult to comprehend or interpret accurately. As such, modern practitioners of this ancient practice must rely on translations to gain a true understanding of the text.

Exploration of the Eight Limbs of Yoga

The Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali contains eight individual limbs that outline the various aspects of yoga. These eight limbs are divided into three separate categories: outer (orthodox) practices, inner practices (yogic), and spiritual disciplines (sadhana).

The first two limbs are concerned with external practices such as postures and respiration, while the remaining six limbs focus on internal practices such as concentration and meditation. Each limb carries within it a unique set of qualities which must be understood and developed for the practitioner to progress spiritually through yoga practice.

Unpacking Yogic Texts

The challenge remains in deciphering symbolism found in ancient texts, such as those found within the Philosophie du Yoga Patanjali, so that practitioners may not only attempt to replicate a given posture or breathing technique but also gain insight into what deeper meaning these elements are meant to represent for metaphysical growth.

To assist with this exploration it is important to utilize resources from other ethical systems like morality or psychology; by combining these teachings with those found in yogic texts we can gain a greater understanding both on an experiential level as well as philosophical level of yogic teaching and principles.

Resources for Further Exploration

Paragraph 1 Patanjali’s philosophy of yoga has been highly influential over thousands of years and continues to shape the practice of yoga today. Developed in India, this philosophy emphasizes a holistic approach that can be used to improve physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. To better understand this philosophy, one might explore further resources such as books, articles, and videos.

Paragraph 2 Books concerning Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra provide insight into his teachings as well as useful advice for proper interpretation of his writings. An example includes “The Heart Of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice” by renowned teacher TKV Desikachar. This book serves as an excellent introduction to yogic philosophy and contains guidelines that are still relevant in today’s practice.

Articles from various sources also offer perspectives on the application of Patanjali’s teachings in modern times. In-depth pieces like “The Art of Reinterpretation: Exploring the Young Modern Shala” give detailed overviews on how ancient wisdom is being reinterpreted in our current world.

Paragraph 3 Finally, videos make up a great portion of available resources for learning about yoga philosophy. Expertise from teachers like Kino MacGregor provides her students with informative teachings and encourages them to develop their own understanding of ancient yogic wisdom.

Additionally, short clips like “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra – The Eight Limbs Explained Quickly” give succinct breakdowns on each limb for those with busy lives or limited attention span. Those looking for more visual guidance may appreciate videos featuring guided instruction like Dana Falsetta’s “Yoga: Inner Transformation through Breath Work & Asana (Patanjali Style).

  • The Heart Of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice
  • The Art of Reinterpretation: Exploring the Young Modern Shala
  • “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra – The Eight Limbs Explained Quickly”
  • “Yoga: Inner Transformation through Breath Work & Asana (Patanjali Style)”


When looking into the philosophies of the ancient yoga practice known as Patanjali, it quickly becomes evident that there is a powerful effect that these views have on mind and body wellness.Patanjali put forward eight key ‘limbs’ or ‘paths’ which planned out a journey to spiritual self-realization.

The first five limbs relate to the external practices of yoga in designed to reduce the presence of physical and mental distractions and bring about the peace and stillness necessary for meditation.

The last three limbs reflect a shift from focusing on the outside world to one’s inner Self. The sixth limb explores developing an attitude of serenity so that our thoughts may come to rest, enabling us experience deeper levels of concentration.

Moving further inward through pranayama (breath control) brings us into connection with our energies, allowing mental clarity and understanding, whilst connecting with our subtle vibrations within (the seventh limb). Through regular practice meditation is discovered (the eighth limb), leading us closer towards finding our True Self and establishing an inner peace that can stay with us no matter what situations are encountered in life.

In conclusion, connecting with yogic philosophy has allowed for greater perspectives towards mindfulness and living authentically. By exploring what Patanjali proposed thousands of years ago, we have managed to bring about balance between our physical body and energy system whilst also allowing space for personal growth spiritually as well as mentally.

Listening mindfully gives us inner guidance; encouraging us both downwind towards our personal goals as well as societal ones. Therefore, incorporating this wisdom within everyday life could prove immensely beneficial to overall well being not only in ourselves but also in those surrounding us too – A special reminder that we each carry within to be present in all aspects of life on this beautiful earth full of love, light & joy.

Send this to a friend