May 17, 2011
As one whose early exposure to yoga, many years ago, was in the introductory phases of 'hatha' yoga, or that having to do specifically with postures of the body and the physical benefits that came from them, I've had my eyes opened wider to a much broader and deeper world that the sutras describe. I knew this world existed because I've read about the yogis, their practices, and their devoted followers for many years. This book, however, is the first I've read that actually makes an attempt to lay down a systematic path for this deeper understanding.
Bachman, who teaches Sanskrit, ayurveda, chanting, and other yoga-related topics has assembled a wonderful guide to the central terms and disciplines of the yoga sutras of Patanjali. He has structured the book in a way that begins, logically, with the outer disciplines of the sutras and moves the reader through the explanations of the terms and ideas that illuminate the path to yogic enlightenment. The reader is told at every step that one must “do the work” and understand that the path is one of self-discipline and inner discovery that cannot be glossed over. Each premise/chapter has thoughts and exercises to ponder and practice. He explains that while the physical disciplines of yoga are helpful in gaining control of the body, the path of the sutras has a higher spiritual goal, which can only be obtained through deeper study and dedication to each of the principles set forth in the book. This book is a wonderful exploration of the deeper realms of yoga, the lifestyle it promotes, and the benefits that such a lifestyle can bring: namely, peace of mind and spirit, and the ability to allow one’s inner light to shine forth uninhibited. I can easily recommend this book to those who want to know more about the teachings of Patanjali and the benefits of a yoga-devoted life.