Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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Mukesh Kumar

It is well acknowledged that practicing yoga can promote health and provide an alternate form of support for treating illnesses. Professional assistants in public health are increasingly becoming yoga instructors and therapists. Research shows that frequent practice of asanas, pranayama, and meditation, as well as adhering to the rules of a healthy diet and positive attitudes, has psychophysiological effects.

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What is Yoga Sutra?

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras is one of the six major Hindu shastras known as darshanas. The yoga sutras are regarded as scripture and philosophy and are fundamental to Hinduism and yoga. There are four chapters, or "books," in the Yoga Sutras, each of which covers a different facet of yoga practice.

Samadhi Pada

The first book, "Samadhi Pada," outlines the fundamental ideas of yoga and clarifies the idea of "samadhi," a state of intense concentration or meditation in which the practitioner unites with their actual nature.

Sadhana Pada

The "eight limbs of yoga" (ashtanga yoga), which are the Yama (moral observances), niyama (personal practices), asana (posture), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (enlightenment), is described in the second book, "Sadhana Pada" (the complete state of enlightenment)

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Vibhuti Pada

The third volume explores the subject of psychic abilities, or "siddhis," that may develop due to yoga practice and describes how they can be exploited to achieve spiritual freedom.

Kaivalya Pada

The fourth book, "Kaivalya Pada," discusses liberation and the state of "kaivalya," which is the culmination of yoga in which the individual self is freed from all traces of egoism, pain, and attachment.

Trance state in Patanjali Yoga Sutra and Hypnosis

Trance is linked to relaxation, a disinclination to communicate, unreality, misrepresentation, changes in perception, enhanced concentration, suspension of regular reality testing, and the transient nature of the phenomenon in both yoga and hypnosis. There are numerous similarities between the trance state of hypnosis and yoga, which can be thought of as a type of hypnosis. A person in a hypnotic trance is said to have "large weights on their belly while lying stretched in midair with supports only at his heads or ankles," contrary to the claims made about yogis who can walk over burning coal or lie on nails. Apart from this, little research has been done to determine whether yoga and hypnosis are similar.

Psychological concepts in Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Numerous principles in the Patanjali yoga sutras parallel and mimic ideas found in psychology.

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According to the Patanjali yoga sutras, the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious make up the mind or Chitta. According to the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, self-realization cannot occur until the Chitta vrittis stop acting or until the three Gunas no longer impact the Chitta. The mind can only perceive things as they are when identification with the external, objective world has ended. This is comparable to the psychological notion that we construct our worldview using schemas. Schemas organize our knowledge and presumptions about something and interpret and process information. They affect how we pay attention to situations and what we seek in them. The schemas are what direct our thought processes and information processing. The schemas we possess are used to understand every information we get from the outside world. One needs to examine this data apart from the schemas to understand it objectively. The Patanjali yoga sutras also contain roughly the same concept. According to Patanjali, the mind is shaped and conditioned by the likes, dislikes, and erroneous beliefs that it harbors.

Yogic Theory of Perception

The yogic theory of perception is also explained in the yoga sutras. According to this theory, even though an object is only one, different persons and times will see it differently depending on their mental states. This variation in perception allows objects to be capable of causing pleasure and pain, and suffering. When one's perception is freed from mental distortions, external occurrences no longer cause the person to feel pain or suffering. This is based on a similar idea to cognitive behavior therapy.

Conscious and Subconscious Memory

The idea of conscious and subconscious memory is also present in the yoga sutras. Conscious memory requires recalling previously experienced events, which differs from subconscious memory, the term for memories that a person is unaware of. This may appear in dreams, and the memories presented here are accurate memories of real occurrences. According to the sutras, conscious recollections are warped because we remember our impressions rather than what happened. This is consistent with the notion that memory is a process of reconstruction.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra as a Therapeutic Process

Divergent thinking is made possible by yoga sutras' practices, promoting awareness of several levels of brain activity. It directly affects one's ability to concentrate and pay attention. They also aid in focusing on broader experiences, including emotions of warmth, joy, and contentment and an overall sense of well-being. They help to broaden these present-day, historical, and prospective experiences. These make it easier to recreate dysfunctional realities.


Although Patanjali's yoga sutras operate under a preventive paradigm, whereas modern psychotherapy adopts a curative paradigm, there are similarities in the therapeutic approaches and the therapeutic benefits of hypnotherapy and Patanjali's yoga sutras. The trance experienced during yoga can be applied to contemporary psychotherapeutic procedures because it has already been mentioned that the ancient Indian paradigm of consciousness is holistic and connected to mental health.

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