Nicolai Bachman has been teaching Sanskrit, Ayurveda, chanting, and yoga-related topics for over 15 years. He is the author of several book-and-CD learning tools including The Language of Yoga and The Yoga Sutras, the first home-study course of its kind.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Bachman writes, offer the complex and multidimensional philosophy of yoga as "a method of transforming the way we think, communicate, and act by directing our attention inward and cultivating inner contentment." A masterwork in the Hindu tradition, it contains 195 aphorisms divided into four chapters.
Bachman has brilliantly re-organized these sutras into 51 concepts and five parts:
• Key Principles
• Understanding Suffering
• Outer Behavior
• Personal Practices
• Inner Development
Each of the concepts is covered with a commentary, quotations, and exercises for individual or group use. Bachman's treatment of "Nonhoarding," for example, begins with a quotation by Henry David Thoreau: "It is preoccupations with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly." In his commentary, Bachman considers the ways in which we are temporary custodians of our belongings. In "Thoughts" he writes: "The more stuff we have on the outside, the less time we have to go inside." Here's one of three exercises he suggests: "Think of ways you can reduce your consumption, or reuse or recycle what you have."
Bachman is to be commended for putting together this important resource which makes the ideas and practices of the original Yoga Sutras both accessible and relevant. Here are some of the other 51 key elements covered: Pure Inner Light of Awareness, Silencing the Heart-Mind, Memory, Fear of Death, Humility and Faith, Focusing Inward and Permanent Oneness.