Embodying the Yoga Sutra: new book walks yoga into everyday life

TSYP member Maggie Shanks reviews a newly published book by two yoga practitioners who trained in the tradition of TKV Desikachar. ‘Embodying the Yoga Sutra’ by Ranju Roy and David Charlton offers a practical, clearly drawn approach to some of the most important verses of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. It has the qualities of offering both an academic and applicable perspective for students of yoga wanting to deepen their knowledge and explore the profound treasures of this rich and transformative text.

Rich philosophical concepts are delivered in clear, understandable every-day language that make the book a pleasure to read.  Its content is underpinned by specific teachings of Sri TKV Desikachar and some of his senior students.

The book focuses on 18 of the most important sutra-s and unpicks how each has the potential to transform understanding of the application of yoga on and off the mat; it walks yoga into everyday life.  

Ranju and David have skilfully deconstructed these sutra-s, put them into context and then developed them into ideas for practice, all based on the central concepts of support, direction and space. By taking support from something, direction is clarified and through the interaction of support and direction, a space opens up, allowing for change and transformation. This approach can be applied to body, breath, mind and beyond – the way we live our lives, our relationships with other people as well as the environment we live in.

Engaging, self-reflective exercises are presented throughout the book along with clear notes which make the book a practical, as well as theoretical resource.

I found ‘Embodying the Yoga Sutra’ engaging and inspirational. I’d describe it as ‘difficult to put down’, not a claim that can be applied to many such texts! I would recommend the book to interested students at all levels and know that I’ll return to it many times as a student and as a teacher of yoga.

Embodying the Yoga Sutra, by Ranju Roy and David Charlton, is published by Pinter and Martin. Price £20 (excluding P&P £3.50).
If you would like to buy the book, it will be available at the TSYP Annual Gathering and buying direct means that more of the proceeds go directly to Ranju and Dave!
Please mail Jill at [email protected] to pre-order so that we can be sure there are enough copies available.

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