The Purpose of Yoga: Exploring the Wisdom of the Yoga Sutras

with Ravi Ravindra
Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. CST 
February 6 – 27,  (4 classes)

the purpose of yoga ravi ravindra classJoin us for an exploration of the classical text Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, with the intention of understanding the purpose of yoga and what stands in our way of accomplishing it. Participants will be encouraged to read any translation of the Yoga Sutras and reflect upon the subtle teachings of the sage Patañjali. We will recognize that each translation is a trans-creation based on the understanding and intention of the translator. Instructor Ravi Ravindra will use his own translation and commentary as outlined in his book The Wisdom of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras. Participants will be encouraged to share their insights and questions.

Topics of discussion will include the ways in which yoga is a science for radical transformation, the eight limbs of yoga and how they apply to our lives, the elements of yogic practice, and the kleshas, or obstacles, that can stand in our way.

Each class will include a short guided meditation.

TS Members: $65 • Nonmembers: $80  

Registration includes on-demand access to recordings of all of the classes, which can be viewed for two weeks following the date they were presented.  
To ensure you receive your meeting link prior to the live program, please register by February 6. 

Register here

If you are unable to pay the minimum fee due to hardship, please email for assistance. 


Course topics:

  1. Yoga is a science par excellence for the radical transformation of our whole being, for coming to the state of samādhi, which is a state of freedom from our usual self so that we can have a perception not hindered by any aspect of “me.”
  1. The eight limbs of Yoga as mentioned in the Yoga Sutras are: yama (self-restraint), niyama (right observance), āsana (right alignment or posture), prānayāma (regulation of breath), pratyāhāra (withdrawal of the senses), dhāranā (concentration), dhyāna (meditation), and samādhi (free attention). The first five limbs are described as external limbs of yoga and the last three as internal limbs. Usually the first two get completely ignored, but it is necessary to explore them and to see their application in our lives.
  1. The practice of yoga consists of self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svādhyāya) and dedication to God (Ishvara pranidhāna). We will explore the importance of these three practices in detail.
  1. What stands in the way are the kleshas – the obstacles or hindrances. The kleshas are ignorance (avidyā), the sense of a separate self (asmitā), attraction (rāga), aversion (dvesha), and clinging to the status quo (abhinivesha). We will explore all of these obstacles in detail as they apply to us.

ravi ravindraRavi Ravindra is an author and professor emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served as a professor in comparative religion, philosophy, and physics. A lifetime member of the Theosophical Society, Ravi has taught many courses at the School of the Wisdom in Adyar and at the Krotona Institute in Ojai, California. He was a member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the founding director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. For more information visit

Program Format

This is a live, interactive online program that will also be recorded for on-demand viewing. Our goal is to send recordings to you within two business days, often sooner. Recordings will be available for on-demand viewing for two weeks following the day the program was presented.

Software Platform

Zoom for Windows, Mac, or mobile device; minimum recommended network bandwidth 1.5 Mbps. Please download Zoom for free at, and test your connection at New to Zoom? Check out Please email for further information.

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