The Sanskrit of the Yoga Sūtras

Join Dr Graham Burns for a new look at the Sanskrit of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras. Focusing on the principles of accurate Sanskrit pronunciation, each week we will also study the meaning of a selection of key Sūtras.

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Are you daunted by Sanskrit pronunciation?

Confused by Sanskrit yoga terminology? Or simply keen to delve more deeply into an important yoga text?

Then why not join Yogacampus’ Sanskrit specialist Graham Burns for this new look at the Sanskrit of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras?

Course Content and Structure

Over the course of four live online sessions, we will read together, in Sanskrit, selections from the first Pāda (book) of the Yoga Sūtras. Our focus will be on accurate pronunciation, but we will also explore the meanings of the Sūtras and some of the more important Sanskrit terms used by Patañjali.

The first Pāda of the Yoga Sūtras is often thought to encapsulate all of Patañjali’s yoga system, which the other three Pādas go on to develop in more detail. It introduces the key definition of yoga as mental control, discusses different ways in which our mind operates, outlines how we might overcome mental distraction, acknowledges the obstacles which get in our way, and suggests certain results which might ultimately come about.

Who is this course for?

The course is suitable both for those with no experience of Sanskrit and for those who have studied Sanskrit previously, and forms an ideal add-on for those who have taken Graham’s Sanskrit for Yogis course.

It will begin with a brief overview of some important principles of accurate Sanskrit pronunciation, and each week will focus on a selection of key Sūtras.

Also Included

Full handouts will be provided, and there will be plenty of interaction, with lots of opportunities to practise your own pronunciation!


Live attendance is recommended due to the interactive nature of this course. Each session will be recorded and shared with participants afterwards for 21 days.


On completion of this course yoga will receive a Yogacampus certificate of completion for 6 CPD hours.

Hours and Accreditation

These CPD hours are eligible for credits via Yoga Alliance.

Meet the Teacher

A former commercial lawyer, Graham began practising yoga in the mid-1990s, when his earliest regular teachers included well-known teachers Simon Low and Liz Lark. During a sabbatical in 2000, he spent three months in India (to where he has returned many times since) and also studied extensively with Erich Schiffmann and Richard Freeman in the United States, as well as taking the White Lotus yoga teacher training course in Santa Barbara, California. Graham began teaching yoga regularly in 2001, when he also returned to the United States to study for the first time with Rod Stryker, who for many years was his main teacher. Graham’s special interests within yoga include yoga history and philosophy, the energetic aspects of yoga practice, and meditation. He is a faculty member for the Yogacampus Yoga Teacher Training Diploma programmes, and co-designed and co-teaches the Yogacampus Meditation Teacher Training course, as well as other courses and workshops. Until 2021, Graham was a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies of London University) where he taught Hinduism, yoga history, and philosophy . As well as a law degree from Durham University many years ago, Graham has a MA in Indian religions (2010) and a PhD in ancient Indian religious philosophy (2018) from SOAS, where he remains a member of the Centre of Yoga Studies

Graham Burns Teaching