The Sanskrit of the Yoga Sūtras: Book 4

If you are daunted by Sanskrit pronunciation, confused by Sanskrit yoga terminology, or simply keen to delve more deeply into an important yoga text, why not join us?

Graham Burns Teaching

Course Description

Following on from our readings of the first three Pādas (books) of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras, Graham Burns will now lead you through the fourth and final Pāda.

Pāda 4 is the shortest of the four Pādas, containg only 34 Sūtras, but perhaps also the most deeply philosophical. Much of it is devoted to an interesting series of challenges to alternative views of the nature of the mind and of reality, including some views generally assumed to be those of different schools of Buddhist philosophy.

Perhaps paradoxically, Patañjali then draws on a peculiarly Buddhist idea – that of dharmamegha samādhi – as he draws Pāda 4, and the whole text, to a conclusion with a summary of the final steps towards kaivalya (ultimate liberation).

What will we explore?

Over the course of four live online sessions, we will again read the Sūtras together, focussing on accurate pronunciation, but also exploring the meanings of the Sūtras and some of the more important Sanskrit terms used by Patañjali.

Who is this for?

While you do not need to have taken the previous Sanskrit of the Yoga Sūtras courses to enjoy and benefit from this one, the course is designed for those with some basic knowledge of Sanskrit.

We will review important principles of accurate Sanskrit pronunciation and syntax, and will focus each week on a selection of key Sūtras. 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 Asana