These are two of the most important sutras, as the Abhyasa gets you to work towards, with all effort, that unceasing end of Nirhoda.
Although there are many schools which do not translate the Ashtanga method of Yoga - which is the eightfold path put forward by Patanjali, there is no harm in studying these principles. I myself do not teach these aspects, as much of it has been found not to be correct and in some cases downright unhealthy.
I think if any student is wondering just what would be the best and most functional Yoga for him/her, they would be wise to take the course in Yantra Yoga found at this address www.real-yoga.com/yantra-yoga/
To do this one must have Microsoft Word in order to download the books and some of the lessons. If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can always download a Microsoft Word viewer (this allows you to view Word documents only and it is free to download - the link is provided for you on the Yantra Page).
On completion of the study, you will find which Yoga you are most suited to - that is, the one which will bring you the most fulfillment.
We are by nature and by nurture and also by genetics all quite different, Yantra will explain that within the 9 systems of Yoga , which of the 27 combinations, one can choose the 3 different substudies and the one major yoga study one should undertake .
I have often mentioned that for a mystic and deeply religious (Bhakti tupe) to be taken in to a group that specializes in Gnana Yoga would be foolish, as the soul nature of that person would feel dry in their Yogic Studies.
Of course that goes for all of the 9 types - to be studying something in Yoga which is not of your nature will bring disenchantment.
In the old days teachers would teach a basic understanding of all the Yogs to their students and at the end of every year ask which of the Yogs was special to the student. If the student gave the wrong answer, then he would have to study all of them for another year until he intuitively came up with the right answer. A long process indeed.
There are not too many Yoga teachers who know the science of Samkhya or Yantra - particularly Yantra, so that now in this present age, more time can be accessed to allow the student to delve into his inner being via the correct Yoga.
Depending on your spiritual maturity, everything you read, either from others or from me, must make sense. If it doesn't , chuck it out.
Now then, what makes sense , should be so discernibly removed from wishful thinking, that correct assessments are made of what you read.
I have no worry about being contradicted - except of course when that contradiction appears to be silly and makes no sense either.
I would like to give you an idea of what I mean. I taught a young boy for about a year, writing many personal letters in response to questions he would ask. In nearly all cases he would tell me that what I was saying made sense - then, out of the blue, he began to try and convert me to Christianity, pointing out where I had been wrong and for what reason, and all this after agreeing with me as to " making sense" of that which I had gone to so much trouble explaining to him.
At this point, not minding being refuted, I would begin again to reiterate some of the old argument to what he was saying, that he had previously agreed with. Discussion and reasoning, and intellectually making sense of some moot point drifted away from him and he increasingly began to quote verbatim from the Christian Bible.
As he kept stating that it was in the Bible and must therefore be true, I calmy eradicated him from the class and the newsletter. There is nothing that is true for everyone in any written WORD, so you must find what makes sense to you.
It would have been nice had he said, "Swami, I think you are wrong on this point, and that is why I think you are wrong" and then proceeded to give a thoughtful answer, to which I could have replied, but one can not argue with someone who is literal and fanatic and basis his beliefs on blind faith.
That is what is happening in the world today. Some fanatical Muslims are becoming suicide instruments for the cause of others, because they do not question and THINK.
Well we cannot help that, and I cannot help the young lad who wishes to convert me to Christianity. I wish him well in his studies, but they have no relationship with Yoga at all. Yoga is not a religion. It is a way of life which incorporates from the beginning, Abhayasa and culminates with Nirhodha.
If some of you did not get the name of the book I draw these remarks about Patanjali from, it is by IK Taimni and is called The Science Of Yoga. It is a great study which will give you an idea about the fullest meaning of what it is to be a yogi. There may be some things which you do not find sensible, so then chuck it out. If on the other hand it clarifies for you, yet leaves you with some questions or doubts, just send a line and I will answer personally.
There is one major Yogic activity that you should be left with doing, and that , after all else has satiated you. That is meditation. Just sit, be still , and as silent as you can and enjoy this silence and stillness - and hopefully - can one day experience samadhi.