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Book Review: The Yoga Sutras For Children
Book Review: The Yoga Sutras For Children

Book details


Author: Roopa Pai

Illustrator: Sayan Mukherjee

Genre: Non-fiction/Classics

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 304

Price: ₹399


What are the Yoga Sutras? Instructions for bearded rishis who lived in the forests of ancient India? Or the complete manual of asanas?

Neither! In fact, the text may well have been called ‘Maharishi P’s Ultimate Handbook of Mind Control’, for it is really a set of techniques to help us – all of us – awaken and harness the explosive power of our minds, through our actions, our attitudes and our awareness.

And not our asanas? Those too, but not in the way you imagined it.

In this surprising, sparkling book, Roopa Pai unravels the secrets of Patanjali’s compact 2,000-year-old text in ways both fun and accessible. Walk down the well-marked paths into a dazzling world where a whole new version of yourself – self-assured, fearless and free – awaits you. Go on, then – what are you waiting for?

Book Review

Whether you’ve encountered Maharishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras before or not, the word “Yoga” is likely familiar to most. Just the mention of Yoga conjures images of twisted postures and serene faces in meditation. But here’s the catch: Yoga is far more than just practising physical asanas (postures). It embodies the union of individual consciousness with the Universal Consciousness, representing a profound harmony between the mind and body, as well as between humanity and nature.

The “Yoga Sutras” by Maharishi Patanjali serve as a valuable handbook to master your mind, containing 195 sutras thoughtfully organized into four chapters: samAdhipAda, sAdhanapAda, vibhUtipAda, and kaivalyapAda. These sutras are a pathway to quieting the mind, and spiritual growth enabling one to perceive reality as it truly is, rather than how it appears on the surface.

With that concise introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, let’s delve into the review of “The Yoga Sutras for Children” by Roopa Pai.

The initial question that arises is why present such a highly philosophical text to children, especially when even adults sometimes struggle to grasp and apply its teachings. But trust me, it’s the younger generation, the kids, who face peer pressure, stress, decision fatigue, and other challenges (a few words we didn’t even know existed) that need this book the most. Why? Because their minds are inundated with numerous thoughts and emotions, and the concept of simply being at peace without any productivity seems foreign to them.

Read an excerpt from the book, here: There’s no time like the present!

So, how can this book help?

To begin, the author Roopa Pai has done an exceptional job of contextualizing the teachings of Maharishi Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and captivating readers with a compelling elevator pitch that draws them in and keeps them engaged. Through her skilful approach, she makes the seemingly complex Yoga Sutras more accessible, providing relatable and practical applications for each sutra. As a result, readers can apply these teachings to enhance their lives and function at their best. The book serves as a valuable guide for personal growth and self-improvement, catering to readers of all ages and backgrounds.

In this book, she covers the first two chapters, samAdhipAda and sAdhanapAda, out of the four chapters (with the anticipation of a sequel for the remaining two) in the Yoga Sutras. Even these two chapters are thoughtfully broken down into sizable chunks for easy digestion of the concepts – or rather, the profound wisdom – that Maharshi Patanjali penned down centuries ago.

What makes it even more appealing is the impeccable structure and presentation of the book. Roopa Pai skillfully ensures that it resonates with both atheists and theists alike. Moreover, she adeptly draws comparisons across various religions and faiths, illuminating the striking similarities and underscoring the text’s secularity and universal principles. This approach adds depth and inclusivity to the book, making it relatable and insightful for readers of diverse beliefs and backgrounds.

Roopa has a profound understanding of her audience and expertly provides the necessary context for readers to comprehend the origins and nuances of these ancient texts. Simultaneously, she effectively highlights the relevance of the sutras in the contemporary era.

The interactive language she employs is exceptionally captivating, without compromising on clarity or depth. The book encompasses practical exercises that resonate with readers of all ages.

Notable Features

  • The unique chat boxes that simulate conversations between Maharishi Patanjali and the reader, creating an immersive experience that feels like someone is articulating our very thoughts and inquiries. This creative and engaging approach adds an extra dimension to the reading experience, fostering a personal connection between the reader and the teachings, making the book all the more impactful and enjoyable.
  • Additionally, the “Do It!” and “Think About It” boxes, containing relevant activities and exercises for our present times, encourage readers to apply the principles of Yoga Sutras in their day-to-day lives, enabling them to experience the benefits firsthand.
  • The pronunciation guide at the end of the book ensures that readers can correctly grasp and pronounce the Sanskrit terms (along with their English transliterations) used in the text, enhancing the reader’s understanding of the content.
  • Furthermore, the ready reckoner serves as a convenient quick-reference guide, making it easier for readers to revisit key concepts and insights as needed.
  • The black and white illustrations by Sayan Mukherjee are not only visually appealing but also aid in comprehending the information being conveyed, adding depth to the reader’s understanding.

These practical elements showcase the author’s dedication to making the book reader-friendly and accessible, further enhancing the value of this already excellent work. I absolutely love it!

Wrap-up words

Overall, “Yoga Sutras for Children” impressively caters to its target audience while holding the attention of mature readers as well. Roopa’s expertise shines through as she brings these ancient teachings to life, making them accessible and applicable to our modern lives. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or anyone seeking mental well-being and spiritual growth, this book offers valuable insights and practices to navigate the complexities of life. I highly recommend it for both children and adults looking to cultivate inner peace and harmony.

So what are you waiting for? As Maharishi Patanjali has said and the author Roopa Pai has beautifully decoded for us, “NOW is the good time to start!”

अथ योगानुशासनम्॥1॥

(Patanjali Yoga Sutra, shloka 1.1)

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