From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yoga-Yājñavalkya or Yogi-Yājñavalky a is a small work on Yoga attributed to the great sage Yājñavalkya. It has 506 verses spread over 12 chapters. In an assembly of sages, Gārgī[1] and Maiteryī[2] were also present. Gārgi prostrated herself before Yājñavalkya and requested him to teach the essence of yoga. The sage agreed and expounded its eight limbs as:

  1. Yama - ten disciplines like ahiṅsā or non-violence
  2. Niyama - ten disciplines like tapas or austerity
  3. Āsana - bodily postures of eight kinds
  4. Prāṇāyāma - control of breath with appropriate mantras
  5. Pratyāhāra - withdrawal of senses
  6. Dhāraṇā - fixing the mind on the object of concentration and is of five kinds
  7. Dhyāna - meditation
  8. Samādhi - super conscious experience

Other important points stressed in this work are:

  • Performance of actions enjoined by Vedic injunctions
  • Posture for controlling the prāṇic energy
  • Rousing of the Kuṇḍalinī power
  • Appearance of some psychic experiences indicating the progress in the path of yoga


  1. Gārgī is considered the best among the experts in the knowledge of Brahman.
  2. Maiteryī is Yajñavalkya’s first wife, considered as the best among married women.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore