The Yoga Sutra, dating from about the third century A.D., distills the essentials of a complex system of physical and spiritual discipline into 200 brief aphorisms. It does not propose to offer new knowledge, but rather a new perspective on the nature of knowing. As a method of achieving insight, the discipline of yoga is far from mystical ecstasy or ritual trance. Its goal is a contemplative intensity that can unbind the constraints of everyday experience, and that goal helps explain Americans' growing interest in yoga in recent years. This interest has been most widely expressed in the physical dimension of yoga--the postures known as hatha-yoga--but attention is increasingly being directed at the philosophy and psychology that define the discipline. This centuries-old text offers powerful techniques for countering private mental chaos and moral confusion.--From publisher description.