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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Yogavighnas literally means ‘hindrances to yoga’.

Yogavighnas, obstacles and hindrances to yoga[1] are many and varied. They have been listed by some works such as:

  1. Śivasamhitā[2]
  2. Yogakundali Upaniṣad[3]
  3. Yogatattva Upaniṣad[4]

They are:

  1. Bhoga - enjoyment
  2. Dharma - ritualism
  3. Jñāna - intellectual knowledge
  4. Divāsupti - sleeping during daytime
  5. Viṣamāsanadoṣa - defects of āsanas
  6. Sanśaya - doubts
  7. Pramattatā - conceit
  8. Ālasya - laziness
  9. Nidrā - excessive sleep
  10. Bhrānti - anomalous understanding
  11. Strīlaulya - sexuality
  12. Mṛgatṛṣṇā - illusory and vain desires

The Yogasutras of Patañjali[5] has listed nine obstacles called antarāyas and five more that create tensions in the mind.[6]


  1. Yoga means concentration and meditation leading to God-realization or liberation.
  2. Śivasamhitā 5.1
  3. Yogakundali Upaniṣad 1.56 to 61
  4. Yogatattva Upaniṣad 30, 31
  5. He lived in 200 B.C.
  6. Yogasutras 1.30 and 31
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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