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Philosophy of Yoga

My multiyear teacher and guide in non-physical (inner) Yoga, that means philosophy, comes from the Shivananda tradition. Under his guidance I have been studying Sanskrit and Yogic scriptures. According to Bhagavadgita, there are three potential paths in life: Karmayog (the path of the selfless act), Bhaktiyog (the path of the devotion) and Jnanayog (the path of the realization by self-exploration). In the daily life we can combine and exercise the principles of all three paths, at the same time it is possible to follow only one of these paths, the one, which is the closest to our heart and nature.

According to the classical yoga of the eight limbs, as described by Patanjali in his yogasutras, there are eight levels on the path: jama (satya – truthfulness, ahimsa – non-violence, asteya – not taking of what is not given to you, aparigraha – non-accumulation of wealth, brahmacharya – being in Brahma, often explained as sexual absence), niyama (shaucha – purity, santosha – satisfaction, tapas – austerity, swadhyaya – study of the self and the scriptures, Ishwarapranidhana – faith, devotion), asana (a comfortable position), pranayama (work with the breath and the life force), pratyahara (an inward contraction of the senses), dharana (one-point mind concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (a conception which is hard to define,  everyone has to find the answer by him/herself).

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