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A girl from the Ancient Egypt in Chakrasana

I started studying Yoga when I was 17 with Patanjali Yoga Sutras in various translations, and then read tons of book on various traditions in Yoga (Hatha, Pranayama, Kundalini, etc). First, I would like to present to you my personal compact version / interpretation of the 8 limbs of Yoga योग.

Yoga Sutras are based on atheistic philosophy Samkhya, an orthodox (Astika) and atheistic hindu system of dualism.

My short version of 8 Limbs of Yoga

For bliss: 

  • avoid violence, illusion, greed, wastefulness, possessiveness;
  • be clean, content, engaged; study, respect own mind;
  • exercise and breathe efficiently; 
  • control impulses, abstract, concentrate and think.

A Longer Version of 8 Limbs of Yoga

External aids to Yoga (bahiranga sadhana):

  1. Yama refers to the five abstentions: outward observances:
    1. Ahimsa: non-violence.
    2. Satya: non-illusion.
    3. Asteya: non-greed.
    4. Brahmacharya: energy conservation.
    5. Aparigraha: non-possessiveness.
  2. Niyama - inward observances:
    1. Shaucha: cleanliness.
    2. Santosha: contentment.
    3. Tapas: effort.
    4. Svādhyāya: study.
    5. Ishvarapranidhana: acceptance of the fullness of self.
  3. Asana: firm and pleasant postures. A good pose is one that stretches and strengthens simultaneously, in all the ways the body needs, in order to create optimal physical alignment.
  4. Pranayama: extended breathing.
  5. Pratyahara: withdrawal of senses from external objects.

    Internal aids to Yoga (antaranga sadhana):

  6. Dharana: concentration.
  7. Dhyana: meditation. 
  8. Samādhi समाधि, equilibrium ("samā") of a detached intellect ("dhi"): bliss, realization of unity. 

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Albert Einstein

If people are good only because they fear punishment, then we are a sorry lot indeed. 

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