What is Yoga?
Yoga is a 5,000 year old tradition of philosophy and practices passed down from teachers to students in an unbroken lineage. The Himalayan Tradition is a rich and complete source of knowledge and inspiration. Patanjali was a sage who codified the oral tradition. He organized the teachings into a scripture called the Yoga Sutras with four padas or chapters. The eight rungs of yoga are found in the second chapter. They include asana or the physical postures which we think of as yoga. Working with the body is a small part of this rich tradition.
In addition to the poses, yoga also includes a set of ethical principles for working with yourself and others, breathing and energy practices, withdrawing the mind from the senses, building strength in the mind to concentrate and meditation. The eighth rung or step is samadhi – enlightenment.
Swami Rama spoke about living in the world while pursuing spiritual practices. The systematic study of yoga gives us tools to do just this.
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