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What is the 8-fold path of Yoga?

The 8-fold path of Yoga, also known as Ashtanga Yoga, is a systematic approach to self-realization and spiritual development outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are:

  1. Yama: Ethical principles, such as non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, and non-greed.
  2. Niyama: Personal practices, such as cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, and self-study.
  3. Asana: Physical postures, which help to purify the body and prepare it for meditation.
  4. Pranayama: Breathing exercises, which help to control the breath and energize the body.
  5. Pratyahara: Control of the senses, which allows the mind to turn inward and focus on the present moment.
  6. Dharana: Concentration, which helps to focus the mind and develop inner stability.
  7. Dhyana: Meditation, which leads to a state of deep inner peace and understanding.
  8. Samadhi: Union with the divine, or enlightenment, where the individual self becomes one with the universal consciousness.

It is important to note that Ashtanga Yoga is not just a physical practice, but it is also considered a spiritual practice that aims to develop self-awareness, compassion, and inner peace. The eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are designed to be practiced in a sequential order, with each limb building on the previous one, leading to the ultimate goal of self-realization and enlightenment.
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