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Digital Subscriptions > OM Yoga Magazine > Jun-18 > THE EIGHTFOLD PATH OF YOGA PART TWO


A modern introduction to the eightfold path of yoga, part two: Physical Posture ‘Asana’; Conscious Breathing ‘Pranayama’ and Sense Withdrawal ‘Pratyahara’. By Elisabeth Vegter

Last month we started our exploration of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, especially the eightfold path of yoga. This beautiful path is sometimes also referred to as: ‘Ashtanga Yoga’. Ashtanga means eight. It consists of: Yama (Ethical Considerations); Niyama (Personal Observances); Asana (Physical Posture); Pranayama (Conscious Breathing); Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal); Dharana (Concentration); Dhyana (Meditation) and lastly Samadhi (Liberation or Transcendence). Ashtanga Yoga should be not confused with Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, which is a style of yoga containing a certain fixed sequence of postures. The eight elements of Ashtanga Yoga can be visualised as the branches of a tree, sometimes referred to as the ‘Yoga Tree’. According to Patanjali the ultimate goal of practicing all the limbs of yoga is to dwindle impurities away, so that the light of wisdom can dawn, leading to discriminative discernment. In other words, if we commit ourselves to the path of yoga with patience, dedication and faith, we will eventually lift the veil of our pure nature and find peace and freedom called ‘Samadhi’. That sounds like a challenging path, but there is no need to rush and do it all at once. Just take it step by step.

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About OM Yoga Magazine

Welcome to the June issue of OM Yoga & Lifestyle magazine. Keep your practice fresh and alive this summer with your monthly dose of yogic inspiration from us. Inside, you’ll find lots of incredible people with amazing stories to tell, plus plenty of practical anatomy and yoga instruction to feed both body, mind and soul. And the meditations, good vibes and spiritual enlightenment are all packed inside too. Get your stretch on with OM, then afterwards pour yourself a nice cup of mint tea and take some time out with us to inspire you on your epic, unfolding, personal yoga journey. Have a great month, folks. See you on the mat soon!

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