In General can be quite long to grovel about yoga as a way of life, because, in fact, if a person begins to seriously deal with it, his life really changed, often radically. There are ancient treatises on yoga, such as Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita, Bhagavad Gita, and many others. One of the famous people who have made a major contribution to the science of yoga is of Patanjali who wrote the Yoga Sutras. These sutras, in compressed form, sistematizirovat teachings of yoga, presenting it in the form of abstracts for the further disclosure of the school master (guru).
Stages of Yoga Yoga is not only exercise (physical and breathing), is a system consisting of 8 steps, consistently prepares the person to achieve enlightenment and true happiness. Below I have listed 8 steps of yoga.
1. Yama (prohibitions) — is expressed in the proper relationship to others and the world around us. There are 5 Yama:
— Ahimsa or non-violence. I do not mean to commit violence against others, both physically and mentally. Vegetarianism is also included in this category.
— Satya — truthfulness (to tell lies). Living an honest life, speaking the truth, the man elevates his mind, and reduces the amount of negative karma. However, this does not blind the truth of: if it is true can someone harm, it is better not to speak and say at the right moment.
— Asteya — "do not steal". Again, this applies not only to physical objects but also to intellectual property of others. Also, this paragraph means the ability to keep secrets.
— Brahmacharya (celibacy). Interesting point. Generally it means abstinence from sexual relations. If one lives a family life, but sexual relationship only with his wife, but sometimes Brahmacharya applies to this situation. In General, the concept of Brahmacharya is to reduce the reliance on lower needs, and to develop interest in the higher, without which it is impossible to attain enlightenment, not without reason, the word "Brahmacharya" means "acting in the spirit (or spiritual level)". Also, Brahmacharya enables us to develop self-control and willpower, ability to overcome one's own ego.
— Aparigraha is to avoid greed. Greed and enlightenment are incompatible (unless we're talking about greed to enlightenment :)). It also means to live, being content with the necessities, not to complicate my life needlessly.
2. Niyama (regulations) — provisions concerning the person. There are five firms:
— Shaucha or cleanliness. Initially this is a very complex thing; in General, to maintain purity in the body (regular bathing, clean clothes, dishes, housing), and purity in the mind (spiritual practices, meditation, prayer, do not immerse the consciousness in a state with a low level of vibrations). Again, in some measure, vegetarianism also belongs here (not to pollute your body with corpses of dead animals). Respect people sauce, along with aparigraha to restore the ecological balance on the planet.
— Santosha or contentment. Person learns to be satisfied with what he has. It also refers to the practice of humility, patience, modesty and moderation. The man who has found satisfaction, achieve this peace, and nothing else in life can bring him out of balance.
Tapas or austerity. Simple means to keep body and mind in a balanced state, without subjecting them to excessive shocks (emotional and physical). More Slonov embodiment, tapas means discipline, and committing all sorts of practices such as fasts on Ekadasi, Mauna (vow of silence), certain dietary restrictions and physical activity, etc.
— Svadhyaya or the study of sacred texts (this includes the study of spiritual science). This item involves the receipt of information about the purpose of human life, and the ways to achieve it.
— Ishwara Pranidhan or presentation of oneself to the divine. In General, this paragraph tells about the presentation of ourselves to God, understanding that everything in this world is divine in origin, that everything happens by the will again, and that we must return to the Source of everything. Also, people should know their spiritual nature and act based on it.
3. Asana (yoga postures)
This section or tier is dedicated to directly working with the body through doing yoga poses.
4. Pranayama or teaching breath control.
5. Pratyahara — gaining control over the senses. This is a fairly high level when man learns not to be a victim of my instincts, and to manage them.
6. Dharana (concentration). The task of man is to learn to concentrate the consciousness on one object, and be able to keep it full attention for at least 24 seconds.
7. Dhyana (meditation). Having the ability to stable concentration, a person can long enough to immerse your consciousness in a certain object. At this level he is able to meditate on the Source of all things.
8. Samadhi or enlightenment. Achieving sustainable meditation, human consciousness gradually transformirovalsya, manifesting spiritual qualities. When the consciousness becomes completely the same as in the spiritual reality ("she" — the same, similar, "DHI" — consciousness, SKT.), then one reaches spiritual enlightenment and attains liberation from the material world.
These are the 8 steps of yoga; the path between the first stage and the eighth stage may last for one life; but it is an evolution of consciousness that each of us, at one time, will undergo.