Walking Yogas Eightfold Path

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In This Chapter

V Yoga don'ts

V Yoga do's

V Body and breath control

V Detachment and concentration

V Meditation and pure consciousness

If you're the kind of person who likes a nice, clean set of rules to live by, this is the chapter for you! In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, the eight limbs of yoga are enumerated. These limbs provide a structure for your yoga practice and your daily life. They are designed to help you along the yoga path. One very important thing to remember about the eight limbs of yoga: They are not commandments or laws! They are more like guidelines for living. But if you don't follow the guidelines, it doesn't constitute any sort of "sin." The Yoga Police won't come to your house and arrest you. Success with your yoga practice will simply be easier if you live your life according to Patanjali's suggestions.

However, if you don't want to meditate, give up meat, or even relinquish your materialistic nature, don't pressure yourself. Remember that yoga is not only a practice, but something that happens to you. As you progress and grow, you may find that you're naturally less materialistic, you lose interest in eating meat, or you become drawn to meditation as the next logical step in your journey. Maybe those things won't happen. Maybe for now, you just want to tackle the suggestions one at a time. No hurry!

And for those of you who want some commandments and want them now, it's also fine to view Patanjali's Eightfold Path more stringently. It all depends on who you are and what kind of thinking you're most likely to respond to.

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