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Yoga is not only exercise for the body - yoga is one of the philosophies of life, a state of mind achievable only by the perfect combination of 8 stages of personal development. What is the road to reaching the state of samadhi, or complete union with the universe?

Yoga is not only gymnastics!

Many people take yoga as a form of gymnastics. However, yoga was created not only to deepen the flexibility of the body and improve the condition of the exerciser, and gymnastics is only a part of its complex system. The word "yoga" comes from Sanskrit and means unity. The practice of yoga allows a person to understand that on the non-material level there is only one being that equally permeates every living creature. This being is changeless, inviolable and immortal, as well as unlimited by time and space.

8 steps of yoga: exercises to meditate

The ancient Indian scholar Patanjali is considered to be the forerunner of today's yoga. Patanjali has organized yoga into eight main components, also called degrees.

These are, in turn, yams and niyams (a collection of guidelines for everyday life), asanas (body postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), contemplation, concentration, meditation, and the state of samadhi - total union with the universe - which is the culmination of the practice.

  • Arranging the yoga elements in the above order, Patanjali suggested that the easiest way to reach the truth of oneness is by directing your attention from body to mind to what is known as spirit. The basis of his system is, among other things, honesty, respect for all creatures, including oneself, and moderation in all aspects of life.
  • The next factor supporting the development of consciousness are asanas - the world-famous yoga postures. The asanas stimulate the circulation of energy in the body, cleansing it of toxins and relieving tension. Already at this stage, the practitioner often experiences a feeling of fulfillment, although not always realizing where it comes from.
  • Pranayama - exercises to equalize and slow down your breathing have an asana-like effect.
  • The next steps of yoga - contemplation and concentration - serve to calm the mind and introduce meditation - a method that allows you to delve intoexperience the unity with the universe in a direct way.
  • There are different meditation techniques. The method I use is based on careful observation of the inner space along with the thoughts and images appearing in it. Looking at my thoughts and feelings from the side, I separate a part of myself from them with an unlimited human form.

What does meditation give you?

- Whenever I close my eyes to get in touch with my true nature, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of joy and lightness - Karolina Sarna, author of the book "Paths to the Home", tells about her yoga experience. - It results from the realization that although during meditation I turn away for a moment from all "plaguing" sensory impressions and thought processes, I do not cease to exist. This means that I am not actually limited by body or mind. I am also not limited by time or space. I am characterized by freedom and timelessness. Mental hyperactivity often obscures this wonderful truth, so it is sometimes worth trying to "go beyond the mind", which can be achieved, among others, thanks to yoga - both in the form of physical and breathing exercises, as well as in the form of concentration or meditation.

You must do it

Karolina Sarnawhile in India, she wrote the book "Paths to the Home". It is a record of her experiences and reflections, included in the framework of four stories about searches and discoveries on the path of personal development. More information about the book and selected fragments can be found on the website:

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