BEGINNING YOGA PRACTICE
"Wise Characteristics or Outer Restraints"
Ahimsa - Non-harming
Satya - Truth
Asteya - Non-stealing
Brahmacharya - Control of Energy
Aparigraha - Non-grasping
"Living Soulfully or Inner Observances"
Shaucha - Cleanliness
Santosha - Contentment
Tapas - Enthusiasm
Swadhyaya - Self-study
Ishvarapranidhan - Surrender
FOUR ASPECTS OF YOGA
Karma Yog - The Yoga of Purified Action and Work [Selfish to Selfless Action]
Bhakti Yog - The Yoga of Unconditional, Spiritual Love [Emotion to Devotion]
Jnan Yog - The Yoga of Knowledge, Philosophy and Wisdom [Intellect to Intuition]
Raj Yog - The Yoga of Physical and Mental Attunement [Mind to Meditation]
YOGA SCRIPTURES & BOOKS
The Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita is the backbone scripture of Yoga, wherein Krishna expounds Yoga to Arjuna in a conversational discourse within oneself, between the forces of darkness (ignorance), and light (knowledge). If one were to take up just one single text over one's life--for a Yogi--it is the Gita. The Gita is the entirety of Yoga & Vedanta in 700 verses, or 18 discourses. "Mahatma" M. K. Gandhi's translation of the Bhagavad Gita is called "The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi." Gandhiji translated and published the Gita with the illiterate masses of India in mind - it is meant to be grasped by all. His humble, simple and direct translation makes the message of the Gita clearer and more easily understood for the modern spiritual aspirant. Within the original published text by Gandhiji, we definitely suggest reading Mahadev Desai's "My Submission" only found in this particular translation, before beginning the actual Gita discourses, as it is useful in understanding the terms, definitions and context of Yoga. The Gita can be your bedtime story or it can be your manual for complete liberation. As Krishna would say, "Henceforth! Arise! My dearest devotee! Both the means and end of Yoga are One, and they are expounded in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita!
Our Recommendation: "The Gospel of Selfless Action or The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi"
The Upanishads are the philosophical nectar of the Veda and contain the philosophical wisdom of Yoga. The Upanishads are also records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by the Rishis, or illuminated Sages, to their students. The Upanishads are beautiful, sophisticated and deeply spiritual scriptural meditations of the highest order. They compose the central concepts of Indian spirituality and the Vedas. The Upanishads are the scientific, mystical and spiritual foundation from which all of Yoga comes. The Upanishads lead you to the original experience of Yoga; and this short, eloquent translation of the twelve principal Upanishads by Swami Prabhavananda yields the nectar beautifully, and makes the text most enjoyable and approachable for the modern or English-speaking practitioner.
Our Recommendation: "The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal"
The Yugas are the procession of the physical and metaphysical world, eras of spiritual progression or the cyclical evolution of human consciousness. The Yugas are not a philosophy, but a known scientific and astro-physical fact. The movements of the Earth, Sun & stars have been well-understood by the ancients, and human beings are organisms which evolve in a cyclical fashion. Plotting the preserved archaeological findings pertaining to human civilization with the recorded historical and geological events on Earth, we get a broader and clearer understanding of our present nature, our past and our future through the timeless cycle of the Yugas. Sri Yukteshwar brings back these ancient teachings and presents them to his foremost disciple Paramahansa Yogananda, who now directly passes them onto us through his teachings. This version, based on Sri Yukteshwar's book, "The Holy Science," provides an understanding of the evolution of material and spiritual life and the development of human beings not found in any other teaching.
Our Recommendation: "The Yugas: Keys to Understanding..."
ALL Yoga Vedanta Books
For any and all books on Yoga Vedanta, we recommend those written by the Self-Realized Master of Yoga, Pujyatman Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda, who still can be found teaching at the Yoga Research Foundation in Miami, FL. His timeless teachings and practical wisdom shines forth with complete spiritual illumination. Specifically and with immense gratitude, these books, recorded lectures and profound insights into the ancient teachings of Yoga are invaluable for any spiritual aspirant, and can be found here!
Our Recommendation: "Integral Yoga - The Secret to Enlightenment"
"KNOWLEDGE LIGHTS THE PATH TO WISDOM."
"What is Non-Being is never known to have been, and what is Being is never known not to have been. Of both these the secret has been seen by the seers of the Truth."
Bhagavad Gita 2.16
"Death is the mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected."
Sogyal Rinpoche, Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
"I have seen men dwelling on the earth but not of the earth. I saw them well defended without fortifications. I saw they owned nothing, yet possessed all things."
Apollonius, Greek Philosopher, on his visit to India