Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
The yoga sutra was compiled around 200 C.E., and it contains some 200 very concise sutras (compressed verses to make memorization easier – with the opposite effect on understanding). Their focus is mainly the yoga of the mind, the calming of the consciousness.
The sutras describe – amongst many other things – an eightfold path, from which Ashtanga (Vinyasa) Yoga derives the first word in its name. One has to be careful: not every practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Ashtanga is on the way to enlightenment- and there are people, who are very advanced on this eightfold path, who have never even touched a yoga mat.
One example for a contemporary translation and commentary can be found on Ron Steiner‘s website.
At Ashtanga Yoga Plus, we will during 2021 and probably also in 2022 dive deeply into the Yoga Sutra, during the monthly Yoga Philosophy circles.
The following diagram is a summary of the essential aspects of the eightfold path, based on a book by Desikachar (The heart of yoga) and developed by my colleague Martina Vogt. If you have never been exposed to the subject, it hopefully picks your curiosity. It is a lot of fun to delve into, if philosophy is of interest to you.