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The four major yoga texts are:
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: This text is considered the foundational text of classical yoga, and it was written by the sage Patanjali in the second century BCE. The Yoga Sutras consists of 196 aphorisms or short verses that outline the philosophy and practice of yoga.
- The Bhagavad Gita: This text is a part of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, and it contains a dialogue between the warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, Lord Krishna. The Bhagavad Gita discusses various spiritual and philosophical concepts, including the nature of the self, the purpose of life, and the different paths of yoga.
- The Hatha Yoga Pradipika: This text was written in the 15th century CE and is considered the most important text on Hatha yoga. It outlines the physical practices of yoga, including asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and mudras (gestures).
- The Upanishads: The Upanishads are a collection of texts that were written between 800 BCE and 400 BCE, and they explore various philosophical and spiritual concepts related to the nature of the self, the universe, and the divine. Some of the Upanishads also discuss yoga practices and their benefits.
These four texts are considered some of the most important and influential texts in the history of yoga and have been studied and practiced by yogis for centuries.