Even when it was adopted by Buddhism, the discipline of yoga echoed this vision. According to the teachings of the Buddha, the yogic discipline leads to “Nirvana” or spiritual freedom from the material world. The practice of yoga is seen as the key to alleviating worldly suffering.
In a sense, all classical forms of yoga share this perspective on the spiritual truth. This is true even when different forms vary in their beliefs in and understanding of a cosmic presence.
While the Hindu sacred texts provide the philosophy that the discipline of yoga is built on, they do not instruct followers about the practice. The primary text that details the practice of classical yoga is the Yoga Sutras by sage Patanjali. Composed as aphorisms they detail the practical aspects of yoga.
It is from the Yoga Sutras that classical yoga draws guidance even for its better known aspects like asanas (body postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).