ASHTANGA YOGA

Yoga is our ancient wisdom & knowledge originated in India several thousand years ago from Vedas. Rishi Patanjali codified all the scattered knowledge of yoga in form of Yoga Sutras in his book “Patanjali Yoga Sutra”. Yoga+Sutra=Aphorisms on Yoga. Sutra is a form of rendering in Sanskrit. For Yoga, Yoga Sutra is considered as the authoritative text. It is one of the six Darsanas, schools of Philosphy, the other being, Nyaya-Vaisesika, Samkhya, Purva Mimansa and Uttara Mimansa. Totally there are 195 Sutras divided into four chapters called “Pada”. Samadhi Pada 51 Sutras, Sadhana Pada  55 Sutras, Vibhuti Pada 55 Sutras and Kaivalya Pada 34 Sutras.

WHAT IS ASHTANGA (EIGHT LIMBS) YOGA ?

Ashtanga Yoga (Eight Limbs Of Yoga)
Ashtanga Yoga (Eight Limbs Of Yoga)

In Patanjali Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

The eight limbs are as follows:-

1. Yama – Social behaviour,the five restraints or the “don’ts”

⦁          Ahimsa- Non-violence

⦁          Satya – Truthfulness

⦁          Brahmacharya- Control of the senses and celibacy

⦁          Asteya – Non-stealing

⦁          Aparigraha – Non-covetousness and non-acceptance of gifts

2. Niyama – Self-discipline,the five observances or the “do’s”

⦁          Saucha – Purity, cleanliness

⦁          Santosha – Contentment

⦁          Tapas – Austerity

⦁          Swadhyaya – Self-study, study of scriptures

⦁          Ishwara Pranidhana – Surrender to God’s will

3. Asana – Steady posture

4. Pranayama – Control of prana or life force

5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses

6. Dharana – Concentration

7. Dhyana

MeditationWith drawing mind from all external objects and focusing it on one point and meditating on it

8. Samadhi

Super-conscious state(Salvation) State of Super bliss, joy and merging individual consciousness in to universal consciousness. Union between Jivatman and Paramatman. Union of Shiva and Shakti in Sahasrar Chakra (the top of the head). Realizing the Bramhan (pure consciousness) or Realization of God is the ultimate achievement of Human Birth

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