Limbs of Yoga
Limbs of Yoga:
According to patanjali, there are eight limbs of yoga. Each limb associates with an aspect of deserving happy and healthy life. The names of all the eight limbs are derived from the Sanskrit language, giving a different meaning to each limb.
The eight limbs of yoga are:
Yama and niyama
Yama and Niyama is the guide of ethical instructions set under Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. They lay the foundation to spiritual progress while performing yoga. Many people assume yoga as a physical exercise. But later, if given a deep thought to it, they will understand its spiritual impact on their lives. To establish the spiritual impact on our mind-stream, in-order to merge it with our consciousness, they must be laid on the basic principle of ethical behavior.
Precepts of Yama are Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Sexual responsibility and Abstention from greed.
Precepts of Niyama are Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Self-study, and Surrender of the self to God.
Asanad: Asana comes in as the third stage of the eight limbs, it generally refers to yoga positions or yoga postures. There are more than 80 postures in yoga.
Pranayama: It is the art of breathing in yoga. Pranayama is actually two words in Sanskrit, Prana means life and ayama is to restrain or suspend.
Pratyahara: Pratyahara stands fifth among the eight stages, it works on the concentration of oneself. It doesn’t respond to any of the distraction caused while performing yoga. Thus it is known as withdrawal of the senses.
Dharana: It shows some kind of relation with pratyahara. As it does something similar to it, like focusing or concentrating on something without falling to any distraction.
Dhyana: Dhyana takes the seventh step in the stage of eight limbs of yoga, it is derived from a Sanskrit word “dhyai” meaning ‘to think of’. The objective of dhyana yoga is to develop concentration, cleanse the subconscious,and clear the mind, in order to unify various stages in yoga and get into a close relationship with god.
Samadhi: Samadhi is the combination of mental and physical state of the body. It marks higher levels of meditation and concentration. Any person who practices samadhi becomes extinct for a moment, his personal identity disappears for a while.