Eight Limbs Of Astang Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is for all-round development of human personality through eight (Asht) steps, which is basically prescribed by all schools and branches of yoga. Each step in Ashtanga Yoga has to be mastered before mastering the next can be successfully attempted :

  • Yama (control) : nonviolence, truth, honesty, sexual continence, forbearance, fortitude, kindness, straightforwardness, moderation in diet, bodily purity.

  • Niyama (rules of conduct) : austerity, contentment, belief in God, charity, worship of God, study of teachings and scriptures, modesty, having a discerning mind, repetition of prayers (japa), observance of vows and performing sacrifices.

  • Asanas (postures) : as a motionless body makes the mind quiet, 48 postures have been described of which at the least one must be mastered if one is to reach a deep state of meditation.

  • Pranayama (control of breath) : inhalation, holding the breath, exhalation … through 3 kinds of muscular control (bandhas).

  • Pratyahara (withdrawal of sensory perceptions) : consisting of breath suspension and holding the mind, that step by step absorbs the senses in Kundalini energy.

  • Dharana (concentration) : by the aid of mantras in Ashtanga Yoga, deep concentration on the six subtle centers of the chakras, starting from the first and gradually approaching the seventh.

  • Dhyana (uninterrupted mediation) : in which the ego, the mind and the intellect dissolve in Kundalini and Kundalini dissolves in the supreme consciousness.

  • Samadhi (complete equilibrium) : the individual consciousness becomes pure consciousness. After a prolonged state of samadhi there is no need to practice Ashtanga yoga any longer, because the conscious connection with the divine is everlasting.

36-40, M
1 Response Aug 29, 2012

It is gratifying to see this posted here. Thanks.