Ashtanga Yoga


meaning “I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, We are One.”

“We are ever free if we would believe it, only have faith enough. You are the soul, free and eternal, ever free, ever blessed. Have faith enough and you will be free in a minute. Everything in time, space, and causation is bound. The soul is beyond all time, all space, all causation. That which is bound is nature, not the soul.”

– Swami Vivekananda

My yoga journey began 20+ years back. It changed my life in many ways. I am not the same person as I was before learning Yoga. It changed my attitude towards life and people. I am always grateful to those who showed me this yoga path in my life. There is so much to learn and practice. The teacher only teaches how to do, but as a student, it is for us to grow.

img_2569Over the years I read a lot and learned a lot about Yoga. Here is Patanjali Yogasutra in a nutshell.

What is Yoga?
Yoga means the union of body and mind. It is the union of Atma(individual self) and Paramatma(god). It is not just a fitness routine it is a lifestyle. It originated in Hindu culture and is a part of Hindu religion. Yoga is a continuous practice. It is a process that takes us from one point to another, towards the attainment of something which we have never experienced before.

Ashtanga Yoga:
Patanjali’s eight steps or limbs are called Ashtanga Yoga. They are,

  1. Yama (control and discipline)
  2. Niyama (rules, methods, and principle)
  3. Asana (making body postures)
  4. Pranayama (kriyas with air)
  5. Pratyahara (avoidance of undesirable actions)
  6. Dharana (concentration)
  7. Dhyana (meditation)
  8. Samadhi (contemplation)

Only a few people can experience the ultimate bliss or Ananda or the Samadhi stage. Swami Vivekananda was one such great Rajayogi.

Four types of yoga in Hinduism are Jnana, Karma, Hatha and Raja Yoga.

  1. Jnana Yoga: Covers Yama and Niyama.
  2. Karma Yoga: It is the science of action covers Pratyahara.
  3. Hatha Yoga: Covers Asanas and Pranayamas. Also, covers Bandhas and Mudras.
  4. Raja Yoga: Covers Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are the science of mental excellence.

You can read more on this in Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

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