Friday, April 5, 2013

The 8 Limbs of Yoga Discipline

The 8 Limbs of Ashtanga yoga...from the yoga sutras of Patanjali. These are promising disciplines practiced in the philosophical depths and transformations of  yoga through intention, self discipline, devotion, and focus. This is my own interpretation. 


The 8 Limbs:

Yamas and Niyamas are the do's and don'ts per say...the yamas layout how to react and project a positive flow to the external world while Niyamas are more self disciplines and practices that are beneficial to helping us obtain and maintain a positive direction. 

Yamas:

Ahimsa-non harming to ourselves and others in thought or actions, non violence.
Satya-stay true to the self, earth, and life, be honest and do not lie.
Asteya-stay far from envy, be grateful of what you have, so not steal, and do not hone on others wealth, as well as detach from your desire to want what you do not have.
Bramacharya-self control, regulation, and restraint when needed, face of temptation.
Aparagraha-live moderately, reduce your wants and desires for material objects. Share wealth. 

Niyamas:

Saucha-keeping a clean environment internally and externally. being tidy and eating fresh.
Santosha-simply content. finding contentment in each moment for what its worth. 
Tapas-self discipline and selfless service, compassion, empathy. volunteer and follow  through. 
Svadhyaya-study of ancient texts, and spiritual scripts, recitation of mantra, affirmation, and prayer. 
Ishvara-pranidhana-surrendering to divinity in all things, surrendering to the spirit, and universal union. 

Asana is the link between physical and mental body. The strengthening of core muscles and stimulation of cells in our deep tissues. To sit deep and hold more through body movement and exercise to release tension and rejuvenates cells with flow. Intended to prepare the body for meditation. To open up and create fresh flow in all systems of the body. 

Pranayama is the power of stimulating energy (prana) through breath work. The word prana is a powerful word alone meaning energy or vital life. Pranayama is a practice of different breathing techniques that create flow and balance. It is an energetic aspect and breath of life and explains the expansion of breath and breath awareness creating positive stimulation for cells and conscience.   A very healing and powerful practice.

*Note- that the first four limbs are physical and mental preparation for the following for limbs. The following limbs are states and focus on meditation, union, and enlightenment or a state of unity with God or a conscious connection to the point behind it all. As all aspects are important the first four limbs are preparation for the last four as they are more focused on conscious evolution and union with God or a reflection of thyself or the spiritual aspect per say. 

Pratyahara Withdrawing from senses or external influence of senses.  Turning inward and detaching from external influences of touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight. Letting go of the influence of external or physical world. Finding internal influence and connection. 

Dharana An object of complete concentration, complete focus on one specific object. Obtaining concentration on an object for meditation. The point of focus. 

Dhyana The state of Meditation. A state of union in a sense where meditation is actually happening. At this point the Meditator is unaware of meditation as a reflection of union with the point of focus or object of meditation. What meditation is. When one is meditating or Meditation itself. 

Samadhi Union of consciousness with the meditator and the object of meditation which is usually God or the self which is known be the reflection of God or oneself. A state of enlightenment when the Meditator is one with its object. One with God where nothing else is in play. Enlightenment. Consciousness. 



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