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Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali 

The Sanskrit word Ashtanga is a combination of two words  “Ashta + anga” . “Ashta” means Eight and “Anga” means limbs so the literal meaning of this word is the eight limbs it means Eight Limb path, ashtanga yoga is based on the Philosophy propagated by Patanjali.

Yoga has its roots about more then 5000 years BC as described in Vedic Philosophy and Tantras. Patanjali , the great sage has the credit to bring the scattered knowledge of yoga from the various sources and bring it into a form of book, in the book titled “the yoga sutra” he has formulated Yoga as having Eight Limbs or Eight Fold path.

Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga

Yama (Principles or moral code)

◦Ahimsa – A principle of non-violence

◦Satya – A principle of Truthfulness

◦Asteya – A principle of non stealing

◦Brahmacharya – Continence / Celibacy

◦Aparigah – A principle of non-hoarding or non possessiveness

Niyama (Personal Disciplines)

◦Shoucha – Purity

◦Santosh – Contentment

◦Tapa – Endurance

◦Swadhyaya – Self study

◦Eshwar Pranidhan – Dedication

Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)

A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium.

Pranayama (Breath control)

Extension and control of breath.

Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)

A mental preparation to increase the power of mind.

Dharana (Concentration on Object)

Concentration of mind on one object and its field.

Dhyan (Meditation)

With drawing mind from all external objects and Focusing it on one point and meditating on it.

Samadhi (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.

 

Article by Gyanmitra Saraswati

Copyright 2016 -SWAN Yoga Retreat, Assagao, Goa, India

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