Yama and Niyama
The first two limbs of Yoga
These disciplines relate directly to how you behave outwardly in the world(Yama) and inwardly toward yourself(Niyama). When living a life in alignment with these limbs, One says only things they know to be true and responds instead of reacts.
The third limb of Yoga
Asana means “seat” and refers to the postures we practice. This is what most people think of when they think of Yoga. Regular practice of a balanced program(tailored to individual needs) is recommended for maximum benefit.
The fourth limb of Yoga
Prana means “vital life force”. It is the force which exists in all things. Yama means “control of”. Breathing techniques provide a method wherby the lifeforce can be activated and regulated in order to go beyond one’s normal limitations and attain a higher state of energy and awareness.
The fifth limb of Yoga
“Praty” meaning avoid and “ahara” meaning food. In this case, “food” is referring to the things that feed the mind(the five senses). So Pratyahara is our means of controlling what goes into our mind so that every experience is a positive learning experience. The goal is to quite the chatter.
Dharna and Dhyana
The sixth and seventh limbs of Yoga
Dharna(concentration) is a process of holding or fixing the mind at a particular object. The mind wanders less and less eventually leading to Dhyana(meditation). Meditation is the unbroken flow of cognition toward an object, also known as a silencing of the mind.
The eighth limb of Yoga
Samadhi is a complete concentration of mind achieved through meditation. Devotion and selfless service are also ways to achieve Samadhi. A Yogi attains Ritumbra Pragya(divine wisdom) through Samadhi.
Samadhi is the natural state of Humans.
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