YOGA

Yoga is an ancient spiritual science to attain a state of everlasting peace of mind in order to experience one's true self.

Yoga was developed in the age of the Vedas and Upanishads. . It is the understanding of our unseen powers within us. The principles of the yoga were set out in orderly form by the ancient sage Patanjali in his short but proficient work, the Yoga Sutras.



Paramahansa Yogananda has written: “Patanjali’s date is unknown, though many scholars assign him to the second century B.C. His renowned Yoga Sutras presents, in a series of brief aphorisms, the condensed essence of the exceedingly vast and intricate science of God-union — setting forth the method of uniting the soul with the undifferentiated Spirit in such a beautiful, clear, and concise way that generations of scholars have acknowledged the Yoga Sutras as the foremost ancient work on yoga.”

The system of yoga according to Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path again called as ashtanga, which plainly means "eight limbs" (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps teach us how to lead a meaningful and determined life. They serve as a guideline for good and proper conduct; it helps in giving attention to one's health; and they help us to recognize the spiritual aspects of our nature; And at last points to the final goal of realization of God within ourselves.

Patanjali’s Eightfold Path or sutras of Yoga:


Yama (moral conduct):

  • Ahimsa: nonviolence in thought,
  • Satya: truth in word and thought,
  • Asteya: non-stealing,
  • Brahmacharya: How we use our sexual energy to rejuvenate our association to our spiritual self. It also means that we don’t use this energy in any way that might harm others,
  • Aparigraha: non-possessiveness; non-hoarding


 Niyama refers to the five observances: how we relate to ourselves, the inner world.

  • Shaucha: purity of body and mind.
  • Santosha: satisfaction; satisfied with what one has.
  • Tapas: Self-discipline of body and mind.
  • Svādhyāya: study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul, which leads to self- analysis on a greater awakening to the soul and God within,
  • Ishvarapranidhana: surrender or devotion (or worship of) God and guru.


 Asana:

Discipline of the body: Rules and postures help to keep the body free from disease for conserving vital energy. Accurate positions are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and stop them from creating disturbances.



 Pratyahara:

Removal of senses from their external objects. The last three levels are called internal aids to Yoga (antaranga sadhana)


 Pranayama:

Stabilizes the body and helps in the process of gaining concentration of the mind.


 Dharana:

Concentration of the mind upon a bodily object,


 Dhyana:

steadfast meditation. Undisturbed flow of mind around the object of meditation (pratyayaikatanata). The act of meditation and the object of meditation remain separate.


 Samadhi:

oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation.