Niyama : Internal restraints – Eight fold limbs path

Niyamas (Internal-restraints) Ethical guidelines for the yogi pertaining to her daily activities. Observances of one’s own physical appearance, actions, words and thoughts.

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 Niyamas (Internal-restraints)

Ethical guidelines for the yogi pertaining to her daily activities. Observances of one’s own physical appearance, actions, words and thoughts.

These also are 5 in number,

Shauca (Purity):

Cleanliness, orderliness, precision, clarity, balance. Internal and external purification. Cleanliness.  

Santosa (Contentment):

Equanimity, peace, tranquility, acceptance of the way things are. Contentment.

Tapas (Heat):

Burning desire for reunion with God expressed through self-discipline, purification, willpower, austerity, and patience. Self-mortification.

Svadhyaya (Study of the Self):

Self-inquiry, mindfulness, self-study, study of the scriptures, chanting and recitation of the scriptures. Searching for the Unknown (divinity) in the Known (physical world). Scriptural Study.  

Ishvara Pranidhana (Devotional offering to the Lord):

Surrender to God, open-heartedness, love, “not my will, but Thy will be done,” willingness to serve the Lord. Surrender to God.

Relevance.  Learning the lessons of the Yamas and Niyamas is a daily one.  In particular, I have to consistently move my inner dialogue for being self-judgmental.  I can get into the mental state where I draw conclusions about myself, and my self-worth from what I have achieved (at work, at home or on the mat).  Ideally I should be able to honestly (Satya) acknowledge that I have not done by best (i.e. take responsibility), however stay present to consider and learn lessons why (but not then draw conclusions about myself for that situation).

Ashtanga Yoga : Raja Yoga – Eight limbs

rajayoga

Raja means “royal”. Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. The Yoga Sutras are built on a foundation of Samkhya philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita. In the Yoga Sutras, Maharshi Patanjali prescribes adherence to eight “limbs” or steps (the sum of which constitute “Ashtanga Yoga”

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This Yoga path teaches deep self respect through self mastery. The self here is honored. Raja Yoga believes that the universe exists for the self, giving the self an illusion of centrality which results to self respect and respect for all creatures.

 

Ashtanga Yoga – The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

The eight “limbs” or steps are  Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Some yogis categorized these eight steps into two groups. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara comprise the first group. Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi belong to second group, called Samyama. This categorization is because of no cognizance present among Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

Though there is no cognizance to Dharana, Dhyana and Samadh, they are independent of time and sequence. The result is that they exist independently and also exist simultaneously. Any one, two or three can exist at the same time. When the three stages exist simultaneously then it is called  Samyamah, the simultaneous existence.

           

 The Yoga of Patanjali is Ashtanga or comprised of 8 limbs,

 

 Yama / Niyama- are ethical obligations.

 Asana- Postures of the body.                                                                        

 Pranayama – Control of prana or vital breath. Asana, Pranayama are breath control.

 Pratyahara – Pratyahara is sense withdrawal.

 Dharana – Dharana  is fixing the attention on a single object; concentration.

 Dhyana – Dhyana is meditation.

 Samadhi – Samadhi the experience of unity with God (Super-conscious state or trance).

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