The eight limbs are(1) Yama, (2) Niyama, (3) Asana, (4) Pranayama, (5) Pratyahara, (6) Dharana, (7) Dhyana and (8) Samadhi.

1. Yama, which includes the 5 don'ts. They are Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya(truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (controling the desires (kama)), and Aparigraha (non possessiveness)

2. Niyama, the 5 dos. They are Shaucha (purity, cleanliness), Santosha (contentment, peacefulness), Tapas (austerity, practical (i.e., result-producing) spiritual discipline) , Swadhyaya ( introspective self-study, spiritual study), Ishwarapranidhana (surrender the fruits of actions to God).

3. Asana (posture). A posture in which we can remain long.

4. Pranayama. (Pranayama means the control of Prana. )

5. Pratyahara. (Pratyahara is the stage of withdrawal of the attention into oneself. It is the state of re-sorption into the self of all the senses)

6. Dharana. (Dharana is the act of concentration of the mind. It can be said that it at this stage where 'real yoga' actually begins! )

7. Dhyana. (Dhyana is meditation, an unbroken stream of consciousness whereby very little sense of the 'Ego' remains.)

8. Samadhi. (Oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation.)

Combined simultaneous practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi is referred to as Samyama and is considered a tool of achieving various perfections, or Siddhis.

Understanding Ishwarapranidhana:- Continue Reading »