Ashtanga Yoga

Eight Limbs of Yoga: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.

 

Yama: Universal morality

 

Patanjali’s Yamas:

 

Ahimsa: Non-Violence

Satya Truth in word and thought and absence of falsehood

Asteya: Non-stealing

Brahmacharya: Abstain from sexual intercourse; celibacy in case of unmarried people and Faithful in case of married people; even this to the extent that one should not possess any sexual thoughts towards any other man or woman except one’s own spouse. It is common to associate Brahmacharya with celibacy.

Aparigraha: Absence of avarice (greed)

 

The Ten Traditional Yamas:

 

Ahimsa: Nonviolence; abstinence from injury; harmlessness, the not causing of pain to any living creature in thought, word, or deed at any time.

Satya: Truthfulness, word and thought in conformity with the facts.

Asteya: Non-stealing, non-coveting, non-entering into debt.

Brahmacharya: Divine conduct, continence, celibate when single, faithful when married.

Kshama: Patience, releasing time, functioning in the now.

Dhriti: Steadfastness, overcoming non-perseverance, fear, and indecision; seeing each task through to completion.

Daya: Compassion; conquering callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.

Arjava: Honesty, straightforwardness, renouncing deception and wrongdoing.

Mitahara: Moderate Appetite, neither eating too much nor too little; nor consuming meat, fish, shellfish, fowl or eggs.

Shaucha: Purity, avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech. (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras list this as the first of the Niyamas.)

Niyama: Personal observances

Patanjali’s Niyamas:

Shaucha: Purity, avoidance of impurity in body, mind and speech.

Santosha: Satisfaction; satisfied with what one has; contentment.

Tapas: Austerity.

Svādhyāya: Study of the Vedic scriptures to know more about God and the soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within.

Ishvarapranidhana: Surrender to (or worship of) God.

Traditional:

Hri: Remorse, being modest and showing shame for misdeeds;

Santosha: Contentment; being satisfied with the resources at hand – therefore not desiring more;

Dana: Giving, without thought of reward;

Astikya: Faith, believing firmly in the teacher, the teachings and the path to enlightenment;

Ishvarapujana: Worship of the Lord, the cultivation of devotion through daily worship and meditation, the return to the source;

Siddhanta Shravana: Scriptural listening, studying the teachings and listening to the wise of one’s lineage;

Mati: Cognition, developing a spiritual will and intellect with the guru’s guidance;

Vrata: Sacred vows, fulfilling religious vows, rules and observances faithfully;

Japa: Recitation, chanting mantras daily;

Tapas: The endurance of the opposites; hunger and thirst, heat and cold, standing and sitting etc.

Asanas: Body Postures

It has been identified that there are 900 Asanas from all the texts Mahabarata, Bhagawwad Gita and Ptanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana

Pranayama is the measuring, control, and directing of the breath. Pranayama controls the energy (prana) within the organism, in order to restore and maintain health and to promote evolution. When the in-flowing breath is neutralized or joined with the out-flowing breath, then perfect relaxation and balance of body activities are realized. In yoga, we are concerned with balancing the flows of vital forces, then directing them inward to the chakra system and upward to the crown chakra.

Pratyahara: Control of the senses

Pratyahara means drawing back or retreat. The word ahara means “nourishment”; pratyahara translates as “to withdraw oneself from that which nourishes the senses.” In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It can then be seen as the practice of non-attachment to sensorial distractions as we constantly return to the path of self realization and achievement of internal peace. It means our senses stop living off the things that stimulate; the senses no longer depend on these stimulants and are not fed by them anymore.

Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

Dharana means “immovable concentration of the mind”. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction.  “When the body has been tempered by asanas, when the mind has been refined by the fire of pranayama and when the senses have been brought under control by pratyahara, the sadhaka (seeker) reaches the sixth stage, dharana. Here he is concentrated wholly on a single point or on a task in which he is completely engrossed. The mind has to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption.”

Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation on the Divine

Dhyana means worship, or profound and abstract religious meditation. It is perfect contemplation. It involves concentration upon a point of focus with the intention of knowing the truth about it. The concept holds that when one focuses their mind in concentration on an object the mind is transformed into the shape of the object. Hence, when one focuses on the divine they become more reflective of it and they know their true nature. “His body, breath, senses, mind, reason and ego are all integrated in the object of his contemplation – the Universal Spirit.

Samadhi: Union with the Divine

The final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga is the attainment of Samadhi. Samadhi means “to bring together, to merge.” In the state of samadhi the body and senses are at rest, as if asleep, yet the faculty of mind and reason are alert, as if awake; one goes beyond consciousness. During samadhi, we realize what it is to be an identity without differences, and how a liberated soul can enjoy pure awareness of this pure identity. The conscious mind drops back into that unconscious oblivion from which it first emerged.

Source: Multiple Location.

A Beautiful Morning-Pigeons, Crow and Men (Unedited)

The morning gloom as always been a blissful one if you are one of them who would love to enjoy the early morning aspects. There are few unanswerable beguiling wonderments our mother nature has provided us, but none better than the scenic view on dawn of sun light forcing away the ever yearning darkness and melting the chillness. Don’t we love an engaging Sunday mornings, but I always wonder how many would love to spend their time on seeking worldly nature in this unnatural New World Order. This ordeal has brought on course only by us, so why play the blame game? Having said though the ordeal has become more of our routine by time and we all become addicted to our packed compound of unnatural living. We never once looked out of our window in fear of disease some times and in fear of Laziness on many times. We all have become a pack of robots working for our own cause and chasing a materialistic world. I’m no exception in the New World Oder as I force the Nature to “Shift in My Shift” and work in the Night Shift. But I contribute most of my least available Sunday mornings by waking up early and conjure the nature to do its trick for a wonderful day.

So by conjuring the early morning nature on fine Sunday morning I became the witness of one of the Mundane nature activities yet awestruck attraction to the human eyes. This is very example of how much we are missing in our life everyday and how lazy we are in approaching the nature.

LESSON BY THE NATURE BY SIG’NATURE’:

I was standing on the porch of my uncle’s newly built home, enjoying the suntan and the fresh breath of air. There in the middle of the street one odd movement caught my attention. I sharpened my eye sight and looked in focused towards the movement. It was couple of pigeons and a Crow. Three of them brunching in the wastage of food that our greedy neighbors have “thrown away on the street”. They were slowly pecking one bite at a time and like cuckooing to every beat of the pecking they digested every bite. I went into super zoom focus into the action, since there was another clan person in the name of crow there. So I thought there would some kind of fight for the food. But to my surprise there wasn’t. This might be because of the fact that our neighbors are too greedy, they have thrown much to two of the pigeons to bite for or the pigeons are friendly enough to share their searched meal. Neither way they both have shown some respect to each other and thought me a valuable lesson-Share; Live and Let others Live. This without a doubt sig’Natured’ my morning with blissfulness, Blessing and Lesson of a lifetime worth. I was dumbstruck to move a muscle and even felt my chins go wet at the serenity of Mother Nature. At that moment of gleefulness I was with the Pigeons and Crow sharing the food between us.

THERE CAME THE PARTY SPOILERS:

I had a long straining disturbance in my ear, when I stood in line with the nature synchronizing with every move the three of them made. I was shifted to completely to other end of the street. I was there at porch but not there. I was enjoying the each and every second of my new found adornment towards nature. Again a long straining disturbance in the ear. In a breach of a second I ascended to my previous position on the porch and there were no pigeons and no crow but only the greedy wastes. I was like what has happened here? I looked around the street and found the pigeons were sitting on the compound of a temple, next to the crow. Then only it came to my sense the straining disturbance was because of our humanity. Couple of men came in a motor bike from other end of street and ride right in the middle of pigeons & crow alarming them for security. I bore lost in the battle between humanity and nature there. I tried to recognize the faces of two men. It took a while to recognize, but it has turned out to be the guys who lived right on the edge of the streets. They were just riding the bike for fun through the street, Spoiling the Nature’s party. I was furious, but had to stabilize in the name of civilization. Why one can’t have fun by walking through the streets instead of riding bikes? Was my thought. I was always been fun lover of walking through the hostile & unknown streets, but I can’t expect others to do this.

THE COURAGE AND STRENGTH IN UNITY:

Once the spoilers had all their fun, my civilization guilt ebbed away over the Nature love to look around one last time for the Pigeons and Crow. I found them on the Compound wall of temple waiting for peacefulness, which they were never going to get throughout this day. But the courageous crow flown into the middle of the street and pecked a large bite of food and flown back to the wall. This made things more interesting and I again locked my focus on them. Crow surprisingly shared the food with two pigeons; this taught me an invaluable lesson of Courage through the Crow’s action of acquiring the food even on insecurity and Strength of Unity through its action in sharing the food with the Pigeons.

Today I perceived the blessings of Mother Nature and accepted the lesson taught by them. I was lucky enough on this day to have been selected few by nature as its student. I wondered how many in my street would have taken this lesson if they had a chance. And decided against thinking

In the name of human, I self-pitied myself and all the others on the street for not listening to the Mother Nature’s voice in the mundane life. This voice is unlike our ordinary ears could hear, this could be heard if and only if you could synchronize with your Mind, Body and Heart towards Nature. We are all busy chasing a Materialistic untrue world and forgot to understand even ourselves.

We should be polite and earnest to our Mother Nature and pay respectful tribute to it. One should Never, Ever disregard or Disrespect in any way possible. Disrespect could be: Littering Public Place, Not Listening to Mother Nature’s Voice, Incompetent on Enjoying the Nature and Action against Nature.