( Ashtanga Yoga )

  1. Yama = Restraints
    The yamas are the means to regain balance in life. They are: non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation and non-possessiveness.
  2. Niyama = Observances
    The niyamas are practices that lead to wisdom and knowledge of the Self. They include purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study and self-surrender.
  3. Asana = Postures
    Asana includes both meditation postures, its primary meaning, and the poses used in hatha yoga to build health and self-awareness.
  4. Pranayama = Control & Expansion of Energy
    The breath is used to relax and steady nerves, improve concentration and expand energy.
  5. Pratyahara = Sense Withdrawal
    Through systematic relaxation the senses are naturally calmed and the mind is lead inward.
  6. Dharana = Concentration
    When the mind rests on its inner object it becomes stable.
  7. Dhyana = Meditation
    When the effort to concentrate can be relaxed and held steady, the unbroken flow of concentration is called meditation.
  8. Samadhi = Self-Realization
    Finally, the eternal self alone shines in the mind.

© Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA, 2007

Vishnu as a Four-Limbed Deity