EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA
( Ashtanga Yoga )
- Yama = Restraints
- 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.
- Asana = Postures
Asana includes both meditation postures, its primary meaning, and the poses used in hatha yoga to build health and self-awareness.
- Pranayama = Control & Expansion of Energy
The breath is used to relax and steady nerves, improve concentration and expand energy.
- Pratyahara = Sense Withdrawal
Through systematic relaxation the senses are naturally calmed and the mind is lead inward.
- Dharana = Concentration
When the mind rests on its inner object it becomes stable.
- Dhyana = Meditation
When the effort to concentrate can be relaxed and held steady, the unbroken flow of concentration is called meditation.
- Samadhi = Self-Realization
Finally, the eternal self alone shines in the mind.
The yamas are the means to regain balance in life. They are: non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation and non-possessiveness.
Vishnu as a Four-Limbed Deity