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Yoga and the 8-Fold Path Patanjali’s Ashtanga as related through the Yoga Sutras
Samadhi Pada: (51 sutras) "Yogaścitta-vritti-nirodhaḥ" Yoga Sutra 1.1 & 1.2 "Yoga is the restraint of mental modifications” 1. Now concentration is explained. 2. Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrttis) Swami Vivekananda or 1. OM: Here follows Instruction in Union 2. Union, spiritual consciousness, is gained through control of the versatile psychic nature --Charles Johnson
Sadhana Pada (55 Sutras) Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for "practice" or "discipline". Here the author outlines two forms of Yoga:Ashtanga Yoga (Eightfold or Eight limbed Yoga) and Kriya Yoga (Action Yoga). Note: Kriya yoga, sometimes called Karma Yoga. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Arjuna is encouraged by Krishna to act without attachment to the results or fruit of action and activity. In other words, Kriya yoga is the yoga of selfless action and service.
“Vibhuti Pada” (56 sutras) Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for "power" or "manifestation". ’ Supra-normal powers' (Siddhi) are acquired by the practice of yoga.
the entering of another’s soul
ability to fly or move great distances in moments
the ability to acquire great wealth with little effort
Disclaimer: The temptation of these powers should be avoided and the attention should be fixed only on liberation.
Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras) Kaivalya literally means "isolation", however the SutrasKaivalya means emancipation or liberation, which is the goal of Yoga Moksha(liberation) Jivamukti(one who has attained Moksha). The Kaivalya Pada describes the nature of liberation and the reality of the transcendental self. Think Samadhi
Yamas Yama: code of conduct, self-restraint The five Yamas— Kindness, truthfulness, abundance, continence, and self-reliance--are oriented toward our public behavior and allow us to coexist harmoniously with others.
Ahimsa: “to do no harm…” Ahimsa traditionally meant "do not kill or hurt people." This can be extrapolated to mean that we should not be violent in feelings, thoughts, words, or actions. At root, ahimsa is the practice of compassion towards yourself and others.
Satya: “Truthfullness” Satya means "truth," or "not lying." Practicing Satya means being truthful in our feelings, thoughts, and words, and deeds. It means being honest with ourselves and with others. Note: “sat” means Knowledge or Truth with a big K or T
Asteya: "not stealing" Asteya, or refers to the stealing that grows from believing we cannot create what we need. At core is our misperception that the universe is lacking abundance As a practice, Asteya can be seen as the rooting out the subconscious beliefs of “lack” and “scarcity” that cause greed and hoarding in all their various manifestations.
Brahmacharya We practice Brahmacharya when we consciously choose to use our life force (especially the energy of sexuality) to express our dharma, rather than to frivolously dissipate it in an endless pursuit of fleeting pleasures. Brahmacharya reminds us that our life force is both limited and precious, and sexual activity is one of the quickest ways to deplete it. As yogis, we choose to use the power behind sexuality to create, to fulfill our mission, to find and joyously express our inner selves. The practice of Brahmacharya is not some archaic form of moralizing, but rather a reminder that, ifwe use our energy wisely, we possess the resources to live a fulfilling life.
Aparigraha: “non-grasping” Aparigraha as a practice is identifying greed that is rooted in jealousy. Jealousy means that we desire to be what someone else is, or to have what someone else has. Aparigraha, in its essence, helps us discover our own selves
Niyamas Niyama: religious or internal observances or commitments The Niyamas: Cleanliness, Contentment, Mortification, Study, and Self-surrender to God
Saucha (aka Shaucha) Cleanliness The most common translation is "cleanliness." But Shaucha, at root, is concerned with keeping different energies distinct. Shaucha protects the purity and sanctity of the energy around us. Shaucha focuses on the grossest physical concerns (bodily and environmentally) as well as more subtle energetic issues (mental and physically).
Samtosha: “Contentment” Samtosha, as a practice, prevents desire to obtain, experience and /or accumulate objects of pleasure. A common example is overexerting in a pose, tell them to stop and reestablish a calm breath and the feeling of Samtosha. Only then, in that spirit, should they resume the practice of the pose. This quality of contentment leads to mental peace.
Tapas “heat” Often translated as heat or austerity, Tapas can also be considered in terms of simple living or wise effort. Austerity: by practicing a self-denying and austere life style, we can learn to control desire-generated emotions. Also, by living simply we recognize a space is created where greater endeavors replace baser desires. Wise effort can be discerned as the difference between someone who simply fantasizes and someone who is on the path toward their dreams. Effort is required to make anything bear fruit in the physical world, and yet we have to balance Tapas with Samtosha-effort with contentment. If we try to force things, we will end up doing harm. Lastly, Tapas can also be considered as the heat generated that creates a purifying effect.
Svadhyaya Svadhyaya translates as “Study of One's Self” and/or as the “Study about the Self.” As a practice Svadhyaya enlightens the true nature of human nature and facilitates healthy thoughts Evolution through Involution This is largely accomplished through careful self-observation. After working in a pose, pause, become still and feel the changes. This builds self-awareness, the foundation of Svadhyaya.
Ishvara Pranidhana: “I Surrender” Ishvara Pranidhana can be translated as “Surrender to God” and/or as “Surrender of Ego.” In short, Apractice of Ishvara Pranidhana may manifest itself as a desire to be less self-centered by aiming at higher goals. In terms of our asana practice, most of us are concerned with "getting there." We want results. We want to achieve. In consideration of Ishvara Pranidhana, will be able to do yoga with both intensity and calmness when they dedicate practice to a universal life force of which we are all a part. We realize it is our intention and effort that count.