The Eight Fold Path Of Yoga E Book


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The yogic masters have given this art of unity as an eight~fold path.

Yamas… awareness of obstacles in life

Niyamas… disciplines removing obstacles in life

Pranayama… access of the life force.

Asanas… stability and expression of life.

Dharana… matching frequency through focus.

Pratyahara … accessing the inner world of Oneness

Dhyana… channel to the infinite.

Samadhi… one’s ever present joy

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The Eight Fold Path Of Yoga E Book

  1. 1. The Eight Fold Path of Yoga copyright Shelley Lynne Cummins Yoga is the art of union. Uniquely it is the process of uniting your spirit, mind, emotions, and body in harmony. The process also extends outwards acknowledging this oneness in all others, accepting their unique ways, and finally merging with all from a place of truth and absolute equanimity. The yogic masters have given this art of unity as an eight~fold path. Yamas ~ Restraints from Sufferings Niyamas ~ Divine Disciplines Pranayama ~ Control of the Life Force Asana ~ Posture or Stance Dharana ~ Concentration Pratyahara ~ Perceiving from Within Dhyana ~ Absorption of All there Is Samadhi ~ Bliss
  2. 2. Firstly is the practice of the Yamas ~ Restraints *Causing no harm or injury to oneself and all of life (Ahimsa) *Absolute Truthfulness which dispels ignorance and illusions (Satya) *Nonstealing, hoarding, or coveting... knowing equanimity in all life (Asteya) *Faithfulness, having trust in the divine (Astikya) *Greedlessness or detachment to people, places, and things... knowing this world is a temporary play (Aparigraha) Secondly is the practice of the Niyamas ~ Disciplines *Purity, divine innocense (Shauca) *Contentment, the peace of all understanding (Samtosha) *Taking Actions called sacrifices, sacrificing thoughts and actions that no longer serve, to bring about a qualitative change in conciousness (Tapas) *Self-study, honor of the One in and as “you” (Svadyaya) *Devotion, divine love showering on all divine life (Ishvara~pranidhana) The Yamas are the essential qualities we want guiding our life in order to live yoga. The Niyamas are the means to this divine life.
  3. 3. Awareness of Seeds in the Garden Right now in your life contemplate what is not working, or what you do not want in your life. Then begin to break it down to a seed issue. The seed is a limitation that has made a deep impression in the mind called a samskara. The seed has been given to you through the natural process of conditioning. Conditioning occurs through entrainment of the fields of consciousness from past lives, the birth experience, one's entire childhood, and intense experiences or traumas in the adult life. As we are aware of the seed, the limitation is perceived and experienced. The potential within or our divine self is the part of us that is aware. This awakened part of us loves us unconditionally and through awareness guides us on the path of unlimited freedom. Understanding the Blueprint of the Seed For example let's say your job is not working or you want better employment. This is the outer scenario. Begin to see the seed of limitation that is at the foundation of the job not working. The seed is in a form of a limitation such as fear, pain, anger, loneliness, disrespect, etc. This seed is beyond the players in the outer scenario, it is within the garden of your consciousness. Contemplate that seed, feel it, experience it. Fully experience the seed of limitation through your thoughts, emotions, and physiology. As you become aware of the limitations, they eventually can no longer exist. They become your path through the tunnel into the light. For at the end of every pain is the pure true seed of joy. Then contemplate the opposite of what is not working, contemplate the solutions positively with certainty now. For example, the positive quality of imbalance, overdoing, and not receiving would be equanimity. Therefore you could contemplate equanimity in all ways. Contemplate what you are now creating and resonating in your life with passion. This is the practice of cultivating the opposite. The key is to know you have the quality then gradually the outer will follow.
  4. 4. Mantrams The yogis choose to vibrate Mantrams (divine protection... intentions from the soul) into their four body systems... causal body, mental body, emotional body, and physical body. The causal body is the part of you that is the source, transcendental, or as the yogis say quot;Sivaquot;. This body is everything, so basically it is our remembrance that we are this body. The mental body is your mind. As you contemplate your intentions, the mind will begin to tune to new patterns. Your thoughts, speech and actions will function in accordance to your new mental seeds. The emotional body is the energy in motion which fuels the thoughts into greater force. As you feel great passion, devotion, love, and gratitude, an incredible vibratory force will empower your mantrams. The physical body is greatly affected by the power of heartfelt intentions. Notice how your body feels as you embrace the mantrams. Allow your body to receive ever greater the vibrations of acceptance and love.
  5. 5. Ways to use Mantrams A yogic tool is to recite your goals with intense love before sleeping and upon waking. This time is known to be a sweet spot ~ a transitional time of the brain moving from a limited reasoning intellect of beta rhythms into an intuitive, receptive state of the faster moving alpha brain rhythms. As you contemplate your goals, it is setting the intentions for what you will work on while in the astral realms of sleep. As the physical body rests in sleep, the soul body travels into the astral realms working out karma and receiving greater knowledge. You are in control of your life, so you can program what you would like to work on during sleep. You will definitely work on your intentions and more, even though the mind may not be able to comprehend it all upon waking. Your intuition, inner knowing, and superconscious will have a way of knowing and it will guide you on your journey as it knows you are joyfully vibrating to these new qualities. The yogis work with cycles within the cosmos, earth, and human body. A 21 or 44-day cycle is very common to work with in gaining a new vibration. Time is a paradoxical quality in that it does not exist other than to guide us to our earthly appointments quot;on time.quot; Yet cycles of movement in order for celebration, letting go, and rebirth are circled through. Therefore, you may want to use one of the traditional cycles, a body cycle, the stars and planets, a sacred calendar, or simply your inner knowing. When we are in states of meditation or creative self-expression we are living yoga. We are in unity, present, and happy. As we journey the Eight fold path of yoga, creativity and meditation become a constant way of life. From your intentions you may want to make an art piece, a collage, a song, poetry, a dance, or any other creative project. In doing so you will begin to focus all your attention on what you love. Your soul, mind, thoughts, actions, passion, and physical presence will all harmonize together to create your intentions, now... Powerful!!!
  6. 6. Contemplate the qualities of the yamas and niyamas in your life. For when we live in accordance to truth, we become truth. Causing no harm or injury to oneself and all of life Absolute Truthfulness which dispels all ignorance and illusions Nonstealing, hoarding, or coveting, knowing equanimity in all things Faithfulness, trust in the divine Greedlessness or detachment to people, places, and things, knowing the world is a temporary play Purity, divine innocense Contentment, the peace of all understanding Taking Actions to bring qualitative changes in consciousness and sacrificing, giving up, all thoughts and actions that no longer serves you Self~study, mindfulness, and honor of the One in and as “you” Devotion, divine love showering on all divine life Jai Sri Yogis! Praise to the Beloved One
  7. 7. Part II Pranayama Asana Pranayama Thirdly is the practice of Pranayama. Prana is the life force and yama means control. Pranyama practices are primarily breathing practices deepening our experience of being and living. Through breathing we can connect to all layers of life. By controlling our breath we are at the control panel of our life. As we take in more breath we are taking in more oxygen, oxygenating and expanding the cells in the body. As we release more breath through exhaling, we are detoxifying the lungs and cells. Yogis consider the breath to be the non~verbal aspect of the mind. By following the breath, the mind is in a state of mindfulness. This allows for calmness, space, and potential to flow, as reasoning quiets... the intuition glows. The yogis know three worlds of existence, the physical plane (Bhuloka), the astral plane (Devaloka), and the absolute plane (Sivaloka). The breath is our guide to all worlds. By breathing consciously the physical body becomes healthy and shining. Through concentration on the breath we tune to more light becoming aware of the unseen, our auras, and the astral realms. Through the breath we are also able to tap the realm of the absolute, emptiness, and Siva. The breath is the greatest power we have. Use it with your will for power. Use it with your heart for healing. Use it with your soul to know the truth.
  8. 8. Pranyama Practices Ujjaya Pranayama Ocean Sounding Breath Ujjaya pranayama is a breathing practice inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils. While breathing in and out through the nostrils.. the glottis, the back of the throat, is slightly closed ~ creating a gentle hissing sound. The sound is likened to the rise and fall of an ocean tide. The mind is calmed and lulled by this ocean sounding breath. Breathing in this manner heats the body and allows for greater control. Japa Repetition Japa, the practice of repetition, creates a trance space for the intellectual mind allowing the cosmic mind to flow. Using ujjaya pranayama, inhale while counting to a comfortable and attainable number... then exhale counting to the same number… and begin again. You may want to gradually increase the count perhaps working yourself up to a nine count inhale and exhale. Practice five to ten minutes and notice the illuminating effects of the Presence through the breath.
  9. 9. Four Part Breath This breathing practice entails: inhaling, retaining in, exhaling and retaining out. Do this practice with the ujjya pranayama style, inhaling and exhaling through the nostrils. Using japa, count to four for all of the four parts. For example: count to four while inhaling, count to four while retaining the breath in, count to four while exhaling, and count to four as you retain the breath out. Inhaling is symbolic of creation Retention In ~ revelation Exhaling ~ death Retention Out ~ transformation The key is to balance and become in equanimity with all the cycles of life. Asanas Fourthly is the practice of Asanas, postures or stances. Asanas consist of the physical hatha yoga postures. Ha is the Sanskrit word for sun and Tha is the word for moon. The hatha yoga postures were designed to balance the polarities through the channel of the physical body. In an asana the body is to make the posture while integrating a clear stance with emotional power and mental poise. Through the practice of asanas the etheric energy in the spine is inspired and rises creating greater balance on all levels. Asana Practice Here are three short yoga series: I. Energizing II. Calming III. Restorative
  10. 10. Energizing Side and Diagonal Yoga Stretching Beneficial when you are fatigued, depressed, lethargic, or simply choose more light and energy. Sitting Begin with ujjaya pranayama, breathing in and out the nostrils. Sit with a tall spine. Then lean your torso to the right side reaching the right arm down. Place the left arm up creating a straight line through the upper chest. Dynamically, reach up and stretch down. Hold the stretch for a few long breaths. Then frame both hands around the right knee while bowing the torso and head toward the right knee. Rest with arms dangling and the body at ease in the diagonal forward stretch for a few long breaths. Then do the same exercise to the left side Standing Stand with wide parallel legs. Feel the feet firmly grounded on the floor. Observe strength and security in the lower body while simultaneously light and free qualities in the upper body. Then lean the body laterally to the right side sliding the right arm down the leg to a comfortable stretch. Stack the left arm directly on top reaching toward the sky. With the eyes and head look upward to the top arm. Keep the eyes steady and focused on the top palm and fingertips. Maintain steady deep breathing. Hold the pose a few long breaths. Then take the left hand to touch the right foot. The right arm stretches behind and up like a windmill. Hold a few long breaths. Finally bow the torso and head to the right leg. After a few long breaths roll up slowly. Notice any heat or increase of energy as a result of the yoga asanas. Now repeat to the left side.
  11. 11. Calming Head and Neck Yoga Series Beneficial if your mind or mood has been overworked or as a preparation for meditation. Side Leans Begin by tuning into your breath using the ocean~sounding breath. Sit with a tall spine. Lean your head to the right side allowing your right ear to fall toward the shoulder. Place your right hand on the top ear assisting the stretch. Be aware of the opposite shoulder relaxing down. As you hold the stretch, close your eyes, deepen the breath, and relax the facial muscles. Gradually release your head back to vertical and gently move the head horizontally from side to side. Then do the same exercise to the left side. Forward Leans Continue with the ocean~sounding breath, while sitting very tall. Bring the hands to the back of the head and bow the head forward toward the chest. Let the elbows drop in toward the face as you stretch the back of the neck and upper back. Close the eyes, slow the breathing, and feel any tension in the face completely let go. After a few breaths, lift the head back to vertical. Gently move the head horizontally from side to side noticing the effects.
  12. 12. Circles Begin to make circles with head. As you do this keep your eyes closed. Move slowly drawing circles with the crown of the head while stretching the neck. Make about three or four circles in both directions. Afterwards place your head gently on top of your spine. Find a perfect posture. Feel the head light and clear like a balloon floating on top of a string reaching higher and higher. Observe your state of being.
  13. 13. Restorative Yoga Forward Bends Beneficial for rejuvenating or assisting one in falling asleep. Sitting Sitting in a chair, begin to focus on the ocean~sounding breath. Slowly relax the head, shoulders, arms, and torso in a forward motion bending over the legs toward the floor. Close the eyes, deepen the breath, and concentrate on the diaphragmatic breathing. Feel the lower belly inflate out on the inhale. On the exhale the belly softens gently moving inward. Allow the entire torso, head, and arms to relax in the pose. After a few long breaths roll yourself up to sit and notice your state of being. On the Floor Do the same exercise sitting on the floor with long legs stretched out in front of you for a deeper stretch to the legs and spine. Om ~ Om ~ Om ~ Jai! Sri Yogis! Praise to the Beloved One
  14. 14. Part III Pratyahara Dharana Pratyahara Fifthly is the practice of Pratyahara, withdrawal of the outside world. The yogis practice all knowledge comes from within. By detaching awareness from the outside world, true internal experiences are found. One does not have to be in complete solitude to practice pratyahara. Even when living and working in the outer world, one merely needs to perceive each experience within oneself rather than view it as an outer, separate experience. For example if you are conversing with another, bring the other within you… letting go of quot;mequot; and quot;Iquot; … feel and experience the other as one with you. This is the place where true understanding and compassion are born.
  15. 15. Practices Take an issue that you are working with, go deep inside... completely letting go of the outer scenario around the issue. As you feel and experience the situation completely within, with no sense of without, the issue can evolve. At a certain point, the issue will naturally surrender into the emptiness, the divine nature within. This is where all changes are born. From the silence within you will notice the marked change, as you walk in the world you will also see the changes. *** I took a course on bending spoons through the power of the mind with James Twymann. The premise of the course was to quot;knowquot;' that you have already bent the spoon using your mind no matter what may appear in the physical world. We definitely went through the steps and were able to see some subtle and others extreme outer results of the spoon bending. Yet everyone who quot;knewquot; within themselves that their spoon bended truly succeeded. It is a yogic principle to know the outer world will eventually take form as a result of what quot;isquot; within. James is a great yogi and all these mental spoon bending techniques were applied toward world peace. World peace is a field of consciousness of awareness, connectedness, and harmonious play. It exists now and will always, it simply must be perceived and experienced by greater numbers of people to effect collective consciousness. All who participated worldwide in the course came together in meditation, knowing the world is at peace now. This is a great example of pratyahara at play.
  16. 16. Dharana The sixth step along the eight~fold path of yoga is dharana, concentration. Concentration is necessary in guiding the instinct and intellect to merge with the cosmic all~encompassing self. Yogis use dharana techniques to concentrate all the bodies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) into harmony. One of the effects of dharana is a mastery of time. In a truly concentrated moment past, present, and future merge as one. Dharana Practices Tratak Find a comfortable sitting position. Place a single white or blue candle in front of you. Gaze into the flame, softening the eyes into the light. Relax the eye muscles and any need for definition. Just gaze, gently becoming one with the light. You may want to experiment with the practice of refraining from blinking as long as possible. Your eyes may tear as an inner cleansing occurs. Just observe. After a while, close the eyes and see the light within. Stay concentrated on this inner light. Notice where the origin of light is. Stay centered on this point until all of you is completely immersed in the light as the light. Sun Point Find a comfortable sitting stance. With the eyes closed begin to gaze upward toward the bridge of the nose and third eye point. Allow the eyes to almost cross as they meet in an apex point like the tip of a pyramid. Concentrate on golden sunset, sunrise colors. Feel the glow and warmth as you focus on the sun point awakening the ascension center. You may breathe the energies of the sun in from the crown of the head and allow them to expand inward and outward from the third eye point. After some time in concentration of the sun point naturally deepen into the vastness of silence and peace of all understanding.
  17. 17. Moon Point After concentrating on the sun point for a while drop the eyes downward to the tip of the nose. Again allow the eyes to almost cross as they meet in a single point. Begin to concentrate on shimmering sparkling silver colors. Feel the coolness as you tune to Shakti's grace. Breathe the energies of the moon in from the crown of the head allowing them to expand inward and outward from the tip of the nose and base of the brain, medulla oblongata. After thorough concentration on the moon point naturally deepen into the vastness and depth of emptiness. Atman Either sitting or lying down in a comfortable position bring your full awareness to your heart center, in the middle of the chest. Listen… for an internal hum, buzz, or inner knowing of your divine essence. The yogis know this space within your heart center as the Atman. The Atman is your eternal, blissful self. Your heart is like a soft petaled flower with endless openings. Absolutely everything can be transformed, encompassed, and united here. Jai Sri Atman! Praise to you... The Lord of Eternal Bliss!
  18. 18. Part IV Dhyana Samadhi Dhyana The seventh step along the Eight~ fold path of yoga is Dhyana. This is the practice of meditation. Dhyana literally means absorption of all there is. Active Meditation Throughout our daily activities we can meditate by simply observing ourselves. This state of objectivity regarding our body, feelings, and mind creates a vessel of your being to be divinely filled. As you live in this conscious state, you are truly in many places at once, in all worlds, living as one…. A lord of unity.
  19. 19. Guided Meditation A guided meditation is when the antarayamin (inner dweller, higher self, or God within) guides the process. The intuition begins to play and weave a dream. The yogis know our thoughts are realities and choose them wisely. Bringing to mind your goals or intentions begin to focus on the qualities within those intentions with passion. Let yourself go on a journey. Use all your God given magical powers: your thoughts, visuals as real and colorful as can be, smells, tastes, textures, and your hearing on your inner journey. Allow yourself to manifest with no restraints. Enjoy your virtual dream. This satisfying dream on the inner realms may be all you need. Yet still look for the manifestation of your dream in your outer life. The changes may appear qualitatively, literally, or in subtle surprises. Simply enjoy the way. Know your inner experiences and honestly look for changes in the outer world. Accept the outer world more and more as it is, and continue to play from within… in truth and love. You may quickly begin to see this truth and love also existing in your worldly play. Emptiness Meditation The deepest meditation is just to be. To be is beyond human, it is bridge to all. We must surrender our human tools in order to know who we are beyond the material realm. As we let go and go and go we become and become and become. Find a comfortable sitting position. Follow the breath until you are completely still and present. Allow the outer world to fall away from your thoughts and senses. Let all those you know and love simply fade away. Let them go. Let go of your home and all of your belongings. Let them go. Let go of all the roles you play and who you think you are. Let them go. Allow your name and all definitions to fade away. Let them go. Leave everything. Become nothing. Allow yourself to die of this human world and go deeper and deeper and deeper into the emptiness. Sri Shakti, the all pervading grace envelops you. You become her and fall deeper and deeper into the eternal emptiness. Ommm~~~
  20. 20. Samadhi The eighth step along the yogic path is Samadhi ~ Bliss. The yogis know we are already perfect. We simply walk the path… dying of ignorance while re~discovering our innate perfectness. The yamas and niyamas are guideposts to live as truth. Pranayama is the control of your life. Asanas reflect your stability and expression of life. Dharana is your ability to tune (match frequency) through focus. Pratyahara is your ability to become unified. Dhyana is the channel to the infinite. Samadhi is the joy of it all. Look at your life and notice where there is joy. Notice when you are in samadhi. Samadhi is always within you… it is you. No matter what joy or pain may exist, the samadhi is always there. The joy is always available, it need no reason at all. It is your divine choice to be the happiness you truly are. Jai Sri Yogis! Praise to the Beloved One If you enjoyed this sampler gift please visit: Deeksha The Benediction of Oneness Prayer, En~lightening E Audios, Books, Videos, Free Love Poetry E Cards, Jai! Store, The Culinary Yogi, Prosperity Pages, Travel Yoga, Yoga for Children, Poetry of the Yoga Sutras, Jai! Love Filled News, Extraordinary Events, & more…. Namaste With love, Shelley © 2005 Shelley Lynne Cummins