INTRODUCTION…Raja yoga is the path of will powerIt is also known as patanjali’s yoga or astanga yogaAstanga yoga = eight (asta) + limbs (anga)It is mainly divided in to two parts Antaranga yoga (direct way to moksha) Bahiranga yoga (indirect way to moksha)
Antaranga yogaYama (Social Discipline)Niyama (Self Discipline)Asana (yogic postures)Pranayama (mastery through breath)Pratyahara (mastery over senses)
Yama – Social DisciplineThe first component of Ashtanga YogaRules for Social Discipline(Guidelines on how to behave in society)These are universal laws respected everywhere(Laws of Nature)These are easy to follow
Yama1. Ahimsa – Non Violence2. Satya – Truthfulness3. Asteya – Non Stealing4. Brahmacharya – Sexual Control5. Aparigraha – Non Possessiveness
Ahimsa* Means of behavior towards all living creatures* Absence of harmful intentions or thoughts* To be followed on three levels i) Physical ii) Verbal iii) Mental* Generate love & compassion towards all living creatures
Yama – Social Discipline Satya – TruthfulnessFact is factThere is no other way than to accept itWe try to hide the factsWe do not accept the factsOne lie requires many more lies to support itUntruthfulness in all its various forms creates many types ofunnecessary complications in lifeTruthfulness is absolutely necessary for the unfoldment of reality
Asetya – Non StealingStealing means to take anything without thepermission of its ownerYoga sadhaka should not take anything, which doesnot belong to them.They should not even take intangible or highlyprized things, such as credits for something theyhave not done.
Brahmacharya – Sexual ControlIn its real sense means the abstinence from sexualindulgence to obtain a higher yogic levelOne cannot get real bliss realised by the transcendentknowledge of higher yogic life, whilst having sexualpleasures at the same timeOne may not be required to give up sexual activitiesstraightaway, but must completely abstain beforecommencing serious practice of Yoga on a higher level.
Brahmacharya – Sexual Control (cont.)A real yogi should be prepared to completely give up, notonly physical indulgence in sexual activities, but alsothoughts & emotions concerned with itIn a wider sense Brahmacharya means a freedom fromcravings of all sensual enjoymentsThe attitude of the mind is responsible for these cravings
Aparigraha – Non Possessiveness The tendency to accumulate worldly goods is considered a basic instinct in human life Necessities – comforts – luxuries(These are subjective & limitless) One needs to satisfy its childish vanity & desires, to appear superior to others One must spend time & energy in accumulating these things, which are not really needed.
Aparigraha – Non Possessiveness (cont.) Maintaining & guarding the accumulated items Constant fear of loosing them Feeling of pain if actually lost Feeling of regret to leave them behind, when bidding goodbye to this world. We spend our valuable time & resources to accumulate, yet they generate a constant source of disturbance to us. Hence minimise your needs
NiyamaShoucha – Cleanliness, PuritySantosha – ContentmentTapa – AusteritySwadhyaya – Self StudyIshwara Pranidhana – Surrender to God
Niyama – Self DisciplineShoucha – Cleanliness, PuritySantosha – ContentmentTapa – AusteritySwadhyaya – Self StudyIshwara Pranidhana – Surrender to God
Niyama – Self DisciplineSecond component (Anga) of Ashtanga YogaRules for self disciplineYamas are moral & prohibitive, whereas Niyamas aredisciplined & constructiveYamas provide ethical foundation & Niyamas providephysical & mental foundation for furthering studies of YogaYamas can be practiced only within a society, but Niyamascan be practiced anywhere irrespective of societyYamas are reactive & Niyamas are active
Shoucha – Cleanliness, Purity Purity of body, mind & intellect These instruments become impure when things are added to them. Shoucha helps to eliminate these additions. Hatha Yoga prescribes many practices for the purification of the internal body The cleansing practices are divided into six major categories: Shatkarmas1) Dhouti 2) Basti 3) Neti 4) Tratak5) Nouli 6) Kapalbhati
Santosha – ContentmentThis is a mental attitude that keeps the mind in a condition ofequilibriumCircumstances impact on the mind & cause it to react. These reactionsdisturb the equilibrium of the mind & in turn disrupt the physicalcondition of the bodyTo avoid these disturbances train your mind to react with contentmentAlways say “Very nice Very nice!”A continual practice of Ashtanga Yoga along with training the mindthrough Mantra Sadhana, is necessary to develop this attitude
Tapa – Austerity, Self DisciplineThis includes various practices, the object of which is topurify the sadhakas body mind complex for further study ofYogaPractices include fasting & observing various vows. Theseare performed to control the functions of the body & mindA systematic practice begins with simple exercises, to exertcontrol of willpower & in progression more difficultpractices are performed. This practice loosens theassociation of the consciousness with the body mindcomplex
Swadhyaya – Self Study Study is the process of acquiring knowledge, both theoretical & practical The explanation given by Patanjali of study is as follows:Deerghakaal – for long periodNairantarya – continued, uninterruptedSatakarasevito – with full unconditional faith The style of study will depend on the individual self
Ishwarpranidhana – Total surrender to GodThe progressive practice of Ishwarpranidhana will lead to samadhi, thestate of unionIshwarpranidhana is a process of transformation from human to GodIshwarpranidhana is the concept of loosing the identity of the self &merging it with that of Ishwara the GodThis effort may take many forms according to the temperaments & theprevious Sanskaras of the sadhakaIshwarpranidhana is explained in detail in Bhakti Yoga
Asana “Sthiram Sukham asanam” Sthiram –steady Sukham-comfortable Asanam-postureAccording to hatha yoga “having done asana one getssteadiness of body and mind; diseaselessness andlightness of the limbs
Classification of asanasStanding asanas (ardha chakrasana, ardhakati chakrasana)Sitting asanas (vakrasana, pada hastasana)Prone asanas (mayurasana, dhanurasana)Supine asanas (sarvangasana, chakrasana)Tropsy asanas (sirshasana, hand standing)