Patanjali's 8 Limbs of the Yogic Life

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  1. Yama
    • strong willpower for restraint
    • five restraints, which are about how you behave outwardly towards others

    • Yamas
    • Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Bramacharya, Aparigraha
  2. Niyama
    • strong willpower for observance and application of truth
    • five observances, which are how you conduct yourself personally, inwardly

    • Niyamas
    • Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, Isvara-pranidhana
  3. Asana
    • physical or mental exercise, including postures
    • originally meant “seat” but refers to ALL physical yoga postures
    • about gaining control over phsysical bodies
    • eventually goes off the mat, so practitioner can have steadiness and ease in all life
  4. Pranayama
    transformation of individula energy (physiological and psychological) into cosmic energy

    “prana” – life force of vital energy, “yama” – expansion or extension

    the mastery of one’s own vital energy and life force

    by manipulating the breath, we learn how to manage our energy more skillfully
  5. Pratyahara
    • displacement and sublimation of psychic energy
    • “withdrawal from the senses”, bridges gap from external to internal energy and attention directed inward toward heart and mind,
    • prep for final 3 limbs
    • looking inward
  6. Dharana
    • fixation of mind on various places, internal and external
    • not succumbing to “shiny object” syndrome

    train the mind to focus on a single point or object

    patience, persistence, and compassion toward oneself
  7. Dhyana
    • sublimation of mind into Being
    • meditation

    • meditation requires concentration: sound, mantra, image, intention, open awareness, etc
    • you can’t sit and meditate, only sit on concentration which may lead to meditative state
  8. Samadhi
    • evolution of sonsciousness from individuality to universality
    • “sama” even or same, “dhi” intellect

    enlightenment, non-duality, ie Yoga

    • eveness and equilibrium of the mind
    • you no longer experience yourself as different from everything else
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Patanjali's 8 Limbs of the Yogic Life
Patanjali's 8 Limbs of the Yogic Life
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