Ashtanga Yoga

 Ashtanga Yoga is a system of Yoga recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript. Ashtanga Yoga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:

These eight steps follows exactly the same path of body, mind, intellect, to awareness. The aim is to transcend to the Awareness state.

ashtangaDiscipling the Interaction of Sense organs with world:

Yama - Outward behaviour restraints- Ethical guidelines pertaining to the relationship with others in society, the outer environment, or Nature. All the yamas apply to actions, words, and thoughts. The yama consist of Ahimsa - non-violence, Satya - truthfulness, Asteya - non-stealing, Aparigraha - non-desire and Brahmacharya - moderation.

Niyama: Internal-restraints: Ethical guidelines pertaining to daily activities. Observances of one's own physical appearance, actions, words and thoughts. Niyama include the qualities of- Saucha - purification, Santosha - contentment, Tapas - discipline, Svadyaya - self study and Ishvara Pranidhana - surrender to God (Awareness).

Asana : Discipling the body: seat, correct position i.e. with spine erect & all muscles in the body relaxed.

Pratyahara: withdrawal of senses from their external objects.
Pranayama: control of breath.
Discipling the Mind Pratyahara: withdrawal of senses from the outer world.
Strengthening the Intellect
Dharana: concentration (without any mental wanderings).
Transcending to Awareness
Dhyana: meditation.
Abide in Awareness
Samadhi: oneness with the object of meditation, the Supreme Spirit.

The first four limbs—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama—are considered external cleansing practices in which defects in the external practices are correctable. However, defects in the internal cleansing practices—pratyahara, dharana, dhyana—should be done under the guidance of a teacher, Guru, otherwise it will be wrongly interpreted. The mind tries to interpret in the way it likes and tries to twist the truth for its justification acts. Hence it should be made clear with a teacher or Guru.

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