Sunday, November 22, 2015


Many people think that Yoga means the postures or exercises performed.
But in reality these exercises or postures are just one step in Yoga, called Asana (literal meaning 'posture'), which consists of eight steps or limbs.

Let me try to write about them in layman terms.

The following are the 8 sequential steps mentioned in the system of Yoga to attain liberation or enlightenment.

  1. Yama: Universal moral and ethical code. What every one should do and should not do and how we should behave with others.
  2. Niyama: Personal moral and ethical code. What we should and should not do and how we should behave ourselves.
  3. Asana: This is what most of us call as yoga, the postures. Contrary to what many believe, this is an optional step, done mainly to enable a person to sit for long hours during meditation without any problems. It is this along with observing animals in nature, which later transformed into Kung Fu and its derivative martial arts.
  4. Pranayama: This is the breathing exercise to start the process of conditioning the mind.
  5. Pratyahara: This is the control of the 5 senses namely sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste.
  6. Dharana: This is concentration. Looking at a candle flame or repeating or mantra or observing the breath.
  7. Dhyana: This is meditation, where one can keep the mind blank, free of all thoughts.
  8. Samadhi: This is the final state in Yoga. Liberation or Enlightenment, whatever you want to call this. No one can tell what this is. This is something that needs to be experienced by each individual on their own and cannot be described. If anyone describes this, you may very well get out of there as it is not going to be true :)
 It is all this together called as Yoga.

In my next post, I will try to write about the different types of meditation :)

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