Yoga Information

What is Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga?- Part(I)

The Sanskrit word 'Yoga' has two meaning, because it is derived from two roots - one is 'yujir yoge' and other is 'yuj samadhou'. The root 'yujir yoge' means to join or to unite. Religious leaders accept this meaning because their philosophy is based on dualism. They always try to project an external God and become Gog's representitives. By this they rule over their followers.

However the other root 'yuj samadhou' means to concentrate. Patanjali tried to preach that Yoga where mind is concentrated in order to realise the true self(svarup). Mind is concentrated when thoughts arising in mind is controlled through yogic practice. Total concentration(samadhi) is that state where mind is free from all worldly thoughts and a seer rests in his true self.

Patanjali's Yoga is called 'Ashtanga Yoga' for it is divided into eight parts or limbs. These are - Yama(abstention), Niyama(discipline), Asana(posture), Pranayama(breath control), Pratyahar(withdrawal), Dharana(to hold), Dhyana(meditation) and Samadhi(concentration)(II.29). Yama and Niyama are the external limbs which are to be observed in social life, while others are the internal limbs which are to be practiced in order to concentrate mind.


There are five kinds of Yama; these are - Ahimsa(nonviolence), Satya(truth), Asteya(not to steal), Brahmancharya(to think about Brahman) and Aparigraha(not to accept)(II.30).

Ahimsa - A Yogi should give up violence and cruelty against men and animals. When one gives up violence completely in thought as well as in action and remains firm in nonviolence, animosity disappears(II.35). Then one realises the unity of all.

Satya - While leading social life, one should be truthful. He who follows truthfulness none of his actions goes in vain(II.36).

Asteya - We should not steal or plunder other's wealth. Then we learn how to lead a modest life within our income or we learn how to increase our income. For this by remaining firm on Asteya, a Yogi receives all kinds of wealth(II.37).

Brahmancharya - A Yogi who has given up violence, is truthful always and depends upon his own wealth feels greatness. He thinks about his true self or soul(atman) and its great potential. The Upanishads describe this Atman as Brahman, the ultimate reality and truth. The task of a Yogi is to bear this highest knowledge in mind and proceed further in the practice of Yoga. By bearing knowledge of Brahman firmly one achieves vigour(II.38). This vigour makes his body and mind powerful. Brahmanchrya is not abstention from sex as believed by most people. The great saints of ancient India were married and at the same time practiced Yoga and realised the ultimate truth.

Aparigraha - Aparigraha is not to accept donations, alms or bribe. When one observes Aparigraha one comes to know how to lead life in this birth(II.39). When one does not depend upon others for a livelihood, one learns how to work and earn. Those who depend upon the earnings of others fail to realise their own potential or the potential of true self.


Niyama includes - Shaucha(ablution), Shantosh(contentment), Tapa(to heat), Svadhyay(self-study) and Ishvara Pranidhan(to bear God)(II.32).

Shaucha - It is to keep the body clean. By practicing Shaucha, body is protected and is made free from foreign matter(II.40). We should take bath regularly so that foreign matter sticking to the body are washed away. Also we should keep our environment clean so that practice of Yoga becomes fruitful.

Santosh - It is to remain content and happy. A content man achieves best happiness(II.42).

Tapa - The meaning of Tapa is to heat or to rule. By practicing Tapa, impurities in the body are destroyed and the body and senses are brought under control(II.43). Yogic exercises help remove impurities deposited in various parts of the body. While Shaucha is external purification, Tapa is internal purification. Heat generated during yogic exercise causes sweating and impurities are removed through sweating. By this body becomes fresh, active, powerful, beautiful and diseasefree. One rules over such a body and its senses and proceeds further in realising true self.

Different Yoga Masters teach different yogic exercises(yogasana). My late Master Munishvar Shiv kumar Shastri has developed an unique exercise called Chakrabhedan(circle interception) which is very useful for keeping body and mind under control. This may be practised by people of all ages.

Svadhyay - It is the reading of the self. One is nothing but a mind. So one should read his mind carefully. Through self-study one may understand one's own self. So how one may meet one's beloved God through self-study. This is because God is not different from one's true self.

Ishvara Pranidhan - In order to meet one's beloved God one should make oneself worthy of it. One should bear God or Godliness qualities in oneself. This is Ishvara Pranidhan. Through Ishvara Pranidhan one achieves Samadhi(II.45). Samadhi is the state of total concentration of mind on true self. Through Ishvara Pranidhan one achieves Samadhi, means one attains total concentration of mind on true self and meets one's beloved God.

Other limbs of Yoga shall be described in the next article.

Author is a desciple of Late Munishvar Shiv kumar Shastri who established Muni Samaj. The desire of Author is to spread true spiritualism and yoga worldwide. He has published a book 'Quest for truth: the spiritual and yogic way' recently.



Daily Sabah
Blood Flow The relaxation exercises practiced in yoga can help circulation, especially in hands and feet, and get the blood flowing. It also delivers more oxygen to your cells, boosting levels of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. This helps with ...

Can Yoga Hurt Your Body?
Wicked Local Scituate
Jill Abelson—a yoga instructor, teacher trainer, author and workshop presenter—had been practicing yoga for over two decades. But one day, while easing her way into a headstand at a yoga studio in Miami, the seasoned yogi tweaked her neck and ended ...

and more »


Review: Yoga 2, 11-inch flexible Windows hybrid
ZDNet (blog)
The Yoga 2 11 is well constructed for such an inexpensive laptop (starting at $599). It feels almost as sturdy as ThinkPad models costing much more. It feels very solid in large part due to the display hinges. These allow pushing the lid all the way ...
Lenovo Yoga 2 Review, Specs: Windows 8.1 Powered Convertible Sports 4th ...KpopStarz

all 10 news articles »

Lululemon Athletica opens Huntsville showroom at Village of Providence; free ...
The Huntsville Times -
Lululemon Athletica, which operates a store at The Summit in Birmingham, announced this week it has launched a new showroom at Village of Providence on 500 Providence Main Street. The company specializes in high-quality yoga and fitness clothes, and ...

Leggings And Yoga Pants: Have School Dress Codes Gone Too Far?
CBS Local
Then there was the matter of yoga pants, which are tight like leggings, but flared at the bottom. Did the fingertip rule also apply to those types of pants, especially when no one could tell the difference if they were tucked into boots, which is also ...

and more »

Weed Sport: Frantic high puts yoga mind games in full effect
The Cannabist
I stretched, lapsing in and out of an overheated and stoned consciousness as more than 20 bodies packed around me in a Core Power hot yoga session. Reace, our scantily dressed yoga instructor, glided among us, gently touching backs, gently extending ...

Yoga poses that tone
Yoga is a wonderful way to calm the mind, strengthen the body, practice your balance, and work on your total mind-body and mind-over-matter connections. While all types of yoga have benefits, there are certain exercises that provide more of a toning ...

Never too late to take up yoga
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota yoga instructor Jenny Gallagher stands in front of 30-plus men and women — mostly retirees — relaxing and chatting on yoga mats inside a large church gymnasium in Sarasota. “Is there anything in particular you want to focus on today ...

Chicago Parent

Namaskar Yoga in Chicago is great for newbies and kids
Chicago Parent
I've always wanted to try yoga but felt intimidated, picturing a room full of Gwyneth Paltrow types who only eat vegan and do the downward dog in their sleep. Not so at Namaskar Yoga in Lakeview, where snobbery seemingly doesn't exist and the ...

Yoga big on West Coast, chiropractors popular in Midwest
MyFox Philadelphia
WEDNESDAY, April 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Folks on the West Coast are faithful followers of yoga and meditation. Midwesterners turn to chiropractors or osteopathic doctors for their aches and pains. And nearly one in every five Americans uses ...
Like yoga? Your answer might depend on where you liveKSBY San Luis Obispo News

all 10 news articles »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.