We’ve made it to the 8th stage of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga! If you haven’t followed along with the previous 7 articles, you can find them under the ‘Learn’ category on my website. The final limb of Yoga is Samadhi. You’ll notice that as we move through the stages of Yoga, each one becomes less physicalContinue reading “Samadhi ~ Ashtanga Yoga”
Dhyana is an ancient practice in both Hindu and Buddhist scripture. From Sanskrit, it can be roughly translated as “deeper awareness of oneness”. Dhyana is often described as meditation and while this is true, it’s a specific type of meditation where the meditator should perceive themselves and the rest of the word (including the objectContinue reading “Dhyana ~ Ashtanga Yoga”
Dharana is the act of training the mind to focus on one specific object. Simple in theory, yet difficult to practice! Practicing Dharana, or concentration, gives us the opportunity to learn about the thoughts that tend to distract us and come to learn the patterns of the mind. With time and consistent practice, we strengthenContinue reading “Dharana ~ Ashtanga Yoga”
“Just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs, so when a man withdraws his senses from the sense objects, his wisdom becomes steady.” -Bhagavad Gita So far we have covered the external aspects of Yoga: Yamas, Niyamas, Asana and Pranayama. This means that we have reached the stage in Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga where we transition fromContinue reading “Pratyahara ~ Ashtanga Yoga”
Prana is the vital life force which manifests itself as the breath that sustains the body. Through practicing extension of the breath (ayama) we can calm the nervous system and in turn, the mind, preparing ourselves for meditation, or simply the challenges of everyday life! There are endless healing benefits to be gained from correct and consistent practice of Pranayama, with numerous techniques to follow too.
Asana is the most well-known and practiced limb of Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, usually described as the “physical practice”. In the Yoga Sutras, the Sanskrit word Asana is defined as “a position that is steady and comfortable” and the practice of Asana involves the ability to sit for long periods of time in one posture.
In my last post I spoke about the Yamas, the 5 moral guidelines for behaving towards the outside world. The Niyamas are the second limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga and provide us with guidelines on how to behave towards ourselves. Following the Niyamas cultivates self-discipline, inner happiness, integrity and confidence yet humility. 1. Saucha, Self-PurificationContinue reading “The Niyamas ~ Ashtanga Yoga”
My previous post introduced the 8 Limbs of Yoga, a pathway derived by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Now we’re going to explore the first part of Ashtanga Yoga – the Yamas. It can be confusing to learn that Asana is not the first but the third step, since the physical postures are so oftenContinue reading “Ashtanga Yoga ~ The Yamas”
‘Yoga is the cessation of the thoughts in the mind’. This is the essence of what Yoga can help us to achieve – freedom from the desires that draw us away from our natural state of peace.
Meditation does not have to mean clearing your mind of all thoughts. There are many other techniques, often involving an object of focus to which you bring all of your attention. The object of focus tends to fall under one of the following categories. BreathObserving your natural pattern of breathing. SensoryExamples include candle gazing (trāṭaka),Continue reading “Types of Meditation”