The Sixth Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Dharana (concentration)

GraceGrace's Blog

Last month, we covered the fifth limb of Ashtanga yoga – pratyahara (controlling the senses).  All previous posts can be found on the YWG GRACE-MAIL archives.  Now we are going to explore the sixth limb:  Dharana (concentration). Just a reminder that the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness)  This month’s focus: DHARANA Dharana derives from the Sanskrit word ‘dhri’ which means ‘to hold, carry or maintain’.  Dharana is often simply referred to as concentration.  It is the concentration … Read More

The Fifth Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Pratyahara (Controlling the Senses)

GraceGrace's Blog

Last month, we covered the fourth limb of Ashtanga yoga – pranayama (breath control).  All previous posts can be found on the YWG GRACE-MAIL archives.  Now we are going to explore the fifth limb: pranayama (breath control). Just a reminder that the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness)   This month’s focus: PRATYAHARA Pratyahara is centering the mind with control of the senses.  The yoga sutras define pratyahara as ‘the conscious withdrawal of energy from the senses’.  You … Read More

The Third Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Asana (Posture)

GraceGrace's Blog

The last few months we have covered the first two limbs of Ashtanga yoga – yama and niyama.  Now we are going to explore the third limb: asana (posture) which is the most popular in the Western world. Just a reminder that the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness)  This month’s focus: ASANA Asana, the third limb, is often referred to as posture and is the aspect of yoga practice that is often misunderstood and taken for the … Read More

The Fifth Niyama: Isvara Pranidhana (Devotion to God)

GraceGrace's Blog

To refresh from last month, the five niyamas (codes of conduct/regulations) of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Saucha (purity or cleanliness) Santosha (contentment) Tapas (austerity) Swadhyaya (self-study) Isvara Pranidhana (devotion to God).   Last month, we looked at the fourth niyama – swadhyaya (self-study).  This month, let’s explore the fifth niyama – isvara pranidhana in more detail.  This month’s focus: Isvara Pranidhana  Isvara pranidhana relates to the practice of devotion to God.  Patanjali’s reference to the divine in the Yoga Sutras is not restrictive to a particular conventional God but rather a universal divine force.  According to Patanjali, liberation can be … Read More