The Seventh Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Dhyana (meditation)

GraceGrace's BlogLeave a Comment

Last month, we covered the sixth limb of Ashtanga yoga – dharana (concentration).  Now we are going to explore the seventh limb:  Dhyana (meditation). 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: DHYANA The last three limbs of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga are inward practices.  The sixth limb, dharana (concentration) and the seventh limb, dhyana (meditation) are higher stages of the same discipline.  Dharana is the concentration on a particular physical … Read More

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 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

The Fourth Niyama: Swadhyaya (Self-study)

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) Pranidhana (devotion to God). Last month, we looked at the seconde niyama – tapas (austerity).  This month, let’s explore the third niyama – swadhyaya in more detail.  This month’s focus: Swadhyaya Swadhyaya is the practice of self-study and self-analysis.  Sva is interpreted as ‘self’ and adhyaya means ‘investigation or inquiry’.   As yogis, we are encouraged to self-inquire daily through practices such asana, pranayama and meditation.  Traditionally, swadhyaya is attributed to the study of … Read More

The Third Niyama: Tapas (Austerity)

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) Pranidhana (devotion to God). Last month, we looked at the seconde niyama – Santosha (contentment).  This month, let’s explore the third niyama – tapas in more detail. This month’s focus: Tapas Tapas is the practice of discipline and self-control.  It literally means “heat” and refers to an inner fire or energy which enables one to control the body and the mind.  The ability to do this is created by ascetic practices such as … Read More

The Second Niyama: Santosha (Contentment)

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) Pranidhana (devotion to God). Last month, we looked at the first niyama – saucha (purity or cleanliness).  This month, let’s explore the second niyama – santosha in more detail. This month’s focus: Santosha Santosha refers to contentment of one’s lot in life and the desire for no more than what is available to you.  It is an internal balance where one accepts the pleasures and pains of the world and preserves a sense … Read More

The Second Limb Of Ashtanga Yoga: Niyama

GraceGrace's Blog

The last few months, the focus has been on the first limb of Ashtanga yoga – yama (restraints).  As discussed a few months back, there are 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness) We will now focus on the second limb, niyama. Niyama refers to individual discipline or observance and is the Sanskrit term meaning rule or law.  They refer to the cultivation of following good habits.  Like the five yamas, the niyamas are not exercises or actions to be simply studied; … Read More

The First limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: YAMA

GraceGrace's Blog

Last month, we looked generally at Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path, where the practice of yoga as a spiritual discipline is organised into eight limbs or parts.  The Eight limbs are: Yama (restraint) Niyama (observances) Asana (posture) Pranayama (breath control) Pratyahara (controlling the senses) Dharana (concentration) Dhyana (meditation) Samadhi (absolute consciousness) Each month, we will take a close look at each ‘limb’ and highlight the emphasis and expressions provided by them. This month’s focus: YAMA Patanjali stipulates yama as the universal social discipline, the great commandment that transcends all ages, creeds, country and time. The term yama can have different interpretations; … Read More