The Eighth Limb of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path: Samadhi (absolute consciousness)

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Last month, we covered the seventh limb of Ashtanga yoga – Dhyana (meditation).  All previous posts can be found on the YWG GRACE-MAIL archives.  Now we are going to explore the eighth and final limb:  Samadhi (absolute consciousness).  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: SAMADHI If you walked the streets and asked people what they think the purpose of yoga would be, many would suggest that yoga is about flexibility, … Read More

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

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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)

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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)

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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 Yama: Aparigraha (non-coveting)

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To refresh, the five yamas (codes of conduct) of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Ahimsa (non-aggression or non-violence) Satyam (truthfulness) Asteya (non-stealing) Brahmacharya (continence) Aparigraha (non-coveting).  We previously looked at the fourth yama – Brahmacharya (continence).  Now, let’s explore the fifth yama – aparigraha in more detail.  Focus: APARIGRAHA Aparigraha is often interpreted as non-greed or non-coveting.  It is the abstention from possessiveness, greed, selfishness and acquisitiveness. Aparigraha is about accepting what one has and being mindful when giving and receiving.  In our contemporary consumerist society, this concept of simple living is a difficult one for many to grasp especially … Read More

The Fourth Yama: Brahmacharya (Continence)

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To refresh from last month, the five yamas (codes of conduct) of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Ahimsa (non-aggression or non-violence) Satyam (truthfulness) Asteya (non-stealing) Brahmacharya (continence) Aparigraha (non-coveting). Last month, we looked at the third yama – Asteya (non-stealing).  This month, let’s explore the fourth yama – brahmachharya in more detail.  This month’s focus: BRAHMACHARYA Brahmacharya is keeping control of one’s desires, particularly sexual ones.  It is chastity of word, thought and deed.  One who practices brahmacharya is said to be one whose mind is always fixed on the divine Being to achieve purity of heart.  Attachment to sensual … Read More

The Second Yama: Satyam (Truthfulness)

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To refresh from last month, the five yamas (codes of conduct) of Patanjali’s Eight Fold Path are: Ahimsa (non-aggression or non-violence) Satyam (truthfulness) Asteya (non-stealing) Brahmacharya (continence) Aparigraha (non-coveting). Last month, we looked at the first yama – Ahimsa (non-violence).  This month, let’s explore the second yama – satyam in more detail.  This month’s focus: SATYAM Satyam is truthfulness.  It refers to truthfulness in action, word and thought.  By making the heart and the lips the same in conformity with the facts, one creates an atmosphere of truthfulness.  There should be no split in personality – the yogi should be … Read More

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

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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