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Ashthangyog

Ashthangyog

 Maharishi Patanjali's yoga is known as Raj Yoga / Ashthang yoga, which is a system for control of the mind.

(Yogaś chitta-vtti-nirodha)

"Yoga is the inhibition (nirodha) of the modifications (vtti) of the mind (chitta)".

Eight parts of Yoga are Yama, Niyam, Asan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharna, and Dhyan & Samadhi.

 

1.   YAMA - (Means self restraint i.e. the five "abstentions"):  The duties required to be done for harmonious and peaceful flow towards the society. Five kinds of ‘ Yama ’ has been described  as follows

a)   Ahinsa is non-violence or mercy. It teaches not to cause injury or harm, to anybody through thought, word or deeds. Love to entire creation of god is Ahinsa.

b)   Satya is non-lying or truthfulness i.e. saying exactly what one sees with one’s eyes, here with one’s own ears and understands through one’s own brain.

c)   Asteya is non-steeling. It teaches not to be greedy of others wealth or possessions. To give up stealing .

d)   Brahmacharya is non-sensuality i.e. keeps one’s sense organs and organs of procreation under control . It also means not to be tempted by the Lustful enjoyments through, thoughts, words and deeds.

e)    Aparigraha is non-possessiveness.  Not to accumulate wealth & property beyond one’s necessity.  In Asteya one gives up stealing but may accept charity. But in Aparigraha, charity is also not accepted.

 

2.   NIYAMA-  Duties performed for the benefit to soul are called ‘Niyamas’ which are five in number as follows ;

a)   Shaucha means purity (internal and external). The body can be kept clean and pure by Sattvic food and Shatkarms i.e. Six yogic purification kriyas (Neti – cleaning of nose. Dhauti – cleaning of stomach , Nauli – cleaning of intestines , Vasti – cleaning of rectum , Kaplabhati – cleaning of lungs and Triatak – cleaning of vision with increasing concentration to go in further steps of yoga  ) . Mind purity is achieved through giving up the attachments, jealousy.

b)   Santosh means Contentment; one should be satisfied with whatever is acquired from truthful duty and by grace of God. Contentment in the highest form of happiness.

c)   Tap means Development of resistance power. It includes keeping the mind detached and under control to bear pain, heat, cold, hunger, thirst etc.

d)    Swadhyaya means to study spiritual books to gain real knowledge and spending one’s time in the company of good people and exchanging ideas with them.

e)    Ishwara Pranidhana means complete surrender of self to GOD in words, deeds and thoughts. It implies worship of God, chanting of His Name, hearing about Him and thinking of Him. Submitting the results of our action to Him.

 

3.   ASANA - Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation. (Sthir Sukham Asanam) means a posture which is comfortable and which keeps body straight and firm to impart a state of effortlessness to the body. Asanas are of two types  ;

a)   Meditation postures meant for comfortable long lasting stable postures in which a person can stay for a long time to do meditation like Padmasana, Sidhasana and swastikasana.

b)   Physical Postures meant to gain physical health like Sarvangasana, Bhujangasana, Chakraasana, Pawanmuktasana etc.

 

4.   PRANAYAMA - ‘Parana’ breath, "Ayama", to give direction, to restrain or stop i.e. to control of the life force by controlling the normal breathing cycle. Evils are destroyed by Pranayama.It is essential for purification of mind and body. Pran is not only the air; it is the vital energy in the air which makes us alive.

- For living we need, FOOD , WATER & AIR.

- Expulsion of waist product, Toxins – STOOLS , URINE , PERSPIRATION & AIR.

i) Stools we pass once or twice a day so it is least important.

ii) URINE we pass 6-10 times per day. Little more important than Stools.

iii) PERSPIRATION is a twenty four hours process from the skin which is the biggest  organ of  the body and more important than urination .

iv) AIR is also 24 hour’s inhalation and exhalation process. Maximum

purification is done by air i.e respiration . It can cause physical & mental

purification .Therefore in Yoga  we give maximum importance to

PRANAYAMS.

- Do accurate posture physically. Feel with concentration on the affected body parts.  With inhalation which carry oxygen, environmental energy to the exact locations. Then exhale with coming to normal position. It will help to remove toxins, excessive deposition from the affected body organs.

 

a)   Pranayam  includes controlling the inhalation (Poorak), Exhalation (Rachak) and stopping of breathing (Kumbhak). Three types of Kumbhak are Antrik Kumbhak , Bhaia Kumbhak & Madhya Kumbhak.

b)   There are four types of breathing ;

i)             Chest Breathing .

ii)            Abdomen breathing .

iii)          Chest Abdomen Breathing

iv)          Abdomen chest breathing

c)   Subdivision of Pran Vayu;                                                                 

i)Prana vayu; pervades the region from throat to the heart. It helps in the downward flow of breath.                                                               ii)Apana Vayu; located below the naval region. It strengthens the large intestine and helps in the expulsion of wastes like urine and stools.                                                                                           iii) Samana Vayu; It pervades the region between the heart and the naval. It controls the digestive organs .                                                                                                      iv) Udana Vayu; pervades the region from the throat to the brain. It controls sense organs & brain .                                                                  v) Vyan Vayu;  pervades the entire human body . It coordinates all the  Vayus and other centers of energy & the extremities which keeps proper balance of the body.

Controlling the flow of pran vayu  from nadis ,Ida and Pingla i.e. breathe through left & right nostrils.

The flow of pran vayu through the left nostril is done by IDA OR CHANDRA NADI which gives the cool effect and control the left side of the body. It carries the energy of caring , love , devotion, inspiration and emotion.It controls the thoughts. It gives the BHAKTI YOG  Quality . When it is disrupted  or out of balance people become extreem emotional , Psychic  sensitive ,suffer from insomnia, fears , nightmares.   If uniformed , it Removes the anxiety, nervousness, Hurry ness, Restlessness, Stress, Hyperactvity  in children etc. It gives the calmness , quietness , relaxation. 

The flow of Prana Vayu through the right nostril is done by the PINGLA OR SURYA NADI which provides the heat effect and controls the right side of the body . It governs motivation, ambition, will power, and desire for deeper spiritual knowledge. It creates the tendency towards GYAN YOG OR RAJ YOG. An imbalanced  PINGLA NADI creates the tendency to anger , excess ambition , egoistic ,and self centered behavior .It removes the dullness, sadness, To activate the mind and body.

In Paralysis to activates the nervous system. Hemiplegia Right side of the body , breathing through left nostril while concentrating on left hemisphere of the brain . Hemiplegia left side of the body , breathing through right nostril while concentrating on right Hemisphere of the brain.

     The flow of the Pran Vayu through these two NADIES meets in the body , SUSHUMNA NADI is supposed to exist there . This is the central canal having the neutral effect; it controls and balances the other two NADIS. SUSHUMNA NADI provides light and knowledge  giving SATVIK GUNA. It is also called SARSWATI OR SHAKTI NADISUSHUMNA NADI descend down to turn into MANOVAHINI NADI  which is situated behind sternum near heart. This is to be concentrated at the time of PRAYER position at the time of meditation to control MAN (mind).

      Pranayam is to effect the proper balance between IDA and PINGLA and to gain spiritual upliftment through the attainment of light and knowledge from the SUSHUMNA NADI.

      You have to learn BANDHS ( Jalandar Bandh , Udyaan Bandh and  Mool Bandh )  to do pranayams.

            

5.  PRATYAHARA - ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the senses from their respective organs from external objects and projecting them inwards is Pratyahara. Minimize your requirements.  Withdrawal of favorite things in your life. Control, taste, smell, listening, talking, eating, drinking etc. Not giving response, reactions to external world. After a little practice you will yourself feel that you are no more a slave to your sense and you are own master. Your memory will be sharpened and your will power will become stronger.  Now you will feel that you are equipped and competent to enter the internal disciplines i.e. Dharna, Dhyan & Samadhi.

 

6.  DHARANA - ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.  One can concentrate to his Aradhya Dev / Esht Dev or favorite deity.

 

7.  DHAYANA - ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.  Meditating with constant attention on the object of concentration. It purifies the mind and lights the mind with Sattva Guna.

 

8.  SAMADHI - ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.  It is the state of super consciousness and perfect calm. It is climax of Dhyan . When Dhyan achieves maturity , the mind loses the sense of duality with the object of concentration ( Dhyan ) leading to state of Samadhi .