Aṣṭāṅga Yoga

aṣṭāṅga (pronounced ‘ash-taangah’ ) ~ eight parts

Patañjali codified the teaching of yoga into an method of eight parts. He advised that through consistent practice (abhyāsha) and non-attachment (vairāgya) this method will yield success.

  • YAMA


    Ahiṁsā – non-violence
    Satya – truth
    Asteya – non-stealing
    Brahmacarya – sexual continence
    Aparigraha – non-acquisitveness



    Śauca – cleanliness
    Santoṣa – contentment
    Tapas – austerity/discipline
    Svādhyāya – continual learning
    Īśvara praṇidhāna – surrender to the highest


    Seated Posture

    II.46 Āsana is a steady comfortable posture.

    II.47 By lessening the natural tendency for restlessness and by meditating on the infinite, posture is mastered.

    II.48 Thereafter, one is undisturbed by dualities.


    Breath regulation

    II.49 With posture acquired, the movement of inhalation and exhalation should be controlled. This is prāṇāyāma.

    II.52 As a result, the veil over the inner light is destroyed.

    II.53 And the mind becomes fit for concentration.’


    Sense withdrawl

    II.54 When the senses withdraw themselves from the object and imitate, as it were, the nature of the mind-stuff, this is pratyāhāra.

    II.55 Then follows supreme mastery over the senses.



    III.1 Dhāraṇā is fixing the the mind to one place, object or idea.



    III.2 When awareness flows evenly towards the point of attention, this is known as Dhyāna.


    Clear Perception

    III.3 Samādhi is that condition of illumination, where union disappears, only the meaning of the object on which the attention is fixed is present.

*Translation: Swami Satchidananda

Practice of the eight limbs of yoga is the means of eradicating impurities, just as an axe is the means of severing wood.

– Vyāsa’s Commentary 2-28 –

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