We get to hear about yoga through various discussions all the time. What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Yoga’? Some twists, some stretches, some postures, some breathing patterns !
The answer is a thumping No ! ! Lifestyle management is something that the scriptures on Raja Yoga/Ashtanga teach us. It’s extremely relevant from the first thing you think/do/consume in the morning to the last thing you think/do/consume in the night before bed.
Of all the various kinds of yoga, the most practical and systematic way is known to be Raja Yoga, popularly known as Ashtanga Yoga, which is an 8-fold path for reaching the ultimate destination of Wellbeing or salvation. It is described by sage Patanjali in his Scripture, Yog Darshan in the form of Yog sutras.
Ashtanga yoga focuses on breath, movement, and drishti. The study advocated that these three magic ingredients combined brings mental focus and a connection with the body through which the practice becomes centred. Ashtanga Yoga focuses on the Macro as well as the micro aspects on human Mind, Body and soul.
Sage Patanjali very rightly says,
स तु दीर्घकाल नैरन्तर्य सत्कारादरासेवितो दृढभूमिः
Which means, ‘Practice that is done for a long time, without break and with sincere devotion becomes a firmly rooted, stable, and solid foundation.’
A consistent discipline is the base of Yoga. The real benefits of the practice are revealed when we dedicate ourselves to the practice long-term with consistency and discipline.
Sage Patanajali states 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga as follows:
In my ongong articles I’ll visit each one in detail starting with Yama (Principles) in this article today.
Yama are basically the principles or norms to be followed by humans in the society. They make the structuring of society uncomplicated and easy to run. Sage Patanjali very well understood the fact that the fabric of social wellbeing can be kept best maintained if every fabric i.e., every person follows some norms. He describes Yama as
In simple language basic pillars of Yama are :
With the Yamas being in place a follower can move ahead to the next 7 limbs of Ashtanga yoga.
We will be studying every Limb in detail with its practicality in today’s world in our following articles.
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