YOGA is an ancient Indian method to tame, to refine and to transform the unruly mind of man. Patanjali may be considered as a pioneer in compiling the scattered wisdom of our legendary Indian sages. It is known as ashtanga yoga or yoga with eight limbs. It is the art and science of arresting the turbulence of our mind. Yoga is known as chitta vritti nirodha or silencing our five senses. According to yoga our ultimate aim in life is self realization or to be united with God.

  1. YAMA teaches us what we must not do. We must observe total non-violence. We should not injure anyone with our word, thought or action. We should not tell lies. We should not steal. We should not accept gifts incurring obligation.
  2. NIYAMA teaches us what we should do. It means cleanliness of body and mind. We must observe purity of body and mind. Like a jewel, contentment should adorn our lives. Liberated from needs, we must be happy at all times. We must be satisfied with what we have. Nothing should upset us.
  3. ASANA or POSTURE We should sit comfortably, at ease. Our backbone must be straight. Our monks used to sit on khusha grass, deer skin or tiger’s skin. We should train our body to sit still for a long time. Lotus position is the best, but not a must.
  4. PRANA YAMA or BREATHE CONTROL. Knowledge alone can never liberate a person. Our mind is brought under control by regulating or by slowing down our breathing. Different kinds of pranayama is existing or practiced by different individuals. With our index finger we may close one nostril, take air through one nostril and send it through other nostril. We may slowly breathe in, hold our breathe and slowly breathe out. Through slowly breathing, we may prolong our life span. Turtles breathe very slowly and live for more than two hundred years. Sudden breathing means sudden death.
  5. PRATYAHARA or WITHDRAWAL of our SENSES. Our five senses, sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch, become silent. We may switch off our mind. We may switch off all our external sensory input. We enjoy real freedom, the freedom from motive. With the silencing of our senses, we turn inward, we indulge in silent introspection.
  6. DHARANA or CONCENTRATION. It may be called one pointed focus on the middle of the eyes or third eye.
  7. DHYANA or MEDITATION. Fixing our attention on God, we meditate on an aspect of our divine creator.
  8. SAMADHI or UNION WITH GOD. Individual consciousness merges with the cosmic consciousness or universal consciousness. In yoga, it is acclaimed as mystical absorption or to be in union with God.