The Eight Limbs of Yoga

From Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

1.  Yama – Universal ethical disciplines; rules and restraints for us to live in society; our attitudes toward our environment; respect for others and self.

2.  Niyama – fixed observations and guidelines for personal conduct to build character; guidelines for personal daily behavior; our attitude towards ourselves.

3.  Asana – practice of yoga postures; seat in general; the practice of bodily exercises.

4.  Pranayama – practice of breathing; regulation and restraint of breath; breath control management of the energies that control the body linked to the emotions via breath control.

5.  Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses from the outer world toward the soul; restraint of the senses.

6.  Dharana – the act of concentration; keeping the mind focused and collected; the ability to direct our mind.

7.  Dhyana – meditation; contemplation; reflection; attention; the ability to develop interactions with what we seek to understand.

8.  Samadhi – profound meditation; absorption; complete integration with the object to be understood.

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