The 8 limbs of Yoga by Patanjali
The 8 limbs of Yoga defined by Patanjali 2500 years ago was the first structured system around yoga and a step-by-step guide to reach Samadhi – the highest level of consciousness.
The limbs build on each other and represent the different stages one has to go through to reach Samadhi.
The stages are:
1. Yama – Universal principles of living a yogi life style
2. Niyama – Guidelines for our inward attitude towards ourselves
3. Asanas – the physical practice of yoga
4. Pranayama – breathing exercises to expand prana (life force)
5. Pratyahara – the withdrawal of senses and concentration
6. Dharana – Focusing of consciousness
7. Dhyana – the meditative state
8. Samadhi – Complete integration of body, mind, and spirit or union with the Devine.
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