WHAT IS ASHTANGA YOG?(SADHANA FOR BEGINNERS--26)
WHAT IS ASHTANGAYOG?--
1-Ashtanga Yoga (literally “eight-limbed yoga” is a system developed by the ancient yogic sage Patanjali oulined in his yoga sutras.
Although Patanajali was a yogi raised in the Hindu tradition, his sutras are general guidelines for spiritual growth through right living, and are not specifically about Hinduism. They are not beliefs, but methods that can be tested by each practitioner to see for himself or herself if they actually have the benefits that they claim.
ASTANG YOG is divided in two parts;--
1-1-ANTARANGA;-Antaranga is a Sanskrit term meaning “internal,” “inner” or “inside.” Antaranga yoga, therefore, refers to the inner path. It is typically associated with the last three limbs of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, or Ashtanga yoga – dharana, dhyana and samadhi.
1-2-These yogic practices together are referred to as antaranga sadhana (spiritual practice or spiritual discipline). Sometimes, pratyahara, the fifth limb, is included as well.
1-3-Antaranga chetana is the concept of internal consciousness, which the yogi experiences during meditation. In this state, there are no thoughts or external sensory.
1-4-Antaranga sadhana cannot be observed from the outside, but, instead, is undertaken within and beyond the mind. Their impact is also internal rather than external, as they work directly on transforming the mind, moving it toward liberation and salvation
2-BAHIRANGA;--In contrast, the first four limbs are called Bahiranga yoga and include 1-Yama2. Niyama3 Asanas 4- Pranayama. .
It consists of FOUR progressive stages on the path to Self-Realization.
The stages are:
1-YAMA--(Principles or moral code)
DIVIDED IN FIVE CATEGORY;---- 1-Ahimsa - A principle of non-violence 2-Satya - A principle of Truthfulness 3-Asteya - A principle of non stealing 4-Brahmacharya - Continence / Celibacy 5-Aparigah - A principle of non-hoarding or non possessiveness 2-NIYAMA;-(Personal Disciplines) DIVIDED IN FIVE CATEGORY;---- 1-Shoucha - Purity 2-Santosh - Contentment 3-Tapa - Endurance 4-Swadhyaya - Self study 5-Eshwar Pranidhan - Dedication 3-ASANA Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)Asana is the third limb on of the path that Patanjali defined. It does not mean Hatha yoga postures, but the ability to sit unmoving with a straight spine for long periods of time. (Hatha yoga postures can help one to do this, if one is physically able to practice them.) A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium. 4-PRANAYAMA Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)Pranayama means control over energy in the body. If one can control one’s energy, then one can withdraw it from the outer senses and up the spine, thereby raising one’s consciousness. Extension and control of breath. ANTARANGA;---It consists of FOUR progressive stages on the path to Self-Realization. 5-PRATYAHARA 6-DHARANA 7-DHYAN 8-SAMADHI- 5-PRATYAHARA;---(Withdrawal of Senses)A mental preparation to increase the power of mind. Pratyahara is the interiorization of one’s attention and thoughts.Pratyahara is considered a bahiranga ("external") sadhana by some yogis and an Antaranga sadhana by others. It is the transition between the external and inner practices. Pratyahara is the transcending or withdrawal of the senses. In this practice, the yogi observes the external world objectively to enhance his/her inner growth. 6- DHARANA;-Dharana is concentration; one-pointed focus/Concentration on Object , Concentration of mind on one object and its field. 7-DHYAN Dhyan (Meditation)Dhyana means steadfast meditation on God or the Higher Self.With drawing mind from all external objects and Focusing it on one point and meditating on it. 8-SAMADHI-(Salvation) 1-State of Super bliss, joy and merging individual consciousness in to universal consciousness. Union between Jivatman and Paramatman. Union of Shiva and Shakti in Sahasrar Chakra (the top of the head).
2-Realizing the Bramhan (pure consciousness) or Realization of God is the ultimate achievement of Human Birth.Samadhi is complete absorption in the infinite — literally “oneness.”
3-There are two stages of samadhi: Sabikalpa and Nirbikalpa. Sabikalpa samadhi is conditional and temporary; the ego is still there subconsciously and can come back after the meditation is over. Nirbikalpa samadhi is unconditional and permanent; one cannot fall after obtaining nirbikalpa samadhi; the ego is gone for good.
HISTORY OF ASHTANGA YOGA;--
Yoga has its roots about 5000 years BC as described in Vedic Philosophy and Tantras. Patanjali , great sage composed this path into a Darshan(Philosophy) in his Book Patanjal Yoga Sutra. In which he has formulated Yoga as a Eight Limbs or Eight Fold path.For details read-CATEGORY--BRAHMANA JNANA......SHIVOHAM......