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Exploring the Eight Limbs of Yoga and Ten Principles of Yama

Mar 22nd, 2024 | 1 Min Read
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Category: Yog Sutra


Language: English

Imagine a set of ten universal and fundamental austerities that transcend all barriers, places, times, or circumstances. According to the Sāndilya Upanishad, the eight aṅgas of yoga are yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇa, dhyāna, and samādhi. These are the yamas, the first two of the eight aṅgas of yoga, as per the Sāndilya Upanishad. They are not just principles but a way of life that anyone, regardless of their background, can embrace. Let's delve into these restraints and observances and explore their ten different principles.

Ashtanga Yog: The Eightfold Path of Yoga Sutra: 

The primary framework of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali consists of eight limbs, known as the Ashtanga or "Eightfold Path." Here is how the components you've mentioned fit into this structure:
  1. Yama (यम)- Restraints
  2. Niyama (नियम)- Personal Observances
  3. Āsana (आसन)- Postures
  4. Prāṇāyāma (प्राणायाम)- Breath Control
  5. Pratyāhāra (प्रत्याहार)- Sense Withdrawal
  6. Dhāraṇā (धारणा)- Concentration
  7. Dhyāna (ध्यान )- Meditation
  8. Samādhi (समाधि)- Absorption or Realisation
Furthermore, there are ten kinds of yama, ten kinds of niyama, eight types of āsanas, three types of prāṇāyāma, five types of pratyāhāra, and five types of dhāraṇā. There are two types of dhyāna and one type of samādhi.

Ten Principles of Yama: 

  1. Ahiṁsā (अहिंसा) - Non-violence: Kindness in thought, word, and action towards all living beings.
  2. Satya (सत्य) - Truthfulness: Honesty in communication, self-representation, and aligning with your inner truth.
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय) - Non-stealing: Avoiding taking what is not freely given, including time, energy, or credit.
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य) - Moderation: Conserving and channelling energy for spiritual growth.
  5. Dayā (दया) - Compassion: Empathy and understanding for the suffering of others.
  6. Ārjava (आर्जव) - Integrity: Upholding honesty and sincerity in all aspects of life.
  7. Kṣamā (क्षमा) - Forbearance: Enduring challenges and setbacks with grace and composure.
  8. Dhṛti (धृति) - Steadfastness: Maintaining mental and emotional stability in difficulties.
  9. Mitāhāra (मिताहार) - Moderation in Diet: Mindful eating and consuming nutritious food in appropriate quantities.
  10. Śauca (शौच) - Purity: External cleanliness (hygiene) and internal purification (self-reflection and spiritual disciplines).
By embracing these ten principles of Yama and other limbs of yoga, one can attain a state of inner peace, spiritual growth, and harmony with oneself and the world around them.

Summary: JKYog India Online Class- Patanjali Yoga Sutra [English]- 21.03.2024