Raja Yoga

Raja translates as “king" or "master", therefore raja yoga (also known as classical yoga) is a “royal” path which uses meditation to lead to the mastery over one’s mind. “Raja Yoga, the yoga for the true heroes of mind training, refers specifically to the Yoga system of Patanjali, created in the 2nd century C.E”. (G.Feuerstein)
Compiled by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs (Ashtanga) of Yoga are a progressive series of steps or disciplines that purifies the body and mind, ultimately leading the yoga practitioner to enlightenment.

Ashtanga Yoga as described in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

1. Yama – moral discipline, “shall-not” in our dealings with the external world
Ahimsa (non-violence)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (non-stealing)
Brahmacharya (energy control and accumulation)
Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)

2. Niyama – self-restraints, “shall-do” in our dealings with the inner world
Shaucha (cleanliness)
Santosha (contentment)
Tapas (austerity, “heat”)
Swadhyaya (self-study)
Ishwara Pranidhana (surrender to the Supreme)

3. Asana - physical posture
4. Pranayama - expansion and control of prana
5. Pratyahara - withdrawal of the senses, sensory inhibition that enables you to watch your mental activity
6. Dharana – concentration, inner focus on one point, which helps you not to get involved in your thoughts and to reduce their number
7. Dhyana – meditation, defocusing or effortless focusing, the state in which you keep one single thought effortlessly
8. Samadhi – the super-conscious state, where the meditator is no longer aware of meditating and identifies himself with the object of meditation

Anonymous (92.251.90.xxx) 2010-06-20 07:37:33

:) :)
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