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8 limbs of yoga

Ashta is the Sanskrit word for “eight”. Anga simply means “limb”… and thus ashtanga means “eight-limbs”, referring to the eight limbs of yoga organized by Maharishi Patanjali some 2,000 years ago.


The eight limbs of yoga are: 

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana
  4. Pranayama
  5. Pratyahara
  6. Dharana
  7. Dhyana
  8. Samadhi


Yama have five principles:  

  • Ahimsa – rule of not harming: never to harm any human being and to make pain or not to assist in that - not mentally, not verbally and not in works.
  • Satya – truthloving mentally, verbally and in works, not to lie, ribald.
  • Asteya – never steal, never get something in wrong way, always keep honor.
  • Brahmacharya – abstinence, abstaining from sexual feelings mentally, verbally and in works. This principle helps you to live so that not to allow sexual feelings to possess you, but you to possess them.   
  • Aparigraha – no any envy, keep away from greediness. The aim of this principle is to avoid the human from storing too many and pointless material goods.  

Niayama have five principles: 
  • Shaucha – cleanliness: purity of heart, mind, word, body, work, using of pure and healthy food. This principle concerns also clean keeping of inside and outside energies.
  • Santosha – contentment: On the way of fulfillment of targets understanding of certain limits, understanding that not in all cases the target justifies the means of reaching to target.
  • Tapas - monkhood: being guided by high and patriotic ideas, declining from pleasures of life resisting to target fulfillments.
  • Svadhyaya - self education and teaching: this ends illiteracy and brings to literacy and ability of self analyzing. Self education, getting knowledge and accomplishments supports to logics and thinking development. 
  • Ishvara pranidhana - devotion to spiritual life, learning of space and nature rules and being guided by them. 

System of asanas is a completeness of special body postures and physical exercises, the aim of which is increasing of physical body strength and health improvement. Using asanas for longer periods makes the human healthy, strong, and disciplined, improves the blood circulation in the body and develops ability to focus better.  Humans, no matter of their age, with the help of asanas train themselves to keep health, youngness, mobility and to loose or gain their weight. 


Pranayama: Yoga's fourth stage, breathing art. Yogins have created and developed many breathing techniques, which feed and strengthen the body. According to Yoga: prana is a cosmic vital energy, which exists in space and in our material world: in body, sun lights, air, water, food and in the nature generally. Prana feeds and holds the whole material world and our body. Management of prana via breathing is called Pranayama.

Pratyahara: fifth stage of Yoga, is an art for supervising of human's feeling world, passion. In this stage a human able to control his feelings and passion is able to see the real world objectively and to make correct decisions about life. There are many methods which are used in this stage. With the help of these methods the human is able to fight and become free from his negative and harmful habits.


Six’s stage is called mind concentration. There are many methods and trainings which help the human to have concentrated, smooth mind and stable will. The aim of dharana is the development of mind concentration, with the help of which the human is able to realize successfully his decisions and targets without any deviations. With the help of mind concentration one learns to make stable his mental substance and keep under control his own life. Human with concentrated mind is decided and stable, and one can rely on him.

Meditation is the sevenths stage of Ashtanga Yoga. In this stage an uninterrupted concentration is needed. With the help of successful meditation the human sense and sub sense become free from mental and psychic harmful influences, which are founded during the life in humans’ inner world. Sense becomes more flexible and human is able to use his brain/mind abilities more successfully. As a result of continuous practicing of meditation a human becomes able to analyze the events correctly and in accordance with reality. Meditation is the training of mental substance when the sense is in rest, passive and under no tension.  




Samadhi brings the human, space and nature into harmony: In this stage the human becomes wise, all the doors of knowledge, material and space spiritual world secrets are open for him. The human reveals a world which is higher than any understandable sense for us, he lives with the feeling of being blessed and is in harmony nature and space. In this stage human sense is free of any ties and reaches it’s highest level. He see the space perfectness and understands his role in the life.










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