what is ashtanga yoga?
Last Updated: 28-10-2017 11:06:54
I.Definition of Ashtanga yoga
Referring to yoga, people often think of Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. At this article, we’ll talk about Ashtanga yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga in Sanskrit means eight branches of Yoga. Asht means eight, Anga means the body or part of the human body. One of the ancient and very popular yoga schools in India, covering all aspects of yoga.
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Ashtanga yoga is also known as Patanjali yoga or Raja yoga. It is a set of powerful yoga postures, focused on unifying the breath with fast movements, cleansing, and circulation of blood, releasing tension, enhance vitality.
II.Ashtanga yoga’s benefits:
• Helping muscles become supple
• The whole body exercise
• Reduce stress, relieve stress
• Strengthen your mind
III.The 8 Limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga yoga)
1. Yama (Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows)
This is considered to be the most important part of Yoga. It requires the practitioners have the moral standard such as honest, non-violence, non-stealing, pure soul, non-greedy. This is the most basic standard of people who practice yoga.
2. Niyama (Positive Duties or observances)
Contrary to Yama, Niyama is a way to practice inner-mindedness, tranquility, separation from the outside world, and deep meditation. Including physical and mental purity, enthusiasm and enthusiasm, there is a clear mind.
3. Asana (Posture)
One of the steps what yoga’s practitioners can experience and practice. Asana in Sanskrit means yoga postures, it brings to you a strong health, supple body and feeling the relaxed spirit.
4. Pranayama (Breathing Techniques)
The word Prana refers to “energy” or “life source”. It can be used to describe the very essence that keeps us alive, as well as the energy in the universe around us. This is the form of concentration and control of breath, the main purpose is to store the supportive energy needed when meditating.
5. Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
The practice of pratyahara changes our state of mind so that we become so absorbed in what it is we're focused on, we don’t care about anything outside of ourselves no longer bother us and were able to meditate without becoming easily distracted. Experienced practitioners can apply pratyahara to every day of life – being so concentrated and present to the moment at hand, that things like sensations and sounds don’t easily distract the mind.
6. Dharana (Focussed Concentration)
Dharana means “focused concentration”. Dha means “holding or maintaining”, and Ana means ‘other’ or ‘something else’. This step is the combination of Asana and Pranayama. When the body is healthy and blood circulation by breathing, the focus on the current work will become easier and more efficient to avoid the distracted by everything around.
7. Dhyana (Meditative Absorption)
The highest level of concentration, cannot be interrupted, the entire breath, body, feeling focused on one object or image and no longer of any thought can appear in your mind. Essentially; if you are really meditating, you won’t have the thought “oh, I’m meditating!”
8. Samadhi (Enlightenment)
This is the highest level of meditation, also the highest level of yoga.
But, “there’s just one catch though – Samadhi isn’t a permanent state…. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras importantly tell us that unless we are completely ready, without ‘impressions’ such as attachment, aversion, desires, and habits, and with a completely pure mind, we will not be able to maintain the state of Samadhi for long.”
(Sura 1:46 translated by Swami Satchidananda)
So, here’s the meaning of Ashtanga yoga. We hope we can bring useful knowledge for you about yoga. With yoga, you must understand it besides practicing it.