Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras of PatanjaliPatanjali is widely regarded as the founder of the formal Yoga philosophy. Patanjali's yoga is known as Raja yoga, which is a system for control of the mind. It defines the word yoga in his second sutra, which is the definitional sutra for his entire work:

It is also referred to as ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ i.e. the Eight-Limbed Yoga. This concept is derived from the core characteristic of every Raja yoga variation today. The Eight Limbs are-

1. Yama- The five abstentions of non-violence, non-lying, non-covetousness, non-sensuality and non-possessiveness.

2. Niyama- The five observances of purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to god.

3. Asana- It refers to the seated position used for meditation.

4. Pranayama- The Lengthening Prana i.e. life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath.

5. Pratyahara- Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.

6. Dharana: Fixing the attention on a single object.

7. Dhyana: Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.

8. Samadhi: merging consciousness with the object of meditation.

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