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Yoga is commonly treated as a form of exercise these days, and we love to sweat on a mat three days a week or join a fancy Yoga studio. But Yoga has a much deeper meaning. It can teach us how to live a meaningful life and provide us guidelines for happiness.
There are eight steps, commonly known as the eight limbs of yoga which pave our path towards a purposeful, content life.
These limbs are also known as Ashtanga
1) Yamas (Self Control)
2) Niyamas (Method of Discipline)
3) Asanas (Physical Posture)
4) Pranayama (Breath Work)
5) Prathyahara (Control of Senses)
6) Dharana (Concentration)
7) Dhyana (Meditation)
8) Samadhi (Liberation from mind and body)
To learn yoga, we need to understand and accept these ashtangas. But also, once we apply this to our life, we will have harmony with the people around us and ourselves.
Yamas is Self Control. This is best learned when we have control over our reactions and actions. This teaches us how to treat others around us.
Being honest not just with others but with yourself as well.
Not wasting time over things which are of no benefit.
Be content about what you have.
Niyamas are guidelines to practice self discipline. This limb helps you improve as an individual, and teaches you how to be better.
This focusses on cleanliness, contentment, self-knowledge and surrendering to the divine.
These are poses or physical practice of yoga. They bring balance to the body and relax your muscles.
Pranayama is breath work. It is a mindful practice that should be incorporated into daily routine. When you learn to breathe slowly and deeply, this conscious breathing creates a calming effect that relieves stress.
It is a practice of withdrawing from senses in order to focus on your own thoughts, without getting distracted. This helps a person feel peaceful and brings the ability to fight emotions. It is like calming a turbulent lake.
Dharana means concentration. With so much going around us everyday, it becomes hard to concentrate on anything. We normally multitask and end up wasting time. Dharana teaches us how to focus on just one thing at a time. Common practice is to look at anything - a candle, a picture or any stationary object, for a short duration. This trains our mind to focus.
This is the hot topic everyone speaks about - MEDITATION
Bolte toh sabhi hai par karta koi nahi.
Let’s understand what Meditation is. Is it difficult to do?
Meditation is not an activity but a state. It is a time when your mind feels still and quiet, as if filled with peace. Initially, you’ll not be able to feel that calm but it comes slowly with practice. If you set aside some time everyday to sit and meditate in a quiet place, you’ll see changes.
Meditation is important because it relieves stress and teaches you to live fully in the present moment.
It is highest point of yoga, where there is a perfect balance between mind and body. It is a sort of enlightenment. Those who master all other limbs are able to do this.
Yoga is not about kickass workout or new trend, it is complete science which you need to follow in order to become healthier, calmer and happier.