WHAT IS ASHTANG YOGA
INTRODUCTION TO ASHTANGA YOGA
In Sanskrit “Ashta + anga” is ashtanga. “Ashta” means Eight and “Anga” is limbs so it means Eight Limb path, Ashtanga yoga is based on Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali. The asanas, Pranayamas or the dharana which we have studied earlier or the yam and niyam are based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
HISTORY OF ASHTANGA YOGA
Yoga has its roots about 5000 years BC as described in Vedic Philosophy and Tantras. Patanjali, the great sage, composed this path into a Darshan(Philosophy) in his Book Patanjal Yoga Sutra. Here he has formulated Yoga as Eight Limbs or an Eight Fold path.
The first limb, yama, deals with one's ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
The five yamas are:
Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. Regularly attending temple or church services, saying grace before meals, developing your own personal meditation practices, or making a habit of taking contemplative walks alone are all examples of niyamas in practice.
The five niyamas are:
Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities
Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one's self
Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God