Eight Limbs of Meditation and Yoga
Sage Patanjali defined Meditation and yoga as eight limbs:
- Yama – Don’ts
- Niyama – Do’s
- Asana – Postures leading to physical fitness and mobility and being at ease
According to Sage Patanjali, Yama is the first limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of five ethical guidelines that help practitioners cultivate self-discipline and moral integrity.
The five Yamas are:
- Ahimsa (non-violence)
- Satya (truthfulness)
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (celibacy or sexual restraint) and
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
Niyama is the second limb of Meditation and yoga, according to Sage Patanjali. It is a set of five guidelines that help practitioners cultivate self-discipline and moral integrity. The five Niyamas are:
- Saucha (cleanliness),
- Santosha (contentment),
- Tapas (austerity or self-discipline),
- Svadhyaya (self-study) and
- Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to a higher power).
According to Sage Patanjali, Asana is the third limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of postures that help practitioners cultivate physical fitness, mobility, and being at ease. Asana practice helps to improve strength, flexibility, and balance in the body. The practice also helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels, as well as increase concentration and focus.
According to Sage Patanjali, Pranayama is the fourth limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of breathing exercises that help practitioners cultivate awareness of their breath and its connection with their mind and body. Pranayama practice helps improve respiratory health, reduce stress, increase energy, enhance mental clarity, and promote relaxation.
According to Sage Patanjali, Pratyahara is the fifth limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of practices that help practitioners cultivate awareness of their senses by withdrawing attention from physical sensations and external stimuli. Pratyahara practice helps reduce distractions from external stimuli such as noise or smell, which can improve concentration during Meditation or yoga practice.
According to Sage Patanjali, Dharana is the sixth limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of practices that help practitioners cultivate concentration and focus. Dharana practice helps improve mental clarity, reduce stress, and increase the ability to stay present.
According to Sage Patanjali, Dhyana is the seventh limb of Meditation and yoga. Meditation helps practitioners cultivate a transcendental state of mind in search of the true purpose of life. It leads you to a state where the seer, the object, and the act of seeing become one. It is possible only if Kundalini awakens.
According to Sage Patanjali, Samadhi is the eighth limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a set of practices that help practitioners cultivate a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
True Definition of Yoga
Yoga is the practice of uniting the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness through the eight limbs of Meditation and yoga.
Difference between Meditation and Yoga Asanas
The main difference between Meditation and yoga asana is that Meditation focuses the mind on a single point of focus, your life force.
In contrast, yoga asana is a physical practice involving physical postures.
Meditation practices help to awaken the inner consciousness and lead to samadhi.
Yogasana helps to improve strength, flexibility, and balance in the body, reduce stress and anxiety levels and increase concentration and focus.
What is not Meditation?
Meditation is not a form of escapism or a way to avoid reality. It is not about zoning out or daydreaming, and it does not involve using drugs or alcohol. Meditation is also not a religion, although it can be used as part of religious practices. It is simply an exercise for the mind that helps to cultivate inner peace and awareness.
The following practices are not Meditation:
- Breath Awareness
- Guided Imagery
- Yoga Nidra
- Body Scanning
- Tai Chi
They are, at best, Dharana or Pratyahara practices.
What is the most accurate definition of Meditation?
Dhyana is Meditation.
According to Sage Patanjali, Dhyana is the seventh limb of Meditation and yoga. It is a practice that helps practitioners cultivate a transcendental state of mind in search of the true purpose in life. Through Dhyana, one can achieve a condition where the seer, the object, and the act of seeing become one. This is only possible if Kundalini awakens.
How to awaken your Kundalini?
Vethathiri Maharishi’s Simplified Kundalini yoga is a powerful practice that helps awaken our dormant energy. It is a simplified form of yoga, where the divine master initiates the aspirant into Kundalini yoga with their touch safely in a Vethathiri SKY Yoga center. This initiation helps to open up the chakras and activate the Kundalini energy. With regular practice, one can experience profound spiritual growth and transformation.
Accidental Kundalini Awakening or Unsupervised Kundalini Awakening
Accidental Kundalini Awakening or Unsupervised Kundalini Awakening is a phenomenon that occurs when the dormant energy of the Kundalini is awakened without any prior knowledge or practice. This can happen due to intense physical, emotional, or spiritual experiences such as trauma, near-death experiences, extreme meditation practices, and even drug use.
The effects of an accidental awakening can be both positive and negative. It can lead to intense physical, mental, and emotional changes that can be difficult to manage without proper guidance. Therefore, seeking a qualified teacher or spiritual guide who can help you navigate the process safely is essential.
What to do in Accidental Kundalini Awakening?
Learn Shanthi meditation in a Vethathiri SKY Yoga center. Shanthi meditation is a powerful practice that helps to manage the Kundalini energy safely and gradually.
Yoga Asana practices are not Meditation.
Meditation does not involve Yoga Asanas.
Learn to meditate systematically and safely and practice it to achieve salvation and self-realization.
What has been your experience with meditation and yoga?
Let me know in the comments below.
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Be Blessed by the Divine!
Krish Murali Eswar.