Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Patanjali has defined yoga as the ‘restraining of thought waves’, and compiled the Yoga Sutras to help us build and maintain self-discipline, moral and ethic in our daily life. Pantanjali offers an eight-limbed approach for the well-being and purification of body, mind and soul. This approach, known as Ashtanga Yoga, is a multidimensional approach in which all eight limbs are practised simultaneously.

1 – Yamas – the five social ethics

  • Ahimsa – Non-violence in action, speech and thoughts
  • Satyam – Truthfulness in intention, remaining established in the higher truth
  • Asteya – Non-stealing
  • Brahmacharya – Divine conduct with continence
  • Aparigraha – Not accumulating things unnecessarily and not desiring things that belong to others.

2 – Niyamas – the five personal ethics

  •  Saucha – Cleanliness of the body and mind
  • Santosha – Contentment, remaining happy
  • Tapas – Austerity and self-discipline
  • Swadhyaya – Study of the Self, abiding in the Self
  • Ishwarapranidhana – Surrendering to the higher power

3 – Asanas – Yoga Postures

Taking care of our body as the temple of our spirit, and the source of our spiritual growth.

4 – Pranayamas – Life Force Extension

Recognising the connection between the breath, the mind and the emotions through specific breathing techniques.

5 – Pratayahara – Senses Withdrawal

Making the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli, to direct our attention internally.

6- Dharana – Concentration

Dealing with the distractions of the mind itself, as one-pointed focus.

7- Dhyana – Meditation

Quieting the mind, being keenly aware, without focus, through an uninterrupted flow of concentration.

8 – Samadhi – State of Ecstasy 

Reaching the highest state of consciousness, and peace called enlightenment.