Yoga, as explained by sage Patanjali comprises of eight steps or guidelines of spiritual pursuit. It involves all the attributes that a sadhaka or yoga student need to inculcate for achieving health, vitality and wisdom. It is adopting a comprehensive method of undertaking meditation.
The eight-fold path of Yoga comprises of:
These are the ethical restraints that a person must impose on himself, especially a sadhak, in order to achieve harmony with other beings.
These are the guidelines to the path of Yoga that one needs for maintaining harmony within oneself.
These are the poses of Ashtanga Yoga that are very important for vitality and health of the body. It is also about the kind of posture you need to maintain for long yogic practices.
It is the control of breath. One of the most fundamental practices associated with Yoga, it has become quite popular of late. This is mostly because of its great disease-curing properties. With regards to the spiritual practices, it is one of the fundamental aspects of managing your own mind.
It is all about withdrawing of senses from their objects and into the centre of their origin. It is a re-absorption into the self of all the organs.
This is the act of concentrating on your mind. The real Yoga is said to begin after you are able to reach this stage. In other words, there is no Yoga if you are not able to achieve an intense concentration of mind.
The unbroken stream of blissful consciousness is called Dhyana. It is achieved after long spiritual practice and all the sadhaks pine to reach this stage. In this level of spiritual bliss, very little of the body “self” remains.
It is the stage of absorption into the ultimate bliss. This stage is also known as jivanmukti, Nirvana and by many other terms. It is a stage in which the little self is completely withdrawn from the devotee’s consciousness and the higher Self is completely manifest in him.
Apart from the pop-culture Yoga which is always seen as a series of amusing flex exercises, the real Yoga is something which involves a lifetime of spiritual practice.