To spread the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga, which remains forever the same in essence, yet always adapts to the time and place.

Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga includes all yoga traditions.

  Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga means to purify the mind through eight (Asht) steps, which is basically prescribed by all schools and branches of yoga. Each step in Ashtanga Yoga has to be mastered before mastering the next can be successfully attempted :

  • Yama (control) : nonviolence, truth, honesty, sexual continence, forbearance, fortitude, kindness, straightforwardness, moderation in diet, bodily purity.
  • Niyama (rules of conduct) : austerity, contentment, belief in God, charity, worship of God, study of teachings and scriptures, modesty, having a discerning mind, repetition of prayers (japa), observance of vows and performing sacrifices.
  • Asanas (postures) : as a motionless body makes the mind quiet, 48 postures have been described of which at the least one must be mastered if one is to reach a deep state of meditation. See also asanas in Hatha Yoga
  • Pranayama (control of breath) : inhalation, holding the breath, exhalation … through 3 kinds of muscular control (bandhas).
  • Pratyahara (withdrawal of sensory perceptions) : consisting of breath suspension and holding the mind, that step by step absorbs the senses in Kundalini energy.
  • Dharana (concentration) : by the aid of mantras in Ashtanga Yoga, deep concentration on the six subtle centers of the chakras, starting from the first and gradually approaching the seventh.
  • Dhyana (uninterrupted mediation) : in which the ego, the mind and the intellect dissolve in Kundalini and Kundalini dissolves in the supreme consciousness.
  • Samadhi (complete equilibrium) : the individual consciousness becomes pure consciousness. After a prolonged state of samadhi there is no need to practice Ashtanga yoga any longer, because the conscious connection with the divine is everlasting.

About this page

Wil GeraetsThe above overview on Ashtanga Yoga was extracted and synthesized by Wil Gereats from various sources, among which the following are the most important

  • the "Chakras" book, which offers detailed information on all main yoga techniques and on chakra meditation, which involves all aspects of Ashtanga Yoga.
  • The "Tools for Tantra" book, which offers highly detailed information on Mantra and Yantra Yoga, a part of Dharana in Ashtanga Yoga.
  • The "Breath, Mind and Consciousness" book, which is the main book on Swara Yoga - which may be seen as part of the Pranayam in Ashtanga Yoga.

Related pages

Related video : Full Class - Samadhi in Ashtanga Yoga (75')

Sanatan Society is an international networking association of students of the late Harish Johari, joining efforts to promote his teachings of yoga philosophy, tantra, worship, art and love. Sanatan Society stands for the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga. Though it is Hindu in origin, Sanatan Society is not limited to any religion, race, time or country, nor in fact to any particular organisation. More about Sanatan Society...

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