People interpret yoga in different ways. We all have our own thoughts and opinions on what the meaning of yoga is to each of us. For some, yoga is a way to get away from the noise of the world around us, and lose ourselves in an environment that is just full of calmness and relaxation, while for others it may be a way to shed a few extra pounds, build flexibility and strength.
Although we have our own purpose, the true meaning of yoga is based on the union of the mind, body, and spirit. The real reason behind why we are stressed, is because we do not know who we really are, which translates into frustration.
If you have been wondering about yoga sutra and want to try it out for the first time, you must first learn where it came from and how it originated for you to truly grasp its essence. Luckily, we will provide you with a quick guide on what this practice is really all about. Read on and you’ll find out more:
What is Yoga Sutra?
Yoga Sutra or otherwise known as the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is a compilation of Indian Sutras based on the practice and theory behind yoga. Sage Pataniali who was responsible for organizing all the knowledge behind yoga based on all of its older traditions compiled all these together.
There is not much about him that is known though, except that he lived between the second and fourth century BC. Patanjali was also known for writing with Mahabhasya, which was a kind of Sanskrit grammar on Chakra. This was considered the basic text.
Back then, most practices and teachings were done orally and those who took an interest were taught by way of the sutras. The root word is a medical term used for suture, which means to hold together or to bind.
These sutras contained a total of 196 sutras, which were all divided into four different chapters, which discussed the practices and aims of yoga, how it was developed, and mental, physical, and emotional liberation.
The 8 Limbs of Yoga
Now we move on to the 8 limbs of yoga. These sutras contained a set of practices and observances, which would be responsible for guiding your spiritual journey, and this is how the 8 limbs were developed.
- Yama – Which is used to correct the way you behave with others:
- Not stealing
- Avoiding greed
- Avoiding violence
- Not wasting precious energy
- Niyama – Principles on how you should treat yourself and live your life
- Being content with yourself
- Observing spirituality
- Asana – is referred to as the seat of consciousness.
- Pratvahara – Turning your senses inward to explore your inner abilities and universe.
- Dhyana – Used in yoga as a way to perfect meditation through continuous flow.
- Dharana – Used to train the mind to meditate and focus your attention in more detail.
- Pranayama – Developing and expanding your life force through breathing exercise.
The first yamas are used to prepare your body for the next three series of exercises, which will eventually take you to the eighth. Practicing Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi is known as sanyama when put together.