The word "Asht-anga," in Sanskrit,
means "eight-limbed." The eight distinct
forms of yoga practice are as below:
“Yama” – Do’s and Don’ts / Moral restraints
“Niyama” - Discipline
“Asana” - Body Posture / Practice of postures
“Pranayama” – Vyayama (Exercise of Breath) / Breath control / Extension of the breath
“Pratyahara” - An Inward movement of the senses
“Dharana” - Concentration
“Dhyana” - Meditation
“Samadhi” - Meditative absorption / bliss
1. Yama - is the first of the 8 limbs and means “five restraints.” The five Yamas are ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truthfulness), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (moderation) and aparigraha (not hoarding).
2. The rules of Niyama (the Do’s) are – Cleanliness, Contentment, Austerity, Self-study or Introspection, Devotion to the Supreme Lord.
3. Asanas - Improve body balance, flexibility and strength and help to reduce stress and conditions related to same.
4. Pranayama - is a complete breathing exercise that leads towards silence and awareness.
5. Pratyahara - When the senses do not require external gratification and this leads to iternal flow of energy. The 5 Gyan Indriyan, 5 Karma Indriyan and the Mind.
6. Dharana – One point concentration, this helps to understand, reduce and remove the osscilations in the mind.
7. Dhyana - Where the mind is silenced and in meditation.
8. Samadhi – Complete oneness of body, mind and being.
Ashtanga Yogaha and You
Increased awareness and bliss flows and the being is in a united sense of rhythm with the unmanifested. Ashtanga Being able to move at one's own pace and level is another great advantage of Ashtanga Yogaha.