Yoga is undeniably a getaway for everyone. It carries a lot of properties for the betterment of your mind and body.
But did you know that Yoga also teaches you how to live life in a more rewarding way?
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, there are eightfold paths of Yoga or also known as Ashtanga of Yoga, that is solely made in aiding every Yoga practitioner to live a reputable life.
Today, we have assembled eight essential elements of Yoga, its context, and practice. Together let us be amazed by how far Yoga can help us— becoming more as a human being.
The 8 Essential Elements of Yoga: It’s Context & Practice
The first element is the the Yamas or rules. These rules are made to improve your morals and integrities in life. It focuses on how you better handle yourself, how well you are to others, and live your life more purposefully. With this, you will never stray for following what is right and just.
The five Yamas are:
1. Ahimsa– non-violence or no harm
2. Satya– honesty
3. Asteya– non-stealing
4. Brahmacharya– self-restraint
5. Aparigraha– non-possessiveness
The second element is the Niyamas or responsibilities. This element improves your self-control immensely. Keep in mind that if you have a great amount of self-discipline, you will have a more healthy life than those who are not. This is vital in becoming physically fit because it flourishes your well-being.
The five Niyamas are:
1. Saucha– cleanliness
2. Samtosha– contentment
3. Tapas– keeping your body healthy
4. Svadhyayaas– self-study
5. Ishvara Pranidhana– surrender to God
The third element is the most popular among all of them, the Asanas or the physical postures you perform during Yoga sessions. In a Yoga perspective, having a healthy lifestyle is a way of improving your spiritual growth. Moreover, each Asanas has a particular impact in your body. Also, this enables you in upgrading your self-control and attentiveness, which are both compulsory for meditation.
The fourth element is the Pranayamas or your breath works. Being proficient in this matter will keep you active and busy. Mastering your breath work offers a lot of advantages as it sustains your performance in work and your desired activities.
Improving your breath works does not just reconnect your body but also helps you live your life longer.
Additionally, enriching your respiratory process is not out-of-reach, you can do it by simply sitting and begin breathing exercises. You may slowly integrate this practice in your daily routines.
The fifth element is Pyatyaharas or realizing your senses. This practice is a little bit difficult than the previous elements as this ablity requires you to somehow detach your outer senses and dive into your inner-being. Hence, this process is the key to understand and grasp all of the other elements.
It happens when you carefully assess your desires and cravings in your life. Directing you senses internally will help you learn more about yourself and observe what aspirations in life you want to achieve. Moreover, this element allows you to free yourself from your bad traits.
This element may take you a little time to practice, but we guarantee that it’s all worth it.
The sixth element is the Dharana or concentration. As the other element helps you to cross over from one action to another, only Pyatyahara can make Dharana effective and functional. Stillness is not an easy task, to begin with. This practice is critical because you’ll learn how to make your thinking process slow by focusing yourself in a single matter: imagining a specific object, channeling a total blackout or silence, and putting all the gravity to the center of your body.
You may have done your concentration under the stages of Asanas, Pranayamas, and Pratyaharas. However, it may be not enough as your attention can be shaken while maintaining your breathing styles and executing the proper positions. Your total concentration crumbles. But in observing your senses and at the same time, concentrating on one single point will for sure, take you to a more extended mental focus, which is essential for meditation.
The seventh element is the Dhyana or meditation. Meditation may also be classified as contemplation which defines as the ability of an interrupted concentration. Dharana and Dhyana may seem to be alike but there is a distinctive difference between the two. Dharana is to focus in one thing while Dhyana is a state of being still without concentrating on one thing nor thinking about anything. Mind blown?
Reaching this far is marvellous. You may have an enormous amount of endurance and power. If this is not impossible to do, for sure, this one is difficult. But it doesn’t end there. Yoga is so diverse, and indeed, you can always find benefit from every phase you unlock.
The last and final element is the Samadhi or enlightenment. According to Patañjali, the last stage is a state of being ecstatic. Once a yoga practitioner devouts themself deeper, they will start to appraise Yoga as something that they would not want to be without in their lives. A “peace that passeth all understanding.” They begin to believe that Yoga is a tool that strengthens one’s faith or spiritual reliance.
Enlightenment will bring you to an absolute peacefulness. And it’s the important thing though, as all of us aspires to experience peace in our lives. Needless to say, that enlightenment can never be acquired elsewhere. It can only be attained by an intense training and unwavering kind of devotion.
The stretches and getting fit kind of goals in Yoga is just too shallow in comparing to its numerous astounding benefits. The essential elements of Yoga is the key in becoming a reputative person, a true Yoga practitioner, and directing you into a more informative and worthy Yoga experience.
Also, this will reflect to a good character, a proper sense of responsibility, and being sympathetic. Now is your turn to transform yourself and practice the every ounce of these essential elements, and observe how your life can become more euphoric than ever!