word YOGA has been derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, which
means to bind. It is the true union of our will with the will
Hatha yoga eight stages have been advised for the upliftment
of body, mind and spirit. These eight stages are known as
The eight stages are as follows:
Yama means restraint or abstention. It contains five moral practices.
Ahimsa (Non-violence)- means not to hurt any creature mentally
or physically through mind, speech or action.
Satya (Truthfulness) -is the presentation of a matter as perceived
with the help of sense organs.
Asteya (Non-stealing) -means not to covet and acquire others
possessions physically, mentally or by speech.
Brahmacharya (Celibacy)-means moderation in sex. It does not
mean lifelong celibacy but moderation in sex between married
Aparigraha (Non-acquisitiveness)- means abandoning wealth and
means of sensual pleasures.
Rules of conduct towards oneself consists of certain discipline,
which is both physical and mental. Five rules have been mentioned.
Shaucha (Cleanliness)-it means internal and external purification
of the body and mind.
Santosha (Contentment)-is a state of mind in which one lives
happily and satisfied in congenial or uncongenial atmosphere.
Tapas (Austerity or penance)-is the conquest of all desires
or sensual pleasures by practicing purity in thought, speech
Swadhyaya (Self-study) -means exchange of thoughts in order
to secure purity in thought and accomplish knowledge.
Ishwara Pranidhana (Surrender to God)-It consists of pure devotion
Asana means holding the body and poise
to the mind. The practice of asana brings stability to the body
and poise to the mind. The practice of asana brings purity in
srotasas, firmness to the body and the mind.
The literal meaning of Pranayama is Breath Control. The aim
of practicing Pranayama is to stimulate, regulate and harmonize
vital energy of the body. Just as a bath is required for purifying
the body, so also Pranayama is required for purifying the mind.
(Discipline of the senses):
The extroversion of the sense organs due to their hankering
after worldly objects has to be restrained and directed inwards
towards the source of all existence. This process of drawing
the sense inwards is Pratyahara or putting the sense under restraint.
Dharana (concentration) means focusing the pure mind on some
object. The practice of Dharana helps the mind to concentrate
on a particular object.
Dhyana means meditation i.e. continuation of one-pointedness
of the mind on the object. When one sustains and maintains the
focus of attention through Dharana unbound by time and space,
it becomes Dhyana (Medication). Deep concentration destroys
the Rajas and Tamas Gunas of mind and develops the Satvika Guna
The eighth and final stage of Yoga is Samadhi. It means self-realization
or complete absorption. This is the ultimate aim of yoga in
which the mind reaches the highest bliss.
The last three stages Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi constitute
Antaranga or internal yoga while the first five stages are called
Bahiranga or external yoga. If all these five stages are followed
in life, virtues like morality, good character are developed
mentioned the main aim is to attain salvation and the means
through which it has to be attained is our body and soul. To
prepare the body and mind, the above eight stages have been
mentioned. Out of the eight limbs of Hatha yoga, the first four
viz. Yama, Niyama, Asana and Pranayama are practiced for promoting
the health of body and mind.
are yoga and ayurved interconnected?
Earlier we have seen the definition of a healthy person as
described in ayurved It has lead stress on a healthy body
and a sound mind. It believes that physiological disturbance
can cause psychological imbalance and vice versa. Yoga also
says that to reach the final stage i.e. Samadhi one has to
train the body and mind. The concepts of Dosha-Dhatu-Mala
have been mentioned in yogic texts. For example Shat-karmas
or the six cleansing processes are to be performed before
Pranayama, which reduce kapha dosha, obesity, purify the body
Samhita an ancient ayurvedic text, Yoga has been mentioned
as "Moksha pravartaka". It has said that pain is
caused to body and mind creating disease. Yoga and moksha
leads to relief from all sorts of pain.
this one may be confused as to how can it be beneficial in
our day to day life? Since attaining moksha seems to be a
far off goal. We are simply looking for a means to keep our
body fit and our mind active. For this asana have a special
significance. They can be defined as steady postures affording
pleasure both physical as well as mental. According to yogic
science, equilibrium of opposite forces in the body is achieved
by practicing asana. It is claimed that owing to the practice
of Asanas one gets stability, health and flexibility.