瑜伽的八個肢體 8 limbs of yoga
瑜伽练习是一门艺术和科学，致力于在身体，思想和精神之间建立结合。它的目的是帮助从业者利用呼吸和身体来增强对自身的认识，因为他们是与统一的整体创作紧密相连的个体。简而言之，这是平衡和创造宁静，以便与更大的整体和平，健康和和谐地生活。几千年前，这种对生活的艺术在印度得到了完善和实践，瑜伽哲学的基础在 瑜伽经 帕坦加利（Patanjali）约公元200年。这段神圣的文字描述了心灵的内部运作，并提供了八步的蓝图来控制其躁动不安，从而享有持久的和平。
帕坦加利的核心 瑜伽经 这是一条八肢路径，构成了瑜伽练习的结构框架。在练习了路径的所有八个分支之后，不言而喻的是，没有一个元素按层次结构顺序升到另一个元素之上。每一个都是整体重点的一部分，当他们找到与神圣的联系时，最终会给个体带来完整性。因为我们都是独特的个体，所以一个人可以强调一个分支，然后在他们进一步完善自己的理解时转到另一个分支。
The first 2 limbs that Patanjali describes are the fundamental ethical precepts called yamas, and the niyamas. These can also be looked at as universal morality and personal observances. Yamas和niyamas是我们应该如何与周围人打交道以及我们对自己的态度的建议。我们对自己以外的事物和人的态度是 阎王，我们如何与自己内在联系 尼山。两者都最关心我们如何在与他人和与自己的关系中使用我们的能量。
的 亚马斯 分为五个“明智的特征”。 “他们告诉我们我们的基本天性是富有同情心，慷慨，诚实和和平的，而不是要做的事”。它们如下：
Steya的意思是“偷”； asteya是相反的-采取任何不属于我们的东西。这也意味着，如果我们处于某人将某物托付给我们或向我们倾诉的情况下，我们就不会利用他或她的优势。不偷窃不仅包括未经许可拿走属于他人的东西，还包括出于与意图不同的目的或超出其所有者允许的时间使用东西。 asteya的做法意味着不要服用任何没有免费提供的东西。这包括树立一种意识，使我们意识到，如何在别人无意识的行为实际上是偷窃的情况下，要求他人花费时间去考虑他人的行为。
第一个niyama是sauca，意思是纯度和清洁度。索卡（Sauca）具有内在和外在方面。外部清洁仅意味着保持自身清洁。内在的清洁与我们身体器官的健康，自由运转以及头脑清醒有很大关系。练习体式或呼吸法是参加这种内脏的必不可少的手段。 Asanas可以调理整个身体并去除毒素，而pranayama可以清洁我们的肺部，为我们的血液充氧并净化我们的神经。 “但比对身体进行身体清洗更重要的是，对心灵的令人不安的情绪进行清洗，例如仇恨，激情，愤怒，欲望，贪婪，妄想和骄傲。” 六
第四个niyama是svadhyaya。 Sva的意思是“自我” adhyaya的意思是“询问”或“检查”。任何培养自我反省意识的活动都可以被视为svadhyaya。这意味着有意识地在我们的所有活动和努力中发现自我意识，甚至达到欢迎和接受我们的局限性的程度。它教会我们对二元性居中并且不反应，消灭不想要的和自我毁灭的倾向。
体式练习是身体姿势。对于那些不熟悉帕坦加利（Patanjali）的其他七个肢体的人来说，瑜伽是最常见的瑜伽方式 瑜伽经。 将身体摆成姿势的做法具有广泛的益处。其中最根本的是改善健康状况，力量，平衡和灵活性。在更深层次上，体式的练习（在梵语中意为“停留”或“固守”）被用作使心灵平静并进入存在的内在本质的工具。姿势的挑战为从业者提供了探索和控制他们的情绪，注意力，意图，信念以及身体与灵巧身体之间统一性的各个方面的机会。的确，使用体式挑战并打开身体，是一种结合剂，可以使它们与它们所有未见的元素和谐相处，这些力量通过对物理世界的反应来塑造我们的生活。然后，Asana成为一种探索我们的心理态度并增强我们的意志的方式，因为我们学会释放并进入恩典状态，而恩典状态是在物质世界和精神体验之间取得平衡而来的。
当一个人练习体位法时，它会促进思想的平静，因此，它既是冥想的准备，又是一种本身就足够的冥想。释放人的流动和内在力量会在身体中产生深刻的扎根灵性。瑜伽姿势的物理性成为扩展弥漫我们身体各个方面的意识的工具。促进意识和意识扩展的关键始于对呼吸的控制，第四肢–呼吸法。 Patanjali建议，体位法和呼吸法练习将带来理想的健康状态。呼吸和身体姿势的控制将协调生物体内的能量流动，从而为精神的发展创造沃土。 “这种脚踏实地的骨肉行为只是满足自己的最直接，最便捷的方法之一。 ……这条瑜伽练习的肢体使我们重新附着在我们的身体上。在使自己重新与身体保持联系时，我们使自己承担起以我们不可否认的智慧为指导的生活的责任。”艾扬格对此补充说：“身体的需求就是通过身体生存的神圣精神的需求。瑜伽士并没有朝天寻找上帝，因为他知道他在里面。”
Pratyahara意味着退缩或撤退。这个单词 荒原 表示“营养”；普拉亚哈拉（Pratyahara）翻译为“使自己远离滋养感官的事物。”在瑜伽中，普拉提亚哈拉（pratyahara）一词意味着从附着于外部物体上撤回感觉。当我们不断回到自我实现和实现内部和平的道路时，这可以看作是不依附于感觉分散的做法。这意味着我们的感官不再依靠刺激的事物为生。感觉不再依赖于这些刺激物，不再受它们的刺激。
实现三摩地是一项艰巨的任务。因此， 瑜伽经 建议使用体位法和呼吸法作为达拉那的准备，因为它们会影响心理活动并在拥挤的心理日程中创造空间。一旦达拉那发生，就可以跟随达那和三摩地。
原始来源是由 威廉·J·多兰（William JD Doran）
The practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and spirit. Its objective is to assist the practitioner in using the breath and body to foster an awareness of ourselves as individualized beings intimately connected to the unified whole of creation. In short it is about making balance and creating equanimity so as to live in peace, good health and harmony with the greater whole. This art of right living was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago and the foundations of yoga philosophy were written down in The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, approximately 200 AD. This sacred text describes the inner workings of the mind and provides an eight-step blueprint for controlling its restlessness so as to enjoying lasting peace.
The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an eight-limbed path that forms the structural framework for yoga practice. Upon practicing all eight limbs of the path it becomes self-evident that no one element is elevated over another in a hierarchical order. Each is part of a holistic focus which eventually brings completeness to the individual as they find their connectivity to the divine. Because we are all uniquely individual a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another as they round out their understanding.
In brief, the 8 limbs of yoga are as follows:
- Yama : Universal morality
- Niyama : Personal observances
- Asanas : Body postures
- Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana
- Pratyahara : Control of the senses
- Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
- Samadhi : Union with the Divine
Summary of Contents
- I. Yamas (Universal Morality)
- II. Niyama (Personal Observances)
- III. Asanas (Body postures)
- IV. Pranayama (Breath Control)
- V. Pratyahara (Control of the Senses)
- VI. Dharana (Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness)
- VII. Dhyana (Devotion , Meditation on the Divine)
- VIII. Samadhi (Union with the Divine)
- Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things
The word ahimsa literally mean not to injure or show cruelty to any creature or any person in any way whatsoever. Ahimsa is, however, more than just lack of violence as adapted in yoga. It means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and things. It also has to do with our duties and responsibilities too. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm.
- Satya – Commitment to Truthfulness
Satya means “to speak the truth,” yet it is not always desirable to speak the truth on all occasions, for it could harm someone unnecessarily. We have to consider what we say, how we say it, and in what way it could affect others. If speaking the truth has negative consequences for another, then it is better to say nothing. Satya should never come into conflict with our efforts to behave with ahimsa. This precept is based on the understanding that honest communication and action form the bedrock of any healthy relationship, community, or government, and that deliberate deception, exaggerations, and mistruths harm others.
- Asteya – Non-stealing
Steya means “to steal”; asteya is the opposite-to take nothing that does not belong to us. This also means that if we are in a situation where someone entrusts something to us or confides in us, we do not take advantage of him or her. Non-stealing includes not only taking what belongs to another without permission, but also using something for a different purpose to that intended, or beyond the time permitted by its owner. The practice of asteya implies not taking anything that has not been freely given. This includes fostering a consciousness of how we ask for others’ time for inconsiderate behavior demanding another’s attention when not freely given is, in effect, stealing.
- Brahmacharya – Sense control
Brahmacharya is used mostly in the sense of abstinence, particularly in relationship to sexual activity. Brahmacharya suggests that we should form relationships that foster our understanding of the highest truths. Brahmacharya does not necessarily imply celibacy. Rather, it means responsible behavior with respect to our goal of moving toward the truth. Practicing brahmacharya means that we use our sexual energy to regenerate our connection to our spiritual self. It also means that we don’t use this energy in any way that might harm others.iv
- Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth
Aparigraha means to take only what is necessary, and not to take advantage of a situation or act greedy. We should only take what we have earned; if we take more, we are exploiting someone else. The yogi feels that the collection or hoarding of things implies a lack of faith in God and in himself to provide for his future.v Aparigraha also implies letting go of our attachments to things and an understanding that impermanence and change are the only constants.
II. Niyama (Personal Observances) Niyama means “rules” or “laws.” These are the rules prescribed for personal observance. Like the yamas, the five niyamas are not exercises or actions to be simply studied. They represent far more than an attitude. Compared with the yamas, the niyamas are more intimate and personal. They refer to the attitude we adopt toward ourselves as we create a code for living soulfully
- Sauca – Purity
The first niyama is sauca, meaning purity and cleanliness. Sauca has both an inner and an outer aspect. Outer cleanliness simply means keeping ourselves clean. Inner cleanliness has as much to do with the healthy, free functioning of our bodily organs as with the clarity of our mind. Practicing asanas or pranayama are essential means for attending to this inner sauca. Asanas tones the entire body and removes toxins while pranayama cleanses our lungs, oxygenates our blood and purifies our nerves. “But more important than the physical cleansing of the body is the cleansing of the mind of its disturbing emotions like hatred, passion, anger, lust, greed, delusion and pride.” vi
- Santosa – Contentment
Another niyama is santosa, modesty and the feeling of being content with what we have. To be at peace within and content with one’s lifestyle finding contentment even while experiencing life’s difficulties for life becomes a process of growth through all kinds of circumstances. We should accept that there is a purpose for everything – yoga calls it karma – and we cultivate contentment ‘to accept what happens’. It means being happy with what we have rather than being unhappy about what we don’t have.
- Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy
Tapas refers to the activity of keeping the body fit or to confront and handle the inner urges without outer show. Literally it means to heat the body and, by so doing, to cleanse it. Behind the notion of tapas lies the idea we can direct our energy to enthusiastically engage life and achieve our ultimate goal of creating union with the Divine. Tapas helps us burn up all the desires that stand in our way of this goal. Another form of tapas is paying attention to what we eat. Attention to body posture, attention to eating habits, attention to breathing patterns – these are all tapas.
- Svadhyaya – Self study
The fourth niyama is svadhyaya. Sva means “self’ adhyaya means “inquiry” or “examination”. Any activity that cultivates self-reflective consciousness can be considered svadhyaya. It means to intentionally find self-awareness in all our activities and efforts, even to the point of welcoming and accepting our limitations. It teaches us to be centered and non-reactive to the dualities, to burn out unwanted and self-destructive tendencies.
- Isvarapranidhana – Celebration of the Spiritual
Isvarapranidhana means “to lay all your actions at the feet of God.” It is the contemplation on God (Isvara) in order to become attuned to god and god’s will. It is the recognition that the spiritual suffuses everything and through our attention and care we can attune ourselves with our role as part of the Creator. The practice requires that we set aside some time each day to recognize that there is some omnipresent force larger than ourselves that is guiding and directing the course of our lives. vii
As one practices asana it fosters a quieting of the mind, thus it becomes both a preparation for meditation and a meditation sufficient in and of itself. Releasing to the flow and inner strength that one develops brings about a profound grounding spirituality in the body. The physicality of the yoga postures becomes a vehicle to expand the consciousness that pervades our every aspect of our body. The key to fostering this expansion of awareness and consciousness begins with the control of breath, the fourth limb – Pranayama. Patanjali suggests that the asana and the pranayama practices will bring about the desired state of health; the control of breath and bodily posture will harmonize the flow of energy in the organism, thus creating a fertile field for the evolution of the spirit. “This down-to-earth, flesh-and-bones practice is simply one of the most direct and expedient ways to meet yourself. … This limb of yoga practice reattaches us to our body. In reattaching ourselves to our bodies we reattach ourselves to the responsibility of living a life guided by the undeniable wisdom of our body.” To this B.K.S. Iyengar adds: “The needs of the body are the needs of the divine spirit which lives through the body. The yogi does not look heaven-ward to find God for he know that He is within.”
IV. Pranayama (Breath Control) Pranayama is the measuring, control, and directing of the breath. Pranayama controls the energy (prana) within the organism, in order to restore and maintain health and to promote evolution. When the in-flowing breath is neutralized or joined with the out-flowing breath, then perfect relaxation and balance of body activities are realized. In yoga, we are concerned with balancing the flows of vital forces, then directing them inward to the chakra system and upward to the crown chakra.
Pranayama, or breathing technique, is very important in yoga. It goes hand in hand with the asana or pose. In the Yoga Sutra, the practices of pranayama and asana are considered to be the highest form of purification and self discipline for the mind and the body, respectively. The practices produce the actual physical sensation of heat, called tapas, or the inner fire of purification. It is taught that this heat is part of the process of purifying the nadis, or subtle nerve channels of the body. This allows a more healthful state to be experienced and allows the mind to become more calm. As the yogi follows the proper rhythmic patterns of slow deep breathing “the patterns strengthen the respiratory system, soothe the nervous system and reduce craving. As desires and cravings diminish, the mind is set free and becomes a fit vehicle for concentration.”
V. Pratyahara (Control of the Senses) Pratyahara means drawing back or retreat. The word ahara means “nourishment”; pratyahara translates as “to withdraw oneself from that which nourishes the senses.” In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It can then be seen as the practice of non-attachment to sensorial distractions as we constantly return to the path of self realization and achievement of internal peace. It means our senses stop living off the things that stimulate; the senses no longer depend on these stimulants and are not fed by them any more.
In pratyahara we sever this link between mind and senses, and the senses withdraw. When the senses are no longer tied to external sources, the result is restraint or pratyahara. Now that the vital forces are flowing back to the Source within, one can concentrate without being distracted by externals or the temptation to cognize externals.
Pratyahara occurs almost automatically when we meditate because we are so absorbed in the object of meditation. Precisely because the mind is so focused, the senses follow it; it is not happening the other way around.
No longer functioning in their usual manner, the senses become extraordinarily sharp. Under normal circumstances the senses become our masters rather than being our servants. The senses entice us to develop cravings for all sorts of things. In pratyahara the opposite occurs: when we have to eat we eat, but not because we have a craving for food. In pratyahara we try to put the senses in their proper place, but not cut them out of our actions entirely.
Much of our emotional imbalance are our own creation. A person who is influenced by outside events and sensations can never achieve the inner peace and tranquility. This is because he or she will waste much mental and physical energy in trying to suppress unwanted sensations and to heighten other sensations. This will eventually result in a physical or mental imbalance, and will, in most instances, result in illness.
Patanjali says that the above process is at the root of human unhappiness and uneasiness. When people seek out yoga, hoping to find that inner peace which is so evasive, they find that it was theirs all along. In a sense, yoga is nothing more than a process which enables us to stop and look at the processes of our own minds; only in this way can we understand the nature of happiness and unhappiness, and thus transcend them both.
VI. Dharana (Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness) Dharana means “immovable concentration of the mind”. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction. “When the body has been tempered by asanas, when the mind has been refined by the fire of pranayama and when the senses have been brought under control by pratyahara, the sadhaka (seeker) reaches the sixth stage, dharana. Here he is concentrated wholly on a single point or on a task in which he is completely engrossed. The mind has to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption.”
In dharana we create the conditions for the mind to focus its attention in one direction instead of going out in many different directions. Deep contemplation and reflection can create the right conditions, and the focus on this one point that we have chosen becomes more intense. We encourage one particular activity of the mind and, the more intense it becomes, the more the other activities of the mind fall away.
The objective in dharana is to steady the mind by focusing its attention upon some stable entity. The particular object selected has nothing to do with the general purpose, which is to stop the mind from wandering -through memories, dreams, or reflective thought-by deliberately holding it single-mindedly upon some apparently static object. B.K.S. Iyengar states that the objective is to achieve the mental state where the mind, intellect, and ego are “all restrained and all these faculties are offered to the Lord for His use and in His service. Here there is no feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’.”
When the mind has become purified by yoga practices, it becomes able to focus efficiently on one subject or point of experience. Now we can unleash the great potential for inner healing.
VII. Dhyana (Devotion , Meditation on the Divine) Dhyana means worship, or profound and abstract religious meditation. It is perfect contemplation. It involves concentration upon a point of focus with the intention of knowing the truth about it. The concept holds that when one focuses their mind in concentration on an object the mind is transformed into the shape of the object. Hence, when one focuses on the divine they become more reflective of it and they know their true nature. “His body, breath, senses, mind, reason and ego are all integrated in the object of his contemplation – the Universal Spirit.”
During dhyana, the consciousness is further unified by combining clear insights into distinctions between objects and between the subtle layers of perception. “We learn to differentiate between the mind of the perceiver, the means of perception, and the objects perceived, between words, their meanings, and ideas, and between all the levels of evolution of nature.”
As we fine-tune our concentration and become more aware of the nature of reality we perceive that the world is unreal. “The only reality is the universal self, or God, which is veiled by Maya (the illusory power). As the veils are lifted, the mind becomes clearer. Unhappiness and fear – even the fear of death – vanishes. This state of freedom, or Moksha, is the goal of Yoga. It can be reached by constant enquiry into the nature of things.” Meditation becomes our tool to see things clearly and perceive reality beyond the illusions that cloud our mind.
VIII. Samadhi (Union with the Divine)The final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga is the attainment of Samadhi. Samadhi means “to bring together, to merge.” In the state of samadhi the body and senses are at rest, as if asleep, yet the faculty of mind and reason are alert, as if awake; one goes beyond consciousness. During samadhi, we realize what it is to be an identity without differences, and how a liberated soul can enjoy pure awareness of this pure identity. The conscious mind drops back into that unconscious oblivion from which it first emerged.
Thus, samadhi refers to union or true Yoga. There is an ending to the separation that is created by the “I” and “mine” of our illusory perceptions of reality. The mind does not distinguish between self and non-self, or between the object contemplated and the process of contemplation. The mind and the intellect have stopped and there is only the experience of consciousness, truth and unutterable joy.
The achievement of samadhi is a difficult task. For this reason the Yoga Sutra suggests the practice of asanas and pranayama as preparation for dharana, because these influence mental activities and create space in the crowded schedule of the mind. Once dharana has occurred, dhyana and samadhi can follow.
These eight steps of yoga indicate a logical pathway that leads to the attainment of physical, ethical, emotional, and psycho-spiritual health. Yoga does not seek to change the individual; rather, it allows the natural state of total health and integration in each of us to become a reality.
The original source was written by William J.D. Doran