9 interesting facts about ashtang-yoga and yoga-sutra image

9 Interesting Facts About Ashtang-Yoga And Yoga-Sutra

1). Yogasutra is the first book(the Granth) on Yoga, written by the guru Maharishi Patanjali in 200 BCE.

The term "Yoga" has often been defined in Indian philosophical and religious traditions.

Reference 1: Vaisesika sutra - 4th century BCE
Reference 2: Katha Upanishad -  last centuries BCE
Reference 3: Bhagavad Gita - 2nd century BCE
Reference 4: Patanjali - first centuries CE
Reference 5: Linga Purana - 7th-10th century CE
Reference 6: Brahmasutra-bhasya of Adi Shankara - 8th century CE

2). There are many Yogas available in the ancient and modern world, but Ashtangyog is more popular and a complete process(Kriya) for mental, physical, and spiritual purification.

Ashtanga Yoga consists of eight different limbs/components/kriyas/processes.

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana
  4. Pranayama
  5. Pratyahara
  6. Dhaarana
  7. Dhyan
  8. Samadhi

Out of the above eight, the first four (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama are related to the external part of Yoga, and the rest (Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyan, Samadhi ) are an internal matter of Yoga.

3). Benefits of Yoga

  1. Yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility.
  2. Yoga helps with back pain relief.
  3. Yoga can provide more energy and brighter moods. Yoga practice removes foreign elements from the body, and one enjoys the feeling of newness.
  4. Yoga can ease Arthritis Symptoms.
  5. Yoga benefits heart health, like high blood pressure, etc.
  6. Yoga relaxes you as well as helps you to sleep better.
  7. Yoga helps you manage Stress
  8. Yoga connects you with a supportive community. It is helpful to increase concentration and level of understanding. 
  9. Yoga promotes better Self-care. It leads to regularity in one's lifestyle, and life becomes healthy.

4). Yama(the first component of Yoga) is a bunch of social and moral laws

  1. Ahinsa(never spread violence by actions, speech, ideas, etc.)
  2. Satya(always speaking truth)
  3. Asteya(avoid stealing nature)
  4. Brahmacharya(self-control as well as overcoming Sexual desires)
  5. Aparigraha(do not acquire more than necessary means use of every component of nature should be done gratefully.

5). Niyama (the Second component of Yoga) is a bunch of ethics related to the Self.

  1. Purification of the mind(intellectual level) as well as body(physical level)
  2. Asceticism(vairagya- to overcome any conflicts, to remain stable in any situation)
  3. Satisfaction(Santosh) is essential for healthy living to be satisfied with whatever we have.
  4. Devotion(Samarpana- to Sacrifice or commit all the Fruitful work and life to God.

6). There have been specified the number of Asanas(the third component of Yoga) in various books, and some of them are named after the creatures(organisms) as well as other parts of nature like…

  1. Markatasan (monkey pose), 
  2. Makarasan (crocodile pose), 
  3. Gomukhasan (cowface pose) 
  4. Parvatasana (pose of the mountain),
  5. Tadasana (pose of tada tree) etc.

7). Pranayama is all about breathing techniques. In this fourth component of Yoga, three activities are performed…

  1. Inhale the breath (Purak)
  2. Retention the breath (Kumbhak)- it's either Bahya Kumbha or Antar kumbhak.
  3. Exhale the breath (Rehak)

There are so many types of breath, as below:

  • Bellows Breath
  • Victorious Breath
  • Humming Bee Breath
  • Quick and short, powerful exhales
  • Alternate nostril breathing
  • Sipping Breath
  • External Retention
  • Soothing Breath
  • Right Nostril Breathing
  • Left Nostril Breathing
  • Abdominal Breathing
  • Chanting of Om
  • Floating Breathing

8). Dharana (Belief) is a conscious thing to concentrate or fix the mind on one place/topic, and Dhyana involves the activity of the subconscious mind to focus the mind on one specific thing or place.

9). Samadhi - The ultimate stage or last stage of Dhyana. When the body gets fully Absorbed in the center/object of Meditation and loses its identity, it is called Samadhi


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