Basics of Yoga The universe has both material and spiritual components. The human being has both material and spiritual components.
Components of the Universe:Components of the human being • Purusha: Pure consciousness. Immortal, spiritual, always free. Infinite existence, knowledge, & happiness. The true self. • Prakriti: The unconscious world. Mortal, material, determined. The material self of body and mind.
The Goal of Yoga • To eliminate suffering by helping us attain discriminative knowledge of the Purusha and the Prakriti. This realization brings contentment, peace, and happiness.
Kirya Yoga: Yoga of Action • Austerity, introspection, & ego surrender • Preparing for trance by ridding oneself of afflictions • Ignorance (mistaking the noneternal for the eternal) • Egoism: identifying the seen with the power of seeing • Attachment: intense seeking after pleasure • Repulsion: intense aversion from pain • Fear of death: intense clinging to life
Ashtanga Yoga • Yama (5 restraints) • Niyama (5 disciplines) • Asana (physical postures) • Pranayama (regulation of breathing) • Pratyahara (sense organ withdrawal) • Dharana (concentration) • Dhyana (contemplation) • Samadhi (absorption)
Yama • Do not engage in violence • Do not lie • Do not steal • Do not crave sexual pleasure • Do not be possessive
Niyama • Purity: cleanse one’s body & mind of all pollutants • Contentment: mental & spiritual balance • Austerity • Study of scriptures and lives of saints • Devotion to the Higher Self
Other External Steps: Preparatory Stage • Asana (Physical Postures) • Pranayama (regulation of breathing) • Pratyahara: training the mind to withdraw consciousness from external objects, and to direct it instead to the inner contents of the mind
Internal Steps: Meditative Stage (Samyama: one-pointedness) • Dharana (concentration): fixing the mind on one idea, letting other images glide by, paying no attention to them • Dhyana (contemplation): sustained focus on an idea, getting to know it in its entirety. The mind remains aware of itself as a subject meditating on an object. • Samadhi (absorption): mystical union with the Purusha