The yoga sutras of Patanjali are a collection of 196 aphorisms that are meant to train your mind and in such a way that it can be taken towards enlightenment.

The main tool of reaching towards this enlightenment is meditation. The yoga sutras of Patanjali are based on 8 pillars or limbs and the details of these limbs are given below:

The 8 Limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali


1. Yamas

Yamas are those rules which provide the right ethical guidelines to live a good life. There are a total of 5 yamas in yoga sutra and these are ahimsa, satya, brahmacharya, asteya, aparigraha.


2. Niyamas

This is the second principle of yoga sutra and the Niyamas include shaucha, tapas, svadhyaya, santosha and ishvarapranidhana. The rules of this limb of yoga are deeper than yamas and bring you to higher altitudes around you.


3. Asanas

Asana or physical yoga is the most popular limb of Yoga sutras and is a tool which is used to improve or enhance the preservation of vitality. Asanas refer to the seated or other poses which are related to physically motivated practices.


4. Pranayama

Even pranayama is a popular leg of Yoga Sutras. This practice is often used in modern yoga classes and is a practice which refers to cultivating the capability of controlling the breath. Pranayama is not only beneficial for the mind but also the body. It also improves the lung capacity and has several physical advantages.


5. Pratyahara

The fifth limb of yoga sutras is referred to as Pratyahara. This particular limb of Yoga Sutras acts as a bridge between the first four limbs and the last three ones. Pratyahara refers to as the withdrawal of sense and helps one to learn to prevent the stimuli of all the senses.


6. Dharana

Dharana is referred to as concentration and this particular principle of yoga sutra teaches you to focus all the attention of your mind to a single object.


7. Dhyana

Dhyana can be translated to meditation. This is the state in which the object that you focus upon and the practice of meditation are different or separated. In simple terms, the person doing Dhyana is not conscious of doing meditation but becomes a part of meditation itself.


8. Samadhi

This is the ultimate step in yoga sutra which is considered difficult to achieve. When one achieves this state, the object that is being meditated upon and the person who is meditating becomes one.

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