The eight steps, branches or aspects of the RAJA YOGA

The eight steps, branches or aspects of the RAJA YOGA

Article by Corrado Vinci

The Yoga is traditionally divided into eight aspects or helps, also said Astanga.

Transcribed in the Yoga Sutra by Test Patanjali, the helps am inter-related; each of them has several facets which reveal themselves through the study of the texts and with the practice. They progressively lead to the highest consciousness stadiums and to the spiritual life; the disciplines which constitute them are gradually have more interior.

The steps, branches or aspects of the Raja Yoga are the following:

Yama: understands the moral precepts of:not violence (ahimsa)truth (satya)do not steal (asteya)chastity (brahmacarya)not avidity (aparigraha)

These beginnings of rectitude are universal, and constitute the foundation of the Yoga. The essence of the Yama is not to damage any living creature with the thoughts, the words and the acts. The translation of the concepts is only approximate: each of them has a wide meanings and applications range, which changes according to the circumstances and the personal progress level.

Niyama: they are the personal practices which must be observed: purity, cleanliness of the mind and the body (sauca)satisfied (santosa) fervour for the object of the study, perfection, burning effort (tapas) study of the himself (svadhyaya)abandon to God of all the thoughts and the shares (Isvarapranidhana)The practices of the Niyama establish the discipline of the daily life.

Asana: they are the Yoga positions. The asana (sukham) come described as buildings (sthira) and cheerful. To obtain the mastery and the perfection, a prolonged continuos effort is necessary. The body and the mind move in harmony and assimilate with the infinite. All the rivalries of the mind cease existing. Pata

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