Yoga Philosophy


Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksa Bhavanam” II, 33.

For removing negative or harmful thoughts, one must ponder over the opposite.

Yoga is a holistic practice which envisions not only postures and breathing but also a transformational practice of philosophy, ethical way of life and a spiritual unfolding of the human being.

The practice of Ashtanga Yoga is explained in the Raja Yoga Sutras.

The words Ashta and Anga respectively mean 8 and limbs in sanskrit.

Ashtanga Yoga is an 8-folded Yoga Practice.

Those limbs are:

  • Yamas – Ethicals  don’ts  (Non-violence, Truthfulness, Conservation of the sexual energy, Non-stealing, Non-covetousness)
  • Niyamas – Ethical do’s  (Cleanliness, Contentment, Self-discipline, Study of Classical and Spiritual books, Surrender and acceptance)
  • Asanas – Yoga Postures
  • Pranayama – Control of the breath
  • Pratyahara – Turning Inwards
  • Dharana – Concentration
  • Dhyana – Meditation
  • Samadhi – Illumination

 

Asanas are widely described (their practice, categories and benefits) in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as well as in the the Yoga Korunta amongst many Scriptures and texts on Yoga.

The Asanas of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Series are said to come mainly from the Yoga Korunta while the Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes asanas and breathing techniques and their benefits.

Originally, one was to practice Yoga Postures in order to make the body strong and flexible enough to be able to sit for meditation without feeling any discomfort. The physical benefits of the postures were highlighted with the sole aim to keep the body fit for the Spiritual Practice.

For more information on Yoga Philosophy and references, please contact me.