Thursday, September 10, 2009

Actual Practice to Self-Realization: Yoga Ashtanga - Niyama (Part 1)

The following is the thirteenth installment of a new book on Tantra Yoga that I am writing. As a follower of this blog you have the opportunity to read this soon to be published book as each chapter comes out. So please make sure to check this blog as often as you can. Or better yet, sign up as a follower of this blog to be automatically notified via email when each new installment comes out.

YOGA ASHTANGA (8 Limbs of Yoga)

(1) Yama (ethics - dont's)
(2) Niyama (recommended practices - do's)
(3) Asana (yoga posture)
(4) Pranayama (breathing exercise)
(5) Pratyahara (making the mind introspective)
(6) Dharana (concentration)
(7) Dhyana (meditation)
(8) Samadhi (enlightenment)


(2) Niyama (do's) - practices that are recommended
1. Cleanliness.
To keep the body and mind clean. Yogis in India take a holy bath three times a day to maintain the body clean. Controlling the breath by pranayama is an effective way to clean the mind. By practicing pranayama, mind becomes calm and strong and will not be influenced by outside stimulants. Breath and mind is always related to each other. Concentration and meditation to anahata chakra and ajna chakra is also a profound way to clean your mind.
2. Contentment.
Simply stop the mind of "I want this" and "I want that"; instead, appreciate and be thankful for the things that you already have.

3. Motification/Ascetic Practice.
Practices such as fasting, celibacy, very intense asana, pranayama and meditation practices. By practicing fasting, for example, one is able to control the most fundamental desire of a human being: the desire to eat. One can control the fundamental desires of man and able to control the senses and emotions which relates to the physical body thru ascetic practices.

4. Chanting.
Chanting of holy text. Mantras and chanting of holy sound Aum is an important yoga practice. Chanting is practiced is every religion. Chanting of Sutras (Buddhist bible) is one of the major practices in Buddhism. Even in Zen monasteries, the monks spend a lot of time chanting Sutras. (Zen Buddhism is known as a sect which does not depend on Sutras.

Holy Sound Aum

Aum is a sound of the Universe. Aum is the sound of God (or Aum is God). Aum is the origin of the word, and without words we wouldn't understand anything. We can see the tree without knowing the name of it. But to know about it w
e need the thought and word. Without word there is no thought. We would not know anything without thought in this phenomenon world. Therefore, this world is related with word, and word relates to thought and thought relates to the world. The Bible said "In the beginning was the word, and word was with God, and the word was God." In this way you can understand that nobody invented the word because the word itself is God. Aum is God.


  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these pranayama books?