Maharishi Patanjali composed a path into darshan (philosophy) in his book patanjali yoga sutra in which he formulated yoga in four padas (Path), namely;
1. Samadhi pada,
2. Sadhana pada,
3. Viputhi pada,
4. Kaivalya pada.
In these four padas patanjali sage composed “ ASHTANGA YOGA ” in sadhana pada
i.e., “ eight limbs of yoga” or “ eight fold path ” in this he explained the practices which have to be followed to attain higher conscious.
“ Yama niyama asana paranayamapratyahara Dharana dhyana samadhayo-ava gani ” (sadhana pada 2.29)*
1. Asana – Physical Postures
The postures which are steady, comfortable and helps to attain mental equilibrium.
2. Dharana – Concentration of Object
The concentration of mind over one object and its field.
3. Dhyana – Meditation
Vacate mind from all outer objects and focusing it on one point and meditating on it.
4. Pranayama – Yogic Breathing
The practices which bring extension and control of breath.
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5. Pratyahara – Retirement of Senses
A mental formation to increase the power of the spiritual mind.
6. Niyama – 5 Personal Disciplines
Shouch – purity
Santosh – contentment
Tapa – endurance
Swadhyaya – self-study
Eshwarpranidhan – dedication
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7. Samadhi – Salvation
State of super biss, joy and merging individual consciousness into universal consciousness, merging between jivatma and paramatma,
Merge of shiva and shakti in sahasrara chakra (on top of the head) realizing the bramhan (pure conscious) or realizing of god is the ultimate achievement of human birth.
8. Yama – 5 Moral Principles
Ahimsa – peaceableness
Aparigah – non-hoarding / non-possessiveness
Asteya – nonstealing
Brahmacharya – celibacy / continence
Satya – truthfulness
These are the 8 limbs of yoga.
Image Credit : Joellepearson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0