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Yoga Philosophy


     Yoga emerged from India two thousand years ago as a spiritual practice.  The Yoga Sutras of Patangali start,  "Now yoga begins.  Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind."  All the yoga practices (physical poses, breath awareness, meditation) are designed to help us to focus our attention so we can access a deep quiet place of center deep inside.  The physical benefits of yoga are a positive side effect of yoga but are not the original purpose.

     The practice of the first seven limbs of yoga as described first by Patangali (see side bar) help us to get to the eighth limb or samadhi. In samadhi we have a deep understanding of reality and our place in it.  When the conscious self is in samadhi, we are at peace and capable of effective action.









The Eight Limbs 

      of Yoga

1. Yamas-restraints to action.

2. Niyamas-qualities to encourage in self development.

3. Asana-The poses. Creating stability and comfort in the body through developing strength and awarenes physical poses.

4. Pranayama-Working with the breath and the energy body

5. Pratyahara-Withdrawal of the senses. Inner focus of attention.

6. Dharana-making conscious the ability to focus and shift the attention.

7. Dhayana-meditation. Developing the ability to keep a steady focus of attention.

8. Samadhi-through all the above techniques, develop a deeper understanding of reality and one's place in it.  This allows for deep inner peace and effective action.