URDHVA MUKHA SVANASANAADHO MUKHA SVANASANAVIRABHADRASANA 1PARIVRTTA TRIKONASANAPARIVRTTA PARSVAKONASANA
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The 8 branches of yoga (Asthanga yoga) according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

Yamas - The Don'ts. The five moral principles or abstinences: nonviolence-ahimsa, truthfulness-satya, nonstealing-asteya, control of sexual energy-brahmacharya, and nonpossessivenss-Aparigraha.

Niyamas - The Do's. The five inner disciplines or observances: purity-saucha, contentment-santosha, self-discipline-tapas, study of the sacred texts-svadhyaya, living with the awareness of the Divine-ishvara-pranidhana.

Asana - Postures. Physical movements that are purifying the body and improving one's posture. The practice of asanas prepares the body for sitting in meditation and allows the free flow of energy.

Pranayama - Control of the breath and the flow of energy in the body, which in turn brings balance to both the body and the mind.

Pratyahara - Drawing the senses within, letting go of external distractions and stimuli.

Dharana - Total concentration on a chosen point of focus: an object, sound, symbol, concept, movement or a task.

Dhyana - Meditation, an experience of inner peace and stillness.

Samadhi - Super-conscious experience, self-realization, the merging of the self with the universal consciousness. In such a state, all organs in the body suspend their activities: the heart stops beating and the breathing ceases.

These eight branches support each other. Asana practice must be established for proper practice of pranayama and it is a key to the development of the yamas and niyamas (the ten commandments). Once these four externally oriented limbs are firmly rooted, the last four internally oriented limbs will spontaneously evolve over time.

 

The 4 paths to yoga (Yoga Margas) according to man’s natural tendencies:

Bhakti Yoga
The path of love and devotion especially in a spiritual connection. A heart centered journey.

Gnana Yoga
The path of knowledge, intellect and wisdom. The deep understanding of the self through the study of ancient and modern wisdoms.


Karma Yoga
The path of selfless action and service without seeking reward. The journey of the active person.

Raja Yoga (Royal or complete)
The path of the spiritual person. Raja Yoga is also called Asthanga Yoga as first described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.

 

The 7 steps of Hatha Yoga:

Sat Kriyas - Cleansing practices

Asanas - Postures

Mudras and Bandhas - Locks and seals through postures and gestures with the hands

Pratyahara - Drawing the senses inward

Pranayama - Breathing practices

Dhyana - Meditation

Samadhi - Self-realization