Yoga is about calming the mind with the aim of finding evenness, or equanimity of mind in all we do. In Pataῆjali’s Yoga Sutra, composed 200-300CE, the essence of yoga is defined as:
Yogascittavrttinirodhah – “Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively towards an object and sustain that direction without any distractions" (Yoga Sutra 1.2), translation TKV Desikachar The Heart of Yoga.
Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that delves into the essence of who we are, and gives us a number of tools to help us discover the best possible version of ourselves.
To help us Pataῆjali, in the Yoga Sutra, describes eight limbs of yoga to reach Samadhi or bliss. These are:
- Yama (ethical standards)
- Niyama (internal/personal)
- Asana (poses)
- Pranayama (breath)
- Prathayara (withdrawal of the senses)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (sustained awareness of meditation)
- Samadhi (integration)