Matter is subjected to decay and death. Anything that has a form and function in the material world will degenerate and come to an end. Ashtanga Yoga is a purifying process involving eight disciplines and eight limbs. It is a process of regulating and a process of fortifying one’s physiological, one’s biological musculoskeletal being, which includes your nervous system, faculties, sensory organs, etc. Primarily, it governs the growth hormones and triggers a high rate of cellular regeneration so that there is never a lag between a dying cell and a new birthing cell. This is stalling and reversing of age, and evolving physiologically and biologically with age.
Ashtanga Yoga is practised for invincible immunity, vitality, and eternal energy. This eventually transcends into longevity. The eight limbs of yoga, which makes a broken man complete, helps translate a manushya into purushya, which means prakruti transcends purusharth. It neutralises personalities and enable parmaarth to purusharth journey of Ashtanga and the divinity of wholeness, the divinity of
absolute oneness. In that oneness, is the music of yog — Sangeet.
Sangat + Geet = Sangeet of health and wholeness. It is the harmonising of sound and being. Swastha is health, swara is breath, which becomes sangeet.
Ashtanga Yoga comprises the following: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyaana, Samadhi.
Now, let’s understand each one of these:
Yama: It is about how you behave and interact with the world. It is about non-
violence, truthfulness, non-aggression, peace, bliss, and happiness. We must live with as much we need. We must do things selflessly without having any expectations.
Niyama: It deals with our personal discipline and practices. Practising cleanliness, contentment or santosha, austerity which is not falling prey to desires and aspirations unnecessarily and leaving it quite simply in the centre. Svadhyaya will be chanting mantras or reading religious books and scriptures. Ishvara pranidhana is a complete believer in Prabhu and doing things for Prabhu’s sake.
Asana: Sitting or yoga postures which should be steady, comfortable and relaxed. Being in equilibrium at this physical level helps to connect with the spiritual level.
Pranayama: It is the breath work or breath control practiced with different asanas, the inhalation and the exhalation and holding of breath as per individuals capacity.
Pratyahara: Moving out from the outside world and looking within. It is about withdrawing our awareness from the world outside to turning inwards. In this stage, one has the control over physiological responses and does not give in easily to the wants.
Dharana: Focused and complete concentration where our mind is fixed on a particular meditation or chant.
Dhyana: This is the stage where one is so focused that meditation happens without any interruption. Meditation with blankness. Meditation with nothingness. Meditation emptying oneself. Getting centered with the being.
Samadhi: This is called the final stage of enlightenment. One is completely absorbed and dissolved. It is the state where the drop of water becomes one with that of the ocean. It is about losing oneself to finding oneself. It is about knowing your true nature, being completely blank, empty, labelless, timeless, placeless and formless.
If we were to put it in simple words, self-discipline, observation of alignment, postures in poetry, breath regulated in discipline, internalising of senses, putting attention and focus onto something and having determination to do something, an absolute evolution.
Ashtanga Yoga sets you on the path of evolution.
It puts you on the ladder of evolution, rising higher and higher. This higher is not going anywhere. This higher is simply evolving to a point of refinement and the path of absolute refined purush personality or purusharth personality expresses
itself in its wholeness, flowering, blossoming with vibrance and radiance.
Ashtang, Yog is a life of light and otherwise is a life of ignorance.
(Mickey Mehta is a global leading holistic health guru and life coach; website: www.