Discover the eight pillars or the triple axis of Patanjali yoga.
June 25, 2021
Today we are going to delve into the roots of yoga with one of the most relevant personalities for the Hindu world, Patanjali.
Who was Patanjali and what is he known for?
Patanjali wrote the famous Yoga-Sutra, the foundational aphorisms of yoga, which date back to the 3rd century BC.
Although it is a short text, it is relevant as the backbone of the philosophy behind yoga. Beyond a mere healthy practice that you can do anywhere, yoga has an ancient and complex philosophy whose spirituality is interwoven as a discipline capable of elevating our spirit.
It is based on eight basic pillars that encompass the triple axis I-World-Other Individuals.
In this sense, the different aspects of yoga that Patanjali put forward should be understood as a multi-sided polyhedron that we have to visualise as a greater WHOLE.
It will help us to elevate ourselves as individuals through practice.
"When you are inspired by some great purpose, by some extraordinary project, thoughts break through their barriers; the mind transcends its limitations, consciousness expands in all directions, and you find yourself in a new and wonderful world. The dormant forces, faculties and talents come alive and you realise that you are far greater than you could ever have dreamed of.
The eight pillars are:
1. YAMA: It is the attitude we have towards our surroundings or the relationship we have with others.
2. NIYAMA: is the attitude we have towards ourselves or self-control.
3. ASANA: Refers to the practice of yoga postures to condition the body as physical exercise.
4. PRANAYAMAS: The practice of breathing exercises.
5. PRATYAHARA: Refers to the abstraction of the senses.
6. DHARANA: It is the ability to concentrate.
7. DHYANA: It is the ability to develop interactions with what we are trying to understand or better defined as meditation.
8. SAMADHI: Refers to the state of full awareness or realisation of the self. Reaching this state of absorbed concentration leads to a new state of ecstasy: the awakened or liberated state.
One of the particularities of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is "stilling the fluctuations of the mind", a journey from mental distraction, scattered thinking and conceptualisation of ourselves.
Patanjali systematised the practice of yoga into a path of eight steps or stages that are intrinsically connected to each other.
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