What is Yoga – Yoga

What Is Yoga – A Definition by Patanjali 

Patanjali describes Yoga as ‘ Chitta vrtti nirodhah’, it is translated as suppression (nirodhah) of the fluctuations(vrtti) of consciousness (chitta). Chitta denotes that the mind in its total or collective sense and it is composed of three important categories.

a) Mind – Manas, that is the power and faculty of attention, selection and rejection.

b) Intelligence or Reason –  Buddhi, that is the decisive state which determines the distinction between things

c) Ego – (ahamkara, literally the I maker ).

The driving force for a human life is ‘ I ‘ factor, I know , I made. Without the self there is no life, but the I factor should not grow within you we should try to suppress it as much as possible to make the life beautiful.


Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels. Shri Krishna in Bhagavad Gita sixth chapter, describes yoga to Arjuna as – The meaning of Yoga as a deliverance from contact within pain and sorrow. ‘ When the mind, intellect and self (ahamkara) are under control, freed from restless desire, so that they rest within yourself, a man become Yukta – one in communion with God.

The Stages of Yoga

Patanjali enumerates eight limbs of Yoga.

1. Yama – Universal Moral Commandments

2. Niyama – Purification of self through discipline 

3. Asana – Posture

4. Pranayama – Rhythmic control of the breath

5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal from the domination of the senses and exterior objects

6. Dharana – Concentration

7. Dyaana – Meditation

8. Samadhi – A state of super consciousness brought about by profound meditation.

Yama and Niyama control the yogi’s passion and emotions. Asanas keep the body healthy and strong. Finally the yogi becomes free of body consciousness.

Pranayama and Pratyahar, teach the aspirant to regulate the breathing and their by control the mind. This helps to free the senses from the objects of desire.

Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi take the yogi a state of super consciousness brought about by profound meditation.

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