Ahrtal Yoga
Laurence O'Toole

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

In the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali elucidates on the Eight Fold Path of Yoga.

The first two, yama and niyama are the important ethical foundations of yoga practice. All true religious movements share these universal ethic and moral observances. The yamas could be said to be universal moral edicts that when not observed bring some form of disharmony or pain into being for the self and others. The niyamas are more individual observances, the “do’s” that help bring harmony and balance to life.


Ahimsa: Non-violence, the avoidance of injury in thought, word or deed to others and self.
Satya: Truthfulness.
Asteya: Non-stealing.
Brahmacharya: Incontinence.
Aparigrapha: The avoidance of hoarding and collecting, of being possessed by one’s possessions.


Saucha: Purity, cleanliness of both body and mind.
Santosha: The encouragement of contentment.
Tapas: Intense effort, self discipline.
Svadhyaya: Self study.
Ishvara pranidhana: Devotion to the Divine.


The asanas are exercises or poses promote good posture, health and harmony to the body and mind when practiced correctly.


Pranayama is the regulation of the breath that facilitates the energy control. A degree of proficiency in the practice of the asanas is recommended before the practice of pranayama is undertaken. Pranayama is the gateway for the process of internalization.


Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses. Here the senses are brought under control and the consciousness drawn away from the senses.


When the body and mind are stilled and the senses brought under control, the concentration is brought to a single point in order to achieve dhyana.


This is the meditative state where the single pointed concentration is focused unceasingly on the object of devotion.


This is the state where the meditator and the object of meditation are one. At this point there is no duality. Bliss is experienced that is beyond the comprehension of mind and expression of word.

Ahrtal Yoga . Laurence O’Toole . 02641-79921 . 0179-9301823 . info@ahrtalyoga.de