Question: Is yoga meditation? Do they go hand in hand?
Megan’s Answer: Yoga means the union of mind, body and spirit. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the foundational text of Raja yoga, there are eight limbs or steps that form a framework for a person’s yoga practice.
Many people think of the Asanas, or yoga poses, as “yoga” but there are 7 other steps that are a part of the path to that union of mind, body and spirit. These eight steps act as a roadmap to live a meaningful life with connection to yourself and universal divinity. Meditation, if not directly, is a part of each of these steps.
In brief, the eight limbs, or steps to yoga, are as follows:
- Yama : Universal morality
- Niyama : Personal observances
- Asanas : Body postures
- Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana
- Pratyahara : Control of the senses
- Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
- Samadhi : Union with the Divine
By Megan Monahan
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