There are 8 limbs to a full Yoga practice. Each limb is a complete discipline and a life long journey of learning.
The 8 limbs are; Yama, Niyama, Ãsana, Prãnayãma, Pratyãhãra, Dhãrana, Dhyãna and Samadhi. In this article we’ll look at Dhyãna.
Dhyãna means contemplation, reflection, to see, to look, to show, meditation.
In Dhãrana the focus is on one fixed point. In Dhyãna there is a gentle, open awareness, within which, everything is held. There is an expansive nature, beyond normal boundaries.
Think of the sky – it holds the sunshine, storms and rainbows but it is always the sky – witnessing it all. This is Dhyãna aware of the clouds, or in your meditation – your thoughts. Allow them to pass and knowing that they continue to change character and are impermanent, the witness to everything.
Dhyãna is a state of awareness and balance.
The ego withdraws and there is a disassociation – you may be aware of sensations, emotions, thoughts, the object of focus but you are not drawn by any of them, holding them all within your awareness. Letting go of the support and allowing everything to just be, as it is and noticing all contained within.
Each limb of Yoga prepares you for the next one. The Dhãrana practice helps the you to focus and settle your mind. In Dhyãna practice you can let everything just be as it is in your meditation. If the steps before this point were skipped, your mind would likely be wild with agitation looking for something to do and remain restless. The steps before this prepare your mind to let go in order to just be.
All 8 limbs of Yoga offer a lifelong path of learning and practice.
To have a full Yoga practice all 8 limbs will be incorporated into your life.
So what does Going to Yoga mean? Your Yoga is where you are, not just on the mat.
Food for thought…
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