English Ahimsa Yoga


In Sanskrit "Ashta+anga" is Ashtanga. "Ashta" means Eight and "Anga" is limbs so it means Eight Limb path, ashtanga yoga is based on Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali. The asanas, Pranayamas or the dharana which we have studied earlier or the yam and niyam are based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Hence, we will acquaint ourselves with the fundamentals as stated by Patanjali first.


1. Yama           -    Principles or moral code.                                                                                     

2. Niyama       -    Personal Disciplines.                                                                                   

3. Asana          -    Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures.                                                           

4. Pranayama -    Extension and control of breath.                                                                                     

5. Pratyahara  -     Withdrawal of Senses.                                                                              

6. Dharna        -     Concentration on Object.                                                                             

7. Dhayana      -     Meditation.                                                                                               

8. Samadhi      -     Salvation.


Ahimsa ( A principle of non-violence )


Ahimsa means not to kill anyone. Killing generates pain; hence ahimsa can mean not to cause pain to anyone. Yoga demands ahimsa in totality. That mean, himsa does not mean only killing or hitting anyone. That is a limited meaning of the word or only physical aspect. To hurt someone mentally is also a himsa. That is oral himsa. Yoga also states further that even thinking ill of someone is also a himsa, which is a mental himsa. Hence, ahimsa covers all aspects such as physical, oral, mental.


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