English Brahmachari 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.


Brahmacharya ( Sexual Continence )

Yoga sadhaka should follow continence, but this does not mean that he should renounce family life and become a monk; such an action is not expected in Yoga science. When a sadhaka progresses on the path of Yoga, on his own he feels that he should renounce the worldly activities and he will be free from all desires and hence can easily study dhyana and dharana. However, all of us need not follow this path. So we need not stretch the meaning of continence to this level. Controlled enjoyment of desires, staying within the limit of dharma and science can be termed as continence. If we understand this meaning and behave accordingly, we will be able to progress in Yoga. Due to uncontrolled behaviour, we are more restricted. Desires, their fulfillment and enjoyment do have a place in the family life, but there should be some limit. It is we who should control the desires and not desires controlling us. Once the desires start ruling us, we lose our freedom. If the desires are not fulfilled, then we lose our mental and physical well being.