The first four stages of Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga concentrate on refining our personalities,
gaining mastery over the body, and developing an energetic awareness of ourselves. They are
preparation for the next 4 limbs. The second half of the journey deals with the senses, the
mind, and attaining a higher state of consciousness.
The Yamas and Niyamas can be
approached individually or they can
be seen as a progressive system
towards Realization.
1. Yamas
Ethical standards relating to the
Golden Rule of “Do unto others as
would have them do unto you.
The five yamas are:
Ahimsa: nonviolence
Satya: truthfulness
Asteya: non-stealing
Brahmacharya: non-excess
Aparigraha: non-attachment
2. Niyama
Niyama, the second limb, has to do
with self-discipline and spiritual
observances. Regularly attending
temple or church services, saying
grace before meals, developing your
own personal meditation practices,
or making a habit of taking
contemplative walks alone are all
examples of niyamas in practice.
The five niyamas are:
Saucha: cleanliness/purity
Santosha: contentment
Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities
Svadhyaya: study of the sacred
scriptures and of one’s self
Isvara pranidhana: surrender to
3. Asana
Asana, the postures practiced in yoga,
comprise the third limb. In the yogic

What I love most about yoga is that it’s a practice that uses movement and breath to expose the pure light within each of us. As children, we know our Divinity. Yet, we are not often taught, or encouraged, to listen to this inner voice of wisdom. The yoga quotes in this article are a fantastic way to not only end a yoga class, but confidently remind you of the powerful knowing that resides within us all.

As usual, I woke up this morning before anyone else in my household and quietly took a seat for meditation. My mind immediately wanted to give all of my attention to a decision that had to be made today. My thoughts began to scroll through pros and cons of each option, weighing them against opinions and expectations of others.

Yet my heart had already made a decision. I knew what was in my best and highest good. I knew what was best for my spirit, my family, my energy, and my future.

And still I found myself trying to justify this decision. I found myself role-playing the conversations that would ensue to explain my choice.

There I sat, as an observer, watching the calm, serene confidence of my heart wage a mini-battle against the mind’s fear being misunderstood or losing the love of my family.

Thanks to my yoga practice, and the confidence it has cultivated over time to trust my inner guide, I could sit in the discomfort. I was able to watch–in amusement–as my ego tried to regain control of the situation.

And, as I rose from my seat to enter the tasks of my day, I felt clarity. I felt brave for living from the inside out. And, I was energized by the appreciation of this unique life I get to live. Turning inward does this. Yoga leads to this quiet place. And it’s my hope that with these quotes and (some time on the mat) you, too, can rest in this ever-present, all-loving energy that supports you always!
Phenomenology in general seeks to comprehend the perceived or lived world prior to metaphysical categorizations. This is made possible by a method of radical reflection ||YOGA NIDRA CHENNAI ||

that is widely known as the “phenomenological reduction” or epochē, perhaps best explained as an absolute suspension of belief, doubt, or any kind of pre-supposition about the existence of the world and its objects. Earlier comparative studies of yoga and phenomenology have rightly stressed this particular aspect of phenomenology, first set out in Husserl’s early transcendental approach, as convergent with yogic meditative practices. Certain aspects of the yoga literature show a consonance with the epochē of transcendental phenomenology; this is especially evident in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras where the Sanskrit term nirodaha can be shown to approach closely Husserl’s epochē. Patañjali’s classic summary of yoga, “chitta vritti nirodaha,” roughly translates as “Yoga is the suspension (nirodaha) of the fluctuations (vritti) of thought (chitta).” Thus, nirodaha is a rigorous meditation technique the goal of which is a purified perception (purusa) untainted by mental conditioning or habits such as present passions, future desires, or past impressions (karma). Nirodaha is the route to attaining a pure consciousness (samādhi), which lies beyond the psychological mind (chitta) and envelopes the division between perceiver and perceived.2 As pure, self-evident knowledge, samādhi can only be occupied by the practitioner but never described, for to do so would be to turn the experience into an object and hence distort its meaning.



In a remarkably similar manner, Husserl distinguishes the “hidden ‘I'” of transcendental subjectivity from the psychological ego that is still immersed within the subject-object bifurcation.3 Like Patañjali, he advocates a transformation of the mental structures that inhibit clear perception in order to develop a reflexive “witness consciousness” toward our own process of perceiving the world. Built into both theories is the ideal of a pure consciousness that remains as a residue of this methodological cleansing process: an a priori or pure subjectivity distinct from an external objective world.

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