3 Important aspects of Yoga in Your Daily Yoga Practices

Become a Yoga Teacher

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are a popular source of inspiration and direction for modern yoga practitioners about the guidelines of a balanced and ethical life. While the complete Yoga Sutra consists of 195 aphorisms, the majority of modern yoga’s attention is focused on the 31 verses that describe the “limbs” of yoga, a practical guide on how to attain liberation from suffering.

वपुः कृशत्वं, वदने प्रसन्नता, नाद-स्फुटत्वं, नयने सुनिर्मले,

 अरोगता, बिन्दुजयम्, अग्निदीपनं, नाडी विशुद्धिर्हठसिद्धि लक्षणम्

(Slimness of body, the luster on the face, clarity of voice, brightness of eyes, freedom

from disease, control over seminal ejaculation, stimulation of gastric fire, and purification of Nadis are marks of success in hatha yoga.)



Through a combined commitment to all limbs, yoga practice yields a full spectrum of well-documented emotional, interpersonal, and health benefits. It is a holistic lifestyle choice, not a fragmented practice of physical exercise or breathing.

  1. Yama and Niyama

Yama: Regardless of who we are, where we’re from, or how much yoga we’ve done, we can all work to instill the Yamas in our personalities.

  •     Ahimsa: Ahimsa signifies love, and love makes it impossible to hurt anyone. Ahimsa is a

guideline to live by for the rest of one’s life.

  • Satya: The second tenet is Satya, which means to cherish the truth. Always be truthful! Not so simple because you frequently put yourself in predicaments where you must lie. However, always remember to communicate the truth in love, compassion, and respect for the other person’s sentiments.
  • Asteya: Essentially, the need to steal results from a lack of confidence in our ability to provide the things we need on our own. By practicing each yoga asana on and off the mat, we can get closer to the realization that we already have enough and are sufficient beings.
  • Brahmacharya: Brahmacharya is the idea of channeling energy in the direction of the Divine because Brahma means “the Supreme” and Charya means “Motion.” It also conjures up the idea of focusing our attention inward rather than outward, away from transient pleasures that seem terrific at the time but are ultimately unsatisfying.
  • Aparigraha: The word “graha” means to take, seize, or grab. The prefix “a” negates the word itself and essentially means “non.” The word “pari” points “on all sides.” This significant yama instructs us to take only what we require, hold onto only that which serves our needs at the time, and let go when the occasion calls for it.


The prefix “ni” is a verb from Sanskrit that signifies “inside” or “inward.” Niyama relates to obligations to ourselves, but it can also be applied to our behavior toward others.

  •     Shauca

Shauca, which means cleanliness or purification, is the first tenet. When we take on a

physical yoga or pranayama practice, we use, create, and direct energy. If we arrive on our mats with a sense of impurity rather than saucha (cleanliness), we are unlikely to make as much progress throughout our sadhana (our practice).

  • Santosha

Any search for pleasure that involves looking outside of ourselves—for it in things, people, or possessions—only results in further searching. Santosha, or “contentment,” entails acknowledging and appreciating what we already have and who we are and then continuing from that point.

  • Tapas

The Sanskrit verb “tap,” which means “to burn,” is the source of the word “tapas,” which conjures up images of “fiery discipline” or “passion.” It describes developing a sense of

self-discipline, passion, and courage to burn away “impurities” physically, intellectually, and emotionally and pave the road to actual greatness.

  •     Svadhyaya 

This word itself is composed of Sva, which means one’s self or the human spirit, and Adhyaya, which means lesson, lecture, or reading. It can be used to refer to the practice of studying the Self and the study of the scriptures.

  • Pranidhana Ishvara

Isvara, which means “Supreme Being,” and Pranidhana, which means “fixing,” make up the phrase “Isvara Pranidhana.” Most translations of this Niyama tell us to “surrender” to this Supreme Being or higher self, which essentially implies developing a close, trusting

relationship with the world and treating every action as a gift to something greater than ourselves.

  1. Postures and Breathing Practices:

Asana and Pranayama

The aspects of yoga that concentrate most directly on the physical body include postures (asanas) and breath work (pranayama).

  •      Asana: 

Asanas were only described concerning how to get ready to practice sitting in meditation in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The art of pranayama involves controlling the body’s energy flow by manipulating the breath. Of the four limbs of yoga, asanas receive the most attention and promotion.

There are only two asana instructions in Patanjali’s writings: the need to find a posture to practice pranayama and meditation. The goal is to sit comfortably so that we won’t feel “pulled” by physical aches and pains or restlessness brought on by an uncomfortable position.

  •      Prana: 

Prana means “energy” or “the wellspring of life.” It can be used to define both the energy in our immediate environment and the very essence that keeps us alive. Every breathing technique will alter our emotional state. Still, it is up to us to decide whether we view this as “controlling” our emotions or “liberating” ourselves from our habitual thought patterns.

We can select peaceful exercises like Chandra Bhadana (moon piercing breath) or

more stimulating exercises like Kapalabhati (shining skull cleansing breath).

  1. Meditation: Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana,

and Samadhi

The more advanced limbs of yoga concentrate on skills that connect the mind and soul, and they rely on the preceding limbs to progress toward self-regulation.

Pratya means to “withdraw,” “draw in,” or “drawback,” while ahara is anything we “take in”. Rather than losing the ability to hear, smell, see, and feel. Pratyahara is the ability to be so focused and present at the moment at hand that things like sensations and sounds don’t easily divert the mind. Experienced practitioners may be able to translate pratyahara into daily life.

  • Dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) are limbs that create a sustained meditation practice. Dharana’s attentional stability promotes cognitive flexibility, stress tolerance, and ultimately improved self-regulation by practicing how to focus the mind on one single object of meditation (i.e., breath, body part, mantra, or external object).
  • Dhyana, an essential yogic skill, helps the mind be open to stillness, awareness, and insight. The individual can become absorbed in the object of focus with concentration, ease, and complete awareness.
  • Samadhi is integration, the result of absorbing richness and complexity. It translates to inner joy and wisdom; it ultimately implies the connection or integration of body, mind, and spirit.


When we call ourselves yogis, we put on a mantle that contains the wisdom of thousands of gurus and spiritual seekers throughout the years. Yoga provides an insight into how humans have investigated spirituality, the human intellect, the mortal body, and the nature of limitless awareness from the start of civilization.

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