Branches of Yoga
This eight-limbed concept derived from the 29th Sutra of the 2nd book, and is a core characteristic of practically every Raja yoga variation taught today. The Eight Limbs are:
- Yama (The five "abstentions"): non-violence, non-lying, non-covetousness, non-sensuality, and non-possessiveness.
- Niyama (The five "observances"): purity, contentment, austerity, study, and surrender to god.
- Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.
- Pranayama ("Suspending Breath"): Prāna, breath, "āyāma", to restrain or stop. Also interpreted as control of the life force.
- Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
- Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
- Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
- Samādhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.
The yoga of action.
The yoga of devotion, note Krishna had also specified devotion itself was action similar to above.
The yoga of knowledge.