Written by Pelka Evdenić Kuzelka
The path of self-knowledge and personal growth through the practice of yoga aims to achieve the union of body, mind and spirit, which is known as “Samadhi”.
Samadhi is a state of consciousness that can only be described as pure bliss. It is a state of being in which the mind is completely still, and the body and soul are in perfect harmony. It is the ultimate goal of yoga and meditation and can be achieved through constant practice and dedication. To attain samadhi, one must first understand the nature of the mind. The mind is like a wild horse that has to be trained and tamed. It constantly jumps from one thought to another, never fully resting. The practice of yoga and meditation helps to calm the mind and bring it to a state of stillness.
The path to samadhi is not an easy one. It is a journey that requires patience, discipline and unwavering dedication. But for those who are willing to embark on this journey, the rewards are immeasurable. The path to guide as is written more than 2000 years ago, by Patanjali. The Yoga Sutras are a set of aphorisms or short verses describing the principles and practices of yoga. In total, there are 196 aphorisms in the Yoga Sutras, divided into four chapters or “Padas”. The first chapter deals with meditation and concentration, the second with the physical practices of yoga, the third with the transformation of the mind and the fourth with the final liberation. The Yoga Sutras are a guide to yoga practice and personal development. They offer a complete overview of yoga, from ethics and physical practices to meditation and spiritual enlightenment.
The Sadhana Pada is the second chapter of the Yoga Sutras.
The eight limbs of the Sadhana Pada provide a roadmap to reach this ultimate state of consciousness, Samadhi.
The first limb is Yama, which refers to ethical principles and moral codes. To attain Samadhi, one must first live a life of integrity and righteousness. This means practicing non-violence, truthfulness, and compassion towards all living beings. It means living in harmony with the world around us and recognizing the interconnectedness of all things.
The second one is Niyama, which refers to personal observances and self-discipline. To attain Samadhi, one must cultivate a strong sense of self-awareness and self-control. This means practising cleanliness, contentment and self-study. It means being disciplined in one’s daily habits and routines.
The third limb is Asana, which refers to physical postures. To attain samadhi, one must cultivate a strong and healthy body through the practice of yoga postures. This means developing the body’s strength, flexibility, stamina and balance. It means being comfortable and able to breathe deeply in any posture, as well as to move with grace and ease.
The fourth limb is Pranayama, which refers to the practice of controlling the breath to improve physical, mental and spiritual health. It is a powerful tool for calming the mind, reducing stress and increasing energy levels. To achieve samadhi, pranayama is often described as the bridge between the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga, as it connects the body and mind through the breath. To practice pranayama is to harness the power of the breath and use it to transform one’s life. The practice of pranayama begins with awareness of the breath. It is important to observe the natural rhythm of the breath without trying to control it. Once this awareness is established, one can begin to manipulate the breath through various techniques. These techniques include deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing and rapid breathing.
The fifth limb is Pratyahara, which refers to the withdrawal of the senses. To attain Samadhi, one must learn to detach from the outside world and turn inward. This means learning to control the senses and to focus the mind on a single point of concentration.
These five practices are external, the next three are internal in nature.
The sixth limb is Dharana, which refers to concentration. To attain samadhi, one must develop the ability to focus the mind on a single object or idea. To do this, one must practice various concentration techniques, such as visualisation or repetition of mantras.
The seventh limb is Dhyana, which refers to meditation. To attain samadhi, one must learn to quiet the mind and enter a state of deep meditation. This means practising various meditation techniques, such as mindfulness or loving-kindness meditation.
The eighth and final limb is Samadhi, which refers to the ultimate state of consciousness. To attain Samadhi, one must integrate all the previous limbs into a single state of being. This means experiencing a deep sense of oneness with the universe and recognising the interconnectedness of all things. Attaining Samadhi is not a linear process. It is a journey that requires dedication and perseverance. Each limb builds on the previous one and develops at the same time, creating a solid foundation for achieving Samadhi. It requires patience and commitment and can take years or even a lifetime to achieve. But for those who are willing to make the effort, the rewards are immeasurable. As said, Samadhi is a state of pure bliss and enlightenment, where the mind is completely still, and the body and soul are in perfect harmony. It is a state of being in which all worries and fears disappear, replaced by an overwhelming sense of peace and contentment. In conclusion, attaining samadhi through the eight limbs of the Sadhana Pada is a transformative journey that requires patience, discipline and unwavering dedication.
Once Samadhi is attained, the journey continues, as does Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra in the chapters three and four. I will write about it in some future post, for now and under the protection of the Masters of the Tradition I will continue to practice the path of Sadhana Pada.
Am inviting you to contact me if you want to practice with me… with patience, discipline and unwavering dedication… …. Are you in?