512 – Satyananda Yoga

In Satyananda Yoga Asana and Pranayama are the first and second steps. These steps give one an understanding of annamaya kosha, the experience of matter and pranayama kosha, the experience of energy. The balancing of matter and energy is enabled through the practice of asanas and pranayama the third and fourth step, the practice of pratyahara and dharana are taught, in order to make the mind one pointed.

A process of self-observation and self-awareness is encouraged. Natural mental facilities are developed. Pratyahara and dharana help to balance the activities of the manomaya kosha, the experience of the mind and vigyanamaya kosha, the experience of the higher and lower intellect. With diligent sadhana it will lead to an integration and mental purification of the individual.

After attaining purification and integration of one’s life and personality, the fifth and sixth stage become Yama and Niyama, where the positive qualities begin to manifest gradually, naturally and spontaneously. When one has achieved a sense of balance in life, the yama and niyama are part of one’s life. With these qualities becoming stronger, the mind and spirit of the individual move into a meditative state, which later is transformed into samadhi.

Satyananda Yoga has slightly changed the order of the eight-fold system of Patanjali to suit the needs of people today.

What I learned

I am a direct disciple of Swami Satyananda Saraswati. I was told to practice my sadhana daily, and that is what I did. I found that I was motivated to learn more, and I became more aware of my shortcomings. Performing the asanas and pranayamas with watching oneself, counting one’s breath and being aware of the practice quietened one’s mind. Self-observation and self-awareness developed. The practices of pratyahara and dharana fell into place and it was like holding one’s mother’s hand and walking. The mind became quieter and when that happened there was balance, without seeking it. I learnt that the key is awareness and detachment, and one has to just visualize oneself, count one’s breath and this will lead one to attain harmony.

Reference: On the Wings of the Swan, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.

Aim Hrim Klim


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