The Nuts and Bolts of Yoga

The Nuts and Bolts of Yoga: Glowing Auras and Radiant Spirits

1. Yama (proper behavior)
2. Niyama (proper attitude)
3. Asana (posture)
4. Pranayama (breath/energy)
5. Pratyahara (withdrawing)
6. Dharana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi (absorption)

First, make spiritual development a priority in your life. This is accomplished through Yama and Niyama. Adopt a congruent lifestyle. The practice of yoga is communion with the Divine and is the process of purification.

Second, cleanse, purify, and condition the physical body. This is accomplished through hydrotherapy, meditation, breathing, walking and spending time in nature, eating and drinking clean, practicing asana, etc. Mental, emotional and spiritual benefits will come from this.

Third, develop control and regulation of the breath energy. This is accomplished through breath awareness and pranayama. Mind and breath are linked.

Fourth, activate the Kundalini energy of the body by engaging and understanding chakras, nadis, meridians, mudras and bandhas (sustained muscular contractions). These practices increase the voltage of energy and nurture natural siddhas or psychic and intuitive powers.

Fifth, cultivate mental focus and stillness. This is accomplished through meditation.

Sixth, stabilize the quality of inner stillness, positive attitude and mind state through deep relaxation, savanna and divine play.

Swami Sivananda summed it up nicely in a short note to his students

Beloved aspirants,

Samadhi is blissful union with the Supreme Self.
It leads to the direct intuitive realization of the infinite.
It is an inner divine experience which is beyond the reach of speech and mind.
You will have to realize this yourself through self-meditation.
The senses, the mind, and the intellect cease functioning.
There is neither time nor causation here.

May you rest in Samadhi.