Yoga instructions

Yoga instructions on The Goraksa Sataka, for example, gives only six stages instead of eight, whilst Woodroffe claims that the practice of hatha yoga is divided into seven parts: the six cleansings (sat karmas), postures (asana), gestures/practices (mudra), pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana and samadhi. The sat karmas, however, only need to be practised by those with an imbalance of the three humours. In the HYP the first two stages of yama and niyama are exclusively for the cleansing of the nadds (1.17-18). The next two, asana and pranayama, along with their two sub-disciplines of mudra (gestures) and bandha (locks) help to complete the process of cleansing and also begin to manipulate the prana so as to get it to enter the susumna nadd and arouse the kundalind energy. Woodroffe tells us that for the hatha yogin, pratyahara (withdrawal of consciousness from externals), dharana (concentration), dhyana (contemplation) and samadhi (absorption) are all merely progressions in pranayama, referring to the length of time that the prana is held in the susumna nadi. Thus, both yogas seek to accomplish the same task of citta vrtti nirodha the cessation of the modification of mind (YS 1. Yoga instructions 2016.

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