Embark on a Journey of Self Discovery
The Eight Limbed Staff of Yoga by Patanjali, discusses ways to attain Supreme Joy, The rungs begin with Raja Yoga, the Kingly Path of Yoga. These are the Yamas and Nyamas, the controls and observances as they relate to life. Next come the yoga Asanas, the postures that are held in stillness. The forth rung relates to our breath, Pranayama, our life force. The breath links our body and mind bringing forth awareness that our mind and body are eternally connected. Fifth is withdrawal of the senses, Pratyahara. It is here that we begin to move inwards. This part of the journey teaches one how to move from distraction to a place of supreme joy.
Dharana is the sixth limb in the eight limbed staff of yoga, according to Patanjali. Dharana stands for concentration--the process of fixing the mind on one focus, an object or place. Through concentration one can cultivate inner perceptual awareness. The mind could focus on a prayer, mantra or intention, a sacred symbol, chanting, or visualization. Dharana is the first stage of meditation, building the mental ability to focus on one object at a time, releasing the distractions of the world around us. Dharana prepares us for deeper states of meditation.