“The five internal disciplines are bodily purification, contentment, intense discipline, self-study, and dedication to the ideal of yoga. With body purification, one’s body ceases to be compelling, likewise contact with others. Purification also brings about clarity, happiness, concentration, mastery of the senses, and capacity for self-awareness. Contentment brings unsurpassed joy. As intense disciple burns up impurities, the body and its senses become supremely refined.”


“When the components of yoga are practiced, impurities dwindle; then the light of understanding can shine forth, illuminating the way to discriminative awareness. The eight components of yoga are external discipline, internal discipline, posture, breath regulation, concentration, meditative absorption, and integration. The five external disciplines are not harming (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), not stealing (asteya), celibacy (brahmachari) and not being acquisitive (aparigraha). These universals, transcending birth, place, era, or circumstance, constitute the great vow of yoga. “

Victory Through Devotion

Īśvarapraṇidhāna is one of the ultimate concepts found in the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The compound term stems from two separate words īśvara and praṇidhāna. Īśvara has several layers of meaning referring to God, the Ruler, the Soul, the Self or the Atman. Praṇidhāna in this context can be interpreted as fixing all attention, desires, service and prayers upon Divinity. Many say that Īśvarapraṇidhāna is a total surrender to God; I prefer to say it is a full submersion into devotion, bhakti, Self-re-membering. Instead of surrender, it is to place intense focus and energy towards achieving one’s Will, dharma and Divine victory. Through devotion one can overcome mental inertia to direct their conscious forces; to aim through the lenses of the Soul; to manifest ones’ highest calling, here and now.

Ahimsa – Yamas of Yoga

Ahimsa is a concept that has been promoted in most forms of spirituality for millennia. The word ahimsa embraces the concept of non-violence and compassion. Ahimsa was written about extensively in the yoga sūtras of Patañjali around 400 CE . Ahimsa is the first of the yamas – self restraints – in yogic philosophy. On the surface this concept of non-violence advocates refraining from physically harming another human out of malice. Ahimsa, the concept of not causing physical harm seems straight forward when we talk about murder, rape, shooting, stabbing, torture and punching. However, there are mixed beliefs about violence as it applies to appropriate self defense or even defensive war. As we know in this Kali yuga, times can get wild, unpredictable and dark. This is the time more than ever to guide our actions and thoughts towards peace.