Yoga sutra iii.7 “trayam antarangam purvebhyah”

“These three aspects of yoga are internal, compared to the former five.”

Within the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga there is a definitive change in focus in how we interact with the external word, outside ourselves, and our internal world.  The first five of the limbs build external focus. The yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama and prathyahara help us to examine and understand our relationship with our mind, bodies and our interaction with and connection to the world around us.  We use these five aspects of yoga along with our bodies, minds and senses to understand how we are interacting with the world around us and how we should interact with the world around us.  We also use these aspects of yoga to guide us in our actions.

The other three aspects of yoga in the sutra, dharana, dhyana and samadhi are internal in nature.  They help us to understand our relationship to ourselves.  They are integral in our understanding the difference between our ego, mind and consciousness.  It is only when we are paying attention to our internal environment that we know which part of our  brain or self, is in control and how it is controlling us.  Is it the ego telling us we can do better or our consciousness knowing that we are living our truth.  When we are experiencing any of these three aspects of yoga we are not in relationship outside ourselves.  We are in fact inside ourselves and separate from external stimulus.  It is only during this time that we are our world and not in an egotistical way, but learning and knowing ourselves to lessen our egotistical ways.