Patanjali’s practical means of knowing the inner Self is known as Ashtanga Yoga, the yoga of “Eight Limbs”. It is also called Raja, “royal,” Yoga, the yoga of the royal path to self realization. Raja, which also means “to radiate,” is the practice of radiating the royal light of the true Self. The mysticismn of Raja Yoga, simply put, means to be radiantly happy and share that compassionate affection for all creation. The eigh component Limbs, sound in his Yogas Sutras II , are :
1. Yama – external attitudes for guiding conduct within society (ahimsa,satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha)
2. Niyama – internal attitudes for personal discipline (sauca,santosa,tapas, swadhyaya, and ishvana pranidhana)
3. Asana – yoga posture. When practive regularly, all movements end in a “steady and comfortable”pose that is performed by relaxation of efforts and results in no longer being disturbed by duality, praise, and/or criticism.
4. Pranayama – regulation of the in- and out- flow if breath/prana. When perfected, one feels the life-force (prana) permeating everywhere, transcending the attention given to either external or internal objects.
5. Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses from their objects. When the senses become detached from external objects of the mind’s desire, the mind sees its sources as pure consciousness.
6. Dharana – comtemplation of one’s true nature. When mastered, the mind is confined to one place of attention.
7.Dhyana – meditation. When mastered, a continuous flow of awareness to a singlepoint of attention is maintained.
8. Samadhi – absorbtion in the Self. When achieved, it is the meditation that result in only the essential light of the object remaining. The object loses its concrete form. The Spiritual Light prevails and is experienced as the essence of all of creation.
in this last part, I would like to put on the details on one of the point from Niyama which is Swadhyaya. What is SWADHYAYA?? it can be describe as Study of the Self; when mastered, leads to communion with your personal chosen ideals or deity.