Samadhi - eight stage of yoga

 While practicing yoga or meditation at a yoga retreat or meditation retreat, you practice various asanas, meditate, etc. However, for every asana or posture and mediation you need to prepare your mind and body. Your body is prepared for yoga when your mind is prepared for it and to prepare your mind for the same you need to know how to go into ‘dhyana’ or meditation which is the 7th stage of yoga. The sixth stage that is ‘dharana’ leads to this seventh stage and this finally leads to Samadhi, the eight stage. These stages are related to each other. When you succeed in the sixth stage only then you can succeed in the seventh stage and then attain the eight stage.
What is Samadhi?
It is a spiritual state of consciousness. When you complete detach yourself from the external surroundings, you tend to move into a stage wherein you connect to the almight. This stage is known as ‘samadhi’. In this stage you are completely unaware of external surroundings. Your senses do not feel the need of food, water or luxuries. You connect directly to the creator. There are various kinds of samadhi. Among the minor samadhis, savikalpa samadhi happens to be the highest. Beyond savikalpa comes nirvikalpa samadhi, but there is a great gulf between these two: they are two radically different samadhis. Again, there is something even beyond nirvikalpa samadhi called sahaja samadhi.
Meditation or dhyana is when ‘concentration’ or ‘dharana’ is taken into perfection. In other words, a meditative state is the natural result of ‘perfect concentration’. Human mind cannot stay focused on one point. It thinks on various topics, and though you are physically present in one place your mind can take you to places. The mind movement thus cannot be constrained. This is a big barrier in
concentration power of the individual. Thus, dharana is an important stage, which helps you build your concentration and focus and helps you control you r mind. The more skilled you be controlling your mind, controlling its movements the better is your concentration and focus power. Unless you are a dedicated and highly disciplined practitioner, you cannot meditate. Meditation is also calming the mind but actual mediation is connecting to the almighty. Thus, your exercise only to calm your mind is a different meditation.
When you succeed in controlling your mind, focusing it and finally keeping it vacant of thought, you get to connect to the almighty. You get to listen to your conscience and inner soul. This leads to Samadhi.
Thus gain perfection in the sixth and seventh stage to gain perfection in the eight stage at your Yoga retreats.




Samadhi - eight stage of yoga by
CARMELA TURNER


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