pratyahara (control of the senses),
dhyana (meditation) and
Yama and niyama each consists of five parts. The yamas are non-violence, truthfulness,
non-stealing, control of sexual energy and non-dependence. The niyamas are purity,
contentment, self-discipline, self-study and surrender to the Divine.
Asana means posture. It is holding a comfortable posture for the
purpose of meditation.
Pranayama means literally "the expansion of the
life-force". It is not simply control of the breath and has
nothing to do with the suppression of the breath, which can be
dangerous. Our prana is always moving. If we suppress the breath the
prana will move into the nervous system and causes various nervous
disorders. Pranayama techniques can be anything that connects us up
with the cosmic life-force. Pratyahara is the control of the
senses, which is withdrawal from distraction. It does not mean the
suppression of the senses. Nor is it a simple matter of
closing one's eyes and ears. It means not being moved by the senses,
not having the senses and their impressions rule our minds.