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The Eight Steps

Few people know that Yoga consists of eight steps, as described a long time ago by the sage Patañjali. The eight steps of Yoga are: moral principles and ideals, physical postures, energy control, detachment, concentration, meditation, and contemplation. The purpose of this is to bring about better cooperation between all parts of your being.


When a person wants to develop properly, it is clear that one has to deal with oneself systematically. The physical, moral, emotional, vital, mental, and spiritual forces that one wields within one's being are inseparably linked. The growth of one force alone produces an imbalance within the totality.


To be able to climb this eight-step staircase, in order to ascend to the top and achieve control, harmony, and balance, it is important to start at the bottom: the Yamas and Niyamas, or moral principles and ideals.

There are eight clear, consecutive steps in the ancient Yoga training to slowly but surely raise your consciousness to the highest spiritual levels:


  1. Moral Principles (Yamas): First, you become aware of all existing customs of violence, lies, theft, lewdness and desire. By not accepting these in principle, thought, word or deed, you gain more time to think clearly and thus de-condition your being. This allows you to develop more self-awareness and enables greater rest.

  2. Moral ideals (Niyamas): Subsequently you can lay a solid foundation for your life by practicing purity, contentment, sobriety, self-study and surrender in thought, word and deed.

  3. Physical postures (Asanas): Only then can you obtain physical health, strength and flexibility through physical postures.

  4. Energy Control (Pranayama): Because your energy channels have been largely cleared of bottlenecks by the preceding steps, you can then begin controlling your energy flows and drastically increase your vitality and strength.

  5. Detachment (Pratyahara): The previous steps also make you much more sensitive on a sensory and motor level, so that withdrawal of energy or detachment is a necessity to maintain your emotional and mental peace.

  6. Concentration (Dharana): By concentrating your attention on a single chosen object, your mental strength increases.

  7. Meditation (Dhyana): When there are no more interruptions in your concentration, you have achieved meditation, or one-pointed focus of your attention.

  8. The highest step, contemplation (Samadhi): Finally, you attain true knowledge, happiness and joy, along with the awakening of psychic abilities, through the tremendous power of contemplation, the technique of super-conscious control.

At the Rāja Yoga School you will be introduced to the first 5 steps of Yoga.


The lessons are just like they were thousands of years ago. There are references to classical Sanskrit literature. However, the emphasis is on the practice of the various steps and your experience of them. The physical exercises are especially important for your growth. As you work on yourself you will begin to feel better.

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