From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Jit Majumdar
Sometimes transliterated as: Asţańga, AsţAńga, Ashţaańga
- of eight limbs, parts, divisions or aspects
- the eight parts of the human body, which are: two arms, the heart, the head, the eyes, throat and the spine (alternately the mind); the eight parts of the body that should touch the ground during prostration, which are: the two big toes, the knees, the chest, the hands and the nose; the eight steps or levels that make up the system of yoga established by Pātañjalī, also called Rāja Yoga, which are yama (restraint); niyama (discipline); prāņāyama (breath control and channeling); pratyāhāra (withdrawing of the senses); dhārana (withholding the mind); dhyana (contemplation); and samādhi (immersion into superconsciousness) and siddhi (realization of the self).