Ashtanga Yoga: Dhyana

The Eight Limbs of Yoga, or Asta-anga (Ashtanga) yoga
Yama | Niyama | Asana | Pranayama | Pratyahara | Dharana | Dhyana | Samadhi

Dhyana:

III.2 tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam

A steady continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (Dhyana.)

“In Dhyana, psychological and chronological time stand still as the mind observes its own behavior.”

“From on pointed concentration to no-pointed attentiveness.”- Iyengar.

Meditation in this sense is not something you do, for as soon as the mind says “I am meditating” it is not. Meditation happens when the conditions and practice bring it about, or allow it to happen, when mind gets out of the way.
See article on Meditation, and when classes are offered.

Such a state can happen in asana when attention to breath and physical detail moves to “no-pointed attentiveness” of being every where at once in your yoga asana.

I hear many people say that the Iyengar system is “physically meticulous” and that “they teach alignment.” This is an unfortunate misunderstanding. Those who say this are staying within the anamaya kosha, the anatomical sheath. Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana are the foundation, the source of every action and every breath in a pose. These are rich, delicate and complex practices that need training. Sustained action in a pose is essential to move beyond the layer of muscle and bone where breath is the bridge between mind and body, between thought and action, thought and emotion, emotions and action – breath (and prana) the bridge to spirit, or brahman.

Approached with this awareness the practice can prepare for the ultimate state defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Sutra 1:3 “Thus the self abides in its own true nature.”

Thus is Ashtanga Yoga manifested in asana as taught in the Iyengar method.

~ Karl.

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