Deepak Chopra: That’s one school of thought, but not what I learned. I had my 
spiritual apprenticeship with the Shankara- charya school in India, and my 
immediate mentor was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought Transcendental 
Meditation to the West. Maharishi was a disciple in turn of the Shankaracharya. 
That tradition goes back to the ninth century sage Adi Shankara. Their 
interpretation always has been that the eight limbs of yoga are practiced 
simultaneously. In that way it is similar to the Eightfold Path in Buddhism. 
The eight limbs are Niyama, Yama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, 
Dhyana, and Samadhi and are all actually combined into one discipline. Yama and 
Niyama are rules of social and personal conduct, so why not include them as 
things that you do? It’s about the internal shift in attitude that you have to 
make. Pratyahara and Pranayama are actually forms of Raja yoga, and therefore 
they are complementary to Asana. Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are supposed to 
be the culmination of this practice, but all eight limbs are still part of your 
daily practice.
 

 Wgm says:  Even MMY says the same in his BG in the appendix on Yoga!  "All 
limbs were meant to be practiced 'simultaneously", many meditators have this 
confused, mostly because MMY himself said one thing and wrote another, see for 
yourself. (Gita Appendix/Yoga)
 

 

 

 

 

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