THE EIGHTH LIMB OF YOGA, SAMADHI
Samadhi refers to bringing together or to merge. It can be defined as direct knowledge free from the distortions of the imagination. It is a state where the body’s senses are at rest, yet the mind is awake and aware. Samadhi is the outcome one hopes to achieve when one fully commits to a complete yogic lifestyle. The eight limbs of yoga are a logical pathway leading to attaining physical, ethical, emotional, and spiritual health. The full path of yoga allows the natural state of total health and integration in each of us to become a reality.
Samadhi is the union of the busy thinking mind with its most silent level. It can be compared to a wave calming down to experience the unbounded ocean thoroughly. Samadhi is a state of concentration in which one completely dissolves into the object of attention where there is no separation. Here, the senses become quiet. It is an effortless state where we can connect with inner light, awareness, and peace. The early limbs remove the obstacles that impede this connection. In this state, thoughts and actions become aligned and are done with the highest intentions, free from desires of motivation and rewards of effort.
Samadhi is mistakenly identified with enlightenment. It is not easy to describe, as it is an experience and often just a fleeting state. It creates space in the mind’s crowded schedule adding a dimension of silence and consciousness that can be truly blissful.
The physical component of yoga is essential, but only one of eight limbs. The entire philosophy of yoga needs to be integrated to make it complete. Yoga is a holistic practice for the body, mind, and spirit. It includes guidelines to help us become compassionate, kind, giving, healthy, and peaceful. Yoga is a process of spiritual unfolding that allows us to find harmony in our lives. It serves and nourishes every level of our being. Yoga teaches us to be calm amidst the chaos and have awareness in every moment.
“The goal of yoga is to know we are a spiritual being disguised as a human being, to be established in union, and perform action in harmony with the evolutionary flow of life.” -David Simon M.D.