The Eight Angas, Part 1: The Practices
The preceding chapter described the mind before any enlightenment takes place. This and the next chapter describe the changes that must occur to bring the mind to the other extreme, to complete enlightenment. As with the Buddhist eight-fold path, in Yoga one also transforms the mind by following a variety of activities. These are collectively called the eight angas, or limbs, of Yoga. While not one-to-one with the Buddhist eight-fold path, the set is very similar.
The eight angas divide conveniently into two categories, the Practices and the Experiences. The four Practice angas are: Yama (attitudes toward the world), Niyama (attitudes toward oneself), Asana (postures), and Prana (breath). These four are presented in this chapter. The four Experience angas are presented in the next chapter.
In Yoga, we not only diminish the cravings but replace them with a set of ideals or "attitudes." These are characterized by the first two angas, the Yamas and the Niyamas. Each of these two angas prescribes several modes of relating to the world and to oneself, respectively.