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Exploring The Eight Limbs of Yoga: Samadhi

by Amy Collins

For those who have just joined our exploration of The Eight Limbs of Yoga, you’ve joined us at the end, at Samadhi. This journey has been an all-encompassing look at living the life of a yogi. We first looked at the Yamas, the first limb. Then we looked at the Niyamas, both of which speak to moral codes. Then we explored the asana – the poses, and pranayama – the control of the breath.

We then talked about the fifth limb – Pratyahara. This means to withdraw from our senses and take the focus internal. This took our discussion a little further into concepts that can be more difficult to grasp, yet are equally as important in the progression of our practice. Then we delved into Dharana, which is to concentrate and keep the mind focused on one thing. Last time we examined Dhyana – meditation, or a reaching of a mediative state of mind. And now we’ve reached the final limb, the ultimate state of mind and being – Samadhi.

What is Samadhi?

“It is the thought of worldly objects that prevents the mind from going into samadhi. One becomes established in samadhi when one is completely rid of worldliness.” – Sri Ramakrishna

The final limb of yoga is a little tricky to grasp or comprehend, for us earth bound yogis. It is known as a state of ecstasy. Occurring at the point through deep and consistent meditation where one goes so deep into meditation that they feel themselves become one with the universe and the divine. It is a realisation that we are not separate from the universe or each other, but a deep understanding that we are all one thing. It’s a place that most of us won’t reach – in this life time anyway.

It’s said that this moment brings a deep sense of contentment, bliss, and peace. One that is intellectually hard to verbalise or conceptualise. But in the end, the desire for love, peace, and contentment is realised. Perhaps for a moment, perhaps for a lifetime.

“Patanjali says sleep is just next to samadhi. A good sleep, a deep sleep, and samadhi, are different only in one sense: samadhi has awareness, sleep has no awareness.” – Osho