From Notes Of Class Talks And Lectures of Volume 6 of The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
The first stage of Yoga is Yama. To master Yama, the following five things are necessary:
- Non – injuring any being by thought, word, and deed.
- Speaking the truth in thought, word, and deed.
- Non – covetousness in thought, word, and deed.
- Perfect chastity in thought, word, and deed.
- Perfect sinlessness in thought, word, and deed.
Holiness is the greatest power. Everything else quails before it. Then comes Asana, or posture, of a devotee. The seat must be firm, the head, ribs, and body in a straight line, erect. Say to yourself that you are firmly seated, and that nothing can move you. Then mention the perfection of the body, bit by bit, from head to foot. Think of it as being clear as crystal, and as a perfect vessel to sail over the sea of life.
Pray to God and to all the prophets and saviors of the world and holy spirits in the universe to help you.
Then for half an hour practice Pranayama or the suspending, restraining, and controlling of the breath, mentally repeating the word Om as you inhale and exhale the breath. Words charged with spirit have wonderful power.
The other stages of Yoga are:
- Pratyahara or the restraint of the organs of sense from all outward things, and directing them entirely to mental impressions;
- Dharana or steadfast concentration;
- Dhyana or meditation;
- Samadhi or abstract meditation. It is the highest and last stage of Yoga. Samadhi is perfect absorption of thought into the Supreme Spirit, when one realises, “I and my Father are one.”
Do one thing at a time and while doing it put your whole soul into it to the exclusion of all else.