The third stage of raja yoga is the bodily postures, the asanas of hatha yoga. There are eighty-four postures, which help to strengthen the body and stabilize the mind. Thus hatha yoga has been called “the ladder to raja yoga.” According to Patanjali, “Posture becomes firm and relaxed through control of the natural tendencies of the body, and through meditation on the Infinite.”
- Alain Daniélou, Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1991), p. 31.
- Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 2:47, in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., How to Know God (Hollywood, Calif.: Vedanta Press, 1981), p. 161.