Many religions associate spiritual qualities with the mind -- often those that are connected to the self, salvation or the afterlife. In the practice of yoga, techniques such as pratyahara (the turning of the senses inward) and dhyana (meditation) quiet the mind so that the body's response improves and stress is reduced.
Of the eight limbs of yoga mentioned in the Yoga Sutras, three involve quieting the mind's fluctuations to reach oneness with the Self or the Divine:
- Dharana (concentration) – the practice of maintaining a single focal point.
- Dhyana – contemplation of the spiritual and clearing of the mind in preparation for samadhi.
- Samadhi (union with the Divine) – the merging of the mind or spirit with the higher power.