Definition - What does Sama mean?

Sama is the quality of calmness and tranquility of the mind, which is highly valued in yogic philosophy. To find sama, the mind must be under control. It is an experience of inner peace and equanimity.

In Jnana yoga, or the yoga of true knowledge, sama is the first of the six virtues, or Shatsampat. It is an important quality in yoga because it is part of the quest for spiritual peace.

Sama may be translated to mean “same," “smooth,” or “unchanged,” thus alluding to the equanimity of the mind that must be developed in order to achieve sama.

Yogapedia explains Sama

By practicing sama, it is possible to stay calm and maintain equanimity in a situation which would normally cause mental unrest and agitation.

Sama can be practiced through becoming mindfully aware of thoughts and consciously bringing the attention back to the breath and the present moment. Meditation and the repetition of mantras are helpful ways to cultivate sama. It is said that when you are fully present in the moment, you are experiencing sama.

The word sama is also used to denote a particular style of yoga. Samayoga (or Sama yoga) focuses on spiritual growth through the practice of Hatha yoga, kriyas and mantras. It combines multiple physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga.

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