Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Sanyam Mean?

Sanyam is the Sanskrit term that collectively describes the final three of the eight limbs of yoga as described by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutras. Meaning “control,” “integration” or “restraint,” it describes progressively deeper states of absorption in meditation. Sanyam works at the sensory, mental and spiritual levels.

A yogi who is able to master sanyam reaches a state of awareness and insight that either leads to enlightenment or is synonymous with enlightenment, depending on the yogic tradition.


Yogapedia Explains Sanyam

The three stages of sanyam are:

  • Dharana – Typically translated as “concentration,” this limb involves focusing on one either specific internal or external object.
  • Dhyana – Often translated as “meditation,” this limb involves a combination of concentration and meditation. It is the focus on a single thought with the goal of removing illusion and discovering the truth or reality.
  • Samadhi – Translated as “absorption” or “integration,” this limb the highest state of consciousness in which the self becomes one with the universe, or Higher Self.

sanyam components dharana samadhi dhyana

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