A blog series on the 8 Limbs of Yoga…
In Western society we have come to think of yoga as a physical practice, all about
getting into the weird poses, as a way to make our body leaner, stronger, more
Traditionally, yoga is much more complex. It is about the eight limbs, and only
one of those limbs is the physical practice of Asana.
In our current societal situation, the practice of yoga is declining, people are losing their connection to the physical practice as our studios shut down and adhere to regulations allowing group classes. Coincidentally, during quarantine and the temporary shut down of our society, what will help us thrive with our mental health is the expansion of traditional yoga to the other seven limbs.
The eight limbs of yoga, as outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are as follows:
1. Yamas (external/social ethics)
2. Niyamas (internal ethics)
3. Pranayama (breath work)
4. Asana (physical postures)
5. Pratyahara (turning inward/withdrawl of senses)
6. Dharana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi (connection to source/blissful union)
The eight limbs are designed to bring you closer to God (whatever version of that
you believe in), help you connect and feel connected to the universe and universal
energy. It is set up to guide your life, guidelines for how to treat yourself and others, and keep yourself centered.
I will be spending the next few blog posts diving deeper into these 8 limbs. To show
you how to enhance your life with these simple techniques, we will be discussing
meditation, how to get the most from your physical practice, the importance of
connection to your breath, and breakdown the Yamas and Niyamas into simple
guidance for life (much like the 10 commandments).