Understanding the Eight-limbs of Yoga
To practice yoga is to practice the art of creating a harmonic balance between the mind, body, and spirit.
If we break down and translate the name Ashtanga we find ashta is the Sanskrit word for eight and anga meaning limb; eight-limbs. Ashtanga yoga is therefore based on the eight-limbs of yoga which is the core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.
Each of these eight steps practiced daily will together bring about abundance in health, happiness and eternal peace. Through this journey one will not only become aware of themselves but at the same time understand that everything is intimately connected, both living and non-living.
The eight limbs of yoga are:
Yama – Universal morality
Niyama – Personal observances
Asanas – Body postures
Pranayama – Breathing exercises, and control of prana
Pratyahara – Control of the senses
Dharana – Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
Dhyana – Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
Samadhi – Union with the Divine
Just by taking a glance of what each limb represents, you can see that this will most certainly push an individual towards a much deeper and meaningful practice of yoga.
Now that you have a basic idea of what the eight-limbs of yoga are, keep a lookout for my coming articles on each limb in greater detail!