Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

*UPDATE: I must share the sad news of the lost of over 5 of my limb papers due to my computer crashing! The posts will begin on March 22nd sorry for the delay.*

Ashtanga Yoga

ashta-8 anga-limbs

The foundation of yoga is bases on eight limbs. It is also called ashtanga which is broken down under own friendly little octopus.  Anyone new to the practice might only focus on the physically aspect or the asana limb.  Understanding of the eight limbs can help the yogi deepen their understanding of the practice and how we do yoga off the mat.  They are a moral compass to help us on our path and strengthen self discipline.The limbs can also be seen as an eight fold path where a student might find an aspect that becomes their main focus and study. Patanjali lays these out in the Yoga Sutras in book two the portion on practice.Listed below are the eight limbs with a brief description:

4.PRANAYAMA-breath control
5.PRATYAHARA-sense withdrawal
8.SAMADHI-superconscious state

The first two limbs each have 5 parts. Once you understand them you will notice you can't practice one without the other.  The 2 limbs can really help you understand how we take our yoga off the mat by practicing these.  For example, you can't practice truthfulness, satya, if you engage in stealing, asteya.


5.APARIGRAHA-non greed


3.TAPAS-to burn, accepting pain
4.SVADHYAYA-study of spiritual books
5.ISVARAPRANIDHANA- surrender to God

Take a peak and read on them. Maybe one will call to you or maybe some make no sense. Every time I read them I pick up something different each time. Over the next few weeks I aim to post on all of the Yamas and Niyamas by giving my take on what I have gathered and pulled from them.  Some people think yoga is just about posture, but it is so much more and hopefully the eight limbs with set you forward on your path. Pick up a copy of The Yoga Sutras  and keep it with you.  I have a half price books where I live and got a copy for 10 bucks. I have also include a link below for  because their are different commentaries on the yoga sutras. The link is for the book I have that was recommended to me by my teacher:

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