The Eight Limbs of Yoga

 

  1. Yama – This is one’s ethics and integrity. It involves practicing non-violence, being honest in words, deeds and thoughts and having control of sexual feelings and thoughts. This also includes greed as well as stealing (not simply objects, but another’s ideas and Truth (gossiping steals truth).

    The Eight Limbs of Yoga
    The Eight Limbs of Yoga
  2. Niyamas- This deals with self-discipline and spiritual observances. The five niyamas are contentment, self-study, austerity, purity and devotion to a higher being.
  3. Asanas – These are the poses practiced in yoga and the discipline required in training our mind to focus as well as listening to our body during these poses.
  4. Pranayama – This has to do with breath control, awareness and controlling this vital life energy (prana) with the use of breathing exercises.
  5. Pratyahara – This is the withdrawal of the five senses and the sensory transcendence we experience when we disassociate from the external world and bring our awareness inward.
  6. Dharana – This is concentration. Now that we have disassociated from the external world we must focus on the distractions of the mind. This also involves single point focus either in meditation, as well as in our daily tasks such as making an effort to continuously be present whether it is eating our meal or washing the dishes.
  7. Dhyana – This is meditation: the state of inner stillness and contemplation.
  8. Samadhia- This is where there is a union with supreme consciousness or the Divine Matrix in which the individual transcends the self and experiences a connection with the Divine and with all living things.

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