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8 Limbs of Yoga

Yoga is so much more than the physical postures you see, hear about or practice yourself. The movements are just one of 8 limbs of yoga, laid out in the ancient yoga scripture " The Yoga Sutras", which was written in 400 CE by Hindu sage, Patanjali. These 8 components have stood the test of time as a step-by-step guide to achieving a more blissful and harmonious life.

The 8 limbs of yoga are:

1. Yamas: Our ethics relating to others

  1. Ahimsa: Kindness or non-harming

  2. Satya: Truthfulness

  3. Asteya: Non-stealing

  4. Brahmacharya: Moderating the senses

  5. Aparigraha: Non attachment or possesiveness

2. Niyamas: Our virtues relating to ourselves

  1. Saucha: Cleanliness or purity

  2. Santosha: Contentment

  3. Tapas: Self-discipline or perseverance

  4. Svadyaya: Self-study

  5. Isvara Pranidana: Surrender to a higher power

3. Asana: Postures

4. Pranayama: Breath regulation

5. Pratyahara: Drawing our senses inward

6. Dharana: Concentration or focus

7. Dhyana: Reflection or meditation

8. Samadhi: Union, bliss, harmony... The ultimate goal of yoga

Can you already think of ways these simple teachings can be applied to your daily life? In my following articles I will be looking at one at a time, to help bring these teachings up to date so they are applicable and helpful in our modern, hectic (and sometimes stressful) daily lives.


Claire x

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