The Eight Limbs of Yoga are considered the eight steps to living a meaningful and purposeful life. I have to say I do live by most of these standards and I continue to learn and grow with my practice. It is easy to be nice to people that are nice to you but the challenge is to be nice to those who are not!
Going through the eight steps can help us to slide over those bumps in the road.
Ethics, morals, concentration, discipline and focus can lead us to peace!
Sounds pretty good huh??
Limb One: Yama-our ethical standards by which we live (or aim to).
There are five Yamas
- Asteya: Nonstealing
- Brahmacharya: Continence
- Aparigraha: Noncovetness
Ok, we should all be able to get this under control.
Limb Two: Niyama-our self discipline and the spiritual observances we practice
There are five Niyamas
- Saucha: Cleanliness
- Samtosa: Contentment
- Tapas: Heat and spiritual austerity
- Svadhyaya: The study of any sacred scripture
- Isvara Pranidhana
Ok, I think you are still with me, I know it….
Limb Three:Asana–the postures
This is what we think of when we think yoga. But it is a discipline and with time as we practice we become disciplined and ready for the next step
So far so good-Now you have to pay more attention
Limb Four: Pranayama–Breath Control
A very critical part of our yoga practice but there is also the ability to take this to the next level. It is believed by many yogis that this practice of controlled breathing can rejuvenate the body and mind and also extend life.
Maureen knows much more on this so I will ask her to make a post on it.
Limb Five: Pratyahara. A sensory withdrawal and a redirection of our focus turned internally. Here we can take a look at ourselves and observe our thoughts and actions
See, it is getting harder. Often we do not want to stop, look and listen to what we are doing and saying on a day to day basis. But try it..you will see what I mean. This can help you to be more mindful!
Limb Six: Dharana-Complete concentration. This gets rid of all the distractions and we become self observant.
I must admit I am not here yet but man do I look forward to it-no distractions!!!!
Limb Seven:Dhyana_Meditation. This is when the mind has been quieted.
Don’t get discouraged this takes time to achieve. Again, I am not here yet.
Limb Eight- Samadhi-Ecstasy! Enlightenment! Peace!