Make Time For Your Yoga, by artsyville.
First of all, happy end of July.
So, you might (sure) know there are eight limbs of Yoga.. One of my yoga instructors focuses her teaching on these eight limbs, and honestly i think it is a pretty cool idea. So, July being the 7th month, and 7th limb being related to meditation; this whole month she focused on meditative asanas and on how to prepare our bodies for meditation. It was a quite nice experience, which I might as well apply one day if I ever transition into a humble guru from a humble student :)
The Eight Limbs of Yoga are a progressive series of steps or disciplines that purifies the body and mind, ultimately leading the Yogi to enlightenment -the ultimate goal. Yoga is as much a spiritual experience as it is a physical one… well maybe even more spiritual than it is physical at times.
These eight limbs, therefore, are about making balance and creating calmness to live in peace, good health and harmony. Each limb brings completeness to the person and helps yogi to find connectivity do the whole.
Eight Limbs Of Yoga
It is known as Moral observances for interactions with others. Broken down into five wise characteristics, they tell us about our fundamental nature that of being compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful. It teaches the directives of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (non-covetousness)
It is known as Moral observances for interactions with yourself. The word itself means rules that are prescribed for personal observance. The niyamas are far more than an attitude, and are more intimate and personal. The directive include Shaucha (internal and external purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of religious books and repetitions of Mantras) and Ishvarapranidhana (self-surrender to God, and His worship).
It is the practice of physical postures and is the most commonly known aspect of yoga. The practice of moving the body into postures helps in improving health, strength, balance and flexibility. On a deeper level, the practice of asana, which means staying or abiding in Sanskrit, is used as a means to calm the mind and move into the inner essence of being.
It controls the energy, in order to restore and maintain health and to promote evolution. Pranayama is the measuring, control, and directing of the breath. It further provides perfect relaxation and balance of body activities are realized.
In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It is most commonly known for sensory inhibition.
Immovable concentration of the mind is the underlying principle of Dharana. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction. The mind needs to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption.
Dhyana focuses on Meditation. It means worship, or profound and abstract religious meditation that involves concentration upon a point of focus with the intention of knowing the truth about it. The concept holds that when one focuses their mind in concentration on an object the mind is changed into the shape of the object.
It is the final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga. It means pleasurable fascination of one’s individual consciousness in the essence of God. Samadhi means to bring together to merge. In this state, the body and senses are at rest, but the faculty of mind and reason are alert. You need to control the feelings of Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), Abhinivesha (clinging to mundane life).