2016 is here, and with it we hope to bring you a year of inspiration and inner growth. We at Janati Yoga, are excited to share the 8 limbs of yoga with you, and how it can make an impact on your life. You have likely heard it before, but yoga is much more than just a physical practice – it is a practice of skilful living.
The 8 limbs of yoga are devoted to creating union in body, mind, and spirit, allowing yourself to be fully present and aware in your life. In a traditional practice the steps are considered in order, however, you do not need to master one step before beginning another. Many will practice many limbs at once. Gandhi practiced the first part of the first limb for an entire lifetime!
Although each step is laid out individually, it is important to note that each step is meaningful, and it is through practice of all the 8 limbs that you are able to create a balanced life practice.
This systematization of many streams of yoga was done between 200 and 500 BCE by a sage named Patanjali. The traditional texts of yoga are all written in the ancient Sanskrit language. Below we offer both the sanskrit and the English as we outline each of the 8 limbs per teaching of Patanjali:
1. Yamas: Moral Retraints
- Ahimsa – non-violence
- Satya – truthfulness
- Asteya – non-stealing
- Bramacharya – non-excessive
- Aprarigraha – non-possessiveness
2. Niyamas: Self Care Observances
- Saucha – purity
- Santosha – contentment
- Tapas – self-discipline
- Svadhyaya – self-study
- Ishvara Pranidhana – surrender
3. Asana – postures
4. Pranayama – breath-work to work with the vital life energy (prana)
5. Pratyahara – control of senses
6. Dharana – concentration
7. Dhyana – meditation
8. Samadhi – absorption
Over the next few months, we will be guiding you through each limb as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and allow you to gain a deeper insight into your personal practice. In the following blog posts, we will be breaking down and showing you ways that you can incorporate the limbs into your daily life.
We look forward to learning and growing with you, on and off the mat.
After learning first-hand the impact that yoga can have on your life, Olivia knew she wanted to explore this path further. She is a mom to two boys, and because of them, she wants to make the world a beautiful place. She strives to lead by example, and do her best to maintain a yogic lifestyle. She has dedicated a large portion of her life to empowering others, especially some of our most vulnerable members of society. It is her hope, that she can help others find their authentic selves. Olivia believes we all have an important role to play and that being able to bring her passion for life and yoga to a greater audience is her own contribution to society.