A question I get more often than not is, "Do you practice yoga EVERY day?!?!". The answer, is, yes I do, however, not always in movement (also known as Asana). There are 8 limbs to yoga, Asana is only one of them. I will be covering all 8 limbs on a daily basis here on this page, with stories, articles, etc., but first I will start with an overview on what they are:
The practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and spirit. Its objective is to assist in using the breath and body to create an awareness of ourselves as individuals intimately connected to everything. In short it is about making balance and creating equality so as to live in peace, good health and harmony. This art of right living was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago and the foundations of yoga philosophy were written down in The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, approximately 200 AD.
The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an eight-limbed path that forms the framework for yoga practice. Upon practicing all eight limbs of the path it becomes self-evident that no one limb is elevated over another. Each is part of a holistic focus which eventually brings completeness to the person as they find their connectivity. Because we are all uniquely individual a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another as they round out their understanding.
In brief the eight limbs, or steps to yoga, are as follows:
- Yama : Behavior towards others
- Niyama : Personal observances
- Asanas : Body postures
- Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana (breath)
- Pratyahara : Control of the senses
- Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation
- Samadhi : Union with all
Stay tuned for more to come tomorrow........