The 8 Limbs of Yoga

Along with myths, there is a bit more to yoga than meets the eye, or body. Yoga actually consists of 8 limbs (parts) and you can do one of them or all of them.

The limbs include:

1) Yamas Yama is your attitude towards others and the world around you. There are 5 yamas:

  • Ahimsa or non-violence

  • Satya or truthfulness.

  • Asteya or non-stealing.

  • Bramacharya or non-lust.

  • Aparigraha or non-possessiveness.

2) Niyamas

Niyama is how you treat yourself or your attitude towards yourself. The 5 are niyama:

  • Sauca or cleanliness.

  • Santosha or contentment.

  • Tapas or austerity.

  • Svadhyaya or study of the sacred text and of one's self.

  • Isvarapranidhama or living with an awareness of the Divine.

3) Asanas or Physical Poses Asanas are designed to free our mind and body from tension and stress

4) Pranayama or Breathing Exercises Prana means life force and pranayama controlling the breath.

5) Prathayara or Withdrawal of the Senses

To achieve this, you can focus your mind into an object at a time. This can also serve as a preparation for meditation.

6) Dharana or Concentration Dharana is training the mind to focus without any distraction.

7) Dhyana or Meditation

Meditation is the practice by which there is constant observation of the mind.

8) Samadhi or Enlightenment This is the ultimate goal of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Peace, enlightenment.

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