The Eight “Limbs” of Yoga

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Yoga Poses 2Yoga is like a magic onion; once you get used to one layer, you find another under with even more power with it!  Karen Maklin (a west coast Yoga teacher) opened the idea to me that Yoga can teach a person how to make better decisions and moral judgments.   Here with the “8 Limbs” we are presented with the idea that Yoga can be a framework for living a more meaningful and even a more purposeful life!   It opens doors to a process for self-discipline and spiritual strength!

“In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

1. Yama

The first limb, yama, deals with one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are universal practices that relate best to what we know as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: continence

Aparigraha: noncovetousness

2. Niyama

Niyama, the second limb, has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. Regularly attending temple or church services, saying grace before meals, developing your own personal meditation practices, or making a habit of taking contemplative walks alone are all examples of niyamas in practice.

The five niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness

Samtosa: contentment

Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God”

Click here to consider the full 8 steps: Get to Know the 8 Limbs of Yoga

Thank you for the wisdom shared here to: MARA CARRICO



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