The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yama and Niyama

The first two limbs of Yoga

These disciplines relate directly to how you behave outwardly in the world(Yama) and inwardly toward yourself(Niyama). When living a life in alignment with these limbs, One says only things they know to be true and responds instead of reacts.


The third limb of Yoga

Asana means “seat” and refers to the postures we practice. This is what most people think of when they think of Yoga. Regular practice of a balanced program(tailored to individual needs) is recommended for maximum benefit.


The fourth limb of Yoga

Prana means “vital life force”. It is the force which exists in all things. Yama means “control of”. Breathing techniques provide a method wherby the lifeforce can be activated and regulated in order to go beyond one’s normal limitations and attain a higher state of energy and awareness.


The fifth limb of Yoga

“Praty” meaning avoid and “ahara” meaning food. In this case, “food” is referring to the things that feed the mind(the five senses). So Pratyahara is our means of controlling what goes into our mind so that every experience is a positive learning experience. The goal is to quite the chatter.

Dharna and Dhyana

The sixth and seventh limbs of Yoga

Dharna(concentration) is a process of holding or fixing the mind at a particular object. The mind wanders less and less eventually leading to Dhyana(meditation). Meditation is the unbroken flow of cognition toward an object, also known as a silencing of the mind.


The eighth limb of Yoga

Samadhi is a complete concentration of mind achieved through meditation. Devotion and selfless service are also ways to achieve Samadhi. A Yogi attains Ritumbra Pragya(divine wisdom) through Samadhi.

Samadhi is the natural state of Humans.

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