We all want to be happy, yes? We show up on our mats ready for the asana practice to transform us and often wonder, despite the immediate feelings of well-being and physical vibrancy, why we ultimately remain unchanged inside.
Patanjali outlines this journey toward greater inner peace and fulfillment in the yoga sutras and particularly in the eight-limbed path. Practiced in the context of these eight limbs, yoga becomes a guide for living.
“The limbs relate to each other in the same way as the limbs on our bodies do. Rather than being hierarchical, the limbs extend out from and feed into a central, whole being: ourselves. Rather than being separate concepts, the limbs connect to one another. The practice of one limb influences and strengthens all the others.” – Charlotte Bell
Patanjali’s eight limbs are:
Yama: ethical principles
Niyama: personal practices
Asana: the practice of physical postures
Pranayama: breathing practices
Pratyahara: refinement of the senses
Samadhi: state of bliss, wholeness
The Yamas and Niyamas, the first 2 limbs, are the cornerstone of our philosophical and spiritual discipline. These practices allow us to deeply explore what it means to truly live a yogic life and make available to us a path to inner freedom.
Stay tuned as we start on this journey of exploration…