Yoga Philosophy – The eight limbs of Yoga

This week we are starting to delve further into yoga and its traditions. Yoga shares a number of different philosophies and is focused on traditions and rituals. Vinyasa flow is based on Ashtanga yoga, which has it’s roots in Patanjali’s eight limbs path to enlightenment (Samadhi).

Patanjali’s eight limbs of Yoga are:

  1. Five Yamas: Moral Restraints (Code of Conduct)
    • Ahimsa: Non-harming
    • Satya: Truthfulness
    • Asteya: Non-stealing
    • Brahmacarya: Integrity around sexuality/moderation
    • Aparigraha: Freedom from greed you desire
  2. Five Niyamas: Observances (positive behaviours)
    • Sauca: Purity
    • Santosha: Contentment
    • Tapas: Self-discipline
    • Svadyaya: Self-study
    • Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrender to the Absolute
  3. Asanas: Physical postures
  4. Pranayama: Extension of the life-force energy/breath control
  5. Pratyahara: Turning inwards/sense withdrawal
  6. Dharana: One pointed focus/concentration
  7. Dhyana: Meditation
  8. Samadhi: Enlightenment or Liberation

I’m going to write more about each of the eight limbs in the coming weeks and will go into detail to what these eight limbs mean to us in our Yoga practice. Sign up to the newsletter to never miss a post again and to keep up to date with upcoming events.

Jen xx

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