Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

A lot of people think yoga is all about stretching and holding crazy poses that tighten up your booty, but there is actually so much more to it.  In reality, "practicing yoga" doesn't have to involve any of the physical poses (asana) at all.  Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutras, outlined eight "limbs" of yoga. According to Yoga Journal,

"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."

These are the eight limbs: 
1. Yama (5 restraints)

2. Niyama (5 observances)
**The Yamas and Niyamas are a set of 10 principles that comprise a sort of moral code for living the path of yoga.**

3. Asana (physical poses)

4. Pranayama (breath control)

5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the external senses)

6. Dharana (intense concentration)

7. Dhyana (meditation)

8. Samadhi (enlightenment)

I want to eventually write about each of the limbs, so come back and read more if this interests you.  I really want to make sure that I understand all of this before I start teaching students regularly, so this is really more for me, I just hope its interesting for some of you out there too!


  1. yessss i am a total yogi! i love this post!! I just recently moved and I am still looking for the "right" yoga studio! I really am missing it :(

  2. I love this! I have started taking a few classes and really enjoy it but have wanted to learn more about the practice of yoga. Thanks for posting this!


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