Learning the pillars of yoga- do good, be good, feel good.
Learn, understand & practice.
Understanding the 8 limbs of yoga is so different than practicing the 8 limbs of yoga. Here are the 8 limbs broke down, so you can start practicing them today.
SUMMER CHALLENGE: complete and consistently instill 2 of the limbs into your life.
1. Golden Rule: Probably the simplest of them all. Practice the golden rule – do to others as you would want done to you. This limb allows us to observe and see our ethical standards. Have no violence to any living being (physically and mentally), be honest, do not steal, and do not be possessive (or obsessed) with one object or thing.
2. Self-discipline: This may be one of the hardest of the limbs. Have self-discipline to practice yoga, daily, and meditate as much as you seem possible. Be clean, be content, study and surrender to something higher than ones self.
3. Movement: The importance of practicing movement (of any kind) we may already know. However, with the 8 limbs the importance of practicing movement – such as yoga – is to train the body to be able to withstand long periods of meditation without being uncomfortable or in pain.
4. Breath control: Our breath is, obviously, the most important of the 8 limbs. Learning to train and control the breath leads us to calm bodies and relaxed states. This limb can be something that you simply learn and begin to notice, or complete master the respiratory system. You can begin this by sitting in meditation and practicing a control breath or integrating it into your movement practice.
5. Withdrawal: This stage is withdrawing, completely, from the external worlds. Whether this is for a moment, in meditation or a whole weekend at a silent retreat. This limb allows us, or rather gives us, the opportunity to step back and truly see ourselves. It also allows us to observe any habits we may have created that do not leave us in a health consistent flow.
6. Concentration: This limb may be a little confusing, this is different from a simple meditation. Bringing your attention to one point for an extended period of time, which then leads you to a meditation.
7. Meditation: As we may know, as the limbs progress through they get more detailed and intense. Each limb before prepares us for the limb ahead. Limb 6 and 7 may seem very similar but there is a fine line between them. This limb is being completely aware without focus.
8. Transcendent: This limb is the hardest limb to reach. This limb the person shifts their awareness into the self all together, reaching a state of ecstasy. Where this may seem like an “intense” stage, or one that is impossible, it is important to remember that as yoga and meditation is adaptable to all beings so is this stage of the limbs.