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Yoga 8 limbs of yoga private yoga santa monica brentwood pacific palisades bel air venice

Published on November 13th, 2016 | by Catherine Tingey

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What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

If you hire me as your private yoga teacher, in the first session I’ll give you a quick 2 minute history of yoga!

I’ll explain that yoga originated as a comprehensive system for living a peaceful life, and that the ‘yoga bible’ has 8 yoga commandments (limbs).

Two of those eight have gained a foothold in the west – Asana (posture) and Pranayama (breathwork).

In today’s post, I’ll introduce the other 6 limbs and why they’re important.

8 Limbs of Yoga Private Yoga Santa Monica Brentwood Pacific Palisades Bel Air Venice

The 8 Limbs of Yoga come from Patanjali’s yoga sutras, an ancient text which many have called a yoga bible. There is much to be learned from studying the sutras and this discussion will just be a brief introduction.

The first 2 Limbs, Yamas and Niyamas, are like the do’s and don’t’s of yoga’s moral code — ethical guidelines that if followed, add up to an upright life.

Very generally, yamas are things we shouldn’t do, while Niyamas are things we should.  The yamas govern our behavior with others and the world at large. Niyamas govern our relationship to our inner world.

The 5th, 6th and 7th limbs are aspects of meditation and the 8th Limb, Samadhi, is the elusive union of our consciousness with divine consciousness. Some would describe it as a complete merging of the self and the divinity within.

Patanjali said, ‘When all mental distractions disappear and the mind becomes one-pointed, it enters the state called Samadhi.’

While Samadhi does represent a certain apex of yoga achievement, few mortals who live in the modern world will attain this. The good news is that many beginning meditators can still experience glimpses of Samadhi!

Recently a client I’ve been working with for nearly a year said to me, ‘this is the deepest relaxation I’ve ever felt, even deeper than anything I could get through drinking.’

I’ll take that as a win!

If you are interested in learning more about yoga or meditation, be sure to look for a private instructor in your area. As always, feel free to contact me, or comment below!

xoxoxo

Catherine

 

 

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Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.

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About the Author

Entrepreneur, yogini, designer, award-winning filmmaker, personal trainer and former marathon runner. She left a career in finance to start her own business and along the way, became a yoga teacher after practicing for 24 years.



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