The Eight Limbs of Yoga

“Through the practice of the different limbs of Yoga, whereby impurities are eliminated, there arises an illumination that culminates in discriminative wisdom or enlightenment.” – Yoga Sutra 2.28

As you begin to embark on your undoubtedly amazing Memorial Day Weekend plans, take a moment to reflect on your practice this week. In our most recent Newsletter* we highlighted the Eight Limbs of yoga, as described in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. 

 *Office Yoga® has a Newsletter, eh? Not on our mailing list, but want to be? Click here to sign up for our monthly goodness, delivered straight to you on the first Tuesday of every month!

Yoga Sutra 2.29
“yoga anga anusthanad ashuddhi kshaye jnana diptih a viveka khyateh”

The Eight Limbs of Yoga are the building blocks of the practice. They can be seen as steps, or different avenues, that lead to the ultimate goal: enlightenment.

Let’s face it – The human existence is hard. We are responsible for so much while we are here on Earth. Most of which causes some level of suffering within. In order to ease the stressors of our every day lives, we can turn to the framework of Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras for our road map.

  • Yamas: focuses on our behavior and how it affects others. (there are 5!)
  • Niyamas: focuses on self discipline and spiritual observances – how you hold yourself accountable. (there are 5!)
  • Asana: the physical practice of yoga, which supports the health of the body for a well supported meditation practice.
  • Pranayama: breath control, or “life force extension.”
  • Pratyahara: sensory transcendence, which creates space for us to turn our gaze inwards and observe ourselves objectively.
  • Dharana: the ability to concentrate, and control the nuances of the mind.
  • Dhyana: uninterrupted flow of concentration and meditation.
  • Samadhi: a state of pure ecstasy – enlightenment.

Taking time to familiarize yourself with each limb will provide yourself with the guidelines you need to live a life without (or, let’s be real here, with less) suffering.

As we continue on in the year, we will highlight each limb and discuss ways to incorporate them into your day to day lives. In the Office Yoga® community, we’re all about taking theoretical ideas and making them digestible. Have specific questions or problems you’re running into? Reach out to us. Tell us what’s going on, and we’ll make sure to highlight (without calling you out) some ways to navigate difficult scenarios in our day to day lives, using the yogic texts.

Until next time, Office Yogis. Be safe out there, and take time to do something good for someone you don’t know. As Paul Auster said, “Good begets good.”

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