What are the 8 Limbs of Yoga?

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline that originated in ancient India. The eight limbs of yoga, also known as the “ashtanga yoga,” are a set of principles and practices that guide the pursuit of a harmonious and fulfilling life.

These 8 limbs are:

1. Yama

The yamas are the ethical guidelines that outline how we should interact with others. They include:

  • Non-harming
  • Truthfulness
  • Non-stealing
  • Self-restraint
  • Non-covetousness.

2. Niyama

The niyamas are the ethical guidelines that outline how we should treat ourselves. They include:

  • Cleanliness
  • Contentment
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-study
  • Surrender to a higher power

3. Asana

Asanas are the physical postures that are commonly associated with yoga. These postures help to strengthen and stretch the body, improve flexibility and balance, and calm the mind.

4. Pranayama

Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath. This can involve techniques such as deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and breath retention. Pranayama helps to improve the flow of prana, or vital energy, in the body and bring about a sense of calm and clarity.

5. Pranayama

Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses from external stimuli. This involves turning inward and becoming more aware of our inner experiences rather than being constantly distracted by external distractions.

6. Dharana

Dharana is the practice of concentration and mindfulness. It involves focusing the mind on a single point or object and maintaining that focus for an extended period of time.

7. Dhyana

Dhyana is the practice of meditation, which involves going beyond the distractions of the mind and finding a state of inner stillness and clarity.

7. Samadhi

Samadhi is the state of enlightenment or union with the divine. It is a state of complete absorption in the present moment and a realization of the interconnectedness of all things.

The eight limbs of yoga provide a holistic approach to living a healthy and fulfilling life. By incorporating these principles and practices into our daily routine, we can cultivate physical and mental well-being, develop a sense of inner peace, and connect with our higher selves.

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