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Basic principles – The eight limbs of yoga

by Lin

The Yoga sutras are cleverly documented threads, a combination of ancient wisdom arranged in  systemised verses to enhance prosperity and happiness. A depth of wisdom and affirmations to help repair, restore and enrich our lives.

The Yoga sutra written by the sage “Patanjali” who is most famous for Aṣṭāṅga Yoga, which include the eight limbs:

Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyahara, Dhāraṇa, Dhyāna, and Samādhi.

To understand the eight limbs fully it is beneficial to study how the first two, Yama’sand Niyama’s, become an essential base to establish valuable reflection and contemplation practices. They create not only the foundations of yoga but also become a useful guide for skilful living.

Yamas (sutra 2.30)

Yama’s are moral qualities, they help us to connect with ourselves, fend off negativity and coach us towards a graceful and happy life.  These sutras can help to shift deep mental impressions, create lightness and help overcome deep anxieties.

Niyamas(sutra 2.32)

Niyama’sare fundamental for anyone serious about going deeper and are essential disciplines which cultivate and tame the traits of nature.  Eventually, with consistent practice, the mind is happy to live calmly and by training our concentration, we not only reserve our life source energy but also develop a whole new state of being.

Through the study of the Yama’s and Niyama’s, the yogi approaches lifes ups and downs with ease, grace and poise.

Next … How to work with the Yamas and Niyamas.

Quite challenging but as time goes by you feel the benefits. Lin is a very good tutor explaining why we are doing a particular pose and what the body is doing whilst in the pose.

Jan Worthington

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