8 Limbs of Yoga

The eight limbs or branches on the tree of yoga are the encompassing practices that develop the essence of a yogic lifestyle.

I have included an overview of the 8 limbs of yoga here, because I hope that it will serve to remind yoga practitioners and teachers that yoga is more than the physical practice of a range of yoga postures.

My belief is that yoga has much to offer and to gain the most benefit from yoga we do well to understand and  practice all 8 limbs.  

As an example from a simple practical approach…. at times in life, we may find that our circumstances, energy or health doesn’t enable us to practice a physical asana routine however we can still reach out to gain the benefits of pranayama and meditation.¬†

Here is a ready reference of the eight practices as are:

Yama 5 guiding ethical behaviors towards others 
Niyama 5 guiding ethical behaviors toward self 
Asana Practice of yoga postures 
Pranayama Practice of breathing exercises 
Pratyahara Withdrawal of the senses so that the external world is not a distraction. 
Dharana Concentration the ability to focus uninterrupted by external or internal distractions. 
Dhyana Meditation sitting still in mind and body to feel the peace. 
Samadhi Building upon the practice of meditation to merge the self with the universe. 



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