A PATH TO A PURPOSEFUL LIFE
I have always been in awe of YOGA, The meaning of it, the quiet of it, the peacefulness of it and all of the health benefits that go along with it. That is why i have decided to create this page both for myself and others. Hopefully it will encourage us.
Lets learn about the eight limbs of YOGA
Ethics and integrity comprise the foundtion of the first limb, yama. The teachings of this limb can be compared to the Biblical adage now known as the Golden Rule: "Treat others the way you want to be treated. " Within the limb are five separate yamas: ahimsa, meaning non-violence; satya, which is truthfulness; asteya, or non-stealing; brahmacharya, meaning self control; and aparigraha, which means non-covetousness.
Spiritual observances and self-discipline are at the core of niyama, the second limb.
Examples of practincing niyamas can include giving thanks before meals, creating metation routines and taking contemplative walks. The five niyamas include saucha, or cleanliness; samtosa, which means contentment; tapas, or spiritual rigor; svadhyaya, the study of self and sacred scriptures; and Isvara pranidhana, the surrender to God.
Each posture in yoga is considered an asana, which is the third limb. It is believed that the body must be cared for and honored in order to achieve spiritual growth. Concentration and discipline can be honed through performing poses, which in turn lead to developing greater meditation skills.
The fourth limb of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, pranayama involves recognizing the correlation between breathing, emotions and the mind. Techniques for breath control are detailed in this limb, which translates to "life force extension."
Entering the second half of the limbs, pratyahara shifts the focus of the journey from external matters to internal development. By removing attention from the senses and the external world as a whole, the individual can better devote themselves to becoming more introspective. This closer look inside can help and individual shed any habits that may be detrimental to the process.
With sensory distractions rooted out, the sixth limb, dharana, strives for complete concentration. As preparation for coming limbs, dharana teaches techniques for slowing the mental process, such as thinking a single energy center in the body, a spiritual being or a silently repeated soud. When concentation skills strengthen, the individual becomes better prepared to begin meditationg.
The penultimate limb, dhyana channels unwavering concentration into meditation. While dharana teaches concentrating the mind on a singular focus, dhyana differs as the quieted mind is nearly free of thought. Acknowleging the daunting, seemingly unreachable nature of such a feat, the seventh limb also provides the reminder that yoga is an ongoing process, no matter the amount it is practiced.
Described by Pantanjali as a state of ecstasy, samadhi sees the meditator realize their interconnectedness with all things living and divine. That realization yields a blissful experienc of unity with the universe, a state known as "peace that passeth all understanding." As the ultimate stage of yoga, it can only be reached through ongoing devotion to the process.