ASHTANGA YOGA July 05 2015
Wow, these months just fly right the fuck by! Welcome July!
So for this month we are going to start breaking down the philosophy of yoga, and delve as deep as you can on a blog post into the 8 limbs of yoga!
I love this shit!
So the 8 limbs of yoga or ASHTANGA yoga, are basically a list of 8 steps to lead a meaningful life. They are recorded in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and I really recommend you just read the book yourself if this stuff interests you. There are countless books on it and I have read several, but honestly I would just read the bare bones original- otherwise you are gonna get a weird regurgitated version of the authors perception of it, like you are about to here with me! Thats great, and I love hearing other peoples perspective and translations of them- but your perception is the one that matters. You could study these steps everyday for the rest of your life and find new information in them constantly- you and YOUR PRACTICE is truly the best of all teachers. But with that, I am going to give you a light intro to each of these 8 limbs and we can discuss it here together!
So today we are just going to go over how they are outlined and what they mean. Here we go!
1. YAMA (ethical standards)
The first limb of the 8 limbs is the ethical codes one must uphold, this deals with our integrity, and deals a lot with "the golden rule". There are 5 of them and they are
-ahimsa - non-violence
-satya - truthfulness
-asteya - non-stealing
-bramacharya - right use of vital energy
2. NIYAMA (self discipline)
The second limb is the niyamas of which there are also five. I know, when I learned this I was like - wait- I thought there was 8, whats the deal??? Just stay with me though. To me the niymas are best describes as how we behave when no one is looking. They are
-saucha - cleanliness
-samtosa - contentment
-tapas - heat, discipline
-svadhyaya- self study
-isvara pranidhana - surrender to highest power
3. ASANA (seat, posture)
4. PRANAYAMA (breath control)
5.PRATYAHARA (withdrawal of the senses)
6. DHARANA (focus, concentration)
7. DHYANA (meditation)
8. SAMADHI (Bliss, transcendence of self)
For this month we are only going to touch on the yamas, the first of the 8 limb path, and these 5 yamas deal with ethical codes and our sense of integrity. The philosophy of the yamas gives us insight as how to conduct ourselves out in the world. We will start tomorrow with AHIMSA, as it is the foundation of this practice, and it alone says it all.
I look forward to opening up the discussion this month and practice the yamas with you all! And if you have an interpretation of one of the limbs that you would like to share with us for the zine, hit us up at email@example.com and we will get you in print! NAMASTE!!!