The 8 limbs of yoga are almost like a guide to how a yogi should live. The limbs cover everything from how to conduct yourself towards others to your asana practise (physical practise). So what are the 8 limbs? Here is my quick guide to the first 4….
Yamas are the moral, ethical and spiritual guidelines that will help you along your road to reaching health and well being as well as spiritual enlightenment. There are five different characteristics that can be observed through our thoughts, words and everyday actions.
These five yamas are; Non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, sense control and non-coveting (more on these later).
The Niyamas are more guidelines (I don’t like the word ‘rules’) for your internal word, how to take care of yourself. They are; Cleanliness (of body, mind and spirit), acceptance (of what is), perseverance, self study or reflection, and contemplation of the divine. (again more on these later)
This is your physical practise, asana covers all the poses we do through a yoga class. Asana unifys the mind and spirit with the body. As much as you might here about meditation taking the mind to a higher place we have to remember that our bodies are with us right now and we need to take care on them. If you feel well in the body it ultimately has an effect on the mind and in turn the spirit.
It’s all about the breath! Pranayama is literally breathwork. From basic breathing up to breath retention we can use the breath to enhance our lives, clear the mind and make us feel more grounded or energised. (or a number of other feelings, more on this soon)
So there are the first 4 in brief, I will be going into more detail on them all very soon so watch this space! If you want to stay up to date with my blog then join my newsletter, sign up on the homepage.