A great place to start understanding yoking is at the 8-Limbs of Yoga. Imagine Yoga as a tree… with solid roots, study branches, and a hefty trunk to support it all. Each limb plays a vital role in shaping the tree and it’s yogi. The 8-Limbs are as follows:
- Yamas: Guidelines for ethical standards and moral conducts.
- Niyamas: Observances and Disciplines.
- Anasa: Body Postures or poses
- Pranayama: Breathing techniques used to control the energy in the body.
- Pratyahara: Taking an inward focus to open oneself.
- Dharana: Allowing the mind to focus on one thing.
- Dhyana: Holding concentration while staying relaxed; meditation
- Samadhi: When ego dissolves and you have the ability to be infinite love.
Most yogis practice Asana, Pranayama, and Dyana knowingly. Yoga is a very intuitive and personal thing: we come to it naturally. It’s no surprise that we unknowingly practice all of the limbs without realizing it.
We all have a certain moral standard we hold ourselves to; like obeying the law. This is practicing Yamas. We all have internal standards for ourselves, like staying calm in a stressful moment. This is practicing Niyamas. When we stretch in the morning we practice Asanas; focusing on a task is meditation; and the list goes on… All actions are done instinctually and they are all Yoga.
The overall intention of yoga is to practice being content with ourselves, with our world, and creating a place where we can all feel as one being. The 8-Limbs were created for us mortals to have a check-list to understand there is a world beyond ourselves, and that we love and respect all selves.
Namaste! -Nadia [email protected]