If you haven’t figured out yet, yoga is my ALL TIME FAVE! I love the feeling it gives me when I’m done, I love the way it helps to calm and focus my mind and I love the way it makes my body look! Aside from these physical attributes I fully give to yoga, it helps with so much more! It helps remind me that I’m strong!
If I can figure out how to balance on my head, hands or forearms defying gravity then I can handle what life throws at me. If I can balance on one leg while twisting and extending the other, I can balance kids, work, hubby, school, meals, chores etc. If I can bend forward, backward and sideways then I can bend with the economy, finances, weather, temper tantrums, job loss/change and grief without breaking.
The actual Sanskrit word ‘Yoga’ means ‘Union’! To me that Union is of mind, body, and soul and the pathway to that union is breath! You don’t hafta bend yourself in a pretzel or do a million sun salutations to experience this Union! In fact…yoga doesn’t always mean doing physical poses like the Western Civilization has known it.
Yoga actually has 8 Limbs. Think of an umbrella. If you only had one section of the umbrella, you’d get pretty wet in the rain. Just like yoga, if you only focus on one aspect of it, the rest of your life may seem a lil damp. I will briefly name and explain all 8 limbs. For a deeper understanding there are LOADS of books and info on the world-wide web-i-sphere you can check out.
8 Limbs of Yoga
1~ Yamas: This is our social ethics or restraints. The way we interact with the outer world and relationships with others.
2~ Niyamas: This one is our self-regulation. Keeping a positive inner environment.
3~ Asana: aka poses and flows.
4~ Pranayama: Breath control.
5~ Prtyahara: Withdrawl from our bodily senses and outside distractions. You can achieve this through visualizations and mantras (saying ‘om’ or my personal fave ‘so-hum’ over and over and over)!
6~ Dharana: Concentrating on an object, place, subject or meditation with effort.
7~ Dhyana: This is the practice of Limbs 1-6 when meditations, concentration and breath become almost effortless.
8~ Samadhi: Practice of Limbs 1-7 and really isn’t so much of a practice but an achievement. This is where you function in the world, but you’re not of the world…you’ve reconnected to that part inside that is eternal!
This information was in part taken from my YogaFit Teacher Training Manual. This is a very basic description of what the 8 Limbs of Yoga is. Don’t take my word for it…research and look around. The more you look the more you learn!
May you have all the happiness and peace you need!