The Eight Limbs of Yoga form the backbone to the many forms of yoga we know today. They are outlined and elaborated on in Book Two of the Yoga Sutras and include timeless mind training practices that move us toward a healed and whole state of being.
The Eight Limbs Yoga:
Yamas – ways of thinking that prepare the mind for freedom
Niyamas – ways of practicing that ensure success
Asana – movement that supports the goal of peace
Pranayama – breathing methods that calm the mind and body
Pratyahara – gentle withdrawal from the senses
Dharana – gentle steadiness of mind
Dhyana – a way of perceiving that provokes inner peace
Samadhi – a purposed way of living in the world, but not of it
Together they provide instruction that move us toward a liberated state of mind, free from attachment and joined with the Oneness we all share. Remember, yoga means “to join.” It is a journey without distance to a “place” we never left. It is a process—a gentle, inner practice. It is not something that you do, it’s how you do it. It is a way of thinking—and how you think is everything.
The Yoga Sutras, or “threads of truth” are each highly concentrated versions of larger topics. And because they are each a thread of the Truth (of which there is only one), to understand any one sutra is to understand them all. This takes work and dedication, but the Truth is what we all truly want. What we don’t realize and certainly don’t want to admit, is that we are afraid of the truth. Why? Because to learn the truth requires us to drop our own individual version of truth known as the ego. The ego will do anything, and everything to uphold its sense of (false) self, no matter how great the cost. It never has your best interest in mind. Wouldn’t it be nice to be guided by the inner voice of love rather than the one of fear?
Close your eyes for a moment and consider the underlying anxiety and fear behind many of your choices and decisions. No matter what the outcome, have those feelings ever really gone away? Do decisions come easy for you? Or are they wrought with struggle and uncertainty? The Yoga Sutras, when interpreted as a whole (body of work), representing the Whole that we all share (as One), will make sense to you. Free of confusion and contradiction it can be applied to your life exactly as it is now. There is nothing you need to change—except your mind, and that is entirely up to you.
Whether you feel like your life is in a rut, lacks meaning, or if you are simply looking for a better way, this two hour discussion on the Eight Limbs of Yoga will plant the seed for a new way of being. It promises more joy, freedom, and peace. It promises a gentle Guidance that always has your best interest in mind. Please join us for this lively talk. If you are interested but cannot attend, please let us know as a recorded version will be made available.
Thank you and Namaste,
Click here to enroll in Jeff’s talk on the Eight Limbs of Yoga – Sunday, January 15th from 2:30 to 4:30.