The Eight Limbs of yoga!! (yes that's right 8!:) )

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - Posted by Jess at 5:41 PM
Well Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you are all enjoying and staying relatively calm this holiday season!! I have been focusing alot this season on how to do that myself! (no Christmas cards again this year! Sorry friends, I still love you! ) But one,or many, of the wonderful ways that has been helping me stay conscious about my response to the holidays is by reflecting/practicing the 8 limbs of the yogic path. So if you are unfamiliar with the Eight limbs here is a little break down for you:

Yamas-(5 moral restraints)

Ahimsa- non-violence
Satya- truthfulness
Asteya- non-stealing
Brahmacarya- moderation
Aparigraha- non-hoarding

Niyamas-(5 observances)

Sauca- purity
Santosha- contentment
Tapas- zeal, austerity
Svadhaya- self-study
Isvara-pranidhana- devotion to a higher power

Asana-(postures)

Pranayama-(mindful breathing exercises)

Pratayahara-(turning inward)

Dharana-(concentration)

Dhyana-(meditation)

Samadhi-(union of self with object of meditation)

So there is all 8 limbs, but you don't have to take them in order! Really they are not linear, more of a wheel shape! So you try to incorporate all, or as much as you can at one time!! Sound overwhelming? If so maybe just focusing on one at a time. Say for example you want to practice Ahmisa (non-violence) this holiday season. How might you do that you ask? Well there is the most obvious, like don't punch the woman who just took that last toy you have been searching high and low for! That is a good start, but in more subtle forms, maybe in not beating yourself up for not sending out those Christmas card this year, or being conscious of not overeating all of those wonderful treats everyone keeps baking! (stay away from the gingerbread men they can be addictive!) Or not staying to long with family members that are really difficult to be around! (yes it is okay to limit your time with these people! It is practicing non-violence for both people involved! :) ) So there you have it, not very complicated to think about, but the practice is what can be a little bit more challenging! So try it out before the big day hits and all the festivities start and see how it changes your interactions with your family and friends, and yourself!! Try one or two or all! And let me know how it works out for you! Would love to hear your responses! And let yourself know right now that you will never do all of them perfectly! It is a path and enjoy the journey! OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti! (om, peace, peace, peace, thats what we are going for right?)


Much love-

Jess