The 8 Limbs of Yoga

The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an eight-limbed path that forms the structural framework for yoga practice. Upon practicing all eight limbs of the path it becomes self-evident that no one element is elevated over another in a hierarchical order. Each is part of a holistic focus which eventually brings completeness to the individual as they find their connectivity to the divine. Because we are all uniquely individual a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another as they round out their understanding.

 

 

In brief the eight limbs, or steps to yoga, are as follows:

 

 

1. Yama :  Universal morality

2. Niyama :  Personal observances

3. Asanas :  Body postures

4. Pranayama :  Breathing exercises, and control of prana

5. Pratyahara :  Control of the senses

6. Dharana :  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

7. Dhyana :  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine

8. Samadhi :  Union with the Divine

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