What are the Eight Limbs of Yoga?

1. Yamas 

The first limb speaks to the yamas or restraints.  This is how we relate to the world and how we play with others.

Ahimsa - non harming, non violence, least harm (to others as well as ourselves) 

Satya - truthfulness

Asteya - non stealing, non covetousness

Brahmacharya - moderation in all things, conservation of energy

Aparigraha - non grasping, non hoarding, non possessiveness

2. Niyamas

The second limb speaks to the niyamas or the observances.  This is how we relate to ourselves and play in our inner world.

Shaucha - cleanliness or purity

Santosha - contentment

Tapas - self-discipline

Svadhyaya - self study

Ishvara-pranidhana - celebration of the spiritual

3. Asana

The third limb speaks to the physical postures or the asanas.

4. Pranayama

The fourth limb speaks to the science of breath and mastering vital energy within ourselves through breath work.

5. Pratyahara

The fifth limb speaks to the withdrawal of the 5 senses.  By withdrawing the senses from the external, we turn our attention to our internal senses.  

6. Dharana

The sixth limb speaks to concentration or focus.  The immovable concentration of the mind.  Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 1.2 speaks to this as well, Yogas citta vritti nirodha - yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

7. Dhyana

The seventh limb speaks to meditation or contemplation.

8. Samadhi

The eigth limb speaks to bliss, joy, complete connectedness

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