The eight limbs of yoga
Yoga has become quite distorted over the past few decades and we find ourselves in the 21st century in a place where yoga has become synonymous with excercise. At the gym a member might choose between yoga and pilates class because both of for stretching.
In a way we need to embrace this attitude because it has moved yoga out of the realms of hippy-dom and the great unwashed and into a much broader audience. I, myself, found yoga in exactly this way. I was looking for excercise that wouldn’t make me too sweaty and I am flexible so I figured I’d give it a go.
What I didn’t know at the time was that yoga is so much more than than stretching and flexibility it is in fact a lifestyle that one needs to slowly adopt and incorporate into our daily lives.
With gentle the guidance of my first yoga teacher I was introduced to various other aspects of yoga. We started with Asana (postures) then moved onto Pranayama (breath work) and finally we touched on Dharana (meditation). With this smattering of knowledge I felt my calling to learn more about yoga and what better way than teacher training. In 2006 when I arrived at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in South India I was still convinced that yoga was mostly excercise. By the end of the immersion training I knew there was so much more but the information is vast and challenging for Western minds to absorb.
After teaching for many years (a lot of that teaching at Virgin Active) the teachings began to take root and started to make sense. Only after my kundalini training did the dust begin to settle and the pieces began to fall into place. I can honestly say that I am no expert and these posts are as much for my own learning and research purposes but I know that my teachers pushing me towards discovering more about yoga led me onto the path that I am on today and it is my wish to share these little tidbits of knowledge in the hope that someone else out there may also begin a journey of their own into their own self-discovery.
At Shanti Yoga studio we will be spending the next few weeks exploring the 8 limbs of yoga, what they are and how to take yoga out into your daily life.
The key is to remember that yoga isn’t an excercise that you do from 8 – 9.15. It is a lifestyle, it is something that you work with every moment of every day.
This week we will look at the two aspects that most people are already familiar with – Asana and Pranayama.
Have a beautiful week yogis and yoginis