Ashta (eight) Anga (limbs)

Patanjali was a great indian mystic yogi who was the first to systematise a method and philosophy of yoga called ashtānga yoga. The principal is with daily dedicated practice to one of the limbs the rest will follow. Since yoga is an external to internal journey we begin with the practice of the body (āsana) and make our way inward with the guidance of the breath that we cultivate in the āsana practice with vinyāsa (movement with breath). Once the body becomes more stable, stronger and more open we can eventually have the ability to sit still body, mind and spirit.
The 8 limbs:
yama (actions)

  • ahimsā (non-violence)
  • satya (honesty)
  • asteya (non-stealing)
  • brahmacharya (non-sensory indulgences)
  • aparigraha (non-greed)
niyama (reactions)

  • śaucha (purity)
  • santosha (contentment)
  • tapas (self-discipline)
  • svādyāya (self-knowledge)
  • iśhvara pranidhana (selflessness and unity)
āsana (postures, physical practice)
prānāyāma (breath practice, control of life force)
pratyāhāra (a state of sense withdrawal)
dhāranā (practice of focus/concentration)
dhyāna (state of meditation)
samādhi (state of blissfulness and oneness)

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