Yoga, a word meaning Union, a practice, a concept meaning yoking body to mind, body to spirit, one to another, one to the Universe, yoking one to the deepest truth of oneself. A true yoga practice is an integrative, complete science, that can serve as a compass or guide of how to live one’s life. The complete practice of yoga consists of 8 limbs of study.
The 8 limbs are:
- Yama: is ethical standards and sense of integrity. Yamas are Universal practices that really are a practical way to approach the Golden Rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- Niyama: is self discipline and spiritual observances.
- Asana: are the postures practiced in yoga. From the yogic point of view, the body is the temple of the spirit and the care of our body is an important aspect of spiritual growth.
- Pranayama: is breath control and recognizing the the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions.
- Pratyhara: is withdrawal or sensory transcendence, here we learn to direct our intention internally.
- Dharana: is concentration and learning to focus our attention on a single point.
- Dhyana: is meditation or contemplation, is the uninterrupted flow of concentration.
- Samadhi: is a state of ecstasy, allowing one to experience the transcendence of self and a profound connection to the Divine, the ‘peace that passes all understanding”.
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