The 8 Limbs of Yoga

Ever since I traveled, I started to explore the world outside and myself inside. As a Science student in college spending hours studying Chemistry and Biology, I remember how much I loved music and art lessons and how they foster creativity.  What I really love in my life.  There are always countless possibilities for a piece of art and everyone perceives in a different way.

Ever since I traveled, there are more and more things on my do-learn/ to-finish list. Photography, Spanish, web and graphic design, programming language, diving, surfing, full marathon, triathlon.  One of them is yoga. I find yoga another type of art which benefits me physically and spiritually.

Then I came across this Eco Yoga Farm, where I had a chance to practice a little bit of yoga. Yoga practice is dedicated to creating balance among body, mind and spirit. The 8 limbs of yoga were introduced.

1. YAMA ( Moral Conduct)

Yama consists of 5 components, which mean non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, restraint and non-collecting.  Do not hurting yourself or anyone. Be truthful to yourself, to others. Do not steal someone’s property, idea or even time. Restraint yourself. Do not overwhelm yourself but push yourself when you are too lazy. Non-collecting, is about letting go. It makes room for more good things to come.

2. NIYAMAS (Self-purification)

The second limb niyamas describe ethical precepts of personal observances. Cleanliness, contentment, fire, self-study and god-study comprise the second limb. Cleanliness, be clean and neat. Contentment, be happy for what you have, at the moment. Fire, be motivated to grow to be better. Self-study, step back and be an observer of yourself. God-study, to surrender to god.

3. ASNANA (Posture)- all the crazy postures practiced in yoga.

4. PRANAYAMA (Breath control)

5. PRATYHARA (Control of 5 senses)

6. DHARANA (Concentration)

7. DHYANA (Meditation)- all the stages above bring us the this limb, meditation- the uninterrupted flow of concentration

8. SAMADHI (Bliss)- the stage of ecstasy

They all tie to each other in a way, when practicing yoga. Many of the 8 limbs are more about a way of living and how to be a better person, which I find really inspiring. Of course, being able to be more flexible bit by bit, day by day was pretty exciting and encouraging.

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