The Eight Limbs of Yoga
By Coming Soon • July 4th, 2005 • 12467 Views
The practice of Yoga does not only focus on physical postures to improve the body, but deals with all the aspects of our being and our lives. C.E., Patanjali who is considered the father of Modern Yoga compiled 195 aphorisms which are called the Yoga Sutra. In the Yoga Sutra, he described the eight aspects of a Yogic Lifestyle and called it the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The limbs are practical guides to a person's personal development to achieve the harmony of the mind, the body and the spirit which leads to Samadhi or enlightenment.
Yama is your attitude towards others and the world around you. There are five Yamas:
1. Ahimsa or non-violence. This Yama does not only mean not doing harm to others in thought and in deed, but also to practice acts of kindness to other creatures and to one's own self.
2. Satya or truthfulness. Satya is the Yama that is about living a truthful life without doing harm to others. To practice Satya, one must think before he speaks and consider the consequence of his action. If the truth could harm others, it might be better to keep silent.
3. Asteya or non-stealing. This Yama is not only concerned about the non-stealing of material objects but also the stealing of other's ideas and other forms of possession. Using power for selfish motives or telling someone else about confidential information you had been entrusted with is against Asteya.
4. Bramacharya or non-lust. Bramacharya means to move toward the essential truth or to achieve self-control, abstinence or moderation especially regarding to sexual activity. It is about not giving in to our ego's excessive desires or taking nothing in excess.
5. Aparigraha or non-possessiveness. This Yama is about living a life free from greed or taking only what is necessary and do not take advantage of someone or of a situation. It is about using our powers correctly and appropriately and not exploiting others.