When Westerners think of yoga we often think of the physical practice; however, yoga actually encompasses eight central teachings intended to help the practioner live a peaceful, healthy, and balanced life. These Eight Limbs of Yoga have been practiced since 3000 BCE and were first documented by Patanjali in the “Yoga Sutra of Patanjali” in approximately 200 AD.
The practice is an ever evolving journey, but as with any journey there must be a first step and then a next and the next after that… with this journey in mind I now share eight simple ways to practice the Eight Limbs of Yoga.
1. Yama-Think of, or better yet, write five things you are thankful for each day.
2. Niyama– Connect with your inner voice by writing in a daily journal.
3. Asanas– Perform a daily round of sun salutations.
4. Pranayama-Start your day with five yogic breaths.
5. Pratyahara-Create a quiet, peaceful space in your home for your daily practice.
6. Dharana-Focus wholeheartedly when performing the daily sun salutation.
7. Dhyana-Practice five minutes of meditation each day.
8. Samadhi-Elevate the spirit by repeating the manta, “WAHE GURU” for 1 minute daily.
Of course the journey on the yogic path may lead to many techniques and practices associated with the eight limbs of yoga but these suggestions will undoubtedly help you experience more peace, balance and harmony in your life!