Here at Yogasync.tv we are dedicated to bringing you all the tools and resources we can to help you progress through the eight limbs of yoga, in a yoga-meets-the-21st-century kind of way. It is our passion and life purpose to make these tools available in a fun and inspiring way so that you may as easily as possible experience the health, wellness and peace of mind that this ancient tradition provides.
Through dedicated and relentless observation and study of life’s cycles and people, the ancient yogis created for us a system in which we can bring to balance our mental and emotional states within the physical body. In so doing we free the spirit and realize a way of living that ignites inner joy, true happiness and wholeness of being.
In this way yoga is a discipline that sets us free by drawing us inward to discover the Universe within. Here there is a stillness where self-realization and wholeness may be realized – and this is yoga’s ultimate goal.
In about 300BC, Patanjali, the great Indian sage known as the ‘father of yoga’, translated the Sanskrit Book of Vedas into the yoga sutras. These small and concise phrases lit the path so that people the world over for centuries to come could find and practice yoga. In the sutras Patanjali chunked the practice and discipline of yoga into the eightfold path we now know of as the ‘eight limbs of yoga’. In this process the ancient philosophy now revealed a path that could free one from negative beliefs and destructive or limiting lifestyle habits while at the same time help one discover their true and highest potential in life.
Yoga in Sanskrit is yuj. This means to yoke, bind or unite by bringing together. The practice of yoga is therefore the practice of togetherness and oneness in both the collective and the individual.
The eightfold path helped people understand the philosophy behind yoga and is what made yoga accessible to people to get in touch with themselves and a spiritual path. Each limb is a mental or physical discipline in its’ own right and makes a part of the complete yoga system. Further each are designed to be integrated and practiced as a whole rather than in their separate parts. In this way balance in life is achieved.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
These are guides for us to live in harmony with one another in a shared and peaceful world, otherwise known as social discipline – remembering that this is the kind of discipline that sets us free.
While Yamas are about conduct toward others, or social discipline, Niyamas are to do with conduct to oneself, or individual discipline. These are personal disciplines that relate to the body and mind. They include cleanliness of mind, body and environment; contentment; practice or dedication; personal growth and inspiration; and study of the self.
This is physical discipline and is where practice of the postures comes in. In Yogasync.tv the asana postures are ‘Movements’ – all originally designed to cleanse, stretch and strengthen the body in preparation for sitting in meditation to develop self-awareness.
This is breath control for mental discipline. Regulating the breath in a conscious and controlled way teaches us to breathe fully and correctly. This increases our intake and absorption of life force – prana – and our energy levels.
This is withdrawal or discipline of the senses. When we remove our self from the search for constant stimulation and satisfaction in the world and turn our focus inward we find the Universe within that is peaceful and quiet, that wants for, and needs, nothing.
This is concentration and is a practice that leads to calmness of the mind. This is the first phase of meditation and with practice enables us to enter into a quiet, meditative space effortlessly and easily. And with practice it also becomes a more desirable discipline too.
This is meditation itself and is the second phase of the meditative process. Meditation is a ‘time-out’ that benefits the whole being in that the mind empties itself of all thoughts and desires and in time opens to the third phase of meditation and the eighth limb of yoga.
This is self-realization or enlightenment and is the ultimate spiritual goal of yoga practice. Here in the third phase of meditation we open into a state of being total, fully present and united in this moment.
Time on your mat is time to yourself to stop and relax. It’s a time to go inward and connect. Here you will grow, expand, evolve and change as well as become stronger and more flexible in mind and body. This is your time to engage and be with creative movement in stillness. Here you will learn to listen to your inner voice of wisdom and as you get to know this inner voice of wisdom you will grow in self awareness, confidence and vitality.
The word Asana is the Sanskrit word for ‘posture’ – here used as movement – and it also translates as ‘to be’. ‘Being’ in your movement you will learn through experience the essence of yoga – that of unity. Here your physical self, your breath and your intention are united when you become present and grounded in your body. Over time you will create a united sense of balance and a feeling of total wholeness. Awareness is the key to yoga, and probably to life in general. As you spend more and more time on your mat in your physical movements you will develop a grace that is absent of pushing or straining. You’ll find a point of tension within you and be able to hold the balance between wanting to go further in the pose, and accepting where the body is at. Here there is alertness and aliveness, action and relaxation… the perfect balance between mind, body and intention all connected through the breath.
In this way each practice on your mat offers an opportunity to learn something more about yourself and how you respond to the world around you. Taking your experiences from your mat out into the world is where the true benefits of the yoga discipline will be reaped. The more you practice the more you will tune in to your own needs and cycles and the more aware you will become of who you are and what this incarnation is about for you. And as you live to your full and highest potential, you give others around you permission to do the same.
Here at Yogasync.tv we are dedicated to bringing you all the tools and resources we can to help you progress through the eight limbs of yoga. It is our passion and life purpose to make these tools available in a fun and inspiring way so that you may as easily as possible experience health, wellness and peace of mind. In turn, as each one of us unites with an inner grin of joy and love, we create a more peaceful, loving world for all in which to live.
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