Thursday, October 15, 2015

How Yoga Changed My Life: The 8 Limbs of Yoga


Five years ago, I thought yoga was just another form of workout that would increase my flexibility. I had taken a few yoga training courses, and decided to attend a 200 hour intensive training. Boy, was I wrong thinking yoga was just a workout! In those 200 hours my life was flipped upside down. I learned a new perspective on yoga and life.

The essence of yoga is:

  • Letting go of competition, judgement and expectations.
  • Breathing, feeling and listening to the body.
  • Being in the  present moment.

Yoga is more than just a physical discipline, it is a way of life to maintain a state of equanimity (a state of mental or emotional stability).

I’m here to share with you what I learned that changed my life.



 The 8 Limbs of Yoga:

1) Yamas: Guidelines for how we interact with the outer world.
  • Ahimsa: nonviolence.  Compassion, love, understanding, patience, and self love.
  • Satya: truthfulness. Honesty, non judging, and giving constructive feedback.
  • Asetya: nonstealing. Letting go of competition, cravings, and false value.
  • Brahmacarya: moderation. Awareness of cravings and attachments.
  • Aparigraha: nonhoarding. Non attachment to possessions and relationships.


2) Niyamas: maintaining a positive environment in which to grow. How we interact with ourselves and our internal world.
  • Sauca: purity. Evenness of mind, thoughts, and speech.
  • Samtosa: contentment. Gratitude and joyfulness, remain calm in good and bad.
  • Tapas: zeal, austerity. Determination to pursue daily practice.
  • Svadhyaya: self study. Reflection, meditation, and wanting to know.
  • Isvara-pranidhana: devotion to a higher power.

Yoga is about finding the truth for yourself and connecting with it. Yamas and Niyamas are not about right and wrong. They are about living our lives in a better way, and moving towards a greater understanding of our selves and others.

3) Asana: Yoga postures, balance and harmonize the basic structure of the human body.

4) Pranyama: Mindful breathing, breath control practices help us to release tension and develop a relaxed state of mind.

5) Pratyahara: Turning inward, withdrawal from distractions of the outside world. Rightly managing the senses and going beyond them. Practiced with mantra, meditation, and visualization towards achieving 3 meditative states. 


6) Dharana: One of the three Meditative States: Concentration on an object, place - meditation with effort

7) Dhyana: One of the three Meditative States: Meditation effortlessly

8) Samadhi: One of the three Meditative States: Union of the Self


Before learning the 8 limbs of Yoga, I would get bent out of shape over things and be everywhere but the present moment.

I originally started going to yoga for the workout, but along the path I learned it was much more than cool poses and touching your toes. Yoga changed my life and continues to remind me to be present.





50 comments:

  1. This just inspired me to try yoga. Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party.

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  2. I have never really tried yoga. All the names and such confuse me. It always sounds good and stretching is great for your body. I could maybe get a tape on it, but wish I could go to a class and understand it.

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    1. There is a website called doyogawithme.com you can stream free videos. There are a lot of names, it's important to find the style that is right for you.

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  3. I have only dabbled in Yoga, but have never kept it consistently in my workout routine. I have really enjoyed it, especially like you said the part about judgement and being present. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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    1. It's amazing how letting go of judgement and being present changes everything :)

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  4. I do really enjoy yoga because I love stretching. Although I will admit I haven't gotten as into it as you are. I do know one of my hubby's friends is a yoga instructor and he is in shape! So I think it is definitely great for your body. Thanks so much for sharing at Fitness Fridays. Hope to see you back next week!

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    1. Yoga has gotten me in the best shape of my life :)

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  5. I only just discovered yoga this year and attended classes with my PT. I love it and feel so much better when I practise it. I run so it really helps me stretch. Great informative post! #FitnessFridays

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    1. I've had 3 knee surgeries. Yoga completely changed my knees. I'm currently training for my 3rd marathon.

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  6. I absolutely love Yoga, but I haven't practised in such a long time. I really need to get back into it. I never explored much more than the basics. Great info here! Thanks for putting this together!

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  7. I love how yoga brings me back to the simple things that are so easily forgotten - like breathing! This is a beautiful reflection. It rings true to my experience as well. Congratulations on the yoga intensive! Visiting from #LFEO link up

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  8. What a great post, the few times I have done yoga I have loved it. What would you suggest for beginners to do from home if they want to start yoga?

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    1. Check out doyogawithme.com for free videos. There's a variety in different styles.

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  9. I had no idea that there was so much to yoga. I knew it was good for the body, but I didn't know it was good for the mind and soul too. How cool! I love the poses, and I've seen some really cool ones on social media! I am so impressed. Thanks for sharing, I've learned quite a bit from you! Pinned!

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  10. I've been realizing over the past few months what you have posted here. I started practicing for flexibility and to stretch, and I'm finding that there is so much more to it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. A large population start for the flexibility :)

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  11. That looks so relaxing and peaceful. Some of the poses look like cheerleading yoga!

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  12. Great Post! Thanks for linking up to Merry Monday! Sharing on Twitter ! Have a great week!
    Kim

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  13. Yoga was always a mystery to me but since taking it up this year I love it! I don't do it often enough and maybe need a bootcamp to get me going! Thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes.

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    1. It's definitely something to practice regularly :)

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  14. Enjoyed reading this - I love yoga. I started doing it about 12 years ago and usually fit it into my workout schedule at least twice a week.

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  15. Great post...learned a lot! I am going to feature it with this weeks #JoyHopeLive link up. Stop by and check it out: www.mylifeinprogress.org/finding-joy-in-everyday-29/
    Thank you for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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  16. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

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  17. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Great Post! I want to try yoga now! Thanks for linking up on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday. Hope to see you again! Pinned!

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  20. I'm pinning this to read later. I'm trying to get into a consistent yoga practice and I think this will help motivate me! #TipMeTuesday

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  21. Any professing follower of Christ should beware of yoga. It cannot be separated from Hindu spiritualism. If you're interested in a healthy Christian alternative, look into Praise Moves by Laurette Willis. No prayer poses to Hindu gods or 'emptying your mind'. Check it out.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Maria - I'm sure some people reading this will find your recommendation helpful. However, I do want to point out that not all of us at RCHReviews nor all of our readers are Christian - nor do all Christians find it unacceptable to learn about practices beyond those that stem from Judeo-Christian beliefs. No one need 'beware' of yoga - as with anything else, do as you will and let others choose which practices best suit their own lifestyle and religious practices (when relevant). Thanks for commenting! :)

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  22. Wow...I feel like I know everything there is to know about yoga now! Great post! Thanks so much for sharing at Share The Wealth Sunday!
    xoxo
    Lisa @ Fun Money Mom

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    1. There's a lot to learn from yoga, it's an individual journey :)

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  23. I'm a fan! I take two yoga classes a week and they do make a big difference in my life. I am more calm, grounded, strong and flexible. I still have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying the journey!

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  24. very useful post, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop

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  25. I've been practicing yoga for over 15 years now and it really can change your life! Thank you for sharing this post with us at Hearth and Soul. It really covers things beautifully! I've featured it at this week's hop, live on the blog now.

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  26. Are you sick of feeling twice your age?

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    Are you tired of dragging through your day — or of dosing yourself with industrialstrength coffee just so you can focus?

    If that sounds familiar, I’m here to tell you there’s hope.

    I was on a fast-track to burnout too — and I was a competitive athlete! But yoga changed all that for me. And it will work for you too.

    Yoga will completely transform your life by doing 3 crucial things:

    Shutting off chronic pain that robs you of energy and makes even simple routine tasks a trial.

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    For more info please click on the following link: How To Yoga at Home?

    Thanks again

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