MyYogaMentor                Yoga Basics

Eight Limbs of Yoga

	-from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – circa 200 B.C.E

•	Yama: These are five positive ethical guidelines (restraints, or abstinences) that include non-violence, moderation, non-stealing, truthfulness and non-attachment.
•	Niyama: These are five positive behaviors, including cleanliness, contentment, self-discipline, self-study and surrender to truth.
•	Asana: These are the actual physical exercises that people usually associate with yoga. These powerful poses are designed to give our bodies strength, flexibility and energy. They also contribute to the deep sense of relaxation that is necessary in order to meditate.
•	Pranayama: These are the energizing breathing exercises that produce vitality, overall health and inner calm.
•	Pratyahara: This is detachment from the ever-present fluctuations of life. Through this practice, we can transcend all the trials and sufferings that life often seems to throw our way and begin to see such challenges in a positive and healing light.
•	Dharana: This is the practice of powerful and focused concentration.
•	Dhyana: This is devotional meditation, designed to still the agitations of the mind and open the heart.
•	Samadhi: This is blissful absorption of one's individual consciousness in the essence of Nirvana. The result of samadhi is peace, bliss and happiness without end.
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