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8 limbed living

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello all! This is the first time I've posted over here. I was always very into the due date clubs etc. Time to move forward from that :)

I recently went through a yoga teacher training and really enjoyed it. However, what I got out of it wasn't exactly what I expected. I am really thinking of putting together a class that talks about applying the 8 limbs of yoga to everyday life. (Asanas or postures is just one limb of yoga- yet usually the only yoga those of us in the US are familiar with).

My questions are: has anyone ever experienced this type of class? Because I would love to learn more about other classes offered like the one Im thinking of). Or is anyone applying the 8 limbs to their lives? How does that look for you? Lastly, does this even sound interesting to anyone?! lol

Hope to hear back from you all :)


post #2 of 6

I'm so glad to hear you've enjoyed the Due Date Clubs and are discovering new forums here that you liked! I started with one forum and then just kept exploring and find more great discussions throughout MDC!


I know about yoga and have taken classes that go beyond Asanas but haven't heard the term "8 limbs of yoga". What are they? How do you apply them to your life?

post #3 of 6

I'm guessing Wikipedia is OK to quote in such length?  


Patanjali's writing also became the basis for a system referred to as "Ashtanga Yoga" ("Eight-Limbed Yoga"). This eight-limbed concept derived from the 29th Sutra of the 2nd book, and is a core characteristic of practically every Raja yoga variation taught today. The Eight Limbs are:

  1. Yama (The five "abstentions"): Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (Truth, non-lying), Asteya (non-covetousness), Brahmacharya (non-sensuality, celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
  2. Niyama (The five "observances"): Shaucha(purity), Santosha(contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul), and Ishvara-Pranidhana (surrender to God).
  3. Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.
  4. Pranayama ("Suspending Breath"): Prāna, breath, "āyāma", to restrain or stop. Also interpreted as control of the life force.
  5. Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
  6. Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
  7. Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
  8. Samadhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.

One teacher at my "local" yoga studio in Seattle taught pranayama.  (I put the quotes there because you can't spit without hitting the side of a yoga studio there).  There was an Ashtanga studio in the other direction which I never tried, I think because I didn't like the idea of an ordered routine.  Silly, now I think of it, how hard-headed I can be sometime!  I'm not really sure if they incorporate more of the 8-limbs, but I've heard the style is incredibly spiritual.


I'm glad you brought this subject up because I've been thinking of revisiting the study of the 8 limbs  and would appreciate any help finding good books or videos or links other can recommend.

post #4 of 6


post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yes, SweetSilver- thats a pretty good synopsis of the 8 limbs. Yoga as the western world knows it is just postures (asanas), however, thats just a tiny little slice of the pie. There is SO much more to yoga than a series of postures. Yoga was never really meant to be an exercise routine.. It was stretching for meditation more than anything.


I just think our world could benefit so much from learning the 8 limbs... to raise awareness.

A great book that I admittedly haven't yet finished, but is great at teaching more about different types of yoga, as well as the 8 limbed path is The Secret Power of Yoga. This book is specifically geared towards women too :)

You could also pick up one of the many translations of Patangalis Yoga Sutras. The above book is one of those- again, more geared towards women. However there are many translations of the sutras, which are what introduces the 8 limbs.


Its really really interesting stuff to me. Again, I would love to make it some sort of class for people, so all of this great info is tangible... maybe one day!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Sorry for my blank post from my other acct up there... I accidentally made an acct with FB on here, when I already had one..lol

Anyway, it automatically logged me in as that when I went to reply and I didnt want that! Don't know how to delete it though... oops!! :)

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