Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga

patanjali_10“The philosophy and practice of Yoga not only deals with developing the body but also covers all the aspects of a person’s life as stated in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. It is concerned about the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of an individual as well as his environment and relationship with other creatures. Real and serious practice of these eight principles leads to deeper self-knowledge, love, trust and respect towards other people and creatures, cleaner environment, healthy diet, and union with the Divine.”

Yogi’s aspire to live by the eight limbed path of Ashtanga Yoga. In his classic work, the Yoga Sutra’s, Patanjali sets the goal of yoga as nothing short of total freedom from suffering. Fulfilling his worthy intention, Patanjali elaborates on the eight limbs of yoga, laying out the path of ashtanga yoga. Each of these component parts of yoga helps to shift your internal reference point from constricted to expanded consciousness. It is believed that if you successfully practice one limb, or even one aspect of one limb, you will attain the state of yoga. Moving from local to non-local awareness, your internal reference point spontaneously transforms from ego to spirit, opening up to the bigger picture when facing any challenge. In the “Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali”, Swami Satchidananda says “By the practice of the eight limbs of Yoga, the impurities dwindle away, and there dawns the light of wisdom.”

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