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The Eighth Limb: Samadhi
In this yoga philosophy class, we explore the concept of Samadhi. Samadhi is the eighth and final limb of Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga, and it means enlightenment. This can be quite a challenging concept for us to grasp, but it is often thought of as freedom from the limited sense of self.
The Seventh Limb: Dhyana
The seventh limb of yoga is Dhyana, or meditation. The eight limbs of yoga represent the path of meditation, which is considered to be the greatest tool in our yoga practice to help us experience Samadhi by understanding and mastering the mind to experience equanimity and balance.
The Sixth Limb: Dharana
The Fifth Limb: Pratyahara
The fifth limb of yoga is Pratyahara which means withdrawal of the senses or turning inwards. This refers to the first step of meditation after laying the groundwork with the practices in the previous limbs. Withdraw from external stimulus by turning off your phone or retreating to a quiet room for a time and take your attention inwards.
The Fourth Limb: Pranayama
The fourth limb of Patanjali's path is Pranayama which means life force energy. It is thought that the more of this life force energy we can cultivate, the more healthy, awake, alive and aware we will be, and the greater our longevity. Learn about some of the different types of breath work used to practice pranayama.
The Third Limb: Asana
The First Niyama: Saucha
The Fifth Yama: Aparigraha
The fifth and final Yama is Aparigraha, which means 'freedom from greed'. This is one of the key tenants of Buddhism; that we are suffering because we are full of desire. Our ego is always needing or craving something, but our true self is already whole. More things does not necessarily fulfil that hole inside of us!
The Fourth Yama: Brahmacharya
The fourth Yama is Brahmacharya, which means celebacy. Traditionally in India, young men would choose between being a wandering yogi or a householder, but today it is acceptable to practice a spiritual life and yoga, and be a householder. But how is this Yama relevent to our lives today in the West when celebacy is not a common way to live?
The Fourth Niyama: Svadyaya
The Third Yama: Asteya
The third Yama is Asteya, which is non-stealing. This means we should not be taking for oneself other people's time, objects and ideas. Vidya also explores the idea of not coveting what others have and being dissatisfied with what you do have, and how we can practice the opposite of that.
The second Yama: Satya
The First Yama: Ahimsa
Introduction to Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga
In this philosophy talk series, Vidya will explore Patanjali's eight limbs of yoga. The goal of this eight-step path is to reach enlightenment. Watch this introductory video first to get an overview of the eight limbs, including the history, context and meaning, and how they can relate to our life today.
Yoga For Happiness (4): Kindness
In this gentle vinyasa yoga class, the focus is on ahimsa (non violence). In the body, we can work with soft negotiation rather than force or brutality. In the mind, we can be aware of the tone with which we speak to ourselves. Pay attention to what you ask of your body in today's practice; notice when you are forcing it to do something it doesn't want to do / ignoring or overriding body wisdom. Pay attention to the internal dialogue and notice the tone of internal dialogue. Make a note of any recurring thoughts. Finally, write a mantra, something supportive and loving, that you can repeat to yourself (e.g. you are perfect as you are).