Ethics and Philosophy

the_eight_limbs

When I started to practice Yoga, I tought that asanas were everything it was all about. I had no idea which I was getting into (no regrets), and I tought that yoga was only a fancy way to relax my body and my mind.

By that time, I was too exhausted. I had a yoga DVD and used to practice very now and then, but I had no commitment. Then, one day someone that means a lot to me posted on his Facebook wall a 3-minute video from YogaGlo. It was a Katryn Budig’s class and she began the class with a guided savasana.

I had no money to subscribe to YogaGlo by that time, so I kept doing the 3-minutes introduction of the class over and over again. I was hooked and noticed that I could practice yoga via internet. Then, soon after I found Yoga Journal’s videos and never stopped practicing daily. This was about 1 and a half year ago.

I had no idea there was such a huge philosophical and ethical structure supporting Yoga. Actually, it’s a very simple, minimalistic structure, but the changes it creates in your life are huge and profound.

By that time, I couldn’t tell. I didn’t notice.

Today, even when I’m not in my mat I’m practicing yoga. In everything I eat, in everything I do, in every thought, and every emotion, in every word. It influences greatly my choices and helps me to define my plans. It’s blended in everything and now I can really say that I try to “embody” yoga and that’s mainly because I allowed myself to be changed by this structure, which is called “astanga”, or “the eight limbs”.

Astanga (The Eight Limbs)

1. Yama

Ahimsa (non-violence)

Satya (truthfullness)

Asteya (non-stealing)

Brahmacharya (use well your life force)

Aparigraha (non coveting)

2. Niyama

Saucha (cleanliness)

– Santosa (contentment)

– Tapas (austerity)

– Svadhyaya (self-study)

– Isvara pranidhana (devotion to God)

3. Asana

4. Pranayama

5. Pratyahara

6. Dharana

7. Dhyana

8. Samadhi

I’ll be talking about each one of those in detail in the next weeks! Please share your comments. How has The Eight Limbs influenced your life so far? Mine has pretty changed!

Namaste

PS: I don’t know who did the illustration above, but it’s gorgeus!

2 thoughts on “Ethics and Philosophy

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