Did you know that the physical part of yoga "Asana" is just ONE limb of yoga? It's an interesting topic, because as yoga has travelled to the West it's evolved so much, and almost has a "new name" for in some cases. We're not denying there isn't space for things to evolve, but how many of us really know the true purpose of why yoga was created and where it actually fits into the big picture?
So many people have so many different expectations and ideas of what yoga actually is. That's because marketing is pretty confusing in the modern day world. Is it just for flexibility, a fitness class, meditation?
Whilst this page isn't about the evolution of yoga, and styles on offer in the modern world, we wanted to bring the T to the Table and take you back to where it was all actually born over 5000 years ago in India, and how yoga is a journey to meditation and eliminating suffering in your internal world.
ASHTA = EIGHT
ANGA = LIMBS
You can view the below steps as certain 'yogic values' or 'guidance' but not a 'rule book'. Yoga is not a religion, instead a path that can help leave you free of extra suffer in mind and body, and ultimately find long space of undisturbed thought and ability to control you internal experience in a chaotic outside world.
1) Yama: Deeper Values in which help resolve deeper emotional issues of the mind
a) Ahimsa: Non-hurting
b) Satya: Truthfulness
c) Asteya: Non-stealing
d) Brahmacarya: Established in truth
e) Aparigraha: Non-receiving of gifts
2) Niyama: Personal observations
a) Saucha: Cleanliness / hygeine
b) Santosha: Cheerfulness
c) Tapas: Stepping outside of your comfort zone to understand yourself better
d) Svadhyaya: Self Study
e) Ishvara Pranidhaana: Recognising Ishvara
3) Asana: Physical yoga postures. In the yoga sutras asana are described as relaxing the body and activating various limbs and organs. The purpose of this is to find control and ease in the body to find a deeper space in meditation without experiencing physical discomforts.
4) Pranayama: Acknowledging the breath as life force energy. When we learn to breathe consciously and find stillness in the mind we can better prepare for meditation.
5) Pratyahaara: Withdrawl of senses. A lot fo our attention as humans it's outwards as we taking information from the outside in. This is all about diverting the gaze to find wisdom from inside the body.
6) Dhaarana: Concentration. The ability to focus without distraction.
7) Dhyana: Uninterrupted meditation, finding moments of long pause without interference or distraction.
8) Samadhi: When the concentration exists and you are totally at one.