Mastering the 8 Limbs of Yoga: A Brief overview
Yoga is arising spontaneously everywhere on our planet. We are in midst of a revival, a reawakening of our true nature, joyfully embodied, rooted in a sustainable lifestyle on Mother Earth, seeking the good of all beings, longing for freedom and peace.
This Yogic reawakening has no one leader, headquarters, dogma, hierarchy or organization. There is no process of conversion, nothing to join, everyone is eligible, no one is debarred and no one has funded this Universal unfolding.
Yoga simply means: any action that connects us to the Source of All. Yoga teaches us how to connect or link with the root of everything through a conscious union to its Source --just like a tree has branches, limbs and roots that reach in all directions for sunlight, rain and nutrients, so does yoga.
Yoga is composed of eight skills —called limbs— and only requires three actions: correct and diligent practice, awareness of one’s true self and the cooperation with the Laws of Nature.
The first limb is Asana – the art of sitting comfortably in one’s body without blockages or pain for extended periods of time. Next is Pranayama or breathing techniques that fill the body with abundant life force and remove toxins. The next two limbs Yam and Niyam consist of ten actions to be either performed or avoided in order to live a balanced life. The fifth is Pratyahara, or pulling of one’s senses within and away from their external objects, just like a turtle withdraws its limbs. With the sixth limb, the mind must be brought to a relaxed one-pointed focus called Dharana. This enables true meditation or Dhyan which progresses through a series of mantras and visualizations, each of which leads to profound states of awareness. This finally results in the eighth limb or Samadhi, which means becoming the same as or grasping the essence of any reality.
Mastering these eight limbs eventually leads us toward Siddhi or perfection of our true self through a direct link or connection to the Supreme Being, Ultimate Reality and Endless Source of all revealing endless joy, pure consciousness and eternal existence.
Yoga builds a healthy body and clear mind, reveals the divine essence in all that lives, restores the balance and integrity that is our truest self, reconnects us to all that is sacred, fills us with an unlimited supply of ecstatic awareness and inspires us to live in the world with a generous spirit, always mindful of the good of all. Yoga is the art of all work, perfects thinking, makes our emotions tender and sublime, and removes the fear of Death, loss or transformation. Linked to one another in a web of loving cooperation, at one with all life and yet still a unique individual. This renaissance of the ancient Yoga of India, in all its diverse forms is the symptom of a rebirth of our world now taking place everywhere. The journey of the soul awaits…