The Eight Limbs of Yoga

One of the main texts within the yoga tradition is The Yoga Sutras, compiled by Patanjali around 2000 years ago. In the Sutras, Patanjali defines yoga as a tree-like philosophical system with 8 branches which grow together to form a holistic approach to peaceful, healthy living.

1. Yamas

Ways to treat ourselves and others so we can live in generosity and abundance 

2. Niyamas 

Ways to self-nourish so we can strive towards self-improvement and personal growth

3. Asana

Physical postures to refine inner perception and move the body and mind towards health and balance

4. Pranayama

Control of the prana (life force energy) in the body, including breathing practices

5. Pratyahara

Withdrawal of the senses to focus attention inwards towards silence rather than outwards towards external objects

6. Dharana

Unbroken concentration, to focus attention on a single action, object or thought

7. Dhyana

Sustained meditation under all conditions, a movement towards deep inner awareness

8. Samadhi

Return to original silence, an experience of wholeness and true connection