In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eight limbs of yoga are named Astanga, Asto is Sanskrit for eight, and Anga menas limbs.
This is pronounced ‘Ashtanga’ and should not to be confused with the yoga style after the same name developed by Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India).
The Asana’s (postures), represent only a small part of a much greater whole…
The Eight Limbs represent an integrative philosophy that covers both personal and social observances for the aspiring Yogi, it is by no means a requirement, however, the benefits of the Asana practice can certainly have results beyond the mere physical aspects.
The Eight Limbs are:
- Yama’s (Universal/Social moral guides)
- Ahimsa – nonharming
- Satya – truthfullness
- Asteya – nonstealing
- Brahmacharya – virtuousness
- Aparigraha – nongreed
- Niyama’s (Personal moral guides)
- Saucha – purity
- Santosha – contentment
- Tapas – perseverance, austerity
- Svadyaya – self study
- Isvara pranidhana – devotion
- Asana’s (Postures)
- Pranayama (Breathing techniques)
- Pratyahara (Sense withdrawal)
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
- Samadhi (A blissful meditative state)