Yoga is so much more than just contorting yourself into specific postures. Did you know there are actually 8 limbs of yoga and “asana,” the poses that most people participate in studios or home videos, is just one of them? Here are all 8:
- Asana – body postures, intended for helping your body prepare for long seated meditations and more of the below
- Pranayama – breath work/control, prana is know as life force, used to stead the mind and change consciousness
- Yama – moral discipline, ethical standards for how we act towards others
- Niyama – moral observance, how you treat yourself
- Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses, the practice of tuning out the distractions of the outside world
- Dharana – concentration, or complete focus on one thing
- Dhyana – meditation, “awareness without a singular focus. Your mind becomes still …you simply are.”
- Samadhi – bliss, the highest state where you feel connected to all things, your highest self & the divine
Yoga does not discriminate, it does not judge. The word yoga itself is translated to union or connection.
To me, yoga is about being & feeling connected:
- Connected to my body & it’s needs, being fulling present & taking care of it, pushing it to its edge & letting it heal at the same time.
- Connected to my breath, the life I have inside of me, and awareness of both it’s conscious & unconscious usefulness.
- Connected to a community of like minded people who want to be more aware & connect themselves
- Connected to all that I have & am in the present moment
- Connected to a higher knowing & intelligence that’s both inside & outside of myself.
- Connected in mind, body & soul.
Yoga is a great balancer. If you have strength, it gives you flexibility; if you have flexibility, it gives you strength. Union. It’s a discipline of both mind and body.
Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is built on the promotion of being kind and compassionate towards yourself and others. It is not a religion and does not judge religions. It is accepting of all religion.
Yoga is not just for the healthy and flexible. You can even do different types, styles and limbs of yoga if you have an injury. Yoga is about being fully present and aware of who you are in the moment. It doesn’t take fancy cloths and an expensive mat. The practice encourages genuine authenticity and self-acceptance.
And ultimately that’s why yoga is in my life, to promote connection, growth, and acceptance.
What does yoga mean to you? If you practice it, why? I’d love to read your comments below!
If you love taking yoga from me or just the body and mental benefits yoga has to offer, there’s a couple of ways you can join me in some yoga this month:
If you’re in Portland…
- SUP Yoga – last class of the season this Saturday. The best part is the peaceful ending pose and being gently rocked by mother nature.
- Park Yoga – Thursday evenings in Sept at 6pm in Clackamette Park, register in advance for a discount.
If you’re not in Portland…
- Stretch Out Your Stress – the monthly FREE live yoga class you can do from your home. Tune in and together we focus on gentle stretching & relaxation for both mind and body.
- 5 Days of Yoga – Yoga any time. The perfect video yoga series with a focus on releasing the main stress holder areas of the body. Use this series (five 45 minute videos) to get back into yoga, build your daily practice or as a way to release tension AT ANY TIME YOU’D LIKE. Yup, watch them whenever is convenient for you.