Outer Observances for inner work


I keep asking myself lately, ‘Why does Yoga has such staying power’? It is in fact a 5,000 year old tradition. How is that even possible?

I think it comes down to Yoga being an 8 limbed path and only one of those being physical asana.

The 8 Limbs of Yoga:

  1. Niyama – Observances – reverence for your home

    • Purity: Sauce
    • Contentment: Santosa
    • Austerity: Tapas heat
    • Study of the sacred text and one’s self: Svadhyaya
  2. Yama – Restraints – clean your home

    • Non-violence: Ahimsa
    • Truth and Honesty: Satya
    • Non-Stealing: Asteya
    • Non-lust: Brahmacharya
    • Non-possessiveness: Aparigraha
    • Live with and awareness of the Divine: Isvara pranidhana
  3. Asana – the physical postures we practice in a typical Yoga “class” (i.e. downward facing dog, cat, cow, tree, you get the idea)

  4. Pranayama – breathing techniques

  5. Pratyahara

  6. Dharana – Consciousness Arising – like pouring water

  7. Dhyana – Consciousness Arising – like pouring honey

  8. Samadhi – Oneness – Home is everywhere, everything, everyone

After 21 years of Yoga practice, I know I have merely scraped the surface of this spiritual practice. I hope you will find more to Yoga than the downward dog, however if this is the asana that brings you into Samadhi, who am I to judge? Here’s to finding depth your practice and the ancient teachings as they were meant to be passed on in story telling tradition. Five thousand years of history, that is quite impressive. I believe my mom’s thigh master of the 1980’s ended up at a garage sale circa 1990, food for thought. Peace, love, namaste peaceful warriors.

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