"I am not flexible or coordinated enough for yoga. " It is amazing how many times people say this to me. I gave a talk at the Rotary Club last week and showed BKS Iyengar in an extreme physical pose as my starting point. Looking at the 8 limbs of yoga we discussed what yoga in its expanded sense means, also modern vs classical yoga to encourage people to think. We also did some chair yoga and pranayama. It was really fun.
Here are the 8 limbs of yoga that create a rich practical, physical and philosophical framework for a healthy life.
The limbs are intended to be taught in sequence, but most people begin with physical exercise, breathwork and meditation. People often find themselves embodying the other limbs naturally.
Some food for thought.
1. YAMA morality - restraints - things not to do
2. NIYAMA discipline - observances - that which you are encouraged to do
1&2 Likened to primary education, ways to treat yourself, others and the world we live in.
3. ASANA physical exercise seat posture
Keeping the vehicle of ourselves in good order by self-care.
4.PRANAYAMA breath control
5. PRATYAHARA detachment
4&5Likened to secondary education
6 DHARANA concentration
7. DHYANA meditation
8. SAMADHI self-realisation