|Traditional Yoga Practice: Eight Limbs [Infographic | Image]|
A regular yoga practice builds strong, lean muscles and bones, improves flexibility and coordination, heals aches and pains, relieves stress, aids in weight loss, and protects against chronic disease.
But there is more to yoga than just reaping the health benefits by practicing the postures.
In his book, The Deeper Dimension of Yoga: Theory and Practice, Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D, writes:
"Yoga is much more than a system of physical exercises - it is a profound path of self-transformation that encompasses a range of teachings, practices, and sacred text that can help us cultivate wisdom, balance, and inner freedom, as well as physical heatlh."
Dr. Feuerstein notes that the real power of traditional yoga lies in the domain of mind training and self-transformation.
Indeed, traditional yoga (as opposed to "fitness" yoga which is popular in the West and considered a reductionist form of traditional practice) is a spiritual practice that entails the "Eight Limbs of Yoga" (aka Ashtanga Yoga). These are beautifully and simply illustrated and briefly described in this infographic/image:
1. Yama (self-restraint: spiritual conduct and truthfulness, non-greed, non-theft, and non-injury)
2. Niyama (right personal conduct, dedication and self-study, austerity, purity and contentment)
3. Asana (control of the body through postures and movement)
4. Pranayama (control of the breath and life force by mastering breathing techniques)
5. Pratyahara (control of the senses)
6. Dharana (steadying the mind and emotions)
7. Dhyana (connecting with one's spiritual self through meditation and contemplation)
8. Samahdi (bliss and liberation)
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Infographic/Image Source: Unknown - please contact us for proper credit ~ thank you!