I’m excited! I will be teaching a new class starting the Month of June and I am looking forward to giving the gift of yoga to a new group of people! I was recently asked if I teach “asana” or “yoga”. That question sparked an interesting debate in my mind about the difference between the two. Asana is the actual posture in yoga practice. It is putting the body into a particular position for certain benefits, such as Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) as shown here.
The difference between teaching asana and yoga is that yoga has eight limbs. Each limb corresponds with a way of living a life that brings a person closer to living yoga. The purpose of yoga is not only for physical health, but also a slowing down of the mental chatter, the monkey mind, that is ubiquitous throughout our daily lives. We are constantly moving, going, doing in this modern day and that “stuff” is a major contributor to our lack of self-awareness and mental well-being. A daily practice of yoga – and I don’t mean just asana, but the other forms of yoga as well, can aide us on our journey to live a more yogic lifestyle.
Here are the eight limbs, with a brief description of what each of the limbs means:
Yamas: our behavior toward ourselves
Niyamas: our behavior toward others
Asana: postures practiced
Pranayama: breath control
Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses, turning inward
Dharana: stilling the mind with focus
Dhyana: meditation without a singular focus
Samadhi: transcendence, enlightenment
To you and your yoga journey today!
- Is Yoga the Answer? Benefits and Misconceptions about yoga (yogawithmascha.wordpress.com)
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga for Health and Wellness (cynthiapurcell.wordpress.com)
- Brahmavihara (yogagirlsherri.wordpress.com)
- Yoga Asana (bodypoised.com)
- Yoga (sourcereflections.wordpress.com)