Living yoga values on and off the mat: eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell

Yoga is much more than just a form of physical and mental exercise on the mat. In this article, we’ll share the eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell, how they can help you live an all-rounded yoga lifestyle on and off the mat, and how they relate to sustainability.

Eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell

Describing the eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell, they act as guidelines to help us live a more meaningful and mindful life to eventually lead us to the last of the eight limbs: Samadhi level. Following these both on and off the mat allow us to unite with our true selves, as well as helps a little bit to better understand of the world around us (which is always helpful).

1. Yamas – a set of universal practices and ethical standards to guide us in our decision making: nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-covetousness.

2. Niyamas – a guide for self-discipline and spirituality: cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, the study of ancient scriptures and ourselves.

3. Asana – the poses we practice on the mat constitute the third limb.

4. Pranayama – control of our breath and learning to recognise the connection between our breath and our mind.

5. Pratyahara – drawing our attention away from external stimuli, directing our attention internally instead.

6. Dharana – concentration and eliminating the distractions coming from within our mind.

7. Dhyana – meditation and contemplation, finding awareness without focus

8. Samadhi – described as a state of merging oneself with the point of focus.

How does yoga and sustainability go in pair?

In the eight limbs of yoga, Yama comes before Asana. Adhering to ethical standards, which include the protection of nature and sustainability, is at the very basis of yoga. Therefore, the answer to ‘how does yoga and sustainability go in pair?’ is: ‘they’re related at the very core’.

If we are to follow the teachings of yoga through our everyday life, sustainability is a logical part of it which should come before practising on the mat.

The eight limbs of yoga can help us gain a deeper understanding of how we can live yoga values on and off the mat. In this article, we’ve only described the eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell, so we highly recommend you read up more on the topic if you’re interested or talk with your teacher about them.

Psst… don’t forget that there’s a yogi library available on our website. If you’d like to rent a yogi book, drop us a note and we will arrange the shipping! 😊

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