The 8 Limbs of Yoga
Updated: Feb 12
The practice of Yoga has been around for thousands of years. A modern translation of the word Yoga is Union, or Unity. However, it literally means to yoke. A yoke is a harness used to control an animal. What we are harnessing is our attention (which tends to be scattered) into a single point of concentration.
The ancients practiced various forms of tantric rituals and movements in order to become closer to God. Or Peace. Or Magic. They were seeking the Oneness that comes after Bliss.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the most referenced book in Classical Yoga. Patanjali collated, and perhaps wrote his own interpretations of yoga as a sort of "how-to" guide for reaching higher states of awareness. It is through his perspective that the path to Enlightenment can be marked by these 8 steps.
The first 5 steps are practices that balance our body and energies and are known as Hatha Yoga
(Ha=sun + Tha=moon). In Hatha yoga, one is attuned to all the earthly aspects of the body.
The final 3 steps are meditative practices that are known as Raja Yoga.