Written by Tobi Ewing June 5, 2018 Photography by Cayo Ferreira
3 weeks ago I had my 1st test of yoga teacher training on the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Some of you reading this may be saying "8 limbs of yoga??" Don't worry many of us in my program said the same thing. Before starting YTT, I had never heard of the 8 Limbs, I didn't really know there were several parts of a yogi lifestyle. The physical practice/poses, Asana, is only ONE of the 8 Limbs. The amazing thing I learned about yoga is there are 7 other ways you can practice, that have nothing to do with perfecting that triangle pose, although that's a lot of fun too.
Despite there being a test on the other end, I really enjoyed studying and learning about the 8 Limbs. They gave me a new perspective on boundaries, time management, my relationship with God, my physical practice and generally how I want to operate and think.
On the day of my test, I shared on my personal Instagram and many of you seemed interested in learning more. As I was studying, I made several cheat sheets and flash cards and I've compiled them here into one list to share!
As you study the 8 Limbs of Yoga, I encourage you to reflect on:
1) What other parts of my life experience does this apply to?
2) How can I implement this value today?
3) Which of these values challenges me the most?
1 yamas - universal life values
ahimsa - non violence
satya - truthfulness
asteya - non stealing through action, speech or thoughts
brahmacharya - celibacy or restraint and awareness of the Divine
aparigraha - non possessiveness
2 niyamas - personal observations
sauca - purity
santosha - contentment
tapas - austerity, heat/energy of your practice
svadhyaya - self study, study of self
ishvara pranidhana - awareness of ultimate reality, ishvara meaning supreme and pranidhana meaning surrender
3 asana - comfortable steady posture
4 pranayama - practice of controlling breath
5 pratyahara - focus on inner silence
6 dharana - concentration, single focus
7 dhyana - meditation
8 samadhi - state of total absorption