The very first time that I heard of the existence of the eight limbs of Yoga was in the first week of our YTT! When I had read through all the texts it was hard to grasp and take it all in, confusing and sometimes the word ‘gibberish’ came to my mind 🙂 How on earth could I remember all this, let alone practice it in my daily life.
But after reading it again (and again and again 🙂 and reading explanations from others in articles on the Internet I now understand that Yoga is not complete without all these eight limbs. Doing Asanas without the seven other limbs are just a physical work-out, and for that you might as well go to a gym or a boot camp training, true or not?!
Pranayama is the second limb (after Asanas) I am consciously trying to integrate into my ‘new lifestyle’, meaning I have started an evening and morning ritual. And also trying to be alert and mindful of good breathing techniques during my Yoga practice but I must admit that it is not easy and takes concentration, conscious effort and practice to do it right and feel the benefits.
I found this short explanation and it sums it all up in a succinct and understandable way for me:
“The eight means of Yoga are self-restraint, faithful observance, right posture, intentional breathing, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation and awareness”.
200hr YTT January 2017