Yoga philosophy – applying 8 limbs of yoga in life

The 8 limbs of yoga are known as the guiding philosophy of Ashtanga yoga practices. By following the 8 limbs, it guides yoga practitioners to Samadhi, which is the spiritual enlightenment and meditative consciousness.

After getting to know how the 8 limbs of yoga is composed of, I start to consciously feel the presence of the philosophy from many moments, and gotten a better understanding of how I can apply these learnings to manage my life.

Ahimsa – non-violence

When I heard this word initially, the definition of “violence” in my mind is only for very extreme abuses. However, the real meaning of ahimsa is overall “non-harming” to all living things, physically or mentally. The moment we take care of an animal, encourage another person with heartwarming words, or take good care of our own health by adapting a healthier lifestyle, are all considered practice of ahimsa. For a true yogi, the firm adoption of ahimsa will make all the hostilities, aggressions and enmity disappear.

Aparigraha – non-possessiveness

Many of us may have this experience when decluttering our house – despite we already have something that fit us better, like a piece of nice dress or a more comfortable yoga mat, a lot of old stuff had been sitting in our cabinets quietly for years. Letting go them may not be easy sometimes, but we should recognize that possessing things takes a lot of spaces, including spaces in our mind. By adopting Aparigraha, we are helping ourselves to clear the mind from the past and live more fully in the present.  

Another example – it is not uncommon for people, or say human beings, to have some proud and egos. When we are particularly confident for something that we excel in, it could be frustrating when we see other people are able to perform even better. However when we really understand Aparigraha deeply, we should clear our mind by accepting the truth that our strengths is not something that “only belong to myself”, but recognize that others should have equal opportunities to achieve it with their talents and efforts.