BEING A YOGINI ON & OFF THE MAT IN 8 SIMPLE STEPS

Most of us (if not all of us) picked up on yoga seeking the physical benefits, it’s only once we fall in love with yoga, it becomes our regular practice. And we may begin to wonder - why is that? I decided to share some principles of yoga with you today.

When I first started practicing yoga I would only be a 'yogini' while in safety of a studio, standing firmly on my mat. Once I left the studio I'd return to my usual manic lifestyle.

With time and practice, I naturally began to carry these yoga principles with me through my everyday activities. I cannot even begin to explain to you how magically fast things shifted for me. Not only have I became a better person, but I also became a happier person, a kinder one, a less anxious one. A friendly opened and giving person. Nowadays, I try to apply these principles to my everyday life as much as possible.

We know the act of giving is what truly makes us happy, we are hard-wired to be givers rather than receivers. When we give, our brain releases dopamine(one of our 4 natural happiness chemicals). Therefore, helping others directly triggers an activity in the brain, that turns on when people experience happiness. So being kind, giving and caring is YOUR way to happiness. 

 

8 LIMBS OF YOGA:

 

1. YAMAS | Social Principles:

~ self-restrains

~ what goes our comes around

 

~ non-violence, truth, non-stealing, continence, forgiveness, endurance, compassion, humility, healthy diet, and cleanliness 

* AHIMSA= non-harming / non-violence - kindness towards ourselves and others, loving thoughts, words, and actions

* SATYA= truthfulness - being truthful, be your truth and live your truth .* ASTEYA = non-stealing - not taking anything that was not offered to us freely

* BRAHMACHRYA= continence & consciousness - choosing moderation and practicing self-control

* APPIGRAH= non-collecting, greedlessness - practicing gratitude

 

2. NIYAMAS | Personal Principles

~ daily practice

~ austerity, contentment, belief, charity, worship, modesty, a discerning intellect, and sacrifice

 

* SHAUCH = purity - outer and inner cleanliness

* SANTOSH= contentment - acceptance

* TAPAH = practice equality - positive and vibrant energy

* SWADHYAYA= self-study - a practice of oneness

* SHWAR PRANDHANA= devotion to consciousness

 

3. ASANA | Postures

~ through asana one achieves steadiness of the mind

~ diseaselessness and lightness, purification and control of the body

~ free flow of prana (vital energy) - removing stiffness, blockages and accumulated toxins

~ in asanas you practice should be able to be still, feel stable and comfortable

 

Sthir - sukham - asana

stability-comfort-posture

 

4. PRANAYAMA | Breath Work

~ using breath to regulate energy

~ connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions

~ literal translation of pranayama, "life force extension"

~ rejuvenates the body but actually extends life itself

 

5. PRATYAHARA | Withdrawal of Senses

~ control over the senses

~ make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world inward

~ to direct our attention internally

~ an opportunity to step back and take a look at ourselves

 

6. DHARANA | Intense Focus

~ concentration

~ to free ourselves from the outside distractions

~ the practice of concentration teaches us how to slow down the thinking process by concentrating on a single mental object

 

7. DHYANA | Meditation

~ becoming fully focused

~ focus and concentration

~ state of being in the present moment

~ taking a control over the thoughts

 

8. SAMADHI | Complete Integration

~ bliss or enlightenment, a state of ecstasy

~ the final step of the journey of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (see below)

~ a state of realization

~ transcendence and connectivity with the divine

~ a mind-body integration = oneness

~ a pure state of ‘I – am – ness’

 

Who is Patanjali?

Patanjali is the author of Yoga Sutras, a core foundation of the traditional yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, the eight limbs are referred to as Ashtanga:

ashta= eight

anga = limb

- Vero

 

 

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