Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The 8 Limbs of Yoga Explained (Focuses on behaviour).
- Yama (restraints)
- Niyama (observances)
- Asana (posture)
- Pranayama (breath manipulation)
- Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
- Dharana (concentration)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Samadhi (pure contemplation)
“Who was Patanjali? What are the yoga Sutras about?
There are rivers of literature and endless, enriching debates about these questions. There is also one fundamental aspect we can focus on understanding that will get us closer to our innate nature: bliss.” (Yogaagenda 2017, p. 196)
Ahimsa is the first of Patanjali’s Yamas
The principle of ahimsa is central to the philosophy Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, being a key precept in their ethical codes; however, the exact scope and extent of nonviolence within these philosophy has been debated for thousands of years. Philosophically, the concept of ahimsa suggests that violence towards others (or animals) entails negative karmic consequences to one’s own being.
How can we use this term in our daily life and yoga practice?
“Respect and non-violence towards oneself. Self-respect begins with self-knowledge.
Some of the reflections regarding this non-violence could be:
- How to respond rather than react. And how I carry shame after the show?
- Do I listen to myself and use breathing techniques and meditation to calm down?
- Do I forgive myself for the reactions and accept that I also do mistakes?
- Do I dedicate time for my own practice and positive affirmations?
- Do I accept myself as I am or I criticize myself ?
In the practice of Hatha yoga, we constantly encounter small challenges.
- How is my inner dialogue when I lose my balance in an asana?
- How do I talk internally to myself?
- How do I treat myself in the yoga mat & outside?
- Do I respect the limits of my body and my breathing?”
When we hear the word of Ahimsa, most of us think of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King.
But as a christian I explored how it was for Jesus.
38 You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.