Post #71: Introduction to the 8-limbed path of yoga!
Summer is here!! And that means longer days in which to cultivate good, wholesome practices!
Ashtanga Yoga means the 8-limbed path of yoga and this was written about in Patanjali’s yoga sutras thousands of years ago. Understanding these 8-limbs of yoga helps us to understand the basis of yoga and what we are trying to accomplish with the practice.
The first limb of yoga is called the Yamas. These are ways to properly conduct ourselves through daily life. One of these is ahimsa, or non-violence. When we say “violence” this can be the negative recordings in our heads that are constantly putting us or others down.
When I was a young girl, I always wished I was naturally beautiful. I remember getting to a point in life in which the recording in my head became pretty tough to take on this topic. I would be getting ready, putting my mascara on, and I would be constantly berating myself for having to wear make-up at all. It was an agonizing morning ritual and by the end of it I felt like crap about myself. I judged myself harshly and then felt judged by the world I was walking into. What a way to start the day!
I remember practicing yoga and the practice allowing me to slow down and notice the recording in my head. I began to be able to laugh at it. I remember making the decision at some point to stop the negative recording. I made the decision to accept the fact that I enjoyed wearing make-up. It made me feel good. I decided to enjoy my morning ritual of putting on make-up and not feel bad for it ever again.
This was a huge step for me. I no longer started my day in negative judgment about myself. Ahimsa, non-violence, is a core part of the yoga practice. When we really start noticing the ways in which we are unkind to ourselves or others, even if it is only within our minds, it becomes easier to stop this practice and begin cultivating healthier alternatives.
Today I want you to listen to this introduction to the 8-limbed path of yoga to give you an overview of the path of yoga. Then practice the short and sweet 3 1/2 minute practice to cultivate ahimsa. It’s a great way to start any day!
Remember, you are a force for good in the world. The more consistent you get with these practices the more your life will become guided, sacred, and filled with meaning. You cannot help but then extend deep peace, joy, and contentment to your loved ones, friends, and everyone you meet. The world could use more of this, so let’s get you in the best space to make it happen.
Click the video below and get started with this amazing practice.