As a long, well studied, and mature movement practice, yoga’s rich culture and philosophy offers relevant, useful, and on-the-mark ways of viewing the practical aspects of physical practice with a depth and richness. 

Today, we’re going to give you an introduction to a key aspect of yoga philosophy: The 8 Limbs of Yoga. These 8 limbs come from the Yoga Sutra, written by the yogic philosopher Patanjali. 


The 8 limbs of yoga are:

  1. Yamas: nonviolence, speaking truthfully, exercising restraint, honesty, generosity.
  2. Niyamas: cleanliness, contentment, discipline, spiritual exploration, surrender.
  3. Asana: these are the physical shapes we make in yoga class.
  4. Pranayama: breath practice
  5. Pratyahara: directing senses inward, interoception
  6. Dharana: attention, mantra
  7. Dhyana: meditation
  8. Samadhi: state of bliss

This is the key to the building blocks of yoga. It is the WHY behind what we do on the yoga mat. And it’s just so important to have some exposure and a little basis of understanding if you want to grow in practice on – and off –  the mat. 

Like this video? Curious to learn more? This video is part of our Yoga Foundations Program. It’s 21 days of daily yoga, just like this, with classes just 15-45 minutes each day. Sign up and you’ll receive the videos, emailed to you daily, along with a workbook, more teaching, and information on how to start your yoga practice. To learn about the program, read more here

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