Showing posts from July, 2020

The 5th Limb of Yoga: Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)

The 5th Limb of Yoga: Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)

In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means "eight limbs".  These eight steps act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful life.  They are guidelines on moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline.  They direct attention to health and spirituality.
The first 4 limbs of yoga help to prepare us to turn off our senses and quiet the mind for deep reflection.  
1. Yama (Ethical Standards): Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non Stealing, Continence, and Non covetousness
2.  Niyama (Self discipline): Cleanliness, Contentment, Energy/Enthusiasm, Self-Study, Surrender to the Spiritual
3.  Asana (Postures)
4.  Pranyama(Breath Awareness/Control)
5.  Pratyahara the fifth limb of yoga means sense withdrawal.  During this stage we draw our senses inward and away from the external world and outward stimuli.   We direct our attention internally cultivating detachment from our senses.  The practice of p…

The 4th Limb of Yoga: Pranayama (Breath Awareness)

The 4th Limb of Yoga: Pranayama (Breath Awareness/Control)  

Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight-limbed yoga system, as presented by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.  It means to extend, to stretch and at times, to restrain life force (prana) through the breath.  The eight-limbed path of yoga was delineated in the Indian sage Patanjali approximately 2000 years ago in the Yoga Sutras.

Prana is life force energy of all living things.  It can be influenced by the air we breathe, the food we eat, the thoughts we think, the actions we perform and the kind of life we lead.  Ultimately, the yoga system is designed to increase our prana through regulation of the body's systems, cleansing practices, meditation, and the cultivation of mindfulness in all that we do.

Dedication to the practice of of pranayama supports many layers of our being.  It supports the physiological structure of the respiratory system, keeping it strong and toned as we age.  Breathing practices have a direct affect…

Put out the fire!!! Tips to reduce pitta/fire/heat

Put out the fire!!!  I wanted to share with you some tips to reduce pitta/fire/heat during this summer season.

In Ayurveda, the Science of Living, dated back 5000 years or so ago in India, there are 3 Doshas based off of the 5 elements.  Doshas are constitutions and they include; fire (pitta), air (vatta), and earth (kapha). 

This can relate to the foods/drinks we put in our bodies, the energies we surround ourselves with like; TV, music, people, environment, the quarterly seasons, and aging to name a few.

We are all tri-doshic meaning we contain all 3 elements to some degree, but most of use have a more dominant one or multiple dominant ones.

We are in the season of fire (pitta) summer.  Mars is also in Aries for many months, which equates to more fire, so it's important to tame the beast to reduce anger, resentment, war, and over reacting.

Tips to reduce pitta (fire):

1Include foods that taste: bitter, sweet, and astringent
CucumbersWatermelonCilantroGreensRaw vegetables may be…

The 3rd Limb of the 8 Limbs of Yoga: Asana (Postures)


The 5 Niyamas: Yoga rules for living

The 5 Niyamas: Yoga rules for living

I wanted to share with you the 2nd Limb of the 8 Limbs of Yoga; The 5 Niyamas are the yoga rules for living and how we treat ourselves.  In the Yoga Sutra, a collection of texts written between the second and fifth century, philosophers outline an 8 limbed path of purification of mind and body.  The 2nd limb on the eight limbed path are Niyamas. 

Yoga is rooted in deep wisdom, philosophy, and history.  It's important to remember why we practice it.  If you aren't studying, practicing, and/or teaching the philosophy of yoga then you are merely exercising or sitting in meditation, which is still beneficial.

The practice of yoga extends way outside of any yoga class or beyond a yoga mat.  The more you live your yoga practice and weave it into your everyday life the more authentically you are practicing yoga.  Yoga is a way of life similar to that of Buddhism or Taoism.

Last week I wrote about the; the 5 Yamas the yoga rules for living and how…