Essential Yoga Practices

For the last several years I have been encouraging students learn and engage some essential yoga practices. These have been around much longer than the last several years. They are the 8 limbs of yoga, ashtanga, that Patanjali codified in the Yoga Sutras.

I have also promised over the past several weeks that I would blog the definitions for a few of these. These definitions are in no way intended to be the end of a conversation, but rather the beginning. It is my intention that students and others will not simply take what I say as gospel, but will dig deeper and come to their own conclusions about the best way to define and practice each of these.

Finally I would like to note that while some of these practices can be construed simply as philosophical concepts or as end points to be acheived, they are intended as processes of exploration and are best engaged actively.

Asana: posture; mindful physical action;
Pranayama: intentional breathing;
Pratyahara: turning the outer senses inward; inner reflection; deepened awareness;
Dharana: concentration; mental focus;
Dhyana: meditation; presence; openess to what is;

More to come next week.


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