1. YAMAS - The first limb seen as the moral, ethical, and spiritual guidelines followed to reach balance, health, and well-being, leading to spiritual development. The Yamas consist of non-violence (Ahimsa), truthfulness (Satya), non-stealing (Asteya), sense control (Brahmacharya), and non-coveting (Aparigraha)
2. NIYAMAS - The second limb translated loosely as “laws,” which deal with our internal relationship with ourselves. The niyamas are essential to living a genuine yogic lifestyle and reaching one’s full spiritual potential. The first niyama is Saucha (purity, cleanliness of mind, speech and body), Santosha, (contentment, acceptance, optimism), Tapas (persistence, perseverance, austerity), Svadhyaya (self-study, self-reflection), and Isvara Pranidhana (contemplation of the Divine).
3. ASANA - The third limb is Asana or physical practice. Asana is often mistaken for yoga itself, but in reality, it is just a piece of the larger puzzle. Physical practice, such as attending a yoga class or having an at-home practice, is integral to the journey as it helps steady the mind, creating peace and balance. It’s essential first to recognise that the body and mind are innately connected to make Asana a part of your lifestyle.
4. PRANAYAMA - Pranayama, or life force, is the fourth limb. Pranayama is also known as the breath, as well as the ways through which we control and direct the energy of the breath. Pranayama is vital to living a yogic lifestyle because it fosters peacefulness, relaxation, and aids in meditation.
5. PRATYAHARA - Pratyahara is the fifth limb and refers to disconnection from the senses. Practicing Pratyahara means becoming less affected by external forces which are out of our control. Being able to react, both internally and externally, calmly and peacefully despite the situation.
6. DHARANA - Dharana is the sixth limb and can be understood as “concentration.” Sometimes misunderstood as meditation, Dharana or concentration is the steadying of the mind on one specific point, such as the breath.
7. DHYANA - The seventh limb is Dhyana, which is understood as meditation. Dhyana involves a state of quietness of the mind, with little or no mental interruptions from the outside world.
8. SAMADHI - Samadhi, or transcendence, is the eighth limb of yoga. At this point, pure bliss is achieved and a feeling of Oneness with all living beings is present. It is ultimate peace and joy. Enlightenment. Samadhi is achieved as a natural byproduct of following and practicing the other seven limbs of the eight-fold path.