The 8 limbs of Yoga: 1st Yama: Ahminsa - Non Violence

If you have read some of my other blog posts on the 8 limbs of Yoga, you will be familiar with the yamas and niyamas, you will understand that these give the aspiring yogi a moral code, a set of principles by which to live.

The Yamas  can be loosely translated as the restraints.  In Christianity the "Thou Shalt Nots", in Buddhism the noble truths, in Hinduism  the Niyamas can be shared as the observances. 

The 1st Yama:  Ahimsa - is translated as Non-Violence

One of the great leaders of modern times - Mahatma Gandhi , helped his country of India gain independence from British colonial rule and as a practicing hindu, he believed in non-violence. It was part of the moral code and for many practicing hindus part of the fabric of Indian life.  Gandhi  took ahimsa or non-violence as his north star, his guiding principle, the reference point for any decision or decree he ever made.

  Gandhi did not fight with the British to achieve his aims.  He simply carried about his business …

The 8 limbs of Yoga: 5th Yama: Aparigraha - absence of envy

The eight limbs of yoga are the pathway to enlightenment as set out by the ancient yogis of millennia ago. 

The yamas and niyamas are the founding principles or the "code of ethics" for yoga

 Aparigraha is one of the yamas or restraints.  It is translated as the absence of envy or jealousy

Jealousy is an insidious feeling.  Its a confusing one too.  The assumption we make when we are jealous is that someone is better than us.  Envy creates equal confusion.  The assumption we make when we are envious is that someone has something more than us.

For most of us jealousy and envy stem from childhood.

Travel back to those feelings you had when you didn't  get the attention that your siblings got, when you didn't get the object, toy, gift, time that another member of your family received. 

You became anxious and jealous.  Envious.

Jealousy most often rears its head in relationships.  It's a threat that your partner, loved one will turn their attention elsewhere.  And l…

Lessons on the truth - A Yogic Guide

The Eight Limbs of Yoga are like a map of yoga as described by Patanjali an ancient hindu scholar 1000's of years ago.  The first two limbs of yoga are called the yamas and niyamas.  Often translated as the retraints and observances.

They can be seen as the rules for life.

The yogic moral code.

An ethical guide for practicing yogis.

 The most famous yama to come out of India is ahimsa or non-violence as was strongly practiced by Mahatma Ghandi in his leadership of the Indian people as they broke free from British colonial rule.

2nd Yama Satya - Truth
Lessons on The Truth
Most religious orders, across cultures and race repeat a simple request for us to be honest. Our legal systems are full of litigation and laws to uphold the truth.   There is a reason for this.  We can lie.  We can misinform.  And this creates disfunction in society.  Look at all the drama in the world with "fake news" that we are currently faced with.

 And noone argues with the fact that it's an imp…

The 8 limbs of Yoga - An Introduction

Why did you begin yoga?

To get fit?

A friend told you something about it? 

To lose weight? 

To feel better?

When you first become a yoga student and you get onto your yoga mat, if you stay some time in the studio, if you develop a regular practice, you start to play close attention to the movements of the body, you very quickly start to discover there is more to yoga than meets the eye.

There is an understanding that yoga is a philosophy or a way of life.  It was designed by very wise people 1000's of years ago in a highly sophisticated indian culture who were interested in the refinement and evolution of the human potential.

The ancient rishi's or wisemen, (very few women as far as we know) were concerned that that the path to enlightenment, the path to find a state of peace with the world was hampered in many ways.

They set about developing a set of guidelines, a way of life, which we have as the 8 limbs or angas of yoga passed down to us today.

The 8 limbs start with two s…

Chakras: A beginner's Guide to the 7 Chakras

Chakras A Basic Introduction
Chakras are the body's energy system.  When you learn about them you learn how to work with your own awareness and ability to feel, sense and use the information in your chakras.
There is nothing needed to understand them, other than an open mind and open heart.through self-study and learning and meditation you can guide yourself to learn more and use that wisdom to energize your body and spirit.
There many books and teachers to help you learn more about chakras and your energy system, so please be aware that the information here is a very basic.
Chakra means “wheel” in Sanskrit - and through somatic experience and knowing you can truly feel how they work. So we deal not just with ideas, beliefs or thoughts, but also feelings and the chakra energy of your own spirit self.

The chakras are the division of your body energy into individual wheels or vortexes of vibration. Each chakra holds a specific function and vibration while playing an important role in th…

How Many Types of Yoga Are There? Find the Perfect Type of Yoga for your Skill Level

Confused about which yoga is right for you?

Yin yoga, Hot yoga, restorative yoga, kundalini,  Ashtanga, Iyenga, vinyasa, bikram, power yoga, butti yoga, naked yoga, I even know a teacher who teaches high heels yoga !

Then there are yogas that don’t use the body, Kriya Yoga (a system of mind, breath and devotion), Raja Yoga (meditation and mindfulness), Karma Yoga (working in service), Yoga Nidra ( a yoga meditation that can result in falling asleep what's not to like about that!)

No wonder people who want to take up a yoga practice are confused and unsure of what style, skill or level they need to be at when they start.

Firstly, let’s be clear that ALL yoga involving any physical asanas (postures) is called hatha yoga.

So let's make this clear, there are 8 limbs of yoga as set out in the ancient texts by Patanjali and the 3rd Limb are Asanas or Postures.

You could say hatha yoga is the umbrella term for all yogas that are to do with physically moving the body.  Whether you mo…

Yoga Mats - choosing one that's eco-friendly

When you put your mat on the floor it's an act of surrender.

Grab your mat. It's time.

Roll your mat on the floor.  It's me time.

Lie on your mat.  Yes.   This is Yoga time.

Union time.

All the thousand pressing issues of your life, the world and everything can fade away.  You can just inhabit the aliveness of this moment now as you enter into your world of yoga as you get onto your mat.

It's a ritual.

Although your mat is just a rolled up bit of plastic that you lay out in front of you, it's very presence puts your mind, your focus and your attention into all the wonder and mystery that can unfold on that mat.

So it's worthwhile investing in a good mat for yourself.

What is a good mat? Unless you've been living with your head under a rock, you will have some ecological awareness and the pressing issues of our time regarding pollution, recycling and use of plastics.

It's true that most yoga mats are plastic, the first mats were created in the 1980'…