The name 8 Limbs comes from a central tenet in yoga philosophy that names eight limbs, or aspects, that give us a full kit of tools to work with any challenge we come across. These eight limbs are divulged in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali at the end of Chapter II and throughout Chapter III:
1. Yama (Attitudes towards others)
2. Niyama (Attitudes towards oneself)
3. Asana (Postures)
4. Pranayama (Breath Practice)
5. Pratyahara (Sense Withdrawal)
6. Dharana (Concentration)
7. Dhyana (Meditation)
8. Samadhi (Absorption)
Richard Freeman describes the usefulness of this eight-pronged approach as being akin to having eight legs, like a spider. The more ways we have to navigate our obstacles, the more agile we become. As Sutra II.28 says, “By dedicated practice of the various aspects of yoga impurities are destroyed: the crown of wisdom radiates in glory.”
This fall teachers at 8 Limbs will be using monthly themes in drop-in classes to spin a web, if you will, to bring you deeper into the philosophy of yoga. We’ll begin by moving through the eight limbs of yoga, from September to January. This month we’ll focus on the Yamas, attitudes towards others and the world around us. Look for a blog about the five Yamas this month.

Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer

Neighborhood Studios