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Wooden Carvings in a Monastery

Patanjalis 8 Limbs 

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Patanjali was a great sage who lived approximately 2400 BCE, who assembled the yoga sutras. Within those sutras are the 8 limbs of Ashtanga.

It is believed that Patanjali was not the author, but the compiler of this ancient knowledge. It is said that this knowledge was around for potentially thousands of years prior to Patanjali, and he was the one who put it all together for the benefit of all yogi's.

The system is arranged so that the yogi finds liberation or samadhi. In the modern world yoga is often thought of as asana (physical postures) used for the benefit of fitness and beautifying the body. Unfortunately the true journey of yoga is lost to many. Asana is but one limb of the eight limbed  system.

 

Patanjali had 4 students unlike today's mega yoga business where some teachers are packing out stadiums like rock bands for their workshops.

Traditionally yoga was taught in a one on one setting with the guru. The guru would impart knowledge as the student would evolve and be ready for further learning. Yoga wasn't a business in these more simple times.

Ashtau = Eight   /   Anga = Limbs

 

YAMAS - Restraints

PRATYAHARA - Withdrawal of the senses

NIYAMAS - Obsevances

DHARANA - One pointed concentration

ASANA - Physical postures

DHYANA - Meditation

PRANAYAMA - Breathing techniques

SAMADHI - A state of super consciousnes

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