The eight limbs of Yoga

The eight limbs of Yoga

Ashtanga yoga consists of the following limbs: The first five are called external aids to Yoga (bahiranga sadhana)

Yama refers to the five abstentions. These are the same as the five vows of Jainism.

  • Ahimsa: non-violence, inflicting no injury or harm to others or even to one’s own self, it goes as far as nonviolence in thought, word and deed.
  • Satya: truth in word and thought.
  • Asteya: non-covetousness, to the extent that one should not even desire something that is his own.
  • Brahmacharya: abstinence, particularly in the case of sexual activity. It necessarily implies celibacy. Also, responsible behavior with respect to our goal of moving toward the truth. It suggests that we should form relationships that foster our understanding of the highest truths. “Practicing brahmacharya means that we use our sexual energy to regenerate our connection to our spiritual self. It also means that we don’t use this energy in any way that might harm others.”
  • Aparigraha: non-possessiveness