The 8 Limbs of Yoga show us that yoga is much more than just building up a sweat and toning the glutes.
Chances are, you likely started your yoga journey because you viewed yoga as a way to become more physically fit. Of course, you were correct. Yoga is a proven and terribly effective way to exercise. After just a few minutes on the mat, most of us are surprised to discover that yoga is far more physically challenging than most expect.
However, in the East, yoga is thought of first and foremost as a spiritual practice. In the West, we tend to spend more time on the physical aspects of yoga and less on the spiritual. The 8 Limbs of Yoga is a good way to find balance between the physical and spiritual practices.
So, what are The 8 Limbs of Yoga?
Well, yoga has been around for about 5000 years and a sage named Patanjali wrote something called "Yoga Sutras". Within these writings he described an eight-step path which you may refer to as Ashtanga Yoga, also known as The 8 Limbs of Yoga. These limbs are presented in a specific order, but many students choose to skip around or only focus on certain limbs. For example, the third limb is known as "Asana" and it's likely the limb you've most experienced.
Below you can find a basic breakdown of each limb and decide if all eight limbs would be beneficial. If you decide to follow the Ashtanga system, you will likely experience yoga as it was originally meant to be experienced, a balance between the physical and spiritual.