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Yoga is followed all around the world because of the numerous benefits it has. Yoga is not just a workout for the body but also for the mind and soul. Those who perform asanas regularly have a better threshold for daily stress, are physically fitter, calmer, and are spiritually more uplifted. There are many forms of yoga with each one of them having some kind of typical advantage over the other which makes it more preferable in certain cases.
Ashtanga yoga stands for eight limbed yoga and makes use of the body's eight limbs to achieve mental, physical, and spiritual fitness. Now, some people might think that this is crazy because our body has only four limbs. In ashtanga yoga, the eight limbs do not refer to the actual limbs of the body but to the limbs of the practice of yoga. These eight limbs constitute the foundation of the practice and art of yoga which gives it the name ashtanga yoga. The following are the 8 practices or limbs of yoga:
◦ Yama is the first limb of yoga and stands for moral restraints.
◦ Yama is used to describe how we should relate to others, maintaining peace with everyone, and empathy.
◦ Niyama is the second limb of yoga and stands for observances or discipline.
◦ How we conduct ourselves and relate to our own desires, conscious, and thoughts is described by niyama.
◦ Asana is the third limb of yoga and stands for posture.
◦ Asana is the most common and popular limb of yoga and most people think yoga is just that. However, it is only a part of this entire foundation.
◦ Asana describes how we relate to our body and the way we should position it.
◦ Pranayama is the fourth limb of yoga and stands for breath extension.
◦ It is the spiritual limb of yoga which describes how we relate to our breathing and spirit. Through deep breathing and focus, one can attain spiritual closeness and consciousness with their own self.
◦ Pratyahara is the fifth limb of yoga and stands for sensory withdrawal.
◦ This limb describes how we relate to the sense organs of our body. The sounds we perceive, the sights we see, the smells we inhale, the touches we feel, and the flavors we taste are observed under this limb.
◦ Dharana is the sixth limb of yoga and stands for concentration.
◦ This limb describes how we relate to our mind.
◦ Dhyana is the seventh limb of yoga and stands for meditation.
◦ This limb describes how we move beyond the mind and see the unseen things.
◦ Samadhi is the eighth limb of yoga and stands for meditative absorption.
◦ This limb is for deep realization and for a union with your spirit.