👉 Did you know that I am a student of the Lay Ministry program at Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism? As a Yogi, I find that Buddhist teachings fall in line with the Eight Limb Path found in the famous Yoga Sutras. This work was authored by Patanjali over two thousand years ago. I also find a strong connection between these teachings, and those of Jesus. As such, I aspire to offer trainings that bridge the gap between Christianity and Buddhism. In an effort to reach those that are concerned, I offer a Yoga with Jesus course. Take a read about some of the ideas we share in this course. 👉 Sometime people with a strong faith-based practice are concerned that the teachings of yoga violate the teachings of Jesus. I truly do not feel this is the case. It is my belief that they are timeless teaching that aid people in living at the highest frequency possible. 👉 As someone who was raised with a strong belief system in Christianity, I can say that I have found more similarities than differences between these works. 👉 In yoga teacher training, we follow along these writings to observe what is known in Sanskrit as the Yamas and Niyamas. Here is a broad strokes interpretation of them. These can be treated as suggestions, or as law, depending on your personal belief system. 👉 8 Limbs of Yoga
• The eight limbs of yoga coined by Patanjali are Yamas, Niyamas, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Each of them play a valuable role in the life of a Yogi.
👉 History of limbs: Yoga Sutras, by Patanjali, outline the 8 limbs of yoga, or Ashtanga. Literally, “Ashta” = eight and “Anga” = limb. It is said that Lord Shiva shared yoga with seven sages (the Sapta Rishis), who then created seven different schools of yoga, which were passed down through history to create hundreds of different forms of yoga. Patanjali composed the Yoga Sutras as a composite of these various traditions. Reflect on how the yamas and niyamas can affect your life experience: 👉 Ahimsa (Non-Harming) – Avoiding harsh words, actions, and thoughts towards yourself and those around you. 👉 Satya (Truthfulness) – Honesty is the best policy. 👉 Asteya (Non-Stealing) – Obviously don’t steal material things, but also attention, time and energy. 👉 Brahmacharya (Non-excess) – For me, NOT celibacy, rather being faithful and respectful in ALL relationships. 👉 Aparigraha (Non-possessiveness) – Working towards generosity and love, avoiding greed and envy. 👉 Saucha (Purity) – Maintain cleanliness, physically, mentally and emotionally. 👉 Santosha (Contentment) – Practice gratitude, be content with yourself, what you have and where you are. 👉 Tapas (Self Discipline) – Avoid shortcuts, enjoy the journey of life. 👉 Svadhyaya (Self Study) – Know, accept, and love yourself. 👉 Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) – Devotion, to a God, or simply to your practice. Define each limb: 👉 Yamas: Literally translated as “Restraint” addresses personal behavior. 👉 Ahimsa (Non-Harming); 👉 Satya (Truthfulness); 👉 Asteya (Non-Stealing); 👉 Brahmacharya (Non-excess) 👉 Aparigraha (Non-possessiveness) 👉 Niyamas: Literally translated as “Observances” addresses self-perception. 👉 Saucha (Purity); 👉 Santosha (Contentment); 👉 Tapas (Self Discipline); 👉 Svadhyaya (Self Study); 👉 Ishvara Pranidhana (Surrender) 👉 Asana: Literally translated as “Take a Seat.” Physical postures including, but not limited to standing, seated, twists, inversions, lateral bends, backbends, and forward folds. 👉 Pranayama: Literally, Prana = life force, breath. Yama = restraint. Though, one could also break the word into “Prana” and “Ayama” which translates “To extend or draw out.” So, control of breath or breath extension. The practice of consciously controlling the breath, which will lead to improved concentration, health, focus, clarity, creativity, and purpose. 👉 Pratyahara: Literally, “Prati” meaning “away” or “against” and “Ahara” meaning “food” or anything we “take in from the outside to the inside.” Many translate it as “sense withdrawal,” “withdrawal of the senses,” “control of senses,” or the like. Pratyahara can be viewed as the bridge between the external practices of the first 4 limbs to the internal practices of the following 3 limbs. With this practice we draw our senses inward, bringing our attention to that which lies within, instead of the outside world. 👉 Dharana: Literally translates to “concentration.” However, a deeper translation refers to "binding of the mind to one place, object or idea,” external (e.g. image/deity) or internal (e.g. a chakra). These last three limbs are referred to as Sanyam (control) and it is said they are to be practiced collectively – practicing Dharana will bring you to Dhyana, which will lead you to Samadhi. It is achieved when the yogi is able to focus solely on the object of concentration with pinpoint precision. 👉 Dhyana: Literally translates to “meditation,” “appreciation,” and “attention.” However, while used interchangeably with “meditation,” Dhyana refers to the state of being achieved through meditation. Where Dharana brings the minds to focus on a single point, Dhyana is achieved when the yogi is so immersed in the meditation that it ceases to attach itself to the act of meditating – where the action of concentration and focus has disintegrated and what is left is the state of Dhyana. It is the merging with the object of concentration. A common misconception is that this is void of thought...it is not. 👉 Samadhi: Literally translates to “putting together,” “integration,” or “absorption.” It is also considered a state of bliss. It is the culmination of all the limbs that precede it. It is said that while in the state of Samadhi, you cannot see anything but the oneness between self and anything else – as though the subject and object are one.