I am so relieved that this practice of yoga is not solely about the body, which often feels separate from my being, almost independent, as it gets injured at random, inconveniently sick, worn and surprisingly heals itself with what seems to be a mind of its own.
our lovely, challenging poses that we cling to as the content of our practice, are such a fraction of a much larger, more comprehensive, deeply grounding and simultaneously spiritual practice, that encompasses our self as a whole being, a holy being. its gifts are too numerous to understand, and yet, we are able to target specific life skills that escort us off our mats and into the real world.
so...what are these limbs of yoga that can take us to this level
beyond downward facing dog?
1 * YAMAS * observances toward others, "don't's", like harm, lie, steal...
2 * NIYAMAS * self-imposed disciplines, "do's", like be content, work hard, trust....
3 * ASANA * postures that free energy and care for the body
4 * PRANAYAMA * directing of life force, attention to the breath
5 * PRATYAHARA * withdrawal of the senses, attention inward
6 * DHARANA * concentration of the mind
7 * DYHANA * meditation
8 * SAMADHI * peace, bliss, connection to all, enlightenment
they are work, the kind that some days keeps us gazing at our mats, and then turning and walking away. but they are a frame, a support that can channel our human ways in a direction of truth and kindness and ultimate health.
warning!!! this path, these limbs, can often result in so much happiness and peace...
...practice, just practice.