Living and Breathing Yoga
Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga start with Ahimsa - compassion, or put another way, non-violence.
1. Yama - Points for inner contemplation: Ahimsa - non -violence to oneself and others in thought, word and deed.
Satya - truth
Asteya - non stealing
Brahmacharya - conservation of vital energy, increasing willpower and focus.
Aparigraha - non-possessiveness, non-grasping, non-greed. Letting go of the need to acquire things for the sake of hoarding, allowing space in relationships, letting go of past experiences. Living in the moment.
2. Niyama - Outward observances - Saucha - cleanliness
Santosa - contentment, satisfaction, gratitude
Tapas - heat, authentic spiritual practice
Swadhyaya - study of the inner Self, study of spiritual scriptures
Iswara pranidhana - surrender to a higher source, to the source of creation
3. Asana - yoga postures
4. Pranayama - control of the vital life energy in the form of breathing techniques
5. Pratyahara - withdraw of the senses in towards the Self, ability to be aware of the external whilst exploring and listening inwards
6. Dharana - concentration on a point
7. Dhyana - meditation, spontaneous flow of concentration where the mind, body and spirit are in harmony
8. Samadhi - enlightenment, Self-realisation