Yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj, means to bind or to yoke. Modern interpretations of this translation have been taken to mean “unity.”
Patañjali, a Hindu sage, organized the knowledge of yoga from older traditions into a collection of 196 Indian sutras called The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali. Here he details the Eight Limbs of Yoga which serve as a philosophical guide for yoga as it is now practiced in its contemporary form.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga:
Yamas (Restraints): The five moral imperatives of yoga; Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity or restraint), Aparigraha (non-avarice, non-possessiveness).
Niyamas (Observances): The five observances; Shaucha (clearness of mind speech and body), Santosha (contentment, optimism for self and others, Tapas (persistence, self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self reflection on thought, word and action), Ishvarapranidhana (contemplation of Ishvara ~ the supreme being or unchanging reality).
Asanas (Postures): The postures and physical practice of yoga, most commonly identified in the West ~ “asanas are perfected over time by relaxation of effort with meditation on the infinite” (47.II).
Pranayama (Breathing): Control of the breath, from the Sanskrit prana (breath) and ayama (restraint).
Pratyahara (Withdrawal or drawing within of senses): The process of retracting sensory experience from external objects and stimuli.
Dharana (Concentration): Holding of one’s mind onto a particular inner state or subject, often supported through mantras and visualization.
Dhyani (Meditation): This word literally means contemplation, reflection, and profound meditation.
Samadhi (Absorption): The experienced oneness of yoga practitioner with the focus of their meditation.
In our retreat we will touch on all aspects of the Eight Limbs, while focusing primarily on our physical asana practice and dhyani (meditation practice). We invite you to immerse yourself in your daily practice and receive the support to deepen your awareness, no matter whether you identify as a beginner or advanced yogi/yogini. With every inhale beginning, with every exhale ending ~ embodying the cycles and finding balance in our presence on the mat.