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Day 4 – Diving a little deeper

By January 15, 2020January 28th, 2020No Comments
Right let’s rewind 5000 year ago to Kodar, a small village in Rajasthan, India. This is where Patanjali was born, Patanjali became a well respected Indian sage and you could probably say he was the father of yoga. He wrote the famous Yoga Sutras.
These sutras outline 8 limbs of yoga.
8 independent branches of the practice which offer us a source of inspiration and guidance on how to live a more balanced and ethical, meaningful and purposeful life. Both on and off the mat. It sounds quite deep and at first they can seem pretty overwhelming but if we take a step back and look at each of them on their own we can start to integrate aspects of each limb into our daily life.
The eight limbs of yoga are yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption).
And we will break them down over the next 8 days in that order.
THE YAMAS – ‘Restraints’
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There are five yamas, five ethical precepts – they outline a code of conduct that should be observed when interacting with others and the world around us. They are universal behaviours ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
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Ahimsa // Non-Violence
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We are referring to not only to physical violence, but also to the violence of words or thoughts (quite fitting given we live in a very virtual world where a lot of our interaction comes through a screen). To practice ahimsa is to be constantly aware, to observe ourselves in interaction with others and to notice our thoughts and intentions – to keep them kind, gracious and respectful.
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Many interpret ahimsa as a stand point for a vegan diet on the basis that ‘all living beings’ are entitled to be treated with kindness and non-violence. *not a prerequisite for doing yoga once or twice a week (more on this later)
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Satya // Truthfulness
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Telling the truth is a moral baseline we can probably all get behind. The circulation of ’fake news’ and the the spam out there from ‘influencers’ means that this precept is certainly far from outdated – it is more important than ever to speak the truthand support others who do so.
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Asteya // Non-Stealing
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The law has a pretty firm hold on this one but there are many ways to steal that can be hidden, so this acts as a reminder – whatever doesn’t belong to you, leave it be. In todays world that may be business ideas, intellectual property, logos, clients… you get it.
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I would probably think about our planet and its sacred reserves here too. We are taking at an astonishing rate – & we are the last generation who can help to avoid the worst impact of climate change!
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Brahmacharya // Celibacy
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One that certainly needs a little softening to work with in todays world. So let’s not get to deep here and just encourage fidelity, constancy and honest open relationships with our partners. I think most wouldn’t disagree with that so its all I am going to say.
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Aparigraha // Non-Coveting
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Not an easy one to practice – especially when social media gives us such an ‘inside view’ to everyone else world, and people have more than ever before. We are all human – jealousy, envy, and greed are going to arise. So all we can ask is when they do, acknowledge and try not to become attached.

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