Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Niyamas, Living Yoga

Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Niyamas, Living Yoga

By: Juliana Cole – Living Yogi, Yoga Instructor, Studio Manager at Yoga Heights   Hello Yogis! Thanks for tuning in once again as we continue our discovery of the Eight Limb Path of Yoga. Last month, we got into the Yamas, the first limb, and in this post, we will look more closely at the Niyamas.   Quick review – we are exploring the eight limbs or stages of yoga which are all about the practical application of yoga. Yoga can be considered the study of the mind with the intention of understanding the workings of the mind, connecting with one’s innermost self and feeling at peace and at one with everything around you. The eight limbs are offered as a means to reaching this ultimate goal and should be practiced all at once, all the time. Yes, that sounds like a lofty goal and it is! In a way, that’s the point: this is a practice that is constant and though at times can seem easy, there is the inevitable eb and flow which implies that there are times when it seems impossible. I think it is safe to say that most people embark on a yogic path because they are drawn to it, so the work (which eventually becomes ever present) is truly a labor of love. Let’s get into it then- the second limb of this wheel or path of yoga- The Niyamas!   The Yamas and the Niyamas make up what could be considered the ten ethical principles by which we guide our thoughts and actions. We reviewed the Yamas last month, discussing the five...
Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: An Introduction

Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: An Introduction

By: Juliana Cole – Living Yogi, Yoga Instructor, Studio Manager at Yoga Heights   Hello again, Yoga Heights Yogi! First and foremost, thank you for reading! This is the first of a series of five posts that I will be writing exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga, so here we go!   Before we get started, it’s important to answer the very basic question: What is Yoga? Yoga means many things and presents itself in many ways. The beauty is that whatever you glean from the word yoga, you are right…and there is more of that! Most of us in the western world think of yoga as a physical practice, the Asana (poses). I think you would agree that in your practice of the Asana, you find a calming of the mind, or at least a reduction of stress. You hear your teacher talk about quieting the mind, focusing the breath and allowing your practice to be a moving meditation. That’s what I focus on when I practice the asana. If you come back to the mat, it is most likely because you have found that sensation of release from the stuff that clouds the mind on a daily basis…and you want more of that. Well, you are figuring out what yoga is all about. In a very basic and simple explanation, Yoga is the study of the mind.   Yoga has such a rich history, much of which was unwritten and only passed on through spoken word, and can be traced back almost 6,000 years. The codification of yoga, so to speak, came out in the Yoga...