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The other 7 limbs

(15 Posts)
user7755 Tue 22-Dec-15 14:28:24

I'm coming back to Yoga after a long break and am trying to work on all of the 8 limbs. I notice that much of what we talk about in relation to Yoga is the asana - why do we think that is?

I often struggle with the meanings of the different limbs, what is your interpretation of them?

CoteDAzur Wed 23-Dec-15 22:47:36

Um... I had to look up "eight limbs" blush

As a lifelong atheist who is completely tone-deaf in those spiritual wavelengths, I tend to think of yoga as a purely physical & breath-related discipline. Still, I would be interested to hear what you think of the other 7 limbs, outside of the postures.

user7755 Thu 24-Dec-15 11:52:25

The yamas (as I interpret them) are moral guidelines for life, non harm, truthfulness etc. I'm trying to remember this when people try to talk to me about family members rather than getting embroiled in bitching.

Niyama, the disciplines I just think of as maintaining regular practice but I think it's hard sometimes to work on specific postures as part of this without entering into ego territory!

Pranayama, I try to do most days as part of my practice. There's a great app for this.

The others I try to incorporate into practice too, dharana and dhyana in particular but it's hard with two kids, a kitten, dog, full time job and a disabled husband (always something to distract me!).

I used to teach yoga but before I did the training, I always thought of just the postures (and the nice relaxation at the end), but I'm trying to embrace the holistic nature of it all as I pick it up again. Hoping it will help me achieve balance.

I bloody love yoga, it is so energising!

user7755 Thu 24-Dec-15 11:52:30

The yamas (as I interpret them) are moral guidelines for life, non harm, truthfulness etc. I'm trying to remember this when people try to talk to me about family members rather than getting embroiled in bitching.

Niyama, the disciplines I just think of as maintaining regular practice but I think it's hard sometimes to work on specific postures as part of this without entering into ego territory!

Pranayama, I try to do most days as part of my practice. There's a great app for this.

The others I try to incorporate into practice too, dharana and dhyana in particular but it's hard with two kids, a kitten, dog, full time job and a disabled husband (always something to distract me!).

I used to teach yoga but before I did the training, I always thought of just the postures (and the nice relaxation at the end), but I'm trying to embrace the holistic nature of it all as I pick it up again. Hoping it will help me achieve balance.

I bloody love yoga, it is so energising!

user7755 Thu 24-Dec-15 11:52:47

Oops!

CoteDAzur Thu 24-Dec-15 13:23:22

What is the pranayama app you like?

user7755 Thu 24-Dec-15 14:48:31

I do Ujjayi breathing (probably spelled wrong) when I'm doing postures and been practising khapalabhati (also probably spelled wrong!) as I have a bad chest and I believe it's supposed to help with that. It's quite challenging though so taking lots of practice, definitely one to work towards.

What about you? What sort of postures and pranayama do you enjoy? Is it Hatha that you do or something else?

CoteDAzur Fri 25-Dec-15 09:36:14

I had to look up khapalabhati blush and still don't feel much wiser. How is it supposed to work?

I do ujjayi breath, too. I find that it helps me concentrate on my breathing and turns my attention inwards during practice, especially in the more difficult poses.

I do vinyasa, for the most part. I'm afraid it's not terribly meditative. I keep thinking that I would like to do some meditation at home, once the kids go to school, but I work from home and there is just so much to do all the time. So I go to my lovely yoga studio, to my brilliant non-woo vinyasa teacher.

My preferred poses these days are headstand and half-moon. I've just started being able to do full wheel and crow for a few seconds. My hips are very open so lotus, bound angle pose etc come very easy. My shoulders just don't permit backwards motion, though, and so I can't do any binds (yet) which is frustrating. Any tips are more than welcome smile

user7755 Sat 26-Dec-15 16:55:28

Khapalabati is a way of controlling the breath, so you fill the lungs and then force the air out in short sharp bursts (controls the abdominal muscles and clears the lungs). After each short sharp burst the lungs naturally refill a little as the muscles expand but it's not a breath. It's quite challenging, so a good one to work on for control and focus.

I'm the opposite, my hip abductors are really tight but backward and forward bends are better. I tend to set myself a challenge of a couple of postures and gradually work on them over a period of time, listen to my body and work just to the point of a stretch but not discomfort.

I always used to remind people that yoga is non competitive and that it is about listening to your body.

<we need a namaste emoji>

CoteDAzur Sun 27-Dec-15 21:37:12

Ah yes, I've done that breathing technique before. I wasn't quite sure what the point of it was tbh. I remember being told that it would clean my lungs of toxins, but I just kind of laughed at that a little smile

yogiannie Wed 30-Dec-15 11:06:57

Thank you for referencing the 8 limbs of yoga - a lovely challenging philosophy to live by, a wonderful lifelong practice to purify body mind heart. The yamas and niyamas are wonderful and humbling, guidance for living.

Western culture has definitely embraced the asana limb - hopefully over time individual practioners discover and enquire into the others and have the opportunity to create a deeper more holistic practice.

Kapalabhati is a great practice to clear the mind and expand lung capacity. Also top of my pranayam list is nadi shodana - a simple accessible practice with beautiful results.

Namaste smile

CoteDAzur Thu 31-Dec-15 11:01:45

Re nadi shodana: Excuse my ignorance but I've never really understood how breathing from alternate nostrils is supposed to help in any meaningful way. Surely everyone's nostrils open to air ways that soon join up the nose, so your breath is going through the same channel if you breathe through right, left, or both nostrils?

RealHuman Thu 31-Dec-15 11:14:24

Oddly, that detoxing the lungs thing sounds just like an exercise DP does to clear his lungs to help with his COPD. He has a device called a Flutter to help him with it.

CoteDAzur Thu 31-Dec-15 11:20:39

That's interesting, Real.

I do know several people who have come to yoga because of their lung conditions (2 asthma, another I can't remember) and they say it helps immensely.

user7755 Fri 01-Jan-16 17:55:14

yogiannie - I completely agree with everything you have said. I think that it is easy to agree that the principles are positive, and verbally 'sign up' to them, it is more challenging to maintain commitment to them, which is where I am at at the moment!

Nadi shodhana - I was always taught that everyone varies in terms of which nostril is clearer throughout the day. That doing nadi shodhana helps to balance this, there was some link to the sides of the brain which I can't quite remember. I think that the focus required to do this is one of the key benefits (it helps me anyway!)

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