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Practicing the 4 Limbs of Yoga Will Help You Understand Yoga as It Was Meant to Be


 Rehearsing the 8 Branches of Yoga Will Help You Understand Yoga as It Was Meant to Be

The original eight branches of yoga offer sapience into how yoga has been culturally appropriated. Then’s how you can recognize yoga’s roots while you practice.

Decolonizing yoga is a trendy content right now, but what does that indeed mean?

The decolonizing yoga movement is twofold. First, we hoist Black and Brown yoga preceptors in order to promote further different representation. Second, we educate the full eight branches of yoga (not just a physical practice) in order to recognize yoga’s ancient roots.

The history of yoga

Yoga is an indigenous practice that has origins in Egypt and the Indus Valley — two ancient societies that date back over times. As a desi (an Indian woman living in the diaspora) yoga schoolteacher and activist, I educate folks on how yoga practices from India have been appropriated, and what I wish to see for a decolonized future of yoga.

One of the most dangerous myths that creates erasure of the substance yoga is that it’s simply a drill. Yoga is a holistic gospel that gifts us a set of tenets, which educate us how we can navigate life in a spiritually aligned way.

The Yoga Sutras figure these headliners in an eight- branch system.

What are the Yoga Sutras?

The Yoga Sutras are a set of sutras ( Good Book) that outline yogic proposition. They were written around 500B.C., during India’s medieval age, by a savant named Patanjali (1).

The sutras define the eight branches of yoga, which educate us different angles of how to embody yoga ( concinnity) in mind, body, and spirit. They're now allowed of as an important foundational aspect of the Indian yogic tradition.

Yoga has always been a gospel by which to conduct life. Its end is to be rehearsed with discipline so that a person is eventually led to enlightenment a state of being in which you transcend the endless cycle of air.

Air is another conception that has been missed due to misappropriation of Sanskrit (the language in which yogic proposition was firstly written).

Air refers to a cycle in which one is revived over and over on Earth until they can break the cycle and return to the godly source from which we're all produced.

Basically, yoga is a practice that reminds us of the lesser cosmic cotillion we're all part of — a veritably different description than “ yoga for a flat breadbasket.”

So when and how did this transition from cosmic gospel to “ girly” drill do?

Yoga in the Western world

A many exponents, videlicet Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and Paramahansa Yogananda, brought the knowledge of yoga from India to the United States (2). It remained a borderline practice for Westerners until angles of yogic gospel and Hindu symbology were espoused into the mainstream American knowledge during the hippie movement in the 1960s.

Ever heard of a little band called The Beatles (3)? It was n’t too long after the band traveled to India that yoga plant itself deep in the commercial-artificial- complex, where American pots saw how important plutocrat could be made off of yoga being ingrained as “ enthusiasm.”

This is when yoga was repackaged as a luxuriant drill rather than a spiritual belief system.

Why we must decolonize yoga

Moment when we suppose of yoga, images of thin,non-disabled white women in tight brand- name yoga pants are what come to mind. Yoga as a drill is problematic because it’s dangerous for those of us who live outside India to see our heritage being vended, doused down, and used for only aesthetics.

Still, it’s arguably indeed worse that yoga is being used as a tool within a social docket.

Yoga workrooms possessed by, and created for, rich white folks frequently move into neighborhoods that are being gentrified as a symbol that they ’re “ over and coming.” This frequently displaces the Black and Brown residers who have lived in those spaces for numerous generations.

Incipiently, yoga workrooms tend to apply numerous dangerous ideas, similar as diet culture, ableism, queer erasure, classism, and artistic appropriation.

So how do we combat all this? We must start by covenanting to learn the history of yoga and borrow a practice that aids in emancipation for all people. A good launch is to learn the eight branches of the Yoga Sutras and apply them to our lives in real time.

What are the eight branches of yoga?

The eight branches of the Yoga Sutras are meant to be learned in the order they ’re listed then. A person must master each step before they continue to the coming bone.

1. Yamas

Yamas are the principles that educate us how to treat others and the world around us. These include

Ahimsa (non-harming)

This principle refers to carrying in a way that nourishes growth and contributes to the life force around us. Yoga and activism are joining mindsets in this way. Social justice seeks to hoist and liberate all people from detriment, which is ahimsa at work within the collaborative.

This tenet is about treating and minding for others as an extension of us.

On a side note, Western yogis occasionally sermonize that in order to be a yogi, one must be vegan. Still, Indian diet nearly always consists of dairy products, which are deified for their health benefits. Being a vegan is a valid choice, but it is n’t necessary to embody yoga and its values.

Satya ( probity)

We all wear masks, or different personalities, depending on who we ’re interacting with. Yoga asks us to drop the mask and find our true, authentic tone — and to act from this tone.

When we ’re suitable to show this true tone to the world, we live more nearly with reality and not within maya ( vision). Speaking the verity is n’t always the easiest path, but it's the noble bone.

When we use our voice to speak against injustice in a system that seeks to silence it, we're rehearsing Satya.

Asteya (non-stealing)

This star isn't as nonfictional as simply “ do not take material particulars from others.” It’s about esteeming other folks’ energy, time, and coffers.

In order to exercise Asteya in particular connections, we must produce and recognize boundaries.

This can also be applied to our Earth. When we take from the land without giving back, we ’re creating an imbalance, which is n’t the middle path of balance that yoga asks us to walk.

In addition, to applicable yoga — to take yoga from its original space in the world and use it in a way that serves the individual rather than recognize its roots — is to go against this piece of yoga itself.

Brahmacharya ( abstinence)

This may be applied as total continence, but it can also be performed by simply treating our primitive life force as sacred. We carry sexual energy within us, and yoga asks that rather than spreading it in numerous directions without study, we mindfully use it in ways that align with the rest of yoga gospel.

(I want to note that the word “ Brahma” may spark certain folks. This word is frequently appertained to in Vedic textbooks that apply the estate system. This system in itself goes against all presumption of yoga, which ask us to treat one another in a aware and kind way. It's important that we abolish the estate system in order to apply yoga headliners to society at large).

Aparigraha (non-hoarding)

It has been said that rapacity is the root of all wrong. Greed stems from a failure intelligence. This results in individualities holding on too tightly to wealth, material particulars, and people, which perpetuates detriment.

In order to live in a spiritually aligned way, we must trust that we always have enough, allowing plutocrat, particulars, and other blessings to inflow in and out of our lives with ease. It’s imperative we continue to demand that our societal systems operate from a place of Aparigraha as well.

We can see how resource difference and poverty are a direct result of rapacity and hoarding. This can be helped by erecting systems grounded on a foundation of collective aid and sustainability.

2. Niyamas

Niyamas are the norms by which we should exercise tone- discipline.

Saucha (cleanliness)

Although exponents and yoga Book do recommend bathing regularly, eating clean, and keeping one’s space clean, this tenet also refers to having pure and positive studies about yourself and others. When we're clean in the mind, we come clear channels for the godly to enter us.

Santosha ( pleasure)

We must exercise the capability to feel fully happy with the way everything is right now in this very moment. We live in a financial system in which we ’re told to always strive for and want more, which means we ’re noway satisfied with what we formerly have.

When we can just sit and feel complete with how effects are in the present, we're rehearsing yoga.

Tapas ( heat)

The byword is that practice makes perfect, and the reason for this is because repeated trouble yields mastery of that which we're trying to learn.

Tapasya reminds us that occasionally the process of mastery can be painful, but this pain (or heat) can be used to fuel our practice, and allow us to grow and learn from it.

Svadhyaya ( tone- knowledge)

The Bhagavad Gita says, “ Yoga is the trip of the tone, through the tone, to the tone.” Yoga is meant to be a process of direct inquiry into our internal world. The further we dive inward, the further we can learn about the horizonless nature of our knowledge.

This yogic tenet is frequently forgotten in the Western view of yoga as a drill because so important of it's personified We wonder how we look in a posture, if we're thin enough, or feel the need to contend with others in class. True yoga is a particular process that has nothing to do with the outside world or how we ’re perceived.

Ishvarapranidhana ( full rendition to the godly)

Numerous folks who suffer from dependence are helped by a 12- step program. The first step to recovery is to surrender to a advanced power.

The reason this is so medicinal is because it allows us to let go of the need to control everything. When we realize that there are lesser forces at play in our lives, we begin to navigate life with modesty and admiration.

Yoga asks us to seek a supreme godly being (whatever that means to us tête-à-tête), and allow ourselves to connect with them through our practice.

As you can see, the first two branches of yoga (which are to be learned first) are further about how we live than how we exercise. The rest of the branches educate us how to exercise yoga in our physical bodies and minds.

3. Asana

Asana is the practice of the yoga postures.

Pantajali tutored the physical practice of yoga as movements that are meant to be done with ease and joy. He tutored that it’s important to take your time with each disguise, and move from posture to posture completely present by fastening the mind on the breath.

Yoga as a drill can be dangerous because it can push scholars past their limitations, and it frequently leads to injury. The sutras tell us that yoga is meant to be done in a relaxed state that aims to connect one with their body and combat duality in the mind.

Diurnal asana results in increased heartiness in the body and mind.