The third limb, something that sounds a little more familiar and probably what you can relate to most: ASANA.
‘Physical Yoga’ is what draws most of us in and I can certainly say that 10 years ago the prospect of touching my toes, avoiding injury and improving my fitness was what led me to yoga (spoiler – what makes you stay with the practice is something totally different and overwhelming).
Today the postures you recognise & practice are the asana, they help us to develop a habit of discipline & concentration – two necessary components for a meditation practice. Asana is the tool for taking us towards that space where we can meditate.
Back then asana wasn’t as dynamic, the original meaning of the word was to simply find a comfortable seat. Students were guided by Patanjali to find a posture where they could breathe & meditate. We are moving onto these with day 7 & 8.
Some people get a bit high & mighty that yoga is sold as a purely physical practice (think about the image of shiny mirrored studios & women in fancy yoga wear) – however I think as long as it continues to act as a point of entry for the wider practice it is no bad thing.
Quickly if we track back & recap the order of the 8 limbs so far it suggests that we are to; firstly address how we interact with the world around us, secondly look inwards at our relationship with ourself & thirdly get physical > start to calm & focus the mind for what comes up next.
Is this what drew you in? Did a friend drag you to class because it was a tough workout? Did injury rehabilitation or prevention open the door? Share your story!