Over the last few weeks this yoga blog has transformed. My life has transformed.
As a child and youth worker student I was introduced to a realm of studies like psychology, sociology and family dynamics. My yoga background has continued to support me through my schooling, and now into my work as a Child and Youth Worker. What I am now realizing is my whole life has lead up to this magical point of understanding.
It is more clear then ever that I have a passion for writing, yoga, helping others and advocating for children and youth. I am a creative introvert who craves learning and growth, and sharing life with my community (which now includes this online community!).
I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Thank you everyone for sharing this journey of life with me. I recently posted a blog on Black Box Warnings titled ‘yoga saved me‘, and it was insanely long… yet I could have added so much more. I am going to use this blog as an opportunity to share more about how yoga helped me, because yoga is more then just stretching.
THE EIGHT-FOLD PATH OF YOGA
The eight fold path is the complete package of yoga (stretching is just one of the eight limbs). When I say yoga saved me, you may picture me in a yoga class sweating with a bunch of other people. However my yoga journey began when I discovered the philosophy as a teenager. Long before I ever joined a yoga class, I had already read a variety of yoga texts, practiced a variety of meditations, and had created my own personal yoga (stretching) classes at home.
The next series of blogs are going to be based on these eight limbs of yoga, where I will go into detail for each topic. For now here is the overview (and don’t let the sanskrit scare you, I will explain it all later 😉 ).
- Yamas: The yamas are split into 5 moral principles (how we treat others) which I will explain in the next blog.
- Niyamas: The niyamas are 5 disciplines we practice (how we treat ourselves), again I will explain each in a following blog.
- Asana: The physical stretches/postures we practice often called ‘yoga’.
- Pranayama: Breathing exercises, focusing on our life force energy.
- Pratyahara: Controlling/understanding the senses.
- Dharana: Concentration or one-pointed focus.
- Dhyana: Meditation.
- Samadhi: Oneness with all.
As we get to know these different pieces of a full yoga practice, it becomes a new way of living. It gives us strength, clarity and immense peace. This is the yoga that saved me.