One of the many benefits of yoga, in general, is the seemingly endless varieties this practice offers us. While this pandemic continues on, the need for at home exercise and mindfulness practices are at an all-time high. Yoga Sutras by Indian sage, Patanjali, are a collection of 196 aphorisms contained in four chapters, which outline techniques for attaining congruity of mind, body, senses, thought, and action. The Eight Limbs of Patanjali Yoga are derived from Sadhana Pada, one of the four chapters of the Patanjali Sutras. Get to know the eight limbs or Ashtanga in Sanskrit, and learn how they can provide a roadmap to your wellness during these unprecedented times:
Yama signifies restraint towards the world, practiced through your relationships and conduct with others and the environment. Patanjali recommends the following ethics for harmony with the world around you:
- Non-violence (Ahimsa)
- Truthfulness (Satya)
- Non-stealing (Asteya)
- Moderation in the context of sexual energies (Brahmacharya)
- Non-hoarding (Aparigraha)
Niyama relates to your relationship with your own self, practiced through responsible personal conduct and discipline. The following principles promote wellness and purity of mind and body:
- Soucha: The principle of cleanliness establishes clean surroundings not just of one’s physical body but also through ingestion of food and mental stimulation via external influences.
- Tapas: The self-discipline principle helps to develop mental strength necessary for a regular practice of yoga.
- Svadhyaya: The principle of self-study suggests a conscious path of education for knowing oneself and determine one’s impulses and purpose along with a study of pertinent texts in the pursuit of one’s calling.
- Santosha: The principle of self-contentment invites you to appreciate your own gifts.
- Ishvara pranidhana: The principle suggests a practice of surrender to the divine.
Perhaps the most well-known of all the Patanjali limbs is asana or the physical posture practice of yoga. Asana means to sit or stay, and the different body poses affect various body parts, improving overall strength, flexibility, balance, and focus. The challenge of executing and mastering the poses presents a solid, self-guided roadway to explore and alter one’s emotional, mental, physical and behavioral boundaries. The asana practice extends to stilling the body to meditate and quiet the mind for achieving higher awareness, inner strength and the ability to choose positive influences and actions in life.
Prana means the life force; pranayama means the restraint or regulation of the breath. Working with asana practice, you can control the flow of inhalations and exhalations to increase the life force flow and clear the mind to receive the next stage of awareness.
Pratyahara means “withdrawal of the senses.” By withdrawing from external stimuli, one can attain control of the body and practice non-attachment.
Dhyana is the achievement of uninterrupted mediation without any external aids. The objective is to attain heightened awareness and clearness of mind to observe reality without any distractions.
Dharana, meaning concentration, is practiced by focusing on a physical object. It is a necessary step for the realization of the following limb. To concentrate, one must learn to exercise control over the senses, body, and mind.
Samadhi means absolute bliss or enlightenment. It is the state of oneness with the universe.
The Cornerstone of Amrit’s Wellness Philosophy
Amrit incorporates the time-tested science behind the Eight Limbs of Patanjali Yoga as a foundation for its wellness philosophy. Individualized wellness guidance is designed for each of the Amrit residents and guests using the fluid Five Pillars of Wellness:
Mindfulness: The practice of living in the present moment helps eliminate past pain and worry and fear of the future. The team of experts assists you daily to practice mindfulness and delight in the wonder of newness through the following aids:
- Meditation gardens and studio
- Tranquility pools
- Sounds baths and visualizations through acoustic resonance and special instruments
- Patanjali yoga study on the yoga terrace
Nutrition: Amrit ensures that you receive the healthiest nourishment options of farm-to-table foods offered at four on-site restaurants. Additionally, you can consult with our health and nutrition experts to choose the right program for you: Personalized Nutrition, Weight Management, IV Vitamin Therapies, Detox/Cleansing, among others. You can also take our cooking classes and learn more about healthier choices.
Fitness: Yoga, exercise and meditation are inextricable from Amrit’s DNA. Amrit nurtures the concept of achieving beauty from the inside out through its many fitness platforms and facilities:
- Fitness path to the ocean and sunrise beach yoga
- Evening meditation led by certified instructors from the Himalayan Institute
- Ocean-facing gym and Pilates studio, offering a myriad of movement classes
- Three-and-a-half acres of lush walking pathways
- Customizable Easy Access Stairs Guide app
Relaxation: At Amrit, relaxation is a way of life achieved through many soothing features, such as the water wall, spa treatments, creations by master aromatherapists and seven acres of oceanfront to take in and stroll along. Some unique bodywork and massage treatments feature an authentic Hamam cleansing ritual, myofascial release, and Thai massage.
Sleep: Adequate, restful sleep can not only help you function optimally but also overcome challenges, such as medication and weight reduction. Customize your sleeping space with our sleep specialists or you can try out our popular services:
- Yoga Nidra meditation for deep rest
- Restful ritual bath butler service
- Circadian lighting catering to your sleep cycles
- Blue light education