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The Path of Patanjali to deep soul alignment

February 9, 2021 10:01 pm Published by

Do you ever feel like you are looking for a map to help plan out a sustainable and joyful life? Dory Walker shares a little about the Patanjali yoga sutras.

There are many maps in the vast corpus of yogic literature. The Patanjali yoga sutras are one of the great maps to consult and within the sutras there is an 8 limbed map or path which offers a detailed map for deep soul alignment.

The 8 limbs or angas offer a systematic approach to refine our practice. To navigate the yoga journey of refinement from the gross to the subtle. From the ephemeral space of the physical world to a place of unchanging stillness, freedom and expansion within.

The 8 limbs are:
YAMAS, NIYAMAS, ASANA, PRANAYAMA, PRATYAHARA, DHARANA, DHYANA, SAMADHI

Everyone starts practicing yoga for different reasons. Whether it’s physically, emotionally or spiritually driven, there is a curiosity, a yearning for change, for freedom even if we don’t specifically know what it is that we want!

So we begin. And whether or not we can put a finger on exactly what it is we like or enjoy about it, we continue. We feel good. We experience positive change.

And then we sail along quite happily.

And then curiosity and yearning for more rears its head again. And we get to take our practice to the next level. 

If we wish to deepen our experience of yoga and the riches that follow, practice is worth its weight in gold. We feel the effects. We get to upgrade our inner freedom.

Understanding what is actually going on helps us to put all the pieces of the jigsaw together and get that Aha! moment. Once the penny drops, everything falls into place and we find our practice has greater purpose, power, clarity, momentum and direction. 

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offers those Eureka moments. Rich and wondrous they are a deep bed of knowledge and insight into what yoga is and how we get to deepen. The 8 limbs support each other and are interwoven, they overlap and criss-cross with multiple subplots in a path of refinement, purification and freedom. A path of making diamonds. Human diamonds. Do the practice and we get to shine infinitely bright.

When we practice yoga we experience benefits and changes without always knowing exactly what is happening and that can be enough. For a richer and more profound experience, putting the practice into context not only brings a greater depth of understanding (to our practice), it also shines a light on where we need to go and how to overcome interventions and obstacles (which will always come) that can throw us off track.

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