The 8 Limbs Of Yoga Explained
After you have explored the previous seven limbs, you will have found new ways to express yourself, tune into your body and your breath, focus your mind and learn about meditation. All this internal and external cleansing means you are ready to explore the final limb, Samadhi.
Samadhi, translated into English as ‘bliss’ or ‘complete union with the divine,’ is the ultimate goal of the yogic path and the last limb of our journey. It might seem far fetched if your yoga practice is about keeping fit and wearing the latest Lululemon leggings. But if we strip yoga right back to its essentials, ‘union’ exists even in its etymology. The word ‘yoga’ means to ‘yoke,’ or to ‘come into union.’ It is about joining the mind, body, and spirit, and recognizing that they cannot exist separated from each other, but also about connecting with something greater than ourselves.
The concept of samadhi is elusive, and its explanation is even more difficult. In our language, we have few words to describe things that exist beyond our physical words. Samadhi cannot be expressed through language; it is something that is experienced. Even then, each individual has their own relative experience of it. Essentially, it is the transcendence of the ego, when individual awareness merges with that of the ‘the whole’ – Samadhi is not a permanent state of being – nor does it arise by accident. Even through dedication and effort, sometimes this connection is only experienced for a moment.
So How Do We Find Samadhi In Our Daily Lives?
The concept of Samadhi may seem out of reach of our busy, goal-oriented lives, but there are still ways to implicate it into our day to day experience. When we understand Samadhi, we see ourselves as completely connected to everything around us. Through this, we realize that nothing we ‘own’ belongs to us. It includes; our worldly possessions, our energy, and even our bodies.
After seeing ourselves in this way, we start to see others in this way too. In fact, everything that exists in the natural world, including plants, animals and even the people you don’t like, are connected just like you. Becoming aware of this helps us to move past the ego, which is responsible for judging, comparing and jealousy. That in itself is the practice of Samadhi and can be understood in each moment.
In a sense, Samadhi does not need to be learned, it needs to be realized. Samadhi is something that is constantly present in our being; we have just been lead away from it through our physical experience. The eight limbs are designed to lessen the importance of the material and reconnect us with our truth. We are energetic beings, all connected to the same energy flow. The practice of yoga goes far beyond mats, yoga pants, straps, and blocks. The practice of yoga encourages us to become more aware of the world around us. Through this awareness, we cultivate a kind, non-judgemental nature, towards ourselves and towards others. After all, we are the only individual in the context of each other