NOTE: Daniella will lead a four-part workshop series that covers the eight-limbs of yoga. We suggest that you attend all four workshops, but you are welcome to sign up for individual workshops if space allows.
Dates: February 17 & 24, March 3 & 10
The physical practice of yoga is just one of the eight-limbs of yoga that are outlined in the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text that helps to guide our spiritual practice and the way that we live our lives. The concept of the eight-limbs originated around 2000 years ago but remain surprisingly applicable to our lives today. They offer us some practical tools and guidelines on how to surf the ups and downs of life with ease.
Workshop 1 – The Yamas (guidance on how to interact with others)
In this first workshop, we will focus on the first limb of yoga, or the yamas, made up of five ethical principles. These principles offer guidance in our interactions and relationships with other people and society at large, how we behave outwardly towards the world. When we live by these principles, we learn kindness and compassion for other people and how to smoothly manage our relationships with them.
Below is a summary of the yamas. We will delve into each principle in more detail and see how they can be applied to life in a practical way. We will also practice these guidelines on the mat as we engage in some yoga, breathing, and meditation.
1. Ahimsa – non-violence: being kind in actions, words and thoughts
2. Satya – truthfulness
3. Asteya – non-stealing of property, but also of time, energy, happiness, peace etc.
4. Brahmacharya – using your energy wisely, setting and maintaining boundaries
5. Aparigraha – non-attachment and letting go of expectations
Workshop 2 – The Niyamas (guidance on how to interact with yourself)
In the second of these workshops, we will focus on the second limb of yoga, or the niyamas, made up of another five ethical principles. These principles offer guidance on how to engage inwardly with ourselves: how to care for our mind, body, and spirit. These guidelines help us to live consciously and find inner peace so that we can live our best, most purposeful lives.
Below is a summary of the niyamas. We will delve more deeply into each of them and we will practice these concepts on the mat through yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation.
1. Saucha – Purity. Taking care of your body and mind.
2. Santosa – Contentment. Finding beauty in everything.
3. Tapas – Discipline and passion to help us evolve and grow
4. Svadyaya – Self-study and self-reflection
5. Isvara Pranidhana – Finding meaning in> the world. Trust, surrender, and embracing what is.
Workshop 3 – Asana (the physical practice) and Pranayama (breath control)
In this workshop, we will practice both the third and the fourth limbs of yoga: the physical movement of the yoga practice and controlled breathing. We will learn about the history of asanas (the physical postures), their original purpose, and how the physical practice has changed over time. This workshop will help you to use a physical yoga practice as an experimental hub to observe how you deal with life, and it will be a space to practice new ways of engaging with yourself and the world.
In this workshop, we will also learn a variety of breathing techniques and their benefits, and we will practice pairing our breath with our movement. The breath reflects our state of mind, so when we control our breath, we influence the state of our mind.
Workshop 4 – Steps to Meditation and Enlightenment
The fourth and final workshop of this series will focus on the final four limbs of yoga: the last steps toward meditation and enlightenment. Meditation and enlightenment are not, as many people believe, difficult to achieve. They are in the grasp of each of us and they come with many benefits. This workshop aims to show how these steps towards meditation are accessible to everyone, and we will practice a few techniques that you can use in your home-practice. We will explore Samahdi (enlightenment), which is about living a life where all the eight-limbs come together, so that you feel connected and at peace with the world, yourself, and others.
The final four limbs covered by this workshop are:
1. Pratyahara – removal of the senses
2. Dharana – concentration
3. Dhyana – meditation
4. Samahdi – enlightenment.