What are 8 limbs of yoga? Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, and it has evolved into many different forms. The physical practice of yoga, or asana, is the most well-known form in the Western world.

However, the eight limbs of yoga, also known as ashtanga yoga, provide a comprehensive framework for a holistic and spiritual approach to life. In this blog article, we will explore the eight limbs of yoga in-depth and their significance.


The first limb of yoga is yama, which refers to ethical principles or moral codes. There are five yamas, and they guide us on how to interact with others and the world around us. The five yamas are:

a. Ahimsa (non-violence): Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence towards all living beings, including animals and the environment.

b. Satya (truthfulness): Satya refers to being truthful and honest in our speech and actions.

c. Asteya (non-stealing): Asteya means not taking what is not rightfully ours, whether it is physical possessions or intellectual property.

d. Brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity): Brahmacharya involves the conservation of sexual energy and the practice of self-control in all aspects of life.

e. Aparigraha (non-greed): Aparigraha is the principle of non-possessiveness and letting go of attachment to material possessions.


The second limb of yoga is niyama, which also consists of five principles. Niyama refers to the personal observances that lead to a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. The five niyamas are:

a. Saucha (cleanliness): Saucha involves keeping the body, mind, and surroundings clean and pure.

b. Santosha (contentment): Santosha means being content and satisfied with what we have, rather than constantly seeking more.

c. Tapas (discipline): Tapas is the practice of self-discipline and self-control in order to achieve our goals.

d. Svadhyaya (self-study): Svadhyaya involves the study of spiritual texts and the examination of oneself to gain self-knowledge.

e. Ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power): Ishvara pranidhana is the practice of surrendering to a higher power or divine force.


Asana is the third limb of yoga, and it refers to the physical postures that are commonly associated with yoga. Asana practice involves holding various poses for a certain length of time in order to strengthen the body and increase flexibility. However, the purpose of asana practice is not just physical fitness but also to prepare the body for meditation and spiritual practices.


The fourth limb of yoga is pranayama, which involves breath control. Pranayama is the practice of regulating the breath to balance the body and mind. There are several different techniques of pranayama, including alternate nostril breathing and deep breathing, that are used to calm the mind and improve concentration.


Pratyahara is the fifth limb of yoga, and it refers to the withdrawal of the senses. Pratyahara involves turning our attention inward and detaching from external stimuli. This practice is important in order to quiet the mind and prepare for meditation.


The sixth limb of yoga is dharana, which is the practice of concentration. Dharana involves focusing the mind on a single object or thought in order to still the mind and improve mental clarity. This practice is a precursor to meditation.


Dhyana is the seventh limb of yoga, and it refers to meditation. Dhyana involves sustained concentration and focuses on a single point or object, leading to a state of profound awareness and inner stillness. Through regular practice of meditation, we can cultivate a deeper connection with our inner selves and achieve a greater sense of inner peace and clarity.


The final limb of yoga is samadhi, which is the ultimate goal of yoga practice. Samadhi refers to a state of complete absorption and union with the divine, where the individual self merges with the universal consciousness. This state is characterized by a profound sense of bliss, transcendence, and unity with all things.


The eight limbs of yoga provide a comprehensive framework for a holistic and spiritual approach to life. By integrating the yamas and niyamas into our daily lives, practicing asanas to prepare the body for meditation, and using pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, and dhyana to calm the mind and focus our awareness, we can move towards the ultimate goal of samadhi. Through regular practice of the eight limbs of yoga, we can cultivate a deeper sense of inner peace, clarity, and connection with ourselves and the world around us.

Incorporating the eight limbs of yoga into our daily lives can be a challenging task. However, by starting with small steps and gradually building our practice, we can begin to see the transformative power of yoga in our lives. Whether we are looking to improve our physical health, mental well-being, or spiritual growth, the eight limbs of yoga provide a powerful tool for self-transformation and personal growth. So, let us begin our journey towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life by embracing the eight limbs of yoga.

I am a yoga blog writer. It is a space where people can share their experiences, thoughts, and knowledge about yoga, and where readers can learn about the different aspects of the practice, including its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.