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  • Writer's pictureEssentialZen

What's In A Name?

Yoga Studio in Aurora Ohio
8 Limbs of Yoga

Welcome back. I hope that you have been well. Hopefully you have taken some “you” time and have reflected on the person you are inside. Strength, though most think is physical, is very much an inner development. You can’t become physically strong unless you have the mental strength, you can’t get emotionally strong without strength from within. We all need to focus on getting our bodies in shape and practicing healthy habits to boost our mental and physical awareness, so that we can handle life’s events without unforseen backlashes.

Now, the real question, what’s up with the name Eight Limbs? If I’m counting correctly I only have four limbs unless I bring a friend then we have eight limbs. True, true but this is a different.

Patanjali, p uh n - t uh - j uh - l ee , Yoga Sutra*, refers to the eight limbs as a guidance on how to live an essential and deliberate life. Yoga itself stands for unite; everything is naturally and intimately connected. We as yoginis, and our male counterparts yogis, are trying to reconnect with our true Self, our “ultimate self”, our “divine essence”, or our atman. If that makes sense, riddle me this Batman, yoga also can mean separation or disentanglement. The things that we are disentangling from are the things that don’t allow us be free, which is the ultimate goal in yoga is to feel a sense if moksha, liberation or freedom.

So again Batman how do we achieve this sense of bliss? Is it the studio? Is it the instructor? Is it the $185 pair of yoga pants you just purchased? Or maybe it’s the mat you are using?

According to Patanjali Yoga Sutra there is a path that leads us to liberation which is known as Ashtanga Yoga System or the 8 limbs of yoga (the word “ashta” means eight and the word “anga” means limbs). The 8 Limbs of yoga are as follows:

  1. YAMA- Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows

  2. NIYAMA- Positive duties or observances

  3. ASANA- Posture

  4. PRANAYAMA- Breathing techniques

  5. PRATYAHARA- Sense withdrawal

  6. DHARANA- Focused concentration

  7. DHYANA- Meditative absorption

  8. SAMADHI-Bliss or enlightenment

These 8 Limbs are a voyage in finding a deeper understanding of self discipline in regards to our connection to our moral and ethical code. Each limb helps us to reach the spiritual awaken of yoga within each and everyone of us. Just because you feel something doesn’t mean it’s wrong because someone else feels something different. Each one of us walks alone on our voyage of self discovery, we have many teachers and many witnesses but we alone grow from within which allows us to promote the best self we can.

“I was looking for someone to inspire me, motivate me, support me, keep me focused… Someone who would love me, cherish me, make me happy, and I realized all along that I was looking for myself.” –Unknown

Welcome to Eight Limbs, EssentialZen Yogas’ blog. Here we will grow together and experience a warm inviting yoga community. Here everyone can be free to be yourself and let eight limbs guide you. And remember: Go without expectations. Set an intention. Breath.

If you have any questions or comments, ideas or thoughts, things you’d like to see on the blog, things you don’t want to see please send me an email at


Aurora’s Community Yoga Studio

Meet peace, contentment, and strength amidst the warmth of community. Join us at our home studio in Aurora’s Depot District or at Signature of Solon Country Club. We look forward to welcoming you.


Drop by for classes of varied styles and levels at our Aurora studio, located at 330 East Garfield Road. Enjoy additional classes and BARRE at EssentialZen Yoga at Signature of Solon Country Club, 39000 Signature Drive, Solon (Clubhouse open to all).

Workshops & Events

Specialty workshops allow deeper study of yoga techniques and interactive exploration of life-shifting practices you can apply on and off the yoga mat. We offer a broad range of workshops, including Yoga 101, and special events, such as Bring Your Dog to Yoga, throughout the year. Please check our calendar for upcoming events and experiences.


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