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Inner limbs




As our practice state deepens, so does our non-practice state: we naturally feel flow, inner stillness, and energetic currents off the mat. At this point, we begin to realize (not just theorize) that yoga is a being rather than a doing; a verb rather than a noun. Or, at the very last, and active noun, or a verb that is not just movement but also a place.

To yoga= to be in yoga= being yoga.

This closing of the gap between yoga action and yoga reception is outlined in Patanjali’s sutras. Th first five limbs of the Ashtanga path are active workings: deliberate effort on the part of the practitioner. The last three limbs, known as the inner limbs, are received by the practitioner. Dharana, dhyana, Samadhi: these are the gifts of constant, conscious tapas, asana, pratyahara, et al.

How?

The initial observable states of yoga: lifestyle, breath work, attainment and refinement of the mind-body, all bring greater clarity and organic order to the yogi. The physical fruits of these labors area: high energy, youthful tone, immunity to disease, resilience to injury. The mental equivalents are enthusiasm for work, fluid creative thought, logic over illusory impressions, resilience to stress, positive outlook on life.

With the mind and body united in high health, we feel the strength of will power, of higher consciousness, a natural outpouring of energy. With this abundance of energy, we can heal ourselves, be creative, or take care of others. If we stay the course of the yogic path, always working to reduce incoming stress/negativity/pain, increase our physical vigor and mental presence, then the natural outcome of the first steps of the yogic path is the last, inner limbs of the yogic path: concentration, constant meditative state, and living bliss.








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