“Yoga has eight limbs, like a chair which has got four legs. Each one is connected to the whole. If you pull one leg, the whole chair comes. When the body is developing, the whole body develops together. All the organs of the body develop together. Not that the nose develops first and then the ears come; all the aspects, all the limbs of the body develop simultaneously. That is why Patanjali says that these are all the limbs (not steps) of yoga and they develop simultaneously.”
This understanding, that these eight aspects of yoga are not steps but limbs that grow simultaneously, removes all self doubts and gives us so much space, freedom and enthusiasm to practice yoga as a whole with a full heart.
Yoga anga anushtanat ashuddhi kshaye jnanadi Apthiraviveka khyatehe’’ (Sutra II - 28) “By the sustained practice of the eight limbs of yoga, the impurities are destroyed and the light of wisdom, discrimination shines forth.” Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains this sutra as, “Human consciousness is like a seed. A seed has the possibility of a tree, of the leaves, of a branch, of fruits, of flowers, of multiplication; so also the human mind. A seed needs a proper ground, proper conditions, sunlight, water, proper soil for it to sprout and blossom. Similarly human consciousness and human mind. Either the seed can be dormant for years, keeping its possibility within itself, or it starts blossoming, sprouting. The sprouting of the seed of human consciousness is viveka - discrimination. Freedom comes with viveka - discrimination."
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