The 8 limbs of yoga refers to the work of Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras. This text was designed to act as guidelines on how to live a life of purpose, following a step-by-step path to enlightenment. It includes how to act morally and ethically with self-discipline and towards a spiritual existence. These 8 limbs of…

Patanjali is one of the most recognised names in yoga history. Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of available information about Patanjali himself, he is known to have been responsible for compiling The Yoga Sutras – a collection of Indian traditions, presented in 195 short verses. This text holds significant value in the history of yoga, as the first structured record of yoga practice as a way of life, which Patanjali took from many different past practices at the time.

The full history of yoga is fairly unclear still, despite many curious researchers digging deep to further piece together the jigsaw.

Part of the reason for this uncertainty, is that in the early days of yoga, knowledge was passed on by word-of-mouth only. Later, this word-of-mouth knowledge was written onto palm leaves, however with their fragility these were often damaged, lost or destroyed, leaving few clues as to the early origins of yoga practice.

The Yoga Sutras are a collection of 195 Indian traditions, or aphorisms, written and compiled by the Sage, Patanjali. They detail the historical practice of yoga taken from many sources, combining the knowledge that was available at the time, to act as a yoga guidebook and the framework of which yoga practice has been built.

It’s a great question, with several possible answers, depending who you ask. To someone who has never practiced before, yoga can perhaps be described as a physical activity, developed some 5000 years ago in India, where participants move into unusual and awkward looking positions, stretch a lot, whilst practicing deep breathing! Those who have practiced…