A Quick Guide to the 8 Limbs of Yoga

The 8 Limbs of Yoga were written down by Patanjali over 2000 years ago in the Yoga Sutras. Previously, the yoga techniques were passed down orally from yoga guru to disciple. The Sutras (meaning ‘thread’ in sanskrit) are a collection of 196 short statements on the theory and practice of yoga.  In essence, the sutras are an outline of the teachings of yoga. Each sutra requires contemplation to unpack the depth of its meaning from its simplicity. Many commentaries have been written which attempt to illuminate the sutras and if you are interested I suggest looking to one of these commentaries for more exploration. The following is a incomplete and simplified version of the The 8 Limbs of Yoga from my humble, pragmatic perspective.

1st Limb: Yamas (Restraints)

2nd Limb: Niyamas (Observances)

The Yamas and Niyamas, the ethical precepts for Yoga, are the foundation for all of the other yogic practices. Rather than view them as a way to judge right from wrong, they can be used for guidance on how to live a yogic life, where we consider which actions will support love and connection.

3rd Limb: Asana (Postures)

The 3rd Limb is the what most people identify with yoga, the physical postures. The postures help ground us into the experiences of our body, anchor us to the present moment and revitalize the flow of energy, relieving stagnate or constricted energy in the body.

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New Class Registration Online

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for being part of our studio in 2018. I am looking forward to 2019 and working with the personal theme of “Growing with Intention”  Part of that intention includes a few changes at the studio (don’t worry, this isn’t a huge announcement, just a few small things) that I want to share with you personally.
 
Starting January 1 you will be able to register online for all classes, even those that were previously “drop in”,  just as we have done for special events the past few years. This allows you to set your intention and register for the classes you plan to attend in advance. Working with intention allow you to keep your personal commitment to practice. This extra step also allows new students to easily understand that they can attend any class and helps teachers to know who is planning to attend their classes as they prepare.
 
Here is what you need to know about the Registration process
  • You can register for class easily right up until the time class begins until the class is full (weekday classes are rarely full, but special events do fill up early)
  • Sign in is encouraged for weekday yoga classes and required for special events
  • You can register for class even if you do not have a yoga pass. You can still pay at the studio at class time.
  • You can also easily deregister for a class up until 15 minutes prior to the class time through your student account
  • If something happens and you can’t register, you can still attend the class (we will adjust to this gradually, don’t worry!)
Register easily through your alleyCat Student Account
 
>>>>>Need help? Watch this short video on How to View Your Account
  • Go to https://alleycatyoga.com/student-access/ and log into your account
  • When logged into your student account you can register and deregister for classes with the click of a button 
  • Your student account allows you to view your yoga pass credits, class attendances and class registrations
>>>>>If you have never accessed your student account use the email address where you received this communication and go to Student Access. Enter your email address and claim your account. 
 
If you have any questions call or text the studio or send an email through the Contact form. 
 
Jai Bhagwan,

How to View Your alleyCat Yoga Student Account

Do you have questions about registering and deregistering from classes, if you have an active yoga pass and how many credits you have on your yoga pass? Watch this quick video to find out how use your student account!

Becoming Still

Winter brings with it a hectic hustle unlike no other time. As a yogi and a nature lover my natural inclination is to become reflective and quiet this time of year. Long cups of tea, reading and writing by the fire is my preference as we move toward the darkest days of the year. But as a business owner (oh the conflicts are many) this time of year calls for action. There are so many minute details and the inevitable need to manage multiple obligations. Though I personally choose to celebrate Solstice over any other winter holiday, family traditions and obligations require my presence. And then there is the unending pressure and the heighten emotions that come with holiday expectations and avoidance of those expectations. The doing and swirling and tension builds on all side, swirling and churning. 

Inside of me I have been feeling a strong urge to explore stillness in a way that I have never felt so strongly. The energy all around me feels frenetic and slightly out of control. The outer world is saying, society is saying, “You must do something NOW and on my terms.” Nature is saying, “Turn inward and rest.” Today particularly, the Winter Solstice, my Inner world is sending a different message. Higher Awareness says, ” Do not act. Be still. Listen. Let the darkness fall. Be with the quiet, be with the dark. Breathe in, listen deeply, reflect. Breathe out and be with the churning, embrace the darkness until stillness comes. Be present here in this moment as if you have nothing else to do, nowhere else to be. Be stillness itself. And when you move again, move with renewed spirit to act, with Awareness.” I believe it is time to listen to that awareness.

Happy Solstice. May we all find stillness in the darkness and celebrate the light, for it is never lost. ~ Jai, Bhagwan, Susan 🙏l

Staying Sane in a Turbulent World

Outside a gentle rain is falling on the tin roof of the cabin. Curled up in bed with my laptop, the slanted ceiling of the bedroom loft is alive with the sound of rain. My gaze lands on the sloped hillside outside the second story window where the colors of fall light up the landscape even through the rain. The leaves of the trees blow freely in the wind. I am present, tuned into the clicking of the keys as I type, the rhythm of the breath inside me, and the changing beat of the drops on the roof. In this moment, the world is safe and quiet, a simple heaven of sight, sound and touch.  

This week I am spending a few days in a cabin in the woods, hiking, writing, and watching the stars. For a time, the rhythm of the days are not determined by the ping of the phone, the arrival of emails and the busy preparation for yoga class, offering my energy and presence to others; for a time I am offering the gift of presence to myself. The reward of this attention is clarity, inner quiet, and the exquisite sweetness of moving slowly. The morning rain is an added bonus, a message from nature to take my time. Read More »