Ashtanga (Eight Limbs): Part III

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Students practicing Marichyasana A at SunMoon Yoga Studios in Mankato, Minnesota. 

Part III of a continuing series on the eight limbs of yoga and how it relates to an Ashtanga practice.

Limb 3: Asana (physical practice)

The asana practice, the physical movement of the body, tells us a lot about our mental and emotional states. The asana practice allows us to move through the past to arrive at the present. Physical limitations become apparent. But the more we use asana, the more we can confront those limitations and start to open up. Anyone who has practiced likely has witnessed this opening up in themselves or others. Crying during or after an asana practice is the result of a release that the asana has triggered. The asana—the physical—should not be seen as the end goal or the only reason to set out your mat. It is just one of eight limbs—important, but not any more important than any other limb.

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