The Eight Limbs of Yoga – Ekhart Yoga


This program is designed to help you achieve a good grasp of Patanjali's 8 Limbs of Yoga through informative talks, yoga, Pranayama and meditation. Go deeper and truly enrich your yoga practice.


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Learn about the 8 Limbs of Yoga

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the definition of yoga is given as Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah (1.2) – Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Meaning the stilling of all our repetitive, whirling thoughts, desires, analysis and judgments. Patanjali laid out the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga as the tools to help us control these fluctuations or Vrittis and to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They are:

  • The 5 Yamas
  • The 5 Niyamas
  • Asana
  • Pranayama
  • Pratyahara
  • Dharana 
  • Dhyana 
  • Samadhi

In this program, we'll explore each of the 8 Limbs of Yoga in turn. With a talk on each limb and a mix of yoga, meditation and Pranayama classes to help you explore each topic on a practical level. There is also plenty of recommended reading material for those who like to dive even deeper.

Who is it for?

This program is aimed at yoga students and teachers who want to learn more about yoga philosophy. It is available to all EkhartYoga members.

1. Yamas

Connect with the world from an authentic and ethical place

The Yamas are primarily concerned with the world around us and our interaction with it.  By considering these aspects in our daily practice and life, all of our decisions and actions come from a more considered, aware and ‘higher’ place. This enables us to become more authentic towards ourselves and others. 

Day 1: An introduction to the Yamas

Jennilee Toner • All levels • Talks

Day 2: Ahimsa

Sandra Carson • All levels • Pranayama, Anusara, Vinyasa Flow

Day 3: Satya

David Lurey • Beginners • Vinyasa Flow

Day 4: Asteya

Esther Teule • All levels • Talks

Day 5: Brahmacharya

Anat Geiger • All levels • Yin Yoga

Day 6: Aparigraha

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Talks

2. Niyamas

Seeking the truth within

The Niyamas refer to duties directed towards ourselves – inner observances. They are intended to help us build character. When we work with the Niyamas – from Saucha (cleanliness) to Isvararpranidhana (surrender to a higher power) – we're guided from the grossest aspects of ourselves to the truth deep within. 

Day 1: The Niyamas

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Talks

Day 2: Saucha

David Lurey • Experienced – Intermediate • Vinyasa Flow

Day 3: Santosha

Esther Teule • All levels • Meditation

Day 4: Tapas

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Vinyasa Flow

Day 5: Svadhyaya

David Lurey • All levels • Talks

Day 6: Isvara Pranidhana

Esther Ekhart • Experienced – Intermediate • Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow

3. Asana

sthira sukham asanam

Asana is the only limb to refer to the physical aspect of yoga. It means ‘seat’ – the seat you would take for the practice of meditation. The only alignment instruction Patanjali gives for this Asana is “sthira sukham asanam”, the posture should be steady and comfortable. 

Day 1: Asana

Irina Verwer • All levels • Talks

Day 2: A Sthira and Sukha Vinyasa Flow

Adela Serrano • Experienced – Intermediate • Vinyasa Flow

Day 3 : A comfortable seat

Francesca Giusti • Beginners • Pranayama, Meditation, Hatha

Day 4: Yoga to balance and relax the body

James Reeves • All levels • Hatha

Day 5: A continuous flow

Esther Ekhart • Experienced – Intermediate • Vinyasa Flow

4. Pranayama

Prana – means 'energy' or 'life force' ​

Prana – means 'energy' or 'life force' and often describes the breath in the sense that it's the very essence that keeps us alive. By working with the breath, we affect the mind in a very real way. 

Day 1: Pranayama talk

Anat Geiger • All levels • Talks

Day 2 : Ujjayi breath

Joey Miles • All levels • Pranayama, Ashtanga

Day 3: Moving the body to Ujjayi


José de Groot • All levels • Pranayama, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga

Day 4: Kapalabhati & Nadi Shodana

Jeff Phenix • All levels • Pranayama

Day 5: Breathing ratio 1:2 – gentle yoga

Esther Ekhart • Beginners • Pranayama, Hatha

Day 6: Samavritti

Sandra Carson • All levels • Pranayama

5. Pratyahara

Sense withdrawal… the bridge between external and internal yoga

Pratya means to ‘withdraw’ and the second part ahara refers to anything we ‘take in’ by ourselves, such as the various sights, sounds and smells our senses take in continuously.

Day 1: Pratyahara

Anat Geiger • All levels • Talks

Day 2 : Go deeper

Esther Ekhart • Beginners • Pranayama, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yang Yoga

Day 3: Deep meditation

Esther Teule • All levels • Meditation

Day 4: Observing the thinking mind

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Yin Yoga

Day 5: Inner sanctuary

James Reeves • All levels • Yoga Nidra

6. Dharana

Focused concentration

Dharana and Pratyahara are essentially part of the same aspect. In order to focus on something, the senses must withdraw so that all attention is placed on that point of concentration, and in order to draw our senses in, we must focus and concentrate intently.  

Day 1: Dharana

Marlene Smits • All levels • Talks

Day 2: The point of focus

Adela Serrano • All levels • Vinyasa Flow, Hatha

Day 3: Gazing

Andrew Wrenn • All levels • Meditation, Therapeutic

Day 4: Balance and breathe

Jennilee Toner • All levels • Vinyasa Flow, Hatha

Day 5: Inner and outer focus

Esther Teule • All levels • Meditation

7. Dhyana

Meditative absorption 

When we become completely absorbed in the focus of our meditation…this is when we’re really meditating. 

Day 1 : Dhyana

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Talks

Day 2: A regular meditation

Esther Teule • All levels • Meditation

Day 3: Meditation in motion

Andrew Wrenn • Beginners • Hatha

Day 4: A peaceful mind

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Meditation, Hatha

Day 5: Moving in stillness

James Reeves • All levels • Hatha

8. Samadhi


Many of us know the word Samadhi as meaning ‘bliss’ or ‘enlightenment’. Breaking the word in half, we see that this final stage is made up of two words; ‘sama’ meaning ‘same’ or ‘equal’, and ‘dhi’ meaning ‘to see’. The ability to ‘see equally’ and without disturbance from the mind, without our experience being conditioned by likes, dislikes or habits, without a need to judge or become attached to any particular aspect; that is bliss.

Day 1 : What is Samadhi?

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Talks

Day 2 : "Goal-less"

James Reeves • All levels • Hatha

Day 3: Points of stillness

Esther Ekhart • All levels • Hatha

Day 4: Dropping into presence

Jeff Foster • All levels • Meditation, Talks

Day 5: Sense of 'I'

Adela Serrano • All levels • Vinyasa Flow, Hatha

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