Modern Yoga v2.018 Eight Limbs

Yama.

The world out there is more than a little crazy. In fact it’s completely crazy. Before you fully engage with all of that madness, it seems sensible to engage with family, close friends and soothing, uplifting Facebook posts until you feel ready to deal with the world. Definitely avoid watching any news.

Niyama.

You’d like to cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with yourself but most days you wake up feeling so different to the day before, that you’re beginning to wonder if you actually have any depth or meaning. You decide to leave it for a while so you can research on the internet whether this is a recognisable mental condition.

Asana.

Your asana practice alternates between high energy power Yoga/acro Yoga and restorative Yoga (to recover from the injuries you picked up in the power/acro Yoga). Or dynamic flow – the more dynamic and flowing the better because savasana feels amazing when you’re exhausted.

Pranayama.

At the end of five minutes of pranayama practice, you have also decided what you will cook for dinner tonight (involving using up those multigrain and seed wraps that are in the bread-bin), what you will wear for your sister’s wedding/your Aunt’s funeral/BFF’s birthday party and reminded yourself that you dropped off some items for dry cleaning 3 months ago.

Pratyahara.

You practice pratyahara regularly by not looking at your phone immediately when it pings. You wait for a good 15 seconds, thereby showing incredible control of your senses.

Dharana.

Concentration is such an important skill nowadays in our fast-paced, multitasking lives. You concentrate on a work task for 2 minutes before getting stuck. You save it for later – 3 hours and 47 minutes later but this is a huge improvement on the previous day when it took 6 hours and 12 minutes to get back to the same task.

Dhyana.

Meditation – it’s to music, right? It’s all wonderful and keeps you sane. But it’s hard to find the right background pieces of music/authentic sounds from nature, so you’re going through the relaxation music on your music streaming service to see which one works best for you. You’re sure you’ll experience truly magical meditation when you find the right track.

Samadhi.

This is the really, really nice state you get to on day 6 of that Yoga retreat holiday, as you’re lying down at the end of a practice. During the practice, you had an emotional release as you worked on your psoas muscles and now lying for some rest, you feel totally at peace and as one with yourself and the world. This feeling lasts for precisely 12 seconds before you realise that you are going to have to work flat out for the next 4 months to cover the credit card bill that you’ve run up to afford the holiday.

Barbara Dancer