Eight Limbs of Yoga - The Structure and Pacing of Self-Directed Spiritual Practice Paperback – Oct 1 2008
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About the Author
Yogani is the author of the Advanced Yoga Practices (AYP) system, including more than a dozen Instructional Titles available in Paperback, Kindle eBook and AudioBook editions, covering all aspects of Full-Scope Yoga Practice. Since 1970, he has crossed the lines between many traditions, developing an effective integration of methods including Deep Meditation, Spinal Breathing Pranayama, Hatha, Kundalini, Tantra, Self-Inquiry, and more. It is a flexible, scientific approach rather than a rigid, arbitrary one, and open to public scrutiny, as all spiritual knowledge should be nowadays. He has no desire for guru status - only to have the joy of making a small contribution to helping the disciplines of spiritual practice become open to everyone. He wishes to remain anonymous, preserving a quiet life in practices. AYP is not about the author. It is about all who long for knowledge. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The 'Enlightenment Series' are written largely for the purpose of self-directed spiritual practice, and can be incorporated into any spiritual discipline.
If you are a beginner in Yoga, these books are a great introduction, if you are experienced, they are a great review, and they would be helpful and clarifying also for those approaching yoga from a Religious Studies perspective.
'Eight Limbs of Yoga' ties all the other books together, and shows how all the practices of yoga belong to one whole. It also elaborates on 'self-pacing', which is important for the individual practicioner, practicing without a guru.
You can buy 'Eight Limbs of Yoga' alone and get a lot out of it. The best thing to do though is, I'd say, is to buy the whole set. They're great value! If you want to read my own recommendations on them individually, click on 'see all my reviews'.
Yogani talks about the five basic principals of the human spiritual transformation, the first being attraction to truth or God expressed as desire (bhakti). Second is purification and opening of our nervous system. Third is the rise of inner silence, fourth is the ecstasy experienced as inner silence increases, and fifth is the union of inner silence and ecstasy.
He explains how the AYP practices use the natural abilities in us to experience these basic principles of spiritual transformation. Two of these of these are: The ability to apply our desire toward our chosen ideal (Bhakti Yoga), and the natural ability of the mind to move beyond itself by refining a thought/sound (mantra) which brings us to inner stillness again and again while purifying the nervous system (Deep Meditation). He covers 12 more of these natural abilities in the book (rise of witness state, kundalini awakening, cultivating and directing energy for higher functions, etc).
The practices include Bhakti Yoga, Deep Meditation, Spinal Breathing Pranayama, Mulabandha, Sambhavi Mudra, Asanas, Siddhasana, Yoni Mudra Kumbhaka, Tantric Sexual Techniques, Kechari Mudra, Uddiyana Bandha, Nauli, Dynamic Jalandhara (chin pump/thokar), Samyama, Spinal Bhastrika Pranayama, Diet and Shatkarma, Amaroli (urine therapy), Self Inquiry (emerging non-duality in daily living), and Karma yoga (rising service to others).
Yogani explains how self directed practices are done. First it is important to have a twice a day routine of sitting practices in place and be active and engaged in the world between the practice sessions. He covers what sequence practices are taken up and what is the sequence of practice to be followed each day (a helpful "practice chart" is included in the book), how to self pace wherein we adjust the practice time and number of practices we do at a time so that our opening and awakening of our nervous system is as smooth as possible. He explains the practices that are used to increase inner silence, like deep meditation and samyama, and the practices that are used to awaken ecstatic energy (kundalini) like pranayama, asanas, mudras, bandhas. The energy merges with the silence to give rise to ecstatic bliss which in turn automatically draw us toward the yamas and niyamas - evolutionary conduct and much peace and joy in daily living.
The days when spiritual teachings used to be kept a secret and handed down only to a select few is no longer practical. AYP believes in horizontal teaching (peer-to-peer) and all of the AYP methods are openly available that way. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to take charge of their own opening. And when the practitioner decides to teach, it is important to encourage people to start from where they are with useful methods suited to them, and not expect students to begin at the end where the teacher may be, a common failing of many spiritual teachers. Other things covered in this book are group meditation, group samyama, retreats, practices for children, enlightenment milestones, fitting practices into a busy life style. There is a lot in this small book!
Yogani did a wonderful job summing up all that AYP covers and is about. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get an idea of the whole picture of what the path to enlightenment entails.
To all those people who had trouble with many other systems this book is the answer. There are many systems of spiritual practices, especially the old traditional ones that say you have to start with asanas, yamas, niyamas before you can do your meditation -- the thing that you love most. But in actuality basing on the connectedness of yoga as this book clearly explains, you can start with any limb of yoga and the others will flow automatically.
Yogani's spiritual approach called AYP, or advanced yoga practices has been a revolution in the field of spiritual practices and there are lakhs of practitioners worldwide that follow his approach and are benifitting everyday. I would also highly recommend AYP's bible "Advanced Yoga Practices" also written by Yogani and is considered a very very valuable book. Below is the link for that one
Advanced Yoga Practices: Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living
Highly recommended, especially in conjunction with the rest of the series. Also be sure to check out the online support forum for AYP.