Traditionally, the elements of earth, water, fire, air, & space would correspond only to the physical body & practice of asana. We have expanded this application to not only express the physical body through these natural elements, but have also included the entirety of the 8 limbs, as listed in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, within this structure. We have also aligned our ropes practice with the varying anatomical practices as they correspond to each element.
Patanjali was a grandfather of yoga & thought to have lived somewhere between 200-500 B.C. He gave us Ashtanga Yoga, an eightfold path designed to train the mind, breath, & body to attain self-realization through spiritual enlightenment.
In his work, he details the eight limbs of yoga:
- Yama (Ethics)
- Niyama (Disciplines)
- Asana (Physical Postures)
- Pranayama (Breath Training)
- Pratyahara (Sensory Withdrawal)
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Fusion with Source Energy)
The Yamas & Niyamas are the spiritual groundwork upon which all other limbs are filtered through. Asana, Pranayama, & Pratyahara primarily deal with the inward flow of source energy, our interpretations & digestions of reality, & how these perceptions effect our internal landscape. Through these practices, we develop an internal awareness & connection to our physical & energetic bodies & hopefully better understand how we allow our ego mind, associated attachments, & the energy surrounding us to influence us.
In Dharana, Dhyana, & Samadhi, we reverse the flow of energy & practice using our discernment through our intelligent mind & willpower to align our authentic expression in a way that allows us to speak, think, & act from a place of kindness, compassion, & most importantly, truth, without attachment or possession.
If used responsibly, our senses allow us to connect with what is true & authentic to our internal realities instead of attempting to match the many possible attachments & constructs as offered in our external realities. Through the work & sustained practice of yoga, we begin to see ourselves as a vessel capable of transforming the energies & inside of ourselves & with that, capable of influencing the energies surrounding ourselves, permitting us an increased understanding of the fluidity & interplay of our sensual & source energy.