Categories
Blog Yoga

5 Tips to Pick the Right Yoga Mat

For two years, I suffered. I twisted, squeezed, and contorted myself trying to fit on a mat that was too narrow for my body. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Follow my 5 Tips to Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Practice and Your Body!

I know you’re busy but take some time and watch the video below. Not only do I give you my tips, but I also review the mats in my collection.

1. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Where Your Practice

If you’re practicing at home, you may not need a mat right away. This is especially, true if you have carpet floors. In fact, putting a yoga mat on top of carpet can be challenging – so you might want to skip the mat altogether. If you have wood, laminate, or tile floors, you might want a mat to cushion your knees and give you traction.

If you’re practicing in a yoga studio you will need a yoga mat. The good news is, most studios have mats you can use for free or for a small fee. This could be a great way for you to try out different mats before you purchase your own.

I’m not sure whether or not most gyms supply yoga mats. So, if you’re planning to take a yoga class in a gym and you don’t have your own mat, call ahead of time to see if you can borrow one.

2. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Style of Yoga

If you’re doing relaxation or restorative yoga at home, you probably won’t need a mat. These styles are all about finding ease and most poses will be done seated or lying down.

Get ready to sweat if the words vinyasa, flow, power, hot or warm, are in the class title or description. If you’re sweating, you’re going to want a non-slip mat, and probably a towel, too.

3. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Body

A standard yoga mat is 24 inches wide and 64 inches long. They work for many but not all yogis. If you have a bigger body, you will likely need a bigger mat. Do your head and feet hang off your mat? Go for extra tall/long. If you’re like me, and your shoulders/arms don’t fit within a standard mat: go extra wide. Some folks might even want an extra tall and extra wide mat! Finally, if you have tender knees or other joints, consider getting an extra thick yoga mat for extra comfort.

4. Pick the Right Yoga Mat for Your Budget

You can spend $10 on a yoga mat, or you can spend hundreds. Like many things, you pay a premium price for elite brands. But I’ve found that you get what you pay for. My $10 Target mat was the worst mat for my sweaty practice. It was basically an orange slip n’ slide!

You can find deals on premium brands like Jade, Manduka, Hugger Mugger, and Lulu Lemon – you just have to look for them. Check your local TJ Maxx, I’ve noticed they carry Manduka yoga mats for nearly half the price! Check second-hand stores and e-bay. You never know where you might find a deal! Some folks buy a high-end yoga mat without doing their homework, and soon find out it was the wrong mat for them! So, they might sell it to you for a steep discount!

That brings me to my final tip:

5.  Ask Around!

You should do your homework before buying a yoga mat. Ask other yogis how they like their mats. They’ll be surprisingly honest. Although we all LOVE our yoga mat, there are things about them we might change. Who knows, maybe someone will even let you try their mat to see if you like it. Finally, read reviews online. I’ve found that 3 and 4-star reviews are the most helpful commentary on the benefits/challenges of a particular yoga mat.

Do you have any additional questions? Contact me using the form below and I’ll be happy to answer!

Categories
Blog Sociology

Power, Resistance, and Change: (Disaster) Sociology in the Trump Era

Originally presented at the Annual Meetings of the Society for the Study of Social Problems – August 13, 2017.

The idea for this paper came shortly after January 20, 2017. Like so many of you, I was riding the proverbial emotional roller coaster. I was high from a weekend of protest and solidarity but dreading the months and years ahead.

It was also time to commit to a topic for this year’s meetings, so, I put together the following abstract:

Disaster sociologists and our colleagues in other social science disciplines have provided critical examinations of how social inequality produces and is reproduced by “man-made” and “natural disasters”.  Due to our long and symbiotic relationship with the Federal government, American disaster sociologists have been influential in shaping the way that government agencies prepare for and respond to disasters. However, today our relationship and influence seems uncertain. Though unpredictable, this paper examines the future of disaster sociology within the context of the Trump administration. Specifically, this paper examines the challenges that disaster researchers face in political climate dominated by austerity, “alternative facts”, and uncertainty. In this paper, I propose strategies through which disaster sociologists can resist and subvert attempts to obfuscate knowledge and silence dissent.

I’ve struggled to write this paper for several reasons.

First, avoidance has been my primary survival tactic. Ignorance has been bliss, and I’m fine not knowing everything that happens in Washington, DC or on Twitter.

Second, there’s too much to keep up with. Last week, we got a leaked climate change report, learned that the FBI raided his former campaign managers home, continue to hold our breath as Trump tweets us closer to war with North Korea, and today we mourn the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

So, this paper isn’t what I imagined it would be.

I’m not going to review the list of attacks on science, the academy, and humanity in general, today. We are all aware of them and many of us are already working to oppose them.

I’m not sure that we can ever trust government. But, for a long time, many of us wanted to believe we could.

We wanted to believe that what the President of the United States said was at least partially true, even if it was steeped in imperialism. We believed we could turn to government agencies to find “objective” information about our society and our planet. We even imagined we could work with our government to create an equitable society.

In the current era, we can neither trust the President of the United States nor any of the agencies he controls.

Telling the “Truth”

Despite the rise of “fake news” many Americans rely on journalists and the corporate media, to give us the “truth”. But where do these truths come from? That’s where we come in.

I didn’t attend, but this year’s Natural Hazards Workshop, but it included a panel of journalists who offered scientists advice for communicating about disasters.

Jolie Breedan, of the Natural Hazards Center, recently published a summary of the panel’s advice, which you can find on the Hazards Center’s website.

The advice includes:

  • Building relationships with journalists
  • Become a trusted source, provide behind the scenes or “off the record” tips and information
  • Try not to talk (too much) like a scientist
  • Leverage social media

These are great starting points for all of us.

We should be building relationships not just with reporters, but also with state and local policy makers. By building these relationships, you can become a trusted source who might actually influence policy; at the local level, where policy matters most. This assumes we know anything about policy in the first place.

But, to influence policy, we must learn how to talk to policy makers and regular people in general. This has been a problem in sociology for decades now. I am not the first person, nor will I be the last to say this. We spend a lot of time learning how to talk to other sociologists. We learn the rules of writing for publication in journals that no one reads, and we forget how to talk to non-sociologists. Even those of us at teaching institutions struggle to communicate sociology to our students.

As Doni Loseke reminded us last night in her presidential address, we need to stop telling stories like sociologists.

But, that doesn’t mean that we need to abandon our principles. It just means that we need to make our principles accessible to audiences outside of conference rooms and academic circles.

Many sociologists have already learned how to do this. They have leveraged social media and have created blogs that have been read by thousands, and in some cases, millions of people. This has given rise to a class of Twitter famous, sociological Rock stars. There is also a lot of noise from other sociologists promoting their work and, dare I say egos, on social media. I may be a millennial, but I am skeptical that social media is the answer to our problems.

At its core, the advice to talk to strangers and build relationships encourages us as sociologists, to think and act locally. In our own departments, on our campuses, and in our neighborhoods.

It’s not about 45

At some point, I read commentary that Donald Trump was the first Brand elected to be president. Perhaps, this is one of the more poignant assessments of our current situation.

Because, the truth is, Donald Trump is not the problem.

Yes, he’s racist, sexist, transphobic and panders to nazis. But we’re sociologists. We know that it’s bigger than just one person. A point emphasized by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva in his presentation here yesterday morning.

We know that the problems we face are systemic. I don’t have to explain this at the annual meetings of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Aside from his attempts to drag us into nuclear war, we know that the attacks on science, knowledge, and our humanity started long before Donald Trump and will likely continue after him.

A few years ago, at the Natural Hazards Workshop, I was on a Panel on Social Vulnerability. In my final remarks I said something to the effect of:


“as long as we live in a capitalist, white supremacist, hetero-patriarchy we will continue to have disasters. We will continue to have vulnerable populations because we have decided that it’s okay for some people to die because it’s more important for others to make a profit.”

As sociologists, we know that capitalism and white supremacy are killing us.
As a society. As a discipline. And as Individuals.

Sadly, some in our discipline have been enticed by the capitalist/white supremacist fantasy and have come to enjoy their petit bourgeois standing. They will continue to defend and advance the capitalist regime’s agenda.

So, what are we supposed to do?

Emergent Strategy

I’d like to get back to the idea of thinking and acting locally.

In February, I started reading “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by adrienne maree brown. Adrienne is black woman, author, activist, and science-fiction scholar. She was mentored by Grace Lee Bogs and takes inspiration from Octavia Butler.

I’d like to share with you, adrienne’s explanation of emergent strategy:

According to Nick Obolensky, “emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.” In the frame work of emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. Existence is fractal “the health of the cell is the health of the species and the planet.”

There are examples of emergence everywhere.

Birds don’t make a plan to migrate, raising resources to fund their way, packing for scare times, mapping out their pit stops. They feel a call in the bodies that they must go, and they follow it, responding to each other, each bringing their adaptations.

There is an art to flocking: staying separate enough not to crowd each other, aligned enough to maintain a shared direction, and cohesive enough to always move toward each other.

Emergence is beyond what the sum of its parts could even imagine.

A group of caterpillars or nymphs might not see flight in their future, but it’s inevitable.

Oak trees don’t set an intention to listen to each other better or agree to hold tight to each other when the next storm comes. Under the earth, always, they reach for each other, they grow such that their roots are intertwined and create a system of strength that is resilient on a sunny day as it is in a hurricane.

Dandelions don’t know whether they are a weed or a brilliance. But each seed can create a field of dandelions. We are invited to be prolific. And to return fertility to the soil around us.

Cells may not know civilization is possible. They don’t amass many units as they can sign up to be the same. No, they grow until they split, complexify. Then they interact and intersect and discover their purpose “I am a lung cell! I am a tongue cell!” And they serve it, and they die. And what emerges from these cycles are complex organisms, systems, movements, and societies.

Nothing is wasted, or a failure. Emergence is a system that makes use of everything in the iterative process. It’s all data.

Octavia Butler said, “civilization is to groups what intelligence is to individuals. It’s a means of combining the intelligence of many to achieve on going group adaptation.”

She also wrote, “all that you touch you change / all that you change, changes you.” We are constantly impacting and changing our civilization each other, ourselves, intimates, strangers. And we are working to transform a world that is, by its very nature, in a constant state of change.

Janine Benyus, a student of biomimicry, says, “nature/life would always create conditions conductive to life.” She tells of a radical fringe of scientists who are realizing that natural selection isn’t individual, but mutual that species only survive if they learn to be a community.

How can we, future ancestors, align ourselves with the most resilient practices of emergence as a species?

Many of us have been socialized to understand that constant growth, violent competition, and critical mass are the way to create change. But emergence shows us that adaptation and evolution depend more upon critical, deep, and authentic connections, a thread that can be tugged for support and resilience. It’s the quality of the connections between the nodes in the patterns that matters most.

I have re-read these pages countless times over the last six months. There is beauty in adriene’s prose, and power in her metaphors.

Please allow me to transfer these metaphors to the academy and our discipline.

Emergent Problems in Sociology

We might say that birds do in fact, plan to migrate. They eat and store energy for the lean times of their long migrations. But let’s apply this to sociology. As a graduate student, I was trained to always be thinking about what comes next. As a master’s student, I had to be competitive for PhD programs. As a doctoral candidate, I had to be competitive for tenure track jobs. As a junior faculty member, I have to both earn tenure AND keep myself competitive for other jobs.

So how does one stay competitive? Through presenting at conferences, publishing in journals, and accumulating grants and fellowships. We cannot allow our curiosity to shape our research agendas, rather, we must shape our research agendas around the interests of faculty advisors, grant funders, and potential employers. Our work should be sexy, but not too weird.

Being competitive requires us to pull away from each other; to focus on our own needs and our own desired outcomes.

We cannot be a flock if we are all flying in different directions; or, bouncing between multiple conference venues.

Maybe caterpillars know that they will become butterflies one day. They keep munching way on leaves because they know how beautiful they will become in a few weeks. The dream of graduating certainly carried me through my dissertation. But I think there is a deeper lesson to be learned.

We are socialized to be focused on the outcomes of our work, rather than the work itself.

We need to allow ourselves and each other to be caterpillars: to take our time, carefully munching away, so that we can become butterflies. But deadlines, university time limits, and budget cuts get in the way.

We’re all familiar with imposter syndrome. I regularly catch myself worrying that someone will figure out that I’m not that smart. Or that I didn’t quite read all of those books I was supposed to in graduate school. I can’t help but think this is also tied to the culture of competitiveness. It plants the seeds of doubt in each of us. But, like the dandelion, we are neither weeds nor brilliance. We are invited to be prolific. We are invited to share ourselves and our ideas with our students and the world.

Sometimes those ideas can get us in to trouble.

We come together each time one of our colleagues is attacked by fascists. We write letters, sign petitions, and scream for justice at the top of our lungs on social media. But these displays of solidarity are temporary. We need stronger, deeper, and more interconnected roots. Showing up during a crisis is important, but we need to support each other, and keep one another in the ground at all times. When one of us falls, it weakens the entire discipline.

Like Adrienne says, many of us have been socialized to understand constant growth, violent competition, and critical mass as the key to what comes next. But what comes next may not be what you wanted it to be.

As individuals, we need to resist the neoliberal push for constant growth. More students, more money, more faculty lines, more publications. At what point will it be enough? At what point will you be enough?

Competition is deeply engrained in the white psyche. It has polluted generations of human beings and destroyed entire civilizations. I would like to say that we’re allowing it to destroy sociology, too. But the truth is that legacy of white supremacy, competition, and elitism is in our sociological DNA.

I don’t know how we can drive it out, but we must. Our careers and our lives depend on it.

Emergent Sociology?

This week, we are reminded of just how many sociologists there are. Thousands of us have gathered at ASA, SSSI, ABS, ASR, and here at SSSP. But many of us feel alienated and anonymous.

This probably has a lot to do with how we feel at home, on our campuses, and in our departments.

Where we work with others out of necessity and obligation, rather than mutual respect and understanding. We allow conflicts between sub-fields, methodological preferences, and political orientations to drive us apart. And, our students see this, and they replicate the behavior.

With or without Trump, we are in crisis.

It’s likely that our discipline will survive this crisis. But what it looks like and who is a part of it depends entirely upon us.

Categories
Archieve Blog Yoga

My Path to Radical Acceptance: What I’ve Learned in SmartFLOW Yoga Teacher Training

Note: This post was originally published on July 12, 2017 but was lost when my website was hacked in August 2018. I’ve republished it here with minimal edits from a backup file.

Everyone told me that yoga teacher training is transformative. Now that I am almost half way through the 200-hour, SmartFLOW Yoga teacher training program, I know what they mean. For weeks, I’ve wanted to share my experience. But, I have struggled to find the words. You can learn more about Annie Carpenter and the SmartFLOW Yoga system on her website. In today’s blog, I share my experience in SmartFLOW Yoga teacher training and reflect on my path to radical acceptance.

I am Strong and Flexible

Everyone also told me that the asana practices are intense. They were right. The two-hours long practices are mentally and physically challenging (they’re even harder at 6:30 in the morning). However, these in-depth practices have transformed my understanding of my body and how it works.

To be honest, I was terrified of the asana practices. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be strong enough or flexible enough. I regularly rest in Child’s Pose during regular practices in the studio. So, I just knew I couldn’t endure two hours of intense asana practice. I’m happy to report, I was wrong. I am strong enough and I am flexible enough, because I am enough.

Two months ago, I couldn’t tell you what sets SmartFLOW Yoga apart from other systems. Although, I’m far from being an expert, today, I have a much better appreciation for this practice. The Movement Principles and cuing system in SmartFLOW yoga allows everyone, regardless of their shape, strength, or flexibility to find their own expression of each pose.

Any yoga teacher will tell you that you don’t have to be strong or flexible to practice yoga asanas. In fact, most will encourage you to do yoga because it will help you become strong and flexible (among other things). But, SmartFLOW has taught me that I am strong enough and flexible enough, right now and that what comes tomorrow or next year doesn’t matter. What matters is what’s happening on my mat. SmartFLOW accomplishes this by teaching that yoga is an inquiry and that the goal (if you need to have one) is acceptance.

SmartFLOW Yoga is Inquiry

Elsewhere,  I’ve written that yoga is an epistemology, or a way of knowing. Prior to my training, I knew that yoga is a way to learn about yourself, your body, and the universe we all share. Studying SmartFLOW, I now understand yoga is in an inquiry rather than an epistemology. The distinction may be semantic, but my academic side can’t help but indulge.

To me, epistemology represents a system of knowledge. For example, there are infinite explanations for why the sun rises and sets each day. However, in our modern Western society, we teach our children that the sun rises and sets because the Earth rotates on its axis. Sometimes we face the sun, other times we don’t. This explanation comes from science. An epistemology based on systematic observation of the universe. But, at other times in our human history we’ve employed different knowledge systems, such as religion. For example, maybe the Sun God wakes up to protect us each morning, grows tired and falls asleep each night. While this explanation describes sunrise and sunset, the explanation is based on belief and/or faith rather than observation.

Ultimately, I’ve come to see yoga as the process of observing, rather than a means of knowing. In SmartFLOW terms, we say that yoga is paying attention. SmartFLOW yoga teachers invite their students to pay attention to their breath and their body, from largest limbs to the smallest muscle fibers. They do this through inquiry-based cuing.

If you watched my Mountain Pose tutorial, you probably noticed that I asked a lot of questions. In SmartFLOW Yoga, these cues invite students to inquiry rather than command them into a position. Here, SmarFLOW Yoga teaches people (about their body and how it moves), not poses. Compassionate SmartFLOW teachers will encourage you to notice what is happening in your body and guide along a path of radical acceptance.

SmartFLOW Yoga is Radical Acceptance

SmartFLOW Yoga celebrates the uniqueness of every body. We accept that no two practitioners are alike. My strength, range of motion, endurance, and ability to pay attention is likely very different from yours. In fact, my strength and range of motion today is different from what it was yesterday or what it will be two months from now.

Acknowledging our uniqueness, SmartFLOW Yoga encourages every student to experience her full potential. Presenting yoga as an inquiry, or series of questions to the Self without expectation for an outcome, establishes each practice as an opportunity for radical acceptance. This process of inquiry and observation taught me to let go and to accept myself as I am.

It doesn’t matter if my arms aren’t aligned with my head/neck/ears in Utthita Hasta in Tadasana. They might never be. What matters is that I am on my mat, doing my work, observing my body, and accepting what is. And that is the beauty of SmartFLOW Yoga.

Infinite Gratitude

Before I started this teacher training program, I didn’t know what made SmartFLOW different from other styles. I’d practiced Forrest yoga, yin yoga, and other forms of vinyasa yoga; I knew that I felt different in SmartFLOW classes, but I didn’t know why. Today, I know that I feel different in SmartFLOW classes because they start and end in a different place than any other yoga class.

Yes, we start our practice with an OM, and end in Savasana. But, SmartFLOW practices begin with a question and end with acceptance.

I am infinitely grateful to Annie Carpenter for developing this system of yoga. If you don’t know who she is, please, look her up. Take a class with Annie in California or find her on YogaGlo. I have yet to meet her in person, but she has already transformed my life.

I’m equally grateful to my trainers and mentors, Britni Serou and Janet Katz. These women live and breathe SmartFLOW and am honored to have the privilege of learning from them. I can’t wait to finish my training! If you have a chance, you should take a class with Britni at Downtown Yoga in Hammond, LA or with Janet at Second Story Yoga in Memphis, TN.

Categories
Blog Yoga

What Yoga Means to Me

Once, a friend of mine asked me: What is yoga, to you? I don’t remember how I answered him, but I wrote this in my journal:

Yoga is…A coping skill; Exercise; A means to connect and socialize; Embodiment; An epistemology; Moving meditation; Political; An Escape.

Since then, I like to check in with myself and see how my thoughts have changed. I should note that I’m not reinterpreting Patanjali or any other legendary yogis. Rather, I’m expressing what yoga represents in my life.

Yoga helps me cope with stress

I began my practice after my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015. This was an extremely difficult time for my family but, I had to contend with the added challenges of living more than 700 miles away and balancing a demanding job. My grief manifested as anxiety. Consequently, I was in a constant state of fight or flight. Sleeping was nearly impossible. In addition, I was irritable and short with my friends and co-workers. I heard that yoga was good at relieving stress and I knew that things couldn’t get worse, so I started a night time yin practice before bed. Within days, I was falling asleep faster and sleeping through the night. Since then, my practice has blossomed in ways I never imagined it would. I have a regular home practice and I completed my 200-hour teacher training last year. Altogether, yoga has helped me move through the grief of losing my father and grandfather and be less reactive person. I like to say that yoga has taught me to celebrate each breath, even when it hurts! But yoga is much more than just a coping mechanism.

Yoga taught me to celebrate my body

Yoga is often described as the union of mind, body, and spirit. I can confirm that yoga has forced me to reconcile these three. In our digital society, so many of us live disembodied lives. We are reduced to selfies, usernames, and hashtags. Additionally, our post-industrial economy means much of us engage in service, emotion, care, and intellectual work. For example, my day job emphasizes intellectual labor and neglects my physical existence. I spend hours behind a desk reading, writing, and answering e-mails with only a few short breaks where I stand in front of other being to “teach” them sociology. Because yoga rejoins body and mind it has led me to confront behaviors and emotions I used to ignore. At first, this led to a great deal of frustration in my practice. I became angry with myself for not being able to achieve the “ideal” form in many poses. I scolded myself for neglecting my body for so many years and engaged in a lot of negative self-talk. Soon, the self-shamming faded and now I relish in time I spend exploring my body and learning how it moves in the physical world.

I cannot deny the physical benefits of yoga. My regular asana practice has improved my physical health. I have increased my strength and flexibility and I’ve lowered my blood pressure. But overall, I just feel better. I don’t get as many headaches and my low-back pain has virtually disappeared.

As a fat person, I used to believe that exercise was punishment. That I needed to push myself to exhaustion as penance for over indulging. Yoga has taught me that exercise should be a celebration of the body and an opportunity to explore the edges.

Yoga helped me find community

In 2013, I moved to Hammond, Louisiana, to start a new job. I was a native Floridian and had lived in Orlando and Tampa for a decade before moving to Hammond. The transition to small town life was difficult. As a queer person with radical political beliefs, I felt isolated and trapped – surrounded by people who didn’t think, or talk like me. Practicing yoga has helped change some of my perceptions. In the studio, I have met people with similar beliefs and values. Practicing (and teaching) in the studio motivates me to get out of my house, to see my friends and relish in their company. Additionally, I’ve found an rich yoga community on Instagram, through #fatyoga.

Yoga is Political

We rarely acknowledge it, but yoga is political and tt always has been. However, the yoga industry doesn’t want us to understand the influence of colonialism on the development of yoga or to critically examine our consumption or cultural appropriation. Indeed, these are heavy topics that can make us all feel uncomfortable. None the less, they are important to discuss, and I’ll get to all of that, eventually. At a personal level however, we have become separated from ourselves and others through work that degrades our bodies, minds, and relationships. In this sense, yoga is political because it rejects the external conditions that creates suffering and provides a means for repairing harm.

Yoga practice, whether it’s asana, pranayama, or meditation, allows us to escape the physical world of suffering. As a fat person, yoga has taught me to value my body just the way it is. More importantly, my yoga practice has taught me that I am worth of love, respect, and dignity regardless of my body size or what I ate today.

Categories
Blog Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient Sanskrit word with many uses. Today, most people in the United States associate the word yoga with a system of physical postures knowns as asanas. Yoga however, is much more than poses. Viewed holistically, yoga is an eight-limbed system that includes ethics, postures, breathwork, and meditation techniques that are intended to lead the practitioner to samadhi, which can be understood as “enlightenment” or “bliss”.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The ashtanga (eight-limbed) system of yoga was initially described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. According to Patanjali, the yoga system includes an ethical code including moral observances (yamas) and personal observances (niyamas), postures (asana), breathwork (pranayama), sense withdrawal (pratyahara), focused concentration (dharana), meditative absorption (dhyana), and samadhi. Before moving forward, I think it’s important to briefly explore these limbs.

The Yamas and Niyamas

There are five yamas and five niyamas. The yamas provide guidelines for our relationship to other beings (both human and non-human). The niyamas are personal observances often considered to be “good habits”.

Yamas

Ahimsa – non-harming or non-violence in thoughts, words, or action

Satya – truthfulness

Asteya – non-stealing  

Brahmacharya – celibacy or “right use of energy”

Aparigraha ­– non-greed or non-hoarding

Niyamas

Saucha – cleanliness

Santosha – contentment

Tapas – discipline, austerity, “purifying fire”

Svadhyaya – study of self and texts Isvara Pranidhana – contemplating the divine

More to come!

Check back soon for more on the eight limbs of yoga!