I remember the first time I was introduced to yoga (not just the physical practice we’re all too familiar with here in the West). I had just completed three rounds of timed intercourse with injections — but none of them took. I was devastated, and I was in the midst of trying to decide what to do next. So, I signed up for a yoga retreat in the mountains. It was a much-needed respite from the overwhelming grief, frustration, and anxiety I had been experiencing for quite some time.
Up until then, I had never heard of the eight limbs of yoga. Like many, I had taken a handful of yoga classes but no one ever mentioned them (specifically). I remember standing in the hallway of the retreat center between the classroom and the dining hall looking at a poster — it outlined all eight limbs. I stood there trying to decipher the words in a language I had never seen before (Sanskrit) when someone stopped to stand beside me. They offered a quick summary of what the poster meant and mentioned that they hadn’t learned them until they earned their yoga teacher certification. I was still new to yoga so going through teacher training seemed quite daunting, but the conversation and that very weekend planted a seed. Thankfully, attending that retreat marked the very first steps in my recovery and healing journey after infertility.
Here are the eight limbs of yoga in a nutshell:
YAMA – The Five Restraints
NIYAMA – The Five Observances
ASANA – The Physical Practice
PRANAYAMA – Breath Control
PRATYAHARA – Withdraw of the Senses
DHARANA – Concentration
DHYANA – Meditation or contemplation
SAMADHI – The state of bliss or surrender
We believe yoga is crucial to navigating the highs and lows of infertility and life beyond. Won’t you join us over the coming weeks as we explore all eight limbs in more depth?