Sage Patanjali in his Yoga sutras mentions eight interconnected limbs that provide a structured way of living the yoga path.
The first limb, Yamas, encompasses ethical guidelines to improve relationships and these include: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation, and non-possessiveness. The second limb, Niyamas, involves personal observances such as cleanliness, contentment, discipline, self-study, and surrender to a higher power.
The third limb, Asana, focuses on physical postures that promote bodily strength, flexibility, and balance. These postures prepare the body for meditation and concentration, which constitute the fourth limb, Pranayama. This limb involves breath control to enhance vital energy and mind-body connection.
The fifth limb, Pratyahara, entails withdrawing the senses from external distractions to internalize focus. Dharana, the sixth limb, follows, and it emphasizes concentration on a single point or object. Dhyana, the seventh limb, is meditation, where the practitioner achieves a state of conscious awareness.
The final limb, Samadhi, is the ultimate goal of yoga – a state of complete absorption and oneness with beauty, strength, truth and bliss. It represents spiritual enlightenment and transcending the boundaries of the self.