Yoga Blog

Living Your Yoga: Taking Yoga off the Mat

If you’ve been to a yoga class before, you’ve likely heard your teacher reference the 8 limbs of yoga. In fact, you may already know that asanas or the physical postures of yoga are just one-eighth of the beautiful masterpiece that is yoga. 

So if moving your body on the mat is only one of the eight limbs, what are the rest, and how do you access, activate, and practice them?

Follow along to discover the impact of each of these limbs and discover how you can start living your yoga all day long by taking your yoga off the mat. 

What Does Yoga off the Mat Mean?

Before we can truly grasp what ‘living your yoga’ means, we must first understand the intention behind adopting a yoga practice. 

By diving into the 8 limbs of yoga, we get a feel for just how profound and impactful the practice can really be, not only on the physical body but on the emotional and mental body as well. 

In just the first two limbs alone, we find Yamas (the 5 social observances) and Niyamas (the 5 moral observances) which outline specific values and qualities. 

The Yamas include:

  • Ahimsa – non-violence – gentle
  • Satya – truthfulness – balanced
  • Asteya – non-stealing – giving
  • Brahmacharya – sense control – nourishing
  • Aparigraha – non-grasping – Freedom

The Niyamas outline

  • Saucha – cleanliness/purity – removing obstacles
  • Samtosa – contentment – happiness
  • Tapas – discipline – passionate
  • Svadhyaya – self-study – inner quest
  • Isvara Pranidhana – surrender to a higher self – loving connection

Beyond this, we find emphasis placed on Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption). 

When we put all of these limbs together, we begin to truly live in alignment and take our yoga practice far beyond the perimeter of our yoga mats. 

How to Live Your Yoga

Now that you know each of the beautiful elements involved in yoga, you can begin to adopt these practices and invite them into your daily life. 

Here at Prana Yoga & Wellness, you are already learning bits and pieces at each class. By closing our eyes, practising breathing exercises, and incorporating mediation into each class, you are already tapping into 3 limbs beyond asanas and learning the valuable lessons they have to share. 

From here, the magic happens when you begin to consciously turn to these practices outside of class. This could mean closing your eyes for a 10-minute mediation each morning or reaching for those valuable breathing skills when you are feeling overwhelmed. 

No matter how this manifests for you, the important thing is to remember that all great things take practice and consistency. By adopting just a few small elements of yoga into your daily life, you can begin to see monumental changes that lead to a healthier body, a more easeful mind, and an understanding of your emotions. 

Where to Start

We understand. Taking yoga off the mat isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. Fortunately, we have a few classes specifically crafted to help you start living your yoga with ease. 

Women’s Circle

This class is specifically for the ladies (sorry men) and incorporates the principles of yoga in a beautiful environment and takes place once a month after a peaceful and restorative yin class.

There is beautiful symbolism and history behind gathering in a circle, but in its simplest state, a circle allows for equality and open sharing. In fact, once upon a time, women would gather in circles during powerful times such as with the cycles of the moon or the menstrual cycle to learn from each other and make impactful decisions for their entire tribe. 

Nowadays, the feminine essence is often squashed by a societal need to be more masculine (taking action, being the boss, etc.). 

The unfortunate reality of this is that we are losing touch with our beautiful, inherited gifts to strive for something that is not natural to us as women. 

In the circle, we get back to the basics and share in an environment of understanding and absolute confidence. After confirming a set of specific agreements, each soul in the room has a turn to speak their truth and be heard. 

Yoga Philosophy

If you’re looking to learn more about yoga and delve into the powerful studies of this practice, yoga philosophy is the perfect place. 

This extended class takes place once a month and progresses through teachings that usually only teachers would get to take part in. Of course, here at Prana, we believe that every yogi and yogini should have access to the knowledge and practices that can change a life. 

In this class, you’ll become more familiar with the intricacies of each limb of yoga and dive into the sacred philosophy and lifestyle that accompanies this. The purpose of this class is to give you a deeper understanding of yoga and highlight areas you may want to embody yourself. 

As this class is taught without any postures or even the need for a mat, you’ll truly begin to tap into what yoga off the mat feels like for you. 

Meditation & Workshops

While you will have a chance to try out meditation at each yoga class, taking part in a meditation class is an excellent way to deepen your ability to concentrate and surrender. 

You can find extended opportunities for meditation in our two Meditation and Yoga Nidra classes as well as in our special events. Take part in workshops such as the Magic of Mantra Meditation and Sound Healing, or immerse yourself in your practice by learning to Live in Alignment with the Seasons. 

Yoga off the Mat

Are you ready to extend that feeling of bliss and mindfulness beyond class? From tuning in to the teachings within your regular classes to attending the ‘off the mat’ sessions, we’re confident that you’ll love learning to live your yoga with us. 

Want to learn more about our unique offerings? Get in touch with us today to discover which classes and workshops are ideal for your individual goals and start your journey into alignment today.

About us

We offer a safe and authentic yoga experience, and our caring teachers will ensure you work at your own ability. With plenty of options for beginners and experienced students alike, we want to empower everyone to discover their individual path to a happy and healthy life.

Come On In

A beautiful space to nurture your soul.

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