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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Last month in yoga teacher training we discussed the eight limbs of yoga as defined in the Yoga Sutras. Each limb is a step in the path to becoming a true yogi. You can't skip ahead; they have to mastered in order. I realized I was in serious trouble when I haven't even mastered the first limb. The first limb is yama and sort of like the ten commandments except there are only five: 1. Ahimsa = nonviolence, 2. Satya = truthfulness, 3. Asteya = nonstealing, 4. Brahmacharya = continence, and 5. Aparigraha = non-covetousness. Forget about all the other yamas except ahimsa. Now, just like people study and pick apart the scriptures, the same is true for the Yoga Sutras. And I know you're thinking "Why is Cindy worrying about the first limb? She's not a violent person.", but it's not as simple as that. Or at least my brain wants to make it more complicated. You see, I lumped anger into the definition of ahimsa.

Chris and I talked about this while we ate lunch outside behind the yoga studio that day. I told him I was angry all the time and then he asked me what it was that I was angry about. I blinked a few times and then told him it would probably be easier to tell you the things I'm not angry about. The crazy thing is, I didn't feel this way on vacation. I know! Enough with the Portland trip already! I am just going to say this. I felt less volatile while we were in Oregon.

The last yoga teacher training taught me that I have a lot of work to do. The idea is that as you start practicing yoga, you start to want to learn more. The physical practice leads you to a spiritual practice. I've been resisting this for some time because I was having a hard time separating spiritual from religious. But I know now that practicing and focusing on the eight limbs doesn't make me religious. The limbs are just tools for making me a better person. It's time to start the climb.