Eight Steps of Classical Yoga: Part 1

Yoga is a system made up of several interconnected parts. These independent elements are related to and influenced by each other. You can use each component on its own, but, when you combine them in the right way, they help each other and their effect is vastly increased. We offer several types of yoga in Berlin including Hatha Yoga, Vinyassa Yoga and Classical Yoga.

Classical yoga consists of eight parts, also called limbs or branches. Each branch contains different methods and techniques that prepare you to take better advantage of the other parts; at the same time, each limb is a whole unto itself, working on a specific aspect of our being. We like to see each of these parts as a step towards being a healthier, happier, and more integrated person.

Step 1: Remove impurities and bring balance to your body.

Shatkarma, the yogic cleansing methods, provide a practical solution to the pollution of modern life. While each of these practices works on specific systems and organs – e.g. nose rinsing (Neti) for the respiratory system, intestinal cleansing (Shankaprashalana) for the digestive system – their effect is expressed in the whole body, both in obvious and subtle ways.


The science of yoga considers all the layers of your being.


Step 2: Become more supple and fit, while methodically touching your body’s organs.

Asana, the physical poses of yoga, work much deeper than at the mere muscular level; their effect in the body goes further than just making it strong and flexible. Among many other benefits, these poses massage the glands and the internal organs, stimulate the spine and the central nervous system, and positively affect the movement of fluids in the body.

Step 3: Harmonize your breath, and remove finer tensions.

Why work on the breath? Well, breathing is probably the most important thing we do. Anybody who has received a fright, experienced an intense situation or has been in love knows that there is a strong link between the breath and the mind. This link continues to the body. Pranayama, the yogic breathing exercises, offers tools for using the breath as a bridge between grosser and finer layers of our being. After practising exercises like Nadi Shodana for a long period of time, you may get a better understanding of the subtler aspects of your self.

Step 4: Restore your energy levels.

To hold tension, for example, in the shoulders, requires effort from the body. When we remove tensions through yoga, we gain access to that previously lost energy. In order for this energy to be experienced and directed in a harmonious way, we use Bandha and Mudra, special physical contractions and gestures that touch the endocrine system and other important areas of the body. They influence our state of mind and level of activity, while bringing consciousness and energy to the different parts of our self.

Check out our next blog which will outline steps 5-8 of classical yoga practice.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.