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Yoga Sutra 1.12 Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodha

Both practice
and nonattachment are required to still the movements of the mind.




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Like many yoga practitioners, I often wrestle with daily practice, called abhyasa in Sanskrit. This investigation has taken many shapes and forms over the years. (Read more about my recent discoveries in the 8 Limbs Blog.)

Fortunately there are many guides on this path of yoga. One particularly pithy one from 2,000+ years ago is the author of The Yoga Sutras. In Sutra I. 12 Patanjali offers us the following prescription for yoga, which he defines as the stilling of the movements of consciousness:

Both practice and nonattachment are required to still the movements of the mind.

Read it again. In each Yoga Sutra, every word carries import, is essential to the whole. I am currently working with the concept of nonattachment, vairagya, and in the process, the two first words in this translation are being tested and brought into greater relief.  

This concept of practice, what exactly does it mean? Is it two hours of asana daily? Forty minutes of alternate nostril breathing? Standing on one's head chanting OM? 

Practice is the sustained effort to rest in that stillness. (Sutra I.13) Ah. That's pretty straightforward. It is individual, and it is universal.

This month I will bring fresh attention to abhyasa. Instead of only a duty, a prescription, I will come to the mat interested in resting in stillness. And borrowing from Sutra I.14, I will "cultivate skillfully," and "continuously over a long period of time." I'll let you know how it goes.


What is your own challenge in maintaining a daily practice at home and in the studios? For many it is lack of sleep. If so, check out the "Falling in Love with Sleep" Insights from the Edge podcast, enjoy some Yoga Nidra, yogic sleep with Tracy Hodgman in February and look for a Yoga for Sleep Workshop with Dawn Jansen in the Spring.

Don't know how to design a practice? Ask your favorite teacher for a private, or take Dawn's Individually Tailored Asana Workshop on January 21 and Seasonal Vinyasa with Melina in February.

Feet dragging? Learn how to Jump Through with Power and Grace with Tracy Hodgman and get 'em off the floor or build overall strength and endurance through Douglas' Yoga Conditioning Series Mondays in February.

Ready for instruction on Pranayama and Meditation? Check out Jenny's  Intro to Pranayama and Series this month and the two Meditation classes at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill, Thursdays at 8am and/or 8pm and check the notes section of class schedules for classes that focus on P and M.


Tell us a story about your own path with practice and we'll consider it for a blog post. Send entries of up 200 words to


Happy New Year!


Smile Often

Anne Phyfe Palmer
Owner and Education Director

8 Limbs Yoga Centers 

P.S. Thanks BKS Iyengar and Chip Hartranft Yoga Sutras translations.


For January 1st, 2012, we have three diverse offerings to ring in your New Year:

New Year's Day of Renewal 
with Jenny Hayo, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill

Starting this full day experience is a "Moving Through What Binds Us" (partial registration available) practice, followed by an afternoon spent in Noble Silence.

Awakening to 2012 
with Megan Costello, 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge

Start your New Year with intention through ritual, asana, pranayama, meditation, journaling, yoga nidra, and sacred sound.  


Cleanse and Restore with Dawn Jansen, 8 Limbs Wedgwood

This vinyasa practice will "wring" out 2011 and bring you into 2012 with a fresh perspective and a deep relaxation practice.


Intro Series (click on this link for series dates)
Mondays at 8 Limbs West Seattle with Rai
Tuesdays at 8 Limbs Wedgwood with Jen
Tuesdays at 8 Limb Capitol Hill with Jenny and Kate
Thursdays at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge with Leisha
Saturdays at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill with Kate

*Please note the West Seattle Series has moved to Mondays

Back Care Series with Kate Bradfield
Tuesdays, January 3 - February 7, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill
Wednesdays, January 4 - February 8, 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge

Pranayama Intro and Series with Jenny Hayo
Intro January 7 & 8, series January 11 - February 1, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill

Partner Prenatal with Marni Yamada
January 15, 8 Limbs Wedgwood
January 21, 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge

Kids, Tween & Family Yoga (click this link for series dates)
Thursdays with Joanna at 8 Limbs West Seattle
Fridays with Shana at 8 Limbs West Seattle 
Saturdays with Dawn at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill
Saturdays with Shana at 8 Limbs West Seattle
Sundays with Dawn at 8 Limbs Wedgwood

Teacher Training Info Session with Anne Phyfe Palmer
January 23 at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill 
Jump Through with Power & Grace with Tracy Hodgeman 
January 28, 8 Limbs West Seattle

Yoga Conditioning Series with Douglas Ridings
Mondays 7:15 - 8:30pm, February 6-27, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill

Seasonal Vinyasa with Melina Meza
February 10 - 12, 8 Limbs Wedgwood

Yoga Nidra, Yoga Bliss with Tracy Hodgeman
February 11, 8 Limbs West Seattle

Partner Yoga with Rai Lowe
February 12, 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge

February 24 - 26, 2012, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill

Individually Tailored Asana with Dawn Jansen
March 3, 8 Limbs Wedgwood

An Afternoon with Max Strom
March 31, 8 Limbs Capitol Hill


End of January Sale! Stop by any 8 Limbs boutique, January 15th - 

28th and find a great selection of 30% - 50% off items for an  
inspiring way to help kick off your 2012 yoga practice.


GuatemalaRetreatAre you ready for some sunny weather in a remote location? There are still spaces in our  Guatemala Retreat far from cities and cars and cellphones. Join Douglas and Dawn for a week-long immersion into the 8-limbed path of yoga on beautiful Lake Atilan March 10 - 17, 2012. Register by January 5th with the coupon below to get the early registration rate
(a $120 value!)

Already planning your summer? Jen Yaros will lead her annual  Hood Canal Retreat June 1 - 3, 2012. Contact the Capitol Hill studio for more details or visit our website.  

8 Limbs goes to Breitenbush Hot Springs in the Oregon mountains for two annual retreats in April and July, both are part of our Teacher Training but open to serious practitioners. Dive deep, both into the healing waters of B'bush and the practices of yoga.


The Winter 2012 Schedule has now been posted online. It starts on January 3rd and runs through the end of May. Note the increased opportunities for Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama and Meditation, a new Vinyasa teacher from Texas named Tim (Tuesdays 7:15pm at Cap Hill) and more on our Class Schedules page, just scroll ahead to January 3rd. Printed schedules will be in the studios this week. We wish Jenny Hayo a lovely maternity leave as she takes February - June off to care for baby on the way (due late February). Catch her drop-in classes through January 16th and Pranayama Intro next weekend.


It's that time of year to make a few rate changes to support the sustainability of our business. 

Pre/Postnatal 8-class pass: $115

10-Class 1-hour Pass: $115

10-Class Pass: $135

1 Month Unlimited: $130

Auto-Pay Memberships: Moving forward Autopay Memberships will now honor those students willing to give their practice a 6 or 12-month commitment. 12-month commitments will be rewarded with a lower-than-current rate of $100/month. Those who commit to a minimum of 6 months will receive the rate of $115/month. These are both a huge savings over the One Month Unlimited Rate of $130/month. We will announce a Referral Reward Program for Auto-Pay Members by the end of January. Please click here if you would like to sign-up for Auto-Pay, current participants should have been notified by email and will receive individual phone calls over the course of the next month. Current auto-pay students have until February 1st to decide which option they would like to move forward with.



Though not all of these are posted on our website, we have scheduled all of our visiting teacher workshops for 2012 and early 20Max Strom Headshot13:


February 24-26, 2012 - Sarah Powers  

March 31, 2012 - Max Strom  

May 4-6, 2012 - Shari Friedrichsen

September 14-16, 2012 - Tias Little

December 14-16, 2012 - Rod Stryker



January 4-6, 2013 - Scott Blossom

March 28-31, 2013 - Sarah Powers

May 3-5, 2012 - Shari Friedrichsen


Save $120
Guatemala Retreat New Year's Special
Bring in this coupon and register by January 5th to receive the (now expired) early registration discount for the March 10-17 Yoga Retreat in Guatemala with Douglas Ridings and Dawn Jansen. 
Offer Expires: January 5, 2012. May not be combined with any other discount.