yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Yamas and Niyamas

No, not the Mamas and Papas. These are the 10 constraints/ethical guidelines set forth in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. They are so integral to daily life, and flow into so many areas, that I feel compelled to share them with you.

Not much is known about Patanjali as a person, but he was a seeker in India around the third century B.C. His teachings, codified as the Yoga Sutras (yoga, from the Sanskrit YUJ meaning "to join" or "unity; and sutras meaning "threads") are a collection of verse that have endured through the Buddha (who studied yoga) and his teachings, and the many threads of religion and philosophy that developed and spread in that part of the world. The Yamas and Niyamas are part of the Eight-Fold Noble Path. I hope you enjoy reading and incorporating them into your daily life. Already, you are practicing Svadhyaga!

1. Ahimsa, "Nonviolence"
Practice harmlessness to self, others, and all beings.

2. Satya, "Truthfulness"
With honesty comes developed intuition and living fully.

3. Asteya, "No Stealing"
Taking credit is wrong when privilege is unearned. Do not steal time and energy from others.

4. Bramacharya, "Celibacy"
Avoid manipulation by desires, preserving energy and enhancing tenderness.

5. Aparigraha, "Nonpossessiveness"
Detachment from past and future, as well as material objects creates balance and inner strength.

1. Saucha, "Purity"
Honor the body through right food, exercise, cleanliness and rest.

2. Santosha, "Contentment"
Be happy with all tasks, of being where you are.

3. Tapas, "Discipline"
Self-control, self-knowledge and ethical behavior bring growth of self.

4. Svadhyaga, "Study"
Read about and reflect on great saints and sages, learning from those with wisdom.

5. Ishvara Pranidhana, "Remembrance"
Recognition of the non-dying part of the self and unity with all life and the universe.

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