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Yama - The First Step of the Eight Fold Yoga Path of Patanjali
|Yama and Niyama are the do's and don'ts, or ethical disciplines, which have existed in the human race since the
beginning of civilisations. Yama and Niyama are traditional whether one is from the civilisations of the East or
the West. By following these traditional precepts, with are closely related in many ways to the Buddhist Eight
Fold Path, we work towards individual development of the body, mind, and soul.
Yama - Self Restraint
Yama is the foundation of yoga. It is the first step in the Eightfold Path of Patanjali. Yama tells us what to avoid doing because
ti would do harm to the individual and that of society. The observance of yama disciplines the five organs of action which are
the arms, the legs, mouth, the organs of regeneration, and the organs of excretion. It is natural for the organs of action to
control the organs of perception and of the mind. If the mind wishes to bring harm to something but the organ of action refuse,
then no harm will be done. Therefore, Yama is said to be the foundation or root of the tree of yoga. By doing asanas alone,
without the incorporation of Yama and Niyama, there will be very little advancement upon the spiritual path.
The Five Don'ts of Yoga:
Violence & killing ~ Lying or untruthfulness ~ Stealing & misappropriation ~ Continence & celibacy ~ Greed & selfishness
Ahimsa - non-violence, non-injury, harmlessness;
Ahimsa is not merely non-killing, in its truest form it is to abstain from even the slightest harm to any living creature. Whether
through deed, mentally, or verbally. Practice this by seeing Atman or God in everything. By injuring others you injure your
own self and/or Gods creation. Ahimsa can only be practiced by a strong person, it is a wonderful quality of the heart!
How to practice Ahimsa: One who has patience, forgiveness, and self-control can practice Ahimsa with ease. In practicing
Ahimsa one should put up with insults, rebukes, and verbal assaults. Never retaliate or wish ill or harm to anyone
Satya - truthfulness, honesty;
Your thoughts, words, and actions should agree. Speak the truth at all times, do not twist or modify what you have seen or
heard. Being true to one's own self is the highest form of Satya. If one is established in truth, or right speech, then other
virtues will be gained quickly! If one is established in truth, then Vak-Siddhi will come - whatever you say will come to pass.
Asteya - non-stealing, honesty, non-misappropriateness;
Remember that desire or want is the root cause of stealing and dishonesty, rid yourself of the yearning for material objects or
gains and the attraction to gaining objects through immoral means will cease.
If you are established in Asteya then all wealth shall come to you.
Brahmacharya - Continence, Control of sensual pleasure;
The purity or freedom from lust in thought, word, or deed. This includes freedom from sexual thoughts, sexual urge, and
attraction of sex. However, by suppressing the sexual energy one does not gain Brahmacharya but only leads ones self to
perversions. Brahmacharya lies at the heart and being of Tapas and Yoga. Without control of the senses and having inner
continence no spiritual progress is possible. There are certain yoga postures that will aid in establishing Brahmacharya, such
as Sirshasana (head stand) and Sarvangasana (shoulder stand). Eating Sattvic foods, performing Pranayama and Japa will
also aid in having success in Brahmacharya.
Aparigraha - Freedom from covetousness and possessions beyond one's needs;
Aparigraha allows one to be free from the fear of loss, hatred & anger towards what other's have, or attachment and
disappointment when things are lost or unattainable. By the practice of Aparigraha one is aided in the practice of Ahimsa
(non-killing), Satya (truthfulness), and Asteya (non-stealing). Aparigraha also refers to receiving gifts that are not need for
daily living and are only conducive to luxury. When one takes unneeded gifts then the person also receives the evils of the
giver. A rule is to never take more than what you need for your simple and bare living.
Through the daily practice of the proceeding five actions of Yama, or self-restraint, one will quickly gain progress upon the
of the day
Yama is the foundation
| :|: Yoga Cleansing :|: Yogic Diet :|: Sattvic Diet :|: Jali Neti :|: Yama :|: Niyama :|: Gunas :|: Asana :|: Pranayama :|: Daily Practice :|: Yoga Lifestyle :|:
|Second part of Yoga is Niyama
Yoga and Natural Materials/Fibers
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|The First Step in the Path of Yoga Practice,
Yama is the Foundation of Yoga