Yama is about ethical behavior. It introduces principles that we should follow in our everyday life. This means our relationships with other people as well as the relationship with ourselves. Yama is further subcategorized as follows:
1. Ahimsa: non-hurting, non-violence
Practicing ahimsa starts with ourselves and respecting our own bodies, and this respect should be extended to all other beings around us. Not only during yoga practice but also in our day-to-day life, where it can be considered as compassion and understanding. Not hurting anyone physically or emotionally. It might be that hurting by words we are speaking is the most common and difficult thing nowadays and it really needs to be taken into consideration more carefully.
2. Satya: being honest
I trust that everybody can really understand the concept of honesty. But this principle might cause conflicts in situations when the truth would hurt. I think that if that is the case it is something we know in our hearts. It is important to know when to be silent if our words offend someone. If we hear some unfortunate rumor/gossip about someone, we don't need to pass it forward.
3. Asteya: not stealing
This is in a way really self-explanatory. Not only this means that one shouldn’t desire something that one hasn’t earned or paid for, but in a yoga practice, this could be considered as not expecting fruits of the practice without showing up on the mat regularly. In that sence important to understand that yoga is a journey.
It can be considered as not letting our desires and emotions to control how we behave. This is a good way to restore our energy which is one thing that brahmacharya is all about. We have the ability to choose not to waste our energy into something that we can't control which makes a life a lot easier.
5. Aparigraha: not being greedy
It is about being free from desire, about giving without expecting something in return. In general, especially in the Western world we have so much, in many cases, too much stuff, so next time, before we want to buy something new, we can think again, do we really need that thing. Yoga is not about having clothes according to the latest fashion trends, it is about showing up on your mat regularly.
Principles of wellbeing that brings our awareness to relationships with others and to the intimacy of our relationships with ourselves. Niyama is also further subcategorized as follows:
1. Saucha: treating the body like a temple
By asana practice, we can detoxify our bodies. It removes impurities caused by environment and diet. It is important to eat fresh and healthy food to keep our bodies clean inside. Internal cleansing shows as radiance and joy. It is not only about cleansing ourselves inside and out but also about having things in order in our day-to-day life.
2. Santosa: becoming humble and content in the modesty of how things are
It opens us to happiness with who we are and what we presently have. When it is recognized that life is an ongoing process what comes to learning, growing and evolving, then one is inclined to self-acceptance. This is a state where there is not lack of anything.
This can be considered as a burning fire and passion of daily practice. Tapas helps us direct our energy toward our innermost truth and intentions. It is about being attentive to how we are in our body, breath, heart, and mind. It opens us to our true nature. Without tapas, life is like a heart without love.
4. Svadhyaya: self-awareness in all that we do
Understanding that happiness cannot be found outside, it is in every one of us. The only way to find happiness is to learn more about who we really are.
5. Ishvara pranidhana: Letting go off the ego
It is about trusting that life exactly as it should.
I think, that one doesn't have to be yogi to follow these principles int he sense that brings more goodness and happiness to everyone's life.
Is the yoga philosophy present in your life in some way? ❤️