Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Yamas of Ashtanga Yoga

Yama is the first of the eight-part Ashtanga Yoga. The word Yama means restraint or control.

Together with Niyama (to be followed), the Yamas and Niyamas constitute the Dos and Don’ts of spiritual living. Without practising these two fundamentals one cannot make any spiritual progress.

The Five Yamas

How many are the Yamas?

The Yamas are five. The Nisymas are also five. Together they make something like the Ten Commandments of spiritual living.

What are the Five Yamas?

The five Yamas prescribed in the Ashtanga Yoga is:

1.     Ahimsa: Non-Violence
2.     Satya: Truthfulness/ Not-Lying
3.     Asteya: Non-Stealing/ Not Coveting which that does not belong to one
4.     Brahmacharya: Celibacy/ Self Control over Sexual Desires
5.     Aparigraha: Not Accumulating/ Non-Grabbing/

If we see carefully the Yamas are expressed in the negative - Non-Violence, Non-Stealing, etc. Therefore they are termed as “Don’ts”. On the other hand, the Niymas prod one to do the prescribed things and hence called the “Dos”.

I will write separate posts on the Yamas as they merit meticulous understanding.

Practice of Yamas is not only essential for progress in yoga but bestow extraordinary powers on practice diligently for many years.

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