About the Practice of Yama and Niyama…


The first Yogic Scholar to document the Tenets for the science of Hatha Yoga was Shri Patanjali in his text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written at least 3,000 years ago in India.  Hatha Yoga science is not a religion, it is a philosophy for the Art of conscious living.  Hatha Yoga science embraces all faiths, creeds and religions.  The original text was written in Sanskrit and the following is a transliteration that approximates the original context.  Do know Classical Indian Hatha Yoga was scientifically developed as a “101” course to allow people to be strong enough in mind and physical body to be able to sit still for extended periods of time for Raja Yoga: Kriya Yoga/meditation to develop the highest state of Conscious Living. 

There are ten tenets: five Yama known as the ethical practices and five Niyama or conscious observances.  In today’s post I will share the five Yama/Ethical Practices:

AhismaNon-violence.  Ahisma means causing no harm to any living being, including oneself, in thought, word or deed.  Non-violence is the basis of all the other Yama and Niyama.  True non-violence is love.

SatyaTruth.  Satya means not only abstaining from falsehood, but also seeing the inherent good in everyone.  Whenever possible, practicing periods of silence will greatly support one in this Yama.  A suggestion: try to be silent one morning or even one day in the week.  If that is not possible , create times where social interaction is minimized, (including FaceBook and internet!), in which you only speak when necessary with truth and sweetness.

AsetyaNon-stealing.  Asetya also means releasing the desire to possess that which belongs to another.

AparigrahaNon-possessiveness.  We all need certain possessions.  However, many of us not only accumulate more than we need, but continually desire even further luxuries.  Thus engaged, we disturb our peace of mind.  The more simply we live, the more energy can be devoted to our spiritual practice.

Brahmacharyamoderation.  Through Brahmacharya in all areas of our lives, the seeker saves, and thus accumulates great energy that can be channeled into his/her spiritual experience.  This practice is imperative for those wishing to embark upon the spiritual path.

Please do look for part two: Niyama in the next post.  Perhaps take some time to reflect on what the above Yama signifies for you.  For those who keep a journal the Yama and Niyama give us much to think and weave into our daily thoughts and actions.  Best wishes for deep Reflection, Namaste.


309 responses »

  1. I like that Hatha Yoga is inclusive and embraces all faiths, religions, and creeds. The ten tenets of Yama and Niyama remind me of the Ten Commandments which I learned as a child raised in the Catholic faith. I no longer feel a connection to Catholicism but I was immediately drawn to the five Yama.

    Ahisma, in particular, really speaks to me. I believe that a world without violence is an ideal one. I love that Ahisma specifies that one should not bring harm to themselves. I have always struggled with self-doubt and negative self-talk and I think it is important for me to remember that to live a truly non-violent life, I have to be kind to myself as well as to others. I also like how Ahisma specifies that violence can be through thoughts and words, not just deeds. I think too often our society only sees physical assault as violence, disregarding and undermining the power that thoughts and words can have. I have always found the old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” to be patently untrue. Words have great power and the emotional and mental pain that they are capable of causing can be just as severe as a kick to the gut or a slap to the face.

    I am also drawn to Satya or “Truth”. I have always tried to see the inherent good in everyone but it is something I have been struggling with lately. I try to live my life led by compassion and reading about Satya reminded me that I want to try harder. I look forward to learning more about Yama and Niyama and may do some of my own research outside of class.

  2. This is not the first time that I have encountered the idea of Yamas of Yoga. I have read about it in last week’s assignment. Yama is the first of the 8 limbs. However, I did not know the five specific tenets of Yamas.

    The first tenet of Yama is Ahisma, which means non violence. “which includes physical, mental, and emotional violence towards others and the self.” we create violence mostly when we make an action towards an even or another person. This happens when we criticize, judge, or let out anger.

    The second tenet of Yama is Satya, which means truth. “Walking the path of truth is a hard one, especially while respecting Patanjali’s first Yama, Ahimsa. Since Ahimsa must be practiced first, we must be careful to not speak a truth if we know it will cause harm to another.” This tenets makes me think about how we can practice both Ahisma and Satya at the same time if we know the truth is going to cause harm to another. I came to the conclusion that instead of telling the truth or making a lie, one should remain silence in this case.

    The third tenet of Yama is Asetya, which means non- stealing. In this practice, we should not take anything that is not freely given. In addition, letting go of the desire of possessing what belongs to the other.

    The forth tenet of Yama is Aparigraha, which means non-possessiveness. This tenet urge s us to let go of everything and only possess as much as what is necessary. “When we become greedy and covetous we lose the ability to see our one eternal possession”.

    The final tenet os Yama is Brahmacharya, which means moderation. “when we have control over our physical impulses of excess, we attain knowledge, vigor, and increased energy. To break the bonds that attach us to our excesses and addictions, we need both courage and will.” I think the purpose of this tenet is that each time we overcome these “impulses of excess”, we grow stronger, healthier, and wiser.

    I can see that the yoga practices that we have been learning is not only related to yoga, but rather practices to improves oneself in mental health, physical health, and life. I will continue to try and practice what I have learned from the class.

    Jenny Tsang

  3. A lot of the information I’ve been reading in these posts has been newfound information that I never really thought about before. It makes me wonder why Hatha Yoga isn’t a requirement in all learning institutions. Having a 101 class on Classical Indian Hatha Yoga and teaching people from young how to align and strengthen their mind and physical body would be so beneficial and I truly feel it would help with the stress and anxiety that school brings. It’s so easy to start practicing and adapt to and once you start adding it into your daily routine, the results are almost instantaneous.

    Ahisma(non-violence) – I find that this is a common theme in Indian culture. The importance of peace and not succumbing to violence. Clearly if you engage in violent acts or behaviors, it throws off your energy.
    Satya(truth) – I’ve always been a quiet person and I feel like some people interpret that as being rude or stuck up but it’s so crucial to maintaining your inner peace because not only do you observe people and situations more clearly but you can fully digest and only speak true and genuine things. I feel like speaking too quickly without assessing a situation happens to everybody and if everyone just was quiet for a while, a lot of problems would be solved.
    Asetya(non-stealing) – Nothing good comes from envy or jealousy. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try to be grateful for the things you do possess and start accepting that certain things aren’t for you and for good reason.
    Aparigraha(non-possessiveness) – I think it’s human nature to constantly want bigger and better. Human desire is insatiable and you almost always be unsatisfied. I think this can change though when you start devaluing physical or monetary things and valuing things that aren’t tangible but feed your soul. Possessions with longevity like healthy relationships, healthy practices, and happiness are things that once you find they are in the simplest things, your need for physical possessions pale in comparison.
    Bramacharya(moderation) – I think moderation is the key to a healthy anything. Knowing when enough is enough and when you may need a little extra more. Storing energy you may have used irresponsibly and saving it for your spiritual practices or any healthy practice, really has a positive impact on you. You start to control what you ingest and reciprocate.

    These are the thoughts that came to me when I first read the five tenets. These five Yama or ethical practices are so important to practice daily because you will enter such a different headspace and you will almost feel invincible when it comes to the stresses or grievances of the day which may usually affect you so deeply. These are just steps and precautions to take and consider when facing nay adversity or just looking for a way to elevate yourself.

  4. Satya and asetya are two practices I really related two and want to incorporate more into my every day life. I think oftentimes, I struggle with speaking truthfully to myself or others, and can be too intellectual and wordy in my interactions. Instead of responding truthfully and simply, I find loopholes and complications in which I can hide myself, to some extent. I would love to be more genuine and listening in every day interactions and choose my words more carefully and honestly. Asetya is also something I struggle with, as I interpreted this for the most part as jealousy, or feeling insufficient in what your have yourself. I think satya and asetya go hand in hand to this extent, as constant interaction with others and the presence of social media can often times make one feel not at ease with themselves and inadequate with what they have.

    Brahmacharya is something I have actually been actively trying to incorporate into my life for a while now. I’ve always been attracted to minimalism and cleanliness as an “aesthetic,” but have just realized how much easier and calmer it simply makes life! Though I will always be a person who holds onto thing of meaning and love collecting, I think spending time to realize what is truly useful to you and usable rather than what you are just attracted to initially is a really good practice, and helps prioritize needs. It also puts things into expensive. Though it may sound trivial and flippant, I have tried to do this with my clothes more and more. I always have stressed about clothes and how I appear to others, but recently focussing on what I am actually comfortable in and what utility the clothes have to me have released a lot of this anxiety.

  5. I feel like all of these practices aren’t something that should just been seen when thinking about Yoga. These 5 ethical practices at least are things that all of us should be doing on a day-to-day basis and are things that I feel I have been tying to live by before officially being exposed to them today. These morals have been instilled in me and I think if all people tried to live closer to these then we would be living in a much nicer place. I do like that they are spelled out and easily accessible so in a way they kind of act as a check list for daily occurrences. Before acting on a certain situation one should take a step back and examine these practices in order to help with making their next move.

  6. he five Yama are very interesting and it would be ideal if we as a society could follow all of them but I feel as if they are much more difficult than people are willing to do, in some cases myself included.
    The Ahisma means causing no harm to any living being including oneself. I have a few questions about it. Does this include not eating animals? I also wonder to what extent causing no harm to oneself is meant. Does this mean no alcohol or cigarettes as well. I feel as if everything one does nowadays causes adverse effects one way or another. Working too hard causes stress, not sleeping enough causes stress, breathing the air in cities can cause respiratory diseases. The list goes on and on. The Satya is also challenging. Abstaining from falsehood is one thing but seeing the inherent good in everyone is extremely difficult, especially in the political climate we face everyday. It is very difficult seeing the good in people that really seem to have no good in them at all. The rest of the five Yama seem less problematic.

    Boris Yanez Monday Class

    • Good questions…many choose not to eat other living beings as a form of Ahisma, and being mindful that ingesting a being who was killed also includes the cortisol that is emitted when the murder occurred into the body when eating. Also many feel that it saves money and the environment when money is not used to raise animals and to transport them to far markets cuts down on pollution. Just a few points….in Yoga we know that stimulants like alcohol and cigarettes cause harm to the body which diminishes the work we do to protect in yoga, also inebriation subtracts all the powers gained in yoga, so no accumulation occurs. Be kind to yourself if you are engaging in these behaviors, when you are ready to let go, just work on one at a time, especially be compassionate as some are addictive behaviors and will take a good measure to transition. Lastly when folks behave poorly it usually means they have not had the benefits of being raised well, cared for and or loved, maybe they have had a traumatic setback…we can try our best not to judge, give them some space, offer a kind word or gesture….you never know they may hold it close and it could be a catalyst for change. The important thing is when we choose to be our best selves that we stay committed to this as a practice so we don’t fall down and behave badly because someone else has problems. Namaste

  7. I very much enjoy the usage of these terms to encapsulate something more broad than a simple one word english definition. Nonviolence is equated to love in Ahimsa, both of which mean not causing harm to anyone, including yourself. We very often forget about our own personal connection with the world around us, and the more I learn about the practice of yoga the more I am aware of this staple aspect of it. Satya supports this aspect by seeing others as inherently good, as well as telling the truth. The other Yama I agree with as well, especially moderation or Brahmacharya. Moderation is important in all aspects of life, and naturally should be so in the practice of yoga.

    I already have attempted silent periods of my day as per Satya, despite not knowing about it before. I find it to be a really calming experience to just be with yourself, and nobody else. I think it is something that we all need sometimes, being surrounded constantly by various forms of media. I look forward to doing this more consciously in the future.

  8. I find all these philosophies quite interesting and see the connections they might have to other spiritual beliefs. While I’ve never known these exact principles by name or exact definition, I do feel that I’ve tried to live by similar philosophies like these. Principles like Brahmacharya – moderation, or Satya – truth; in particular are two principles I feel I have tried to live with. As I’ve gotten older I have started to realize the importance of living by philosophies such as these. The part of Satya that in the reading mentioned perhaps abstaining from social media and internet stood out to me. Recently I have been making a bigger effort to keep off of social media and overall limit my use of things like my cellphone. I feel that social media, my phone, the internet, etc… have all just been distractions and have been keeping me from focusing on more important things. I think spending the times where I would normally use my phone (like in a waiting room, or waiting on line) for reflection and thinking instead has been far more beneficial for me and I feel this relates to these philosophies.

    -Matthew Alioto
    Wednesday, 8:30am class

  9. The five tenets of Yama, or ethical practices, are a group of practices that can be easily implemented into one’s lifestyle in an attempt to be more reflective and peaceful in everyday life.
    In my own words, the 5 tenets are as follows: Ahisma means causing no harm neither to yourself nor others, and instead instilling a loving energy. Satya is only speaking the truth and abstaining from lying to yourself and others. Another aspect of this tenet is not only speaking truth, but speaking truth through positivity and abstaining from negatively impacting others and yourself through negativity or non-truths. Asetya is simply abstaining from stealing what is not yours. To me, Aparigraha is the practice of appreciating what you have and not becoming too greedy of material objects. Finally, Bramacharya is the process of accumulating positive energy through meditation.
    For me, I find that Satya is most important to implement into my life considering I tend to be overly conscious of how others will react to my truth, which becomes unhealthy for me at times. I am working on being more honest with myself, which then can in turn allow me to be more honest with others, regardless of what their reactions of opinions may be. I think it is important that people speak their truth regardless of whether it will ruffle people’s feathers bit. As long as they are doing it respectfully and in a healthy manner, it can only improve their life, as well as their comfortability and happiness.
    As well as being more truthful with myself and others, Satya seems to focus more specifically on positively affecting others through truth by seeing the good in everyone and not making negative assumptions. If I can allow myself to speak my truth in a positive and calm way to people, it can possibly allow them consider it more carefully rather than being taken aback by an otherwise negative or aggressive approach.

  10. My first thought after reading this article was a reminder of how long yoga has been taught and practiced for. It really is an ancient practice and its existence today validates its effectiveness in improving quality of life. According to the article, the first recorded text about Hatha Yoga was written at least three thousand years ago in India. This makes me curious to find out when the first text about any form of yoga was recorded, relative to this specific type. Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that deals with physical postures and breathing techniques. These two components are a necessary part of the practice because the mind and the body are connected. If you can use your body and breath in a distinct way, you can affect your mental state as well.
    This concept reminds me of a type of psychotherapy called bioenergetics, or a system based on the belief that emotional healing can be aided through resolution of bodily tension. A bioenergetic session typically involves an individual getting into his/her body, taking on certain physical postures, and breathing very deeply. I have seen videos of this practice and have witnessed the practice experiencing intense emotional experiences that manifest as screaming, crying, and laughing. It is a very intense and effective practice that has the same underlying principles as Hatha Yoga. However, Hatha Yoga Is a little different than bioenergetics because of the ten tenets that are involved in the practice.
    Of these ten tenets, I am going to focus on the five Yama, or ethical practices. Being ethical is necessary for developing high states of conscious living because you need to put out good energy into the universe, in order to receive the same. Once cannot receive good energy by behaving unethically. After reading the five Yama, what stood out to be the most was the principle of Ahisma, or Non-violence. What struck me specifically is the idea of not causing harm not only physically and verbally, but in thought as well. This is a subtle distinction that has deep importance. People may overlook the power of thought because it is invisible, and no one can truly read thoughts. However, thought is energy and can be viewed as magnets that attract certain circumstances, positive or negative. In other words, an individual’s life experience is a direct result of the thoughts that he/she thinks. It is a fundamental law of the universe.

    1. https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/what-is-hatha-yoga

    2. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/what-is-bioenergetic-therapy/

  11. Stephanie Poborsky
    Professor Julie Broglin
    Yoga Wednesday 8:30 Session

    The practice of Yama is a practice that anyone could obtain and follow. The five ethical practices that are stated in the reading are moral principles that I feel as if everyone should follow. Non-violence, truth, non-stealing, non-possessiveness and moderation of one’s everyday life are things that should make sense for everyone to follow.
    Satya is the Yama practice that involves one to abstain from falsehood. There is more to this practice though, that I found very positive to include and try out in practicing this portion of Hatha Yoga. Satya includes seeing the best in everyone, which is something in adore and find so refreshing to see when people are this way or practice without even knowing they do so. My sister is one to see the best out of everyone, even if they have shown her the worst side of themselves. She will see the positive outcome of the negativity that was produced. To me, she inspires me to better myself, and from reading these practices I understand more fully the reasons why one may follow Yama.
    Silence, being part of the Satya practice, is a part of the practice to pull you out of the everyday social interactions, even the interactions people get from social media. You may not be physically speaking when browsing through your twitter feed, but your mind is full of thoughts. The point of the silence is to only speak if it’s with positive energy. The practices of Yama are to help one live a better life with conscious observations to do so.

  12. Learning about the five Yama and the five Niyama, also known as the ethical practices and conscious observances, was fascinating to me. I see these as a form of living and something to constantly be thinking about. Something I would like to incorporate more in my life is Satya. Satya is not only abstaining from falsehood, but seeing the good in everyone and everything around you. This is something I would like to practice and remind myself everyday. This is not something that is often easy to do, but with practice, we can redirect our negative energy into something positive. By redirecting our energy, we can live a healthier lifestyle. Anther tenet I found interesting was Aparigraha, (non-possessiveness). “The more simply we live, the more energy can be devoted to our spiritual practice.” We should not let ourselves attach to material items. This is not always easy to remember but with practice, we will be able to redefine what is truly important in life. I look forward to connecting both the five yama and the Isha Krya together.

  13. I can very much relate to most of these practices, to a certain extent. Ahisma and Satya have always been a part of my life, I never wish to cause harm to anyone and I have always tried to see the inherent good in everyone, even those that have wronged me as well as some terrible people that I have come across in my life. I feel like both of these practices have a layer of empathy that I strive to always think about. No matter how must anger I have built up for someone as I settle down I start to think about what might have led them to wrong me or what might be going on in their lives.

    Acetyl and Aparigraha are also already in parts of my life but in a more unconscious way. I never steal and have always been content with the possessions I have and have worked to achieve. Being a musician, even when I did not have the best equipment I would look upon others that did and congratulate them, never yearning and being patient for my time to come. Brahmacharya is the most interesting one for me, especially sine the concept of energy saving and using is a big part of my life as a musician. I very look forward to learning more about it in class.

    -Matthew Peralta (Wed. 8:30)

  14. 3,000 years ago in India, a very intelligent yogic scholar documented the Tenets for the science of Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga is described as not a religion but as a conscious way of living, that embraces all faiths and religions. I think it is great that Hatha yoga is a practice that welcomes people from all walks of lives no matter their beliefs.

    There are five Yamas or ethical practices anf five Niyamas or conscious observations that make up the ten tenets. The five Yamas are Ahisma, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, Brahmacharya. I believe that these simple practices are something that are very important to being a good person in general. After learning about what these practices were, I quickly discovered these are practices I follow on a daily basis almost subconsciously. For example, Ahisma or non-violence is very important to me, I always try to deescalate a situation before things could possibly turn violent and I have always believed that violence is never the answer. Satya or truth is also something that really resonates with me; truthfulness is something very important when it comes to relationships, whether it be with a friend, family member, or romantic partner. Without truth, there is no trust. Asetya or stealing is obviously always something I steer away from. Aparigraha or non-possessiveness is also something that is important when it comes to realtionships; I try to be as non-possessive as possible however when it comes to my personal items or luxuries this can be hard for me at times. And finally Brahacharya or moderation; everything is good in moderation and this is something I believe is definitely relevant to society now a days.
    -Ashley Pagan
    8:30am Class

  15. This post discusses briefly the five tenets of Yama, the ethical practice, in Hatha Yoga; Ahisma, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, Brahmacharya. Ahisma refers to ones non violent nature, this includes violent thoughts of those around you as well as yourself. Satya is the practice of truth. In other words, this means to not express false statements, and to see the good in others. Asetya is the practice of not taking what does not belong to you. The fourth tenet, Aparigraha, is non possessiveness in a consumption and material sense of acquiring that which we do not need. Finally, Brahmacharya deals with moderation, or taking the energy of your life and channeling it spiritually. This is the first tenet that begins to weave in spiritualism.

    I read this post over a few times, as it sounded familiar, and finally realized that the reason this sounds so familiar is that I have been taught this over time and in a different way. I have a good friend who is a “life coach.” In the past ten years she has gone through a lot and really changed her life style in a hundred different ways, one of them being meditation and yoga practice. Over the various times we’ve gotten lunch, she’s introduced these ideas to me, but packaged in a different way, and without tying it at all to Hatha Yoga. But in her own way, she has taught me the importance of directing my thoughts in a bright and positive way regarding others and especially myself, the importance of solitude and silence, and especially the last tenet.

    I am drawn to this post incredibly, and honestly each tenet resonates with me almost equally. I find myself struggling with each on a daily basis, but have learned a great deal in recent years, as well. Last semester as I took the semester off of school to be home and work before transferring here to SUNY Purchase, I spent a lot of time just sitting with myself; not actively doing anything, not actively thinking about anything, not actively judging my every thought or action, just sitting and being. This proved to be so very therapeutic for me in connecting with my sense of self again after feeling very out of touch. My friend that I mentioned above also has done a great deal of work with me in how I “speak to myself,” or some of the ways I think of myself. The more she pointed out about the way I treated myself, the more apt I was to change it, realizing just how detrimental it could be to my daily living and functioning. I also went through a long period this past summer of cleansing my physical space and being conscious of consuming and the material items I collect, realizing that that would never bring me true happiness and that I just no longer felt the need to have so much STUFF. The third and fourth tenets are ones that resonate with me deeply now, as I am currently trying to understand their slot in my journey, my relationship to them, and improving bits of myself and my perception in regards to those tenets. I truly look forward to learning more about these.

    Michaela Lunden 8:30am class

    • So proud of you for taking such major initiatives to achieve personal success and wellbeing. Thanks for sharing your experiences here, a pleasure to have you sharing yoga with us this semester, OM

  16. Going further into the eight guidelines, or the eight limbs, this excerpt goes into detail on the practice of Yama and Niyama. There are five additional components to each the Yama and Niyama, personally making it the most difficult part of the process. It is difficult because it involves completely altering your mindset, so that you are capable of beginning to change what needs to be changed.
    I feel that these tenets are a good thing for people to keep in mind when dealing with any type of situation. They are another form of guidelines for balancing the mind, if you try to remember them and incorporate them into your everyday life. These tenets also refer to shaping your personality to be more genuine and humble, which is important for growth. Learning to treat situations in your life by these guidelines will eventually improve your mental state as well.
    The tone and energy people around me give off noticeably affects my mood towards either them, or everything, depending on how vocal or visible they are about their emotions. If one of my friends acts annoyed towards me, even if I have nothing to do with it, I will be anxious or uncomfortable in the situation. People’s energy really affects the environment and other people they spend time with. These tenets can also really help improve someone’s energy, which will improve another person’s energy too.

  17. Yama includes Ahisma– Non-violence, Satya – Truth, Asetya – Non-stealing, Aparigraha – Non-possessiveness, Brahmacharya – moderation. These ethical practices seem fairly self-explanatory and likely a beneficial way to approach our lives as well as how we treat others. I can appreciate the value of yoga bringing these ethical practices to the forefront of our consciousness and encouraging us to engage and embrace them in our lives as we strive to attain self-awareness.

    As a Christian, I see the parallels in these philosophies with my religion.

    Ahisma– Non-violence. – Thou shalt not kill.

    Asetya – Non-stealing. – Thou shalt not steal.

    Aparigraha – Non-possessiveness. – Thou shalt not covet.

    Satya – Truth. – Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    I do believe these simple philosophies have such great power. If the humankind can truly engage in these five practices, the world would be a different place.

    This week, I continue to practice my Isha Kriya daily. I think it has become an important part of my routine. This weekend’s practice was a bit tougher as I was suffering from aches and pains from all the snow shoveling. I had a bit of difficulty in clearing my mind. But the video/audio helped me to get through the last couple of practices.

    • You may want to add a homeopathic remedy Arnica to your home health cabinet. It is all natural and quickly works to bring wellness to: muscles, ligaments and tissue. Best way is to get the pellets to place sublingual under tongue and cream to use topically on affected area. Use next time before engaging in rare strenuous activity like shoveling and exercise or injuries.

  18. This post discusses hatha yoga science as a philosophy for the art of conscious living. It is not a religion, and embraces all faiths, creeds, and religions. As part of a well-rounded practice of yoga, there are behavioral codes to align to, beginning with the Yamas or ethical practices. There are five tenants to the Yamas, and the first practice is ahimsa, or non-violence to any living thing including oneself. The second is satya, or truth, which involves seeing the inherent good in people and restraining from making assumptions. The third is asetya, or non-stealing, which releases the desire to have that which belongs to another. The forth is aparigraha, or non-possessiveness, emphasizing that the more simply we live, the more energy can be put forth to our spiritual practice. And the fifth is brahmacharya, or moderation, and deals with delegating energy to where it is best served, that is, not dwelling on a single thing and making good use of saved/accumulated energy.

    When I first learned of the 8 tenants, it was challenging for me to think of these practices in context–how could I practice non-violence when I don’t consider myself to be a violent person? It’s more than actions, but what we can show in our thoughts and deeds. I now know that when I doubt myself or ridicule myself that this is a form of violence, a negative energy meant to hurt my self-esteem and wellbeing. I am interested in the practice of satya as more than just telling the truth. The post recommends devoting an entire day, or even just a morning, to silence, letting the only time you speak to be full of sweetness and truth. This conscious thinking towards these few interactions amidst the silence seems like a very doable and healing practice that I plan to pursue. Asetya, or non stealing, again, is more than simply not being a thief, but tackles the thinking behind stealing in the first place. You want something someone else has, it is as though you are not good enough and are seeking an equality or a superior quality/quantity of possessions. Aparigraha stresses living simply, which is more than being mindful of indulgences or deprivation as I thought, but more of living within one’s means and allowing any excess energy to be devoted to spiritual practice. This goes hand in hand with Brahmacharya, or moderation, which guides us to keep our energy balanced in our energy-sucking tasks or endeavors, not allowing us to over indulge or deprive ourselves of desire.

    I’m always curious about origin stories, so when I read in this post that Hatha Yoga was scientifically developed as preparation for another type of yoga (Raja, which I now know is a kriya/meditation based practice) I wanted to know more about where the name Yama comes from, whether through myths, primary sources, etc. I looked at several sites and found Yama to be, in Hindu mythology, the god of death. I’m not sure the has any correlation to the Yamas of yoga, but the god Yama was responsible for weighing the good and evil deeds of the dead and determining retribution. Just an interesting side fact! https://www.britannica.com/topic/Yama-Hindu-god

    As for my own Isha Kriya, I reserve Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings after my runs to practice. I still find it really relaxing yet energizing to wrap up my workouts this way and it serves as a nice transition into the busy day ahead. On the weekends I commute to my job in Brooklyn. I’m still new to New York, so I haven’t quite gotten used to all of the activity and stimuli, so I find that a before-bed session helps me quiet my mind and let go of all the things I’m dwelling on. I have noticed my breathing on my runs to be more regular–when I start to feel tired, I address the breath and deepen my breathing just as we do when we practice the sometimes difficult asanas. When I have to rush to get somewhere, I am becoming more focused on how the mind relays to the body to move quickly, and the strength of my body as it responds. This takes my mind off of the consequences and the worry of not completing something/getting somewhere in time. I am more careful, and less likely to get worked up an stressed. I measure the time with an online meditation timer, but after hearing what other people in out class are doing, I liked the idea of making a playlist of nature sounds/meditation music and knowing when to transition based on sounds/songs. I’m hoping to work on that for next week. I was using the video, but now I’m comfortable just setting the timer and having the steps memorized.

    • An excellent essay, your reflective thoughts are proof of how serious you are embracing your yoga! Actually Yamaraj is one of my favorite stories and the connection is perhaps subtle but real. My Guruji told the story with such embellishments, I always asked that he retell it. Namaste

  19. Georgia Cummings
    Monday Yoga 6:30-9:50

    This post focuses on the five Yama, or ethical practices. These Yama consist of Ahimsa or non-violence, Satya or truth, Asetya or non-stealing, Aparigraha or non-possessiveness, and Brahmacharya or moderation.

    Normally it is easy to think that Ahimsa comes easily or naturally if we are not physically violent, but most people, myself included, could be gentler with our words and thoughts.
    Satya not only means abstaining from falsehood, but also finding the good in everyone, which is something I would like to practice. Asetya mostly means non-stealing, but is also releasing the desire to possess something someone else has. Aparigraha can encourage us to be less materialistic, which in the long run is very beneficial and I found allows me to focus more on the more important things to me rather than material possessions. Lastly, Brahmacharya encourages moderation in all areas of our lives. This is something I would like to practice more, as I believe it is tied directly to taking proper care of myself which is sometimes very difficult.

    Aparigraha reminded me of a youtube video I have been shown a few times in different classes called “The Story of Stuff” that shows a brief overview how everything is made, purchased, and wasted. Commercialism has devastating effects on the environment, and practicing Aparigraha is a good way to break the cycle.

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

    I did my Isha Kriya five times last week. I did it twice in between classes and the rest at night before I went to bed in my room. I follow along with the visual and use a soft alarm on my phone to keep time. I find that I benefit a lot from it at night because it helps me fall asleep more easily.

  20. It feels as if these 5 practices are things that all of us should be doing on a day-to-day basis and would result in beautiful self benefits, also since they are spelled out and easily accessible in a way that they could be viewed as a check list for daily occurrences. Oddly enough it feels as if bits and parts of these practices were already absentmindedly included in my day to day life; therefore I feel as if I have been already been practicing to receive the benefits from said practices,. These morals have been embedded in me and I believe if people tried to live closer to these type of practices, then we all would be living in a much nicer and positive environment.

    One of the practices ive had experience with without even realizing it is Satya, Its already a really calming and grounding experience to just be with yourself in those moments. I believe it is definitely something that everyone should take time to execute this practice. It could really open ones eyes to the world around them an help them just be more aware of themselves. Everyone could use the occasional disconnect from our social expectations and media.

    I can see how the IK practices that we have been learning in class is not only similarly related to yoga, but rather practices to help improve on oneself in mental health, physical health, and in life. So far ive been keeping it to at least 4 or more times a week. At some point my friend had randomly started stretching over the weekend and I joined him, prompting him to join me in the IK practice, and it felt a lot more powerful even if theres one other person accompanying you than doing it individually.

  21. Kache’ Mumford
    Wednesday class
    “About the Practice of yamas and Niyama…”

    The Yamas Five ethical practices are Ahisma, Satya, Asetya, Aparigrapha and Brahmacharya. Ahisma means non-violence and those who study the yamas know that they believe true non-violence from the inside and outside is a way of showing peace and love. Satya stands for truth meaning that you have no falsehood as well as are active in seeing the good in people. Asetya (non-stealing) realses you from the desire to possess others belonging. This idea connects to the next ethical practice which is Aparigrapha (non-possessiveness). This ethical practice is used to support the idea of peace of mind without luxuries. Brahmachrya stands for moderation.

    I said last week in one of my reflections that the yamas and their ideas and ethical practices reminds me a lot of the bible. This week I stand by my original statement. I think the ideas of the yamas most likely connects with many other religions. I think one of the most interesting things about yoga is the connection between exercising yourself physically, mentally and emotionally.

    An article “ About Yoga series: Understanding the Yamas” discusses the five ethical practices. In it the author defines Apargrapha as non- coveting which I found interesting terminology. It also defined Brahamcharya as Continence. It explained that it was a practice of self-restraint in words, deeds and also thoughts.

    I haven’t been doing my Kriya as much as I use to. I just haven’t had the time to be honest. I try my best to make time but this week has been extremely busy for me and I just couldn’t fit it in. Normally i do it at night before bed but I have been working so much and between my three jobs, classes and senior project deadlines coming up i just haven’t had time. I barely have time to sleep. I am hopeful that I will be able to get back on schedule with it next week.

    • Well stated, you are involved in a lot of things but I know you could carve out 12 minutes every single day if you organized yourself with a schedule that you keep with you and follow. Your yoga mat work will suffer and your final grade as a result, don’t you deserve Peace of Mind and all the side affects it produces? I’m certain if you made this schedule and did your IK daily you would be more productive, successful and at ease. Busier lifestyle requires more IK to manage successfully. Namaste

  22. I find the 5 Yamas to be very interesting, to say the least, but part of me doubts we could all live in a society like that, knowing how other act on other people and how others behave around other people, and I know that there are some people (including myself) who couldn’t live with that.
    The “Asetya – Non-stealing. Asetya also means releasing the desire to possess that which belongs to another”, I feel like that could be impossible for people who live in low-income families/third world countries; what would you have to do in order to stay alive to even at least have one meal per day, or not have proper clothing for the different seasons? You would, of course, have to steal either way, because not everyone is born with those luxuries, or better yet, some people are lucky enough to go to a nearby pantry or donation center.
    The “Ahisma– Non-violence. Ahisma means causing no harm to any living being, including oneself, in thought, word or deed.”, does that also apply when having medications (that messes up your liver over time, for example, antidepressants) would you have to stop taking AD and just let the Depression just happen? I’ve been off of my depressants for almost two years, but I always have my super sad days, but they don’t make me sluggish unlike my AD used to. There are a cause and effect to everything you do, whether it be eating unhealthy, taking medication, drinking, using drugs, acne products, not having enough sleep, emotions even, etc, these can all be bad things some point in someone’s life, but you can’t stop it.
    It is good in the bad and bad in the good. It sure is challenging, but I wonder what it would be like for someone to give up everything and start from scratch following all these rules, would things be different? Some of the other Yamas seem very easy to follow and understand nonetheless

    Mackenzie Depietro, Spring 2019, Wednesday Class

  23. I enjoyed reading this post because I definitely have been looking to research more Hatha Yoga science. Anything to improve my conscious living is something that definitely interests me. I love that Hatha Yoga science embraces all faiths, creeds, and religions as I believe that there is something to be learned from everyone’s philosophies/beliefs.

    The five Yama that are known as ethical practices seem like excellent guidelines for one to live their life by. They seem to bare a strong similarity to the ten commandments from Christianity. The five Yama are Ahisma (non violence), Satya (telling the truth), Asetya (not stealing), Aparigraha (no envy), and Bramacharya (moderation). The Commandments that bare the most similarity to these five Yama are Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor, Thou shalt not steal, and Thou shalt not covet.

    I’ve found that most beliefs often share common values or rules to live by. Even though Hatha Yoga science is not a religion and is not affiliated with religion, I still find the five Yama comparable to the Commandments of Christianity. Islam also bares its own similarities. According to the Islamic Way of Life, one must Spread goodness, Never be disingenuous with others, and Deny what is wrong. The Yama, the Commandments, and the Islamic Way of Life seemed to share the common values of not causing harm to others and never lying.

    For the first time this week I practiced my Isha Kriya in my apartment instead of a dance studio due to my schedule being a bit tighter than it usually is. I let my apartment mates know in advance that I would be practicing Isha Kriya and they did not mind. I think my training as an actor has allowed me to not feel self conscious about making unconventional noise, so it felt just how it always has. When I am practicing Isha Kriya, I usually use track of time in the mantra, so I have been setting a very quiet alarm that gently reminds me when it is time to transition out of the mantra. As each week passes, I notice a gradual increase in the fluidity of my yoga practice on the mat, and I believe Isha Kriya is largely responsible for that.

  24. In life we see in the news constant violence that is going around everyday. Its round us and we need to end this yet everything begin with cherishing and tolerating yourself and appearing by precedent. I found the post on Yama and Niyama exceptionally educational and rousing, as I have reliably discovered most, if not all, of what I have found out about Hatha Yoga these previous weeks. Every one of these principles appears to be so straightforward but then outlandish, taking the minutes to center and see what you are accomplishing for yourself as far as you could tell, and this training requests that its fans put their very own body, brain, contemplations and practices as a first need.These meditations help us take a minute in life and make us realize the good in life as well.

    These practices put into language the moral sentiments I might want to consistently apply to my every day life. Having the language to return to regular will associate me in monitoring what I am doing and considering. I accept by contemplating these principles consistently we can give them more prominent significance in our lives and receive the full rewards of the Hatha Yoga practice.

    I usually work around everybody’s schedule so it’s better for me. I usually like to practice the Isha Kryia after everybody has left to work and school or at night. There are days where I start school at 10:30am or 12:30pm, so I have plenty of time to meditate. If I can’t do the IK in the morning, I’ll do it at night once everybody has gone to bed because the house is quiet, and no commotion is going on. But I would do the IK in the downstairs bathroom, so no one can hear me. Practicing the Isha Kryia has helped reduce my stress due to work, family and school responsibilities.

    My experiences doing the Isha Kryia was relaxing because the I feel like everyone especially college students are used to being in this fast pace and not taking a minute to take a breath and slow down. So, it’s great to do this meditation because it shows that it’s good to take a step back, breath and appreciate the things we have in life.

  25. While reading this post, I felt ashamed or guilty that perhaps unconsciously, many of these practices I do not follow throughout my daily life. These ethical practices should be the foundation of our lives, and I think about how the world would be if people would come into their interactive setting with theses practices. Things would change drastically. But we don’t, and I don’t. I find these concise post to be sort of like a eye opener, on my daily interactions with myself, others around me, and chiefly, with the world that I live in. The one that most stuck was Satya, meaning truth. We live in a society where things are spoken even if it is not verbalized. The pressure of the internet/social media, creates an opportunity of not speaking and listening. And that practice involves deleting apps, or shutting off our phone. That can also be the an effective of not speaking at all. Spending one morning not turning on social media like a newspaper, and basking in your own presence, silence and mediation.
    Personally speaking, I often find it hard to follow and be consistent with doing something for a long period of time. Perhaps I lack discipline (and I know it was stated before, that trying to have discipline is not effective in the yogic practice, however, there should be something that I can do to be consistent). It was interesting to read that in classical Indian yoga, there would be a course that allowed people who physically and mentally strong enough to sit for long periods of time. Woah. How can one get as mentally centered?
    This question is perfect segway into my ik practices. They have been more frequent now, just because I find that it is a time for myself from myself (if that makes any sense). I’ve been working at keeping mentally centered, and although I still some trouble I am finding more moments of complete stillness in my time. I’m not where I want to be, but I am making progress. I actually find myself looking forward to my ik practices, daily.

    • Well stated and yes we all are little works-in-progress! It takes time to develop these qualities like anything worthwhile, and You are certainly worth the effort! Namaste

  26. Ahimsa, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, and Brahmacharya are the five ethical practices of the Yama. These are practiced in yoga today. Ahisma is non-violence. Satya is truth. Asetya is non-stealing. Aparigraha is non-possessiveness. Lastly, Brahmacharya is moderation. In truth, we all have faults. We wouldn’t be human without it. Maybe some people suffer most of these or some less. For me I nearly fault in all these things but the one I fault the most is Ahimsa.

    Ahimsa means causing no harm to any living being, including oneself, in thought, word or deed. True non-violence is love. The thing I found interesting about this is violence in oneself. I didn’t even consider it when thinking about non-violence. I thought about it only onto others. It’s interesting how my mind went straight to that and then I thought maybe it was because of my desires to please others which is common amongst us. However, I am angered by others and myself.

    I have anger where I am frustrated in which nobody listens or sees my point of view in things. Anger can lead to violence. Yoga is helping me cope with anger. Yoga and the practice of the five Yamas is guiding my body and mind to be at peace which leads me to love for myself and love for others.

  27. I find the five tenets of Yama very interesting. The ethical practices can easily be implemented into a person’s lifestyle in order to help organize a reflecting and peaceful routine in their everyday life. Ahisma means to be able to have loving energy, not having any bad intentions towards anyone or yourself. Satya is the tenet of honesty, and being honest to yourself. One thing I really appreciate about all these tenets is the fact that it’s not only about performing good acts towards others but also including yourself as another character in your life. It all begins with self respect and self awareness. Asetya is about not stealing from others. Aparigraha is the one I am working on, which is about appreciating yourself. I tend to not give myself enough credit for working really hard everyday. I am learning to be more appreciate and tell myself I have done everything I am capable of doing today, now onto the next day. The tenets are another perspective of life that a lot of people don’t realize can change their life positively. They also remind me of a lot of steps I’ve learned in self-help and self-love books. I enjoy taking the time to read about other people’s experiences in their journey of self love. It helps me reflect on my own decisions I make for myself.

    Kathy Mathews
    Wednesday 8:30am Yoga Class

  28. This post is based on the five Yamas. The first thing that caught my attention was in fact the first sentence. It is so liberating knowing how old the practice of Hatha Yoga is.
    Also, I enjoyed how it states “Classical Indian Hatha Yoga was scientifically developed as a “101” course to allow people to be strong enough in mind and physical body to be able to sit still for extended periods of time for Raja Yoga: Kriya Yoga/meditation to develop the highest state of Conscious Living.”
    I found a very interesting and informative video based on conscious living and the benefits from it.

    As for my experience, I have been practicing Isha Kriya a lot recently. I felt my body getting fairly sick within the past week and I figured this was the perfect time to make sure I do the IK every day this week.. and I have achieved that goal! With this said I have been home mostly due to my sickness so I didn’t have to worry too much about my roommate being in the room. Although most times she is in the room it doesn’t cause any problems. We sometimes do it together but more often I have been doing it on my own time. I enjoy doing it by myself, more because of the experience of really letting my vibrations flow in my own kind of way and not being distracted with any other vibrations. As to what I follow when I am practicing and how I time it has been up and down for me. I have tried the video at first and I didn’t like this too much because I found it was hard to listen. So I have been using the chart a bit more to go through all of the steps, have a better understanding, and become happy that I took the time to read it over again. I time myself by really feeling how long it has been with my intuition. Sometimes I go over the time and sometimes I go a little before, but nothing major where I am worried that I am not getting the full experience.

  29. From my understanding hatha yoga is not a religion but it is more of a way of being. Hatha yoga accepts all religions and faiths since it is almost like a set of rules that you must follow. You do not necessarily need to follow one religion in order to follow hatha yoga. When you read about the five yama/ethical practices, you think that everyone should already be living by those rules but sometimes we get confused about what it really means. Non-violence is not only physically harming someone but you can also harm someone mentally, by the way, you to talk to them.
    Sometimes I get so into what I am talking about that I forget to let the other person talk. Now anytime that I have a discussion, I’m staying silent until the other person stops talking so I do not interrupt them. The aparigrha means to the desire you want in life. My friend is really into luxury brands and rather spend her money on a Louis V bag than to go on vacation with me. I feel as I am more simple and have peace with myself than she does because she is always stressing about something. I rather experience something like visiting a new country and learning the culture than spend my money on materialistic things. I have been to about 9 different countries and will continue to visit a new country every year.
    I am doing the IK about 5 times a week now. I am still doing it during my lunch break as I find it to be a good stress reliever during the day. If I do not have time during my lunch, I will do it right before I go to bed. I am also doing it on Sunday night with my mom to help with her high blood pressure. I noticed I find myself less stressed out with work and have more energy to do things like going back to the gym and cooking.

    Monday 630-950pm

  30. The difference between yamas and niyamas are the values they hold with them. This post focuses on the yamas, which are the ethical values. When reading through the five yamas, I couldn’t help but notice that the values they bring (nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, non-possessiveness, and moderation) are taught to most of us from the very start of our development. As a young child when you are taught to walk and to talk, values from those around you are often being taught subconsciously by those around you. These five ethical values are things that I would hope most people carry with them throughout their life.
    Personally, I like to think that my everyday actions and interactions are driven by these five yamas. If an individual practices life with these five ethics guiding them, there is never any reason for conflict. Of course nobody is perfect and so setting goals to strive to obtain perfection in each yama-category is, in my opinion, the way to go.
    The most interesting yama on this list was Aparigraha. This ethic of non possessiveness is something I feel we as a society to strive towards. I often observe people being materially motivated and I think that our focus is completely off. Why not focus on the capital of improving the self instead of collecting a closet full of “things” that often signify social status. An up and coming movement recently is the “minimalism” movement which states that one should have as few possessions as possible to be completely free of the weight of everyday life. Its extremely interesting and should be practiced more widely.
    I want to say that my at home isha kriya has been going okay. Ive found that while I found before that I was making bounds and leaps in my personal journey, i’ve now hit a frustrating standstill. Im still committed to the practice and perform it often (about 5/6 times weekly) but I don’t find i get the same satisfaction from it that I used to. Im thinking that this is something to do with my environment lately as my home environment has recently shifted (my partner and I have recently started fostering a very loud and high maintenance english bulldog). Hopefully this will change, I have confidence that things will get better.

    -Rebecca Hartigan

  31. This post discusses the five elements of the yama. These include: ahimsa (non-violence,) satya (truth,) atseya (non-stealing,) aparigraha (non-hoarding,) and brahmacharya (moderation.) Ahisma is the first tenent, and therefore is the basis on which the other yamas can be built upon. Non-violence is an important first step, because this practice forces you immediately to look inward. When we think of violence, it isn’t often that our minds first go to self-inflicted harm on our own mental well-being. However, this is more common than one would think. We are constantly being hard on ourselves, putting ourselves under immense stress, and telling ourselves that we aren’t good enough. Ahisma encourages you to not only be mindful of this and try to stop is, but to also be mindful of those around you. However, the world cannot be completely violence-free, it is a natural and human occurance.
    Satya is the second element of the yamas. It is important to stay truthful in life, any lie, no matter the impact it may have, will negatively effect your mental state and possibly others’ as well. Being silent makes sense as a way to support this Yama. Minimizing social interactions especially including social media, which is full of lies, would definitely be helpful in attempting to be truthful and see the good in everyone.
    The third and fourth elements of the yamas, asetya and aparigraha are closely related. Asetya is non-stealing, and aparigraha is non-posessiveness. Although different, both of these yamas discuss how the desire to posess more and more things, luxuries in life, or even other people’s posessions, disturbs one’s peace of mind. These yamas argue that simplicity can greatly improve your quality of life.
    The fifth and final element of the yamas is brahmacharya, or moderation. This touches on the importance of not over indulging. It is about conserving important energies in order to put them into pursing a spiritually enlightening path.
    All of these elements combined make the Yamas. For the average person, these steps would require a lot of work, as they are engineered to go against much of human nature. However, practicing the yamas and working them into your daily life will create a richer, more enlightened spiritual experience.

  32. This reading was about Hatha Yoga and its science and meaning. Hatha yoga science isn’t a religion but about the art of living consciously. It embraces all faiths and religions. It was created to help people be stronger mentally and physically. It was meant to help people be able to sit still for extended periods of time. In the reading it included 5 of the 10 ethical practices. Ahisma, Satya, Asetya, Aparigraha, and Brahmacharya. Each of these means something different and build the practice to be what it is. Ahisma is all about non-violence. It says that you should cause no harm to any living thing which includes yourself. To succeed in this practice is to love and to be loved. Satya is about truth. By practicing this you try to see the good in all people. Asetya is all about non-stealing. Practicing means to let go of the desire to have something someone else has . Aparigraha is all about non-possessiveness. Practicing means to live simply so we have more energy to focus on our practices. Brahmacharya means to look at everything with moderation. We need to moderate what we spend our time on so we can focus on our practices. We learn how to channel our energies so we can experience everything on our spiritual path.
    Before reading this, I didn’t know that the science of hatha yoga was written at least 3,000 years ago in India. Throughout having to do these readings I am starting to see a pattern of how important these ethical practices are to the practice of hatha yoga. I was curious why the practice was started in the first place and this reading explained just that. It was made to help people be able to sit still and be conscious in the present. I feel like this practice could be useful to so many people, but they just don’t know about it. Each of these ethical practices I think everyone can benefit from.
    I found an article on the benefits that hatha yoga can have on your body physically. We are always learning about the ethical benefits and mental benefits of the practice I feel it is important to also understand the physical benefits of hatha yoga. The practice can help with heart health, bone health, clear and more healthy skin, builds strength in your core, helps keep your joints healthy, can help treat back pain naturally, it improves ones balance and posture (which I am already starting to see for myself), it helps relieve the stress and tension throughout the body, it can help increase ones lifespan because if the techniques of taking care of yourself, and it can help ones overall state of well-being. From what I can see there is no negatives to practicing hatha yoga. I believe if one gets the chance to practice hatha yoga they should take it and see how it will help them in their life.

    -Charlotte Johansen

    Source: https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/the-10-health-benefits-of-hatha-yoga/

  33. There is a lot to think about with the five ethical practices of the Yama. All of these can greatly benefit your life when you begin implementing them into your daily practices. Though, I’m sure it will not be easy at first. That said, it would likely be worth it and improve your life and that of those you interact with.
    To me, the most difficult practice to put into my life is Ahimsa, the act of non-violence. I am not an inherently violent person, but the definition listed in the post made note of how it is not only about loving others, but yourself as well. That, to me, would be the hard part. Many people I know, including myself, can have a difficult time in the self-love area. I think most people struggle with it, whether they speak openly about it or not. We’ve learned from other posts and assignments some strategies that can help with self-love, and I think that those can be tied into the practice of Ahimsa.
    Satya (truth) may also be hard to practice. I think that in the world we live in, ideally, everyone would be nice to each other and get along. But that’s not how it is. And, speaking with both truth and sweetness is not always possible. Honestly is usually the best policy, but social interactions in the world we are living in are often more complex than that.
    Brahmacharya is probably the most important of all of these practices (from what I can tell). Moderation is very important in life, especially in the complex lives we live in.

  34. Jordan Reynolds

    Classical yoga was developed as a way to live more consciously. The five yamas work as a guide for one to live a more full life. By engaging in non violence, truth, non stealing, moderation and non possessiveness one can follow the yamas. It is important to realize that there is no right or wrong way to live your life, but there are ways to improve your existence.

    I believe after reading the five yamas that I unknowingly follow them. It seems like they are just standards for being a good person. They are ways to avoid unnecessary issues. My favorite yama is Satya. Truth is incredibly important because my one goal is to live my truest life possible.

    I read that one’s inner self is the same as the one that others have within their self. The site https://yogainternational.com/article/view/yoga-philosophy-basics-the-5-yamas says that we should avoid harming others because their inner self is the same as ours. What I learned is that the world and others act as our reflection. We want to treat them well because we want to treat ourselves well. If one keeps this in mind they will realize that we are all the same people, just in different circumstances.

  35. Majlinda Novaj
    Honors Yoga Journal #4
    About the Practice of Yama and Niyama
    There are ten tenets but the two that were brought up were Yama and Niyama. The Yama are ethical practices and Niyama are conscious observances. There are five of each. In the text, there was a focus on the five Yama. The first is Ahisma which is Non-violence. What this means is causing no harm to any one. Satya is Truth and focuses on seeing the good in everyone as well as speaking only when necessary with kindness. Asetya is Non-stealing. Your desire shouldn’t overcome your morals. Aparigraha is Non-possessiveness and our desires do not matter, only our needs matter. Brahmacharya is moderation. By doing this, we can find a stronger spiritual experience in our practices. These are the Yama which are based on Ethicality.
    I found these Yama very important, especially Asetya and Aparigraha. As humans, we are usually unhappy with things because we are always looking to have more. What we must do is be happy with what we have in the moment and work toward things we need. Our desires must be inhibited because they are not necessary to our wellbeing. Asetya basically means that we must be able to let go of things others have that we want. When we are stuck on things we want that others have, we tend to disrupt our inner peace. We don’t need to do this to ourselves. To each their own. Aparigraha is based on not going after desires but more so focusing on what we need and living simply. For example, if you have a Toyota that runs well you don’t need to buy a BMW. These 2 Yamas I find super relevant in my life because sometimes I desire what others have or what I really want and it disrupts my happiness. Now that I think of more important things, my happiness is not ruined by my desires because I have set them aside. I only think of the things I need which especially are my health and my family.
    I chose to focus on Aparigraha for the comparative piece because I wanted to show how great it for us. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/yama-aparigraha-non-possessiveness-yoga-practice states “Aparigraha translates to “non-possessiveness” or “non-grasping” and helps us detach from strong feelings such as jealousy. It helps us to remember not to covet what isn’t ours” Jealousy is a human emotion that can lead to Violence and the whole focus of Yoga is to be non-violent, mindful and self-realized person. Among all people, religions, races, there are always traces of Jealousy and that is something that we can combat with the Yama of Aparigraha. By practicing, we teach our minds and hearts to focus on important things and not what others have that we want.

  36. Shri Patanjali was the first Yogic Scholar to document the Tenets for the science of Hatha Yoga. His text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, was written 3,000 years ago in India.It is not a religion, but rather a philosophy for the Art of conscious living. This science is about all faiths, creeds and religions. There are ten tenets: five Yama known as the ethical practices and five Niyama or conscious observances.

    The five Yama or Ethical Practices are Ahimsa, non-violence, means causing no harm to any living being, including oneself, in thought, word or deed. Satya, or truth, means seeing the good in everyone. Asetya , or Non-stealing, means releasing the desire to possess what others have. Aparigraha, or non-possessiveness, means that the more simply we live, the more energy can be devoted to our spiritual practice. Finally, brahmacharya or moderation, affects all areas of our lives. Overall, this science creates great energy and is essential for those who want to embark upon the spiritual path.

    Overall, I have a positive outlook on this practice. I feel that it is very essential to the human mind, body, and spirit. I would discuss this with a friend along with the other practices yoga has to offer.

  37. The five tenets of Yama Practices were very interesting, but Satya stuck out to me the most. Truth is such a simple word but has such a powerful meaning. “…seeing the inherent good in everyone”, that line resonated deeply for me because I have always been the type of person to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, reading that and listening to the secrets of Yama changed my perspective on who exactly I should be seeing the good in. I never hesitate to think that someone means well, but there have been so many times where I am proven wrong. Now I’m thinking about this but relating it to myself. I should see the inherent good in myself and live my truth rather than searching for truth in other people.

    I’ve come to realize that searching for truth in others causes me to run away from myself. I seek any kind of distraction so that I can take my mind off of things about me, but why? Rather than running away from problems or complex thoughts or feelings, I want to allow myself the truth. Taking a moment to be silent with myself, my thoughts, and my emotions can be a great thing. We all deserve to get to know ourselves, the good and the bad, the ins and outs.

    I don’t have a comparative source, but I am thinking about past therapy sessions I’ve had where I was told that I run from myself. At the time I didn’t want to accept that, I wanted to believe that I am there for myself. Now I notice when I want to run, but I choose to stay. How can I say that I want change if I’m always running from it? We cannot heal and be there for ourselves while distracting our minds with other people’s problems. Our mind, body, and spirit deserve just as much attention as all the social media and entertainment we use. I want to accept the difficult moments and sit in my silence before responding, that way I can make sure I’m being honest with myself.

  38. Before I read this the first word that my eyes gazed upon was the word Ahimsa, which means non-violence. In today’s world, violence embarks from hatred from one person another, one country to another, and etc , but anyone can choose whether or not to let violence get the best of them. A person’s world without violence is the best world to be in. Not only physical violence can hurt ourselves but comments and criticizing is another strong force of violence. For society to be better all we need to do is just breathe.
    Another word that stood out to me was Satya, which means truth from always trying to live by the truth, say the truth, etc. I admire how the practice is to be silent and demonstrate how powerful silence is. When I am silent it puts my body at ease and relaxes from everything going on in the world. My thoughts are together instead of my thoughts bouncing back and forth off each other. Silence at the same time is the key to reach success sometimes. I wonder if silent protests were based on the practice of Satya? I know a lot of people try to see the good in everyone but sometimes you can’t see it.
    I’m looking forward to learning more about Yama and Niyama in this semester class as well as exploring the works on my own. This work seems interesting to further look at my articles, or read more upon in the future. Each one of these words means something powerful, which is quite astonishing to anyone in this world. Furthermore, this practice seems interesting only reading and learning the five tenants in this entry. Overall, I enjoyed reading about this practice and look forward to experiencing this work.

  39. The article, About the Practice of Yama and Niyama, goes into depth on Hatha Yoga Pradipika which is a philosophy for the art of conscious living. There are 10 tenets of hatha yoga, five of which are a part of yama which are ethical practices and the other five of niyama which are conscious observances. Through yama there are five parts that make up the practice: Ahisma which means non-violence, satya which means truth, asetya which means non-stealing or knowing the process of what belongs to you and another, aparigraha which means non-possessiveness or striving to accumulate solely what is needed and living simple, and the final brahmacharya which means moderation.
    As for Niyama, there are also five elements to it which are: saucha which means purity which factors mental, physical and emotional purity, santosha which means contentment, tapas which means transformative spiritual practices which helps purify and strengthen bodies and minds, svadhyaya which means spiritual study that creates contemplations and aids in digestion and integration and lastly, ishvara pranidhan which means dedication to divine energy typically through worship or song.
    I was impressed by the article through the fact that it went into such meticulous detail on the practice. The article showed all of the elements of hatha yoga, which broadened my view of it, because I did not know much of hatha yoga before reading the article, and it aided my understanding of it in the sense of its complexity.
    The article reminded me of a particular song, Claire de Lune. The song is by Claude Debussy who mainly focused on the romantic era of classical music, but the article reminded me of the song because they both shared a similar structure. On the surface, the song is a beautiful, relaxing and overall great composition, but because I play the piano and have played the song before, I know that there are so many elements to it under the surface of what is heard by the audience. The tempo, timing, accuracy are all elements that make the song what it is, and if done incorrectly or not acknowledged, the song it not recognizable and not true to its make. This relates to the practice of hatha yoga because there are so many elements that create it to be sp specific and if one element is disregarded, it too, is not true to its original form.

  40. Shamylle Estevez

    This article focuses on the ten tenets, five of them being a part of Yama and known for being the more ethical practices. The other five of them being a part of Niyama and known for being more about the conscious observances. After reading and learning about all 10 I realized that many off these tenets are used on a daily basis without even being aware of it. Like with Ahisma which is non-violence, I find myself to be a naturally non-violent person and I try to be that way with myself and others in my life too. I know there are people who cause harm to others whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally and in those cases It will be impossible to overcome the practice of Ahisma within each and every person. I really like how Ahisma is the basis for Yama and Niyama, especially because its not about being non-violent with other but with yourself and with the world you live in.
    Resonating with the practice of Satya, made me more openminded. Satya meaning truth, but also seeing the good in others. It’s easy and difficult to process this practice because I am able to understand the concept of it. But, Satya includes being truthful to yourself and others around you. I think being truthful to oneself is much more difficult but necessary. You can’t be truthful to other people if you aren’t with yourself, and that is something I know I need to take account into my own life. I say that to see the good in others, is a blessing and a curse because there are people who take advantage of that. I also found the idea of practicing periods of silence interesting since I know I never do things like that, I wondered what it would be like to separate myself from social interactions through my phone because sometimes I feel like I’m never really alone if when I have it on me. I’m going to try to be silent for a part of my day and try to take notice of when I do speak, to only be in truth and sweetness based on Satya.

    • Excellent choice for creating time for loving silence in your life, I’m certain you will be grateful for the bounty of peace and inner wisdom you cultivate each time you practice, Namaste

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