Yama And Niyama In Yoga

Yoga defines yama and niyama as the positive and negative aspects of behaviour respectively. Traditional texts mention ten yamas and ten niyamas but Patanjali’s Yogasutra, which is considered the original treatise on yoga, defines five yamas and five niyamas. It has been mentioned that in Manusmirti that it is more important to follow yamas than niyamas. Here we give a brief description on the yamas and niyamas to be followed: • Ahimsa (Non-violence): this is one of foremost yamas. It means the lack of intention to hurt others. This intention need not be just physical but includes mental and emotional cruelty. Here the attitude is more important than the actual act of killing. You should not even have the intention …

Yama And Niyama: The Foundation Stones Of Yoga

Yoga is more popular now than it has ever been. Famous entertainers and other celebrities practice it and thousands or perhaps millions of other people are also doing yoga exercises in one form or another. Yet, despite this widespread popularity, yoga is still misunderstood. Many people think that yoga is primarily a physical activity, something that they can use to get their body in shape. While it is true that yoga has a great role to play in the physical realm, yoga is much more than this. Yoga is, in its deepest sense, the science of human perfection. It is the means by which a person can attain his or her fullest development: physical, mental and spiritual. Human perfection? This …

Foundations of Yoga, Part 3: Satya (Truthfulness, Honesty)

Satya: truthfulness, honesty (A continuation of an explanation of the aspects of Patanjali’s Yama and Niyama) “Satya is said to be speech and thought in conformity with what has been seen or inferred or heard on authority. The speech spoken to convey one’s own experience to others should be not deceitful, nor inaccurate, nor uninformative. It is that uttered for helping all beings. But that uttered to the harm of beings, even if it is what is called truth, when the ultimate aim is merely to injure beings, would not be truth [satya]. It would be a wrong.” So says Vyasa. Shankara says that truthfulness means saying what we have truly come to know is the truth-mostly through our own …

Foundations of Yoga, Part 1: Yama and Niyama

Prerequisites for yoga “Knowledge (Jnana) does not come about from practice of yoga methods alone. Perfection in knowledge is in fact only for those who begin by practice of virtue (dharma). Yet, without yoga as a means, knowledge does not come about. The practice of yogic methods is not the means by itself, yet it is only out of that practice of yoga that the perfection in knowledge comes about. And so it is said by the teachers: ‘Yoga is for the purpose of knowledge of truth’” Thus wrote Shankara. All things rest upon something else-that is, all things are supported by another. This is because a foundation is needed for anything to exist. Being Himself the Ultimate Support of …