Five Yamas from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As part of our Yoga Teacher Training we are studying The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In book two, the eight limbs of Yoga are described and the first one is Yama (abstinence.) It goes on listing and describing the abstinence principals into the five yamas (non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-greed) I don’t see it so much as abstinence but as just good life practices. Starting with non-violence, and it doesn’t only mean causing physical pain but mental pain as well to other sentient beings or even yourself. Truthfulness means not lying but also being honest. Non-stealing is pretty simple, don’t take things that are not yours. Continence is restrain. In this case celibate or sexual moderation. The last one is non-greed, meaning non-hoarding or taking more than you need. I feel these are not just “yoga princi-pals” but important values to live by. What do you think?









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