02 May
Yamas and Niyamas in Yoga

Written by Siddharth Bennerji

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Yamas and Nimayas
Before entering into a yogic lifestyle and practicing yoga , patanjali stipulated a number of personal rules and social codes of conduct known as yamas and niyamas respectively. The ultimate goal of Patanjali’s Ashtanga yoga is "Samadhi" – a state of ultimate equanimity.

For a basic seeker, yoga shall first establish a balanced and harmonised life with a well –trained mind and healthy body.A general control of one’s own mind and life is quite an accomplishment in yoga. If the goal would have been having a fit toned body, displaying attractive poses and earning instagram/ facebook likes, he would definitely have jumped directly into intense asanas and skipped the primary limbs. But that’s definitely not the case !!

Yamas !! - The social Rules.
The five yamas or the social rules have been stipulated first.

1. Ahimsa( Non- violence)- this includes , right thought, speech and action towards self and others. As channelized anger and violence leads to tremendous loss of mental energy, this must be governed.

2. Satya- (Honesty)-Truthful intention in thought, speech and action. Yet again an honest person is free of mental blockages and lives more freely. His mental energy doesn’t go waste in unnecessary manipulations.

3. Asteya ( Non–stealing)– of both goods and reputations. The moment one steals of even generate a thought of stealing , the value of what he possesses automatically reduces.

4. Bhramacharya - Natural living with regards to sexual energies.

5. Aparigraha (Self-sufficiency) -More dependency yields less autonomy .

These limbs require deep and grave discussions and debates to realize. A true guru or a learned person is a requisite for cultivation the yamas properly. The guru shall be the one who not only understands the literal meaning of the limbs but also practices them.

Nimayas !!
The personal disciplining , without which yoga will have no base. One must have self-discipline and grounding first.

1. Sauch- Cleanliness and purity of he body mind and the environment in which one lives in.

2. Santosha- contentment which must be discovered within and not always pursued externally. .

3. Tapas – of both goods and reputations. The moment one steals of even generate a thought of stealing , the value of what he possesses automatically reduces.removal of impurities to bring balance, energy and health

4. Swadhyaya - Self-study,gaining self-experience and introspection. .

5. Ishwara pranidhana -living according to ones "true nature" or surrender completely to ones beloved deity..

These are the essential foundation of the patanjali’s yoga sutras. A seeker who has a goal of self- realization is bound to abide by these codes if he chooses Patanjali’s Astanga yoga. Also, each point requires deep and detailed understanding, this article just touches the points for general awareness.

Nevertheless if each point is understood properly and implied onto one’s life, a major part of the battle is won even before entering a yoga hall. Yoga starts right HERE !! right NOW !! Waiting for locks of the yoga hall to open to start “yoga” practice , Is just narrowing down ones yogic understanding .

It’s more important to open the conventional mental locks and see the holistic picture of what “YOG” truly means and implies.