the ancient science of ayurveda gives us all the tools we need to live a holistic, healthy, and happy life in today’s modern world. each sutra requires the reader to think deeply for themselves and develop a personal understanding of the practice. for the majority of modern yogis, it may seem that the yamas and niyamas are two of the hardest of the eight limbs of yoga to blend into our daily routines and into our lifestyles.
there is one approach which sees the eight limbs as steps, and it can lead us to believe that until we follow and master the yamas and niyamas, we cannot practice other limbs and get benefit out of their practice. that is why patanjali says that these are all the limbs (not steps) of yoga and they develop simultaneously.” this understanding, that these eight aspects of yoga are not steps but limbs that grow simultaneously, removes all self doubt and gives us so much space, freedom, and enthusiasm to practice yoga as a whole with a full heart. just the intention to practice yamas and niyamas is good enough.
finding a way to cultivate and sustain inner peace is part of the path of most regular yoga practitioners. the yamas and niyamas are the first two limbs of the path to enlightenment, and they are often seen as ‘moral codes’, or ways of ‘right living’. the idea of ahimsa is to do our best to be loving and compassionate. it means caring enough to be carefully honest, and telling the truth artfully and with love and care. more broadly interpreted, brahmacharya is using self-restraint to control “sensual cravings” –desires that are sexual in nature–if our desires might hurt or harm others.
like in the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness”, order and precision help us toward our highest potential. to be content is to accept and enjoy reality as it is. discipline and willpower are extremely helpful in managing our lives. so how do you start to use the yamas and niyamas into your daily life? do your best to embrace those principles that resonate with you and try to do something everyday to reinforce your chosen principle.
the yamas, and their complement, the niyamas, represent a series of “right living” or ethical rules within yoga philosophy. it means “reining in” or “control”. these are restraints for proper conduct as given in the vedas and the yoga sutras. they are a form of moral imperatives, commandments, rules or goals. the yamas and niyamas are often seen as ‘moral codes’, or ways of ‘right living’. they really form the foundation of our whole practice, and honouring these the yamas and niyamas are yoga’s ethical guidelines laid out in the first two limbs of patanjali’s eightfold path. they’re like a map written to guide you late dr b k s iyengar describes both the yamas and niyamas as the ‘golden keys to unlock the spiritual gates’, as they transform each action, .
the late dr. b. k. s. iyengar described both the yamas and niyamas as the ‘golden keys to unlock the spiritual gates,’ as they transform each the yamas and niyamas are the first two limbs of the path to enlightenment, and they are often seen as ‘moral codes’, or ways of ‘right the book focuses on being good to ourselves and others as well as being present in the moment through 5 yamas (nonviolence, truthfulness, nonstealing, nonexcess, .
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