Yama and Niyama are the ethical precepts set forth in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as the first and second of the eight limbs of yoga. They are the foundation of Yoga practice without which no spiritual progress along the path of yoga can be made. Many people, myself included, have come to yoga initially as a physical exercise and only later begin to understand the profound spiritual effect it has on their lives. But to establish these spiritual effects firmly upon our mind, to embed them within our consciousness, they must be grounded on the bedrock of ethical behavior. Our practice begins with Yama and Niyama, and extends into Asana (the postures) and the other limbs of yoga.
There are 5 Yamas (Precepts of Social Discipline) and 5 Niyamas (Precepts of Individual Discipline).
Every week, I will introduce one Yama and then will continue to the Niyama. With that said let's begin:
Ahimsa : Non-violence. Not harming other people or other sentient beings. Not harming oneself. Not harming the environment. Tolerance even for that which we dislike. Not speaking that which, even though truthful, would injure others.