yam & niyam

 

Yoga isn’t a mere stretch fest but a rich philosophical path of life. The Yams & Niyams are the first lessons for every yogi, irrespective of the style & tradition of the practitioner.

As prescribed by rishi Patanjali in his Yogsutram, the yams are the restraints and niyams are the observances that guide a practitioner towards a healthier, happier life and puts the spiritual awareness of the practitioner in social context.

In simple words, they are comman sense guidelines for making us better yogis and peaceful human beings.

The Yams:

1. Ahimsa (non-violence)
Practice of compassion, love, understanding, patience, self-love, and worthiness.

2. Satya (Truthfulness)

In Yogsutram, rishi Patanjali describes Satya as, “To be in harmony with mind, word & action, to conduct speech and mind according to truth, to express through speech and to retain it in the intellect what has been seen, understood or heard.”

3. Asteya (non-stealing)
Cultivation of a sense of completeness and self-sufficiency in order to transcend beyond base cravings.

4. Brahmacarya (To act like Universal Consciousness)
Not indulging in any form of sensual pleasure- mental, vocal or spiritual.

5. Aparigrah (non-covetousness)

Cutting the strings of attachment.

The Niyams:

1. Saucha (purity)
According to Manu Smriti, “Water purifies the body, truthfulness the mind; clarity & understanding the intellect; and soul is purified by wisdom & austerity.”

2. Santosha (contentment)
A practice of gratitude and joyfulness- maintaining equanimity.

3. Tapas (austerity)
Mental & physical austerity

4. Swadhyaya (study of self)
Riga Veda says that all kinds of studies, even the study of this sacred wisdom is useless unless a practitioner studies self.

5. Isvara Parnidhan (Surrender to Universal Consciousness)

All the actions of body, mind and speech must be performed as an offering to the Universal Consciousness for the benefit of all sentient beings.