Ashtanga Yoga Talking: Yama

Ashtanga Yoga Talking: Yama

Petanjalim in its Yoga Sutra have indicated the path to reach enlightenment. Yama is the first road that lead to this path.

Here is the 5 different rules that are part of Yama:

  1. Ahimsa (No-Harming)

Ahimsa Pratishthayam tat vaira-tyagah

As a Yogi becomes grounded in non-injury, others will naturally lose any feelings of hostility.

2. Satya (Truthfulness)

Satya pratisthayam kriya phala ashrayatvam

As Truthfulness is achieved, the results of the Yogi’s actions naturally result according to the will of the Yogi.

3. Asteya (Non-Theft)

Asteya pratisthayam sarva ratna upasthanam

When non-stealing is established, all treasures present themselves and become available to the Yogi.

4. Brahmacharya (Mindfulness of Higher Reality)

Brhamacharya pratisthayam virya labhah

When walking with the awareness of the highest reality is established, a great strength and vitality is gained.

5. Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness)

Aparigraha sthairye janma kathanta sambodhah

When one is steadfast in non-possessiveness with the senses, the knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations arises.

Let’s go bit deeper into the meaning of each Yama..

1.    Ahimsa (No violence):

      This limb it relates to any kind of violence toward anything. First of all to the Self, to people and to the things that surround us. No violence has different way like vocal, physical but also thoughts and actions. Being violent also involved eating meat and fish and not following a vegetarian diet. An example on the self on being violent is to accept yourself the way you are. Respect your body, mind and soul with its limit and rather than criticize yourself, practice daily to improve yourself.

2.    Satya (truthfulness)

      Truthfulness is about speaking the truth, believing the truth in the action and things that are facing us. Whenever we think about lying we shall ask ourselves, why are we doing? Which is the reason behind it, is it for our self, is it for somebody else? Would I make somebody else upset telling a lie?

Starting practicing this rules, it changes your way of living

3.    Asteya ( Don’t steal)

      Don’t steal is not just related to materialistic things. Obviously not stealing is not consider a good action in any society. But we are talking here also bout emotional stealing and identity stealing related to the Self. Very often happen that a person steal emotional somebody else emotion with acknowledgement and without acknowledgment. We cannot depends on somebody else. We steal the happiness from somebody else and make it our happiness even if probably deep inside is not our way of happiness.  Identity stealing is related to the Self in the way that we can’t pretend to be somebody else. Steal somebody else identity for us to show people that we are happy or perfect. We shall accept our real identity and act with that.

4.    Brahmacharya (continence)

      Brahmacharya is to control the physical impulses that we have toward people and also ourselves. By controlling this, we attain knowledge and we increase our energy and discipline. Breaking this bond of connection is very hard for many Yogi . Not many can actually overcome and if a Yogi can control this impulse become stronger and more vitalize person. In short, balancing, at least, this Yama is very important because it will lead you in the good direction.

5.    Aparigraha (non-attachment)

       Not grasping or being clingy over things and people is the mantra of this Yama. We shouldn’t hold onto things because It will cause waves in our mental and emotional status. Not being attached to somebody, to the environment, to material things. Attachment, will make our mind busy with wrong thoughts that can easily connect to the other 4 Yama mentioned above.




A Yoga Teacher with the passion of Calisthenics. I've been studying Yoga in India and I got the 200Hr Certificate as Ashtanga Teacher. I have been curious always about free body workout and now I have abandoned weight already 4 years.

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