Yamas/Niyamas – Yogic Ethics

There is no question that the teaching and the spirit of Yoga keeps alive the highest spiritual aspirations and the ethical and moral values that help us to lead quality lives, regardless of circumstances.

The moral and ethical codes of traditional Yogic philosophy are encapsulated in what is called the Yamas/Niyamas or the Practices and Restraints that we would recognize as ‘Do’s and Don’ts’, most of which are common to most cultures and certainly to all religious principles.

YAMAS – the Restraints are written as the practise of…….

Ahimsa – non-violence

Satya – non-lying

Asteya – non-stealing

Brahmacharya  – non-selfishness  and in control of the senses

Aparigraha – non-wasting and non-coveting

NIYAMAS – describe the positive qualities to be cultivated…….

Saucha – purity

Santosa – contentment

Tapas – aspiration and austerity

Svadhyaya – self-analysis and honesty

Isvara Pranidhana – dedication to God and Universal Truth

It would seem easy to read them and perhaps accept them but in fact some serious study is required over many years in order to understand the subtleties in applying the principles to practical living with the purpose of improving ourselves.

Without embracing a sincere and noble set of principles in our lives, and attempting to remain true to them, none of us can aspire to understand spiritual realities and the wisdom teachings that guide us towards experiencing the values and truths of life for ourselves.

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