I’ve been submerged into the Yoga world lately (totally voluntarily!) as I’ve started teacher training and I’m starting to peel back a couple of the layers of the whole yoga lifestyle. I’ll be honest when I admit I came to yoga through fitness about 8 years ago – it was a workout trend I thought looked cool and the power classes I attended were 90 mins. of sheer burn that did wonders for my arms and core strength. Alas, I’ve stuck with yoga, through some major indulgences (ie: months of daily classes in Costa Rica & Vancouver while on vacation) and then 3-month stretches with not a single pose. Amongst the journey, I’ve tasted the essence of teachers and types but never delved further than the asanas (movements) & mini-mediations.
Now, I’m still a yoga-newbie, but my first assignment in my YTT was to delve into the “8 Limbs of Yoga” of which Asanas (the classes/poses etc) is only 1. The first area to study is the Yama’s and Niyama’s. These are like the moral codes and lifestyle guidelines for yogis. There’s 5 Yama’s & 5 Niyama’s and they hold a lot of common sense just portrayed in a new language. We were asked to personally reflect on each of these, and share how we practice them in our lives.
So here’s my personal take on how I live the Yama’s and Niyama’s in my life.
Yama #1 ~ AHIMSA (non-violence & unconditional love)
Yama #2 ~ SATYA (truthfulness)
YAMA #3 ~ ASTAYA (non-stealing/moderation)
YAMA #4 ~ BRAHMACHARYA (faithfulness…and celibacy?)
YAMA #5 ~ APARIGRAHA (noncovetousness)
NIYAMA #1 ~ SHAUCH (keep your body & mind clean)
NIYAMA #2~ SANTOSH (do your best & be happy with it)