Limbs of Yoga: The Yamas

The Yamas are the first limb of the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Each limb describes a different aspect of yoga, all leading towards freedom and enlightenment. 
The Yamas explore yoga’s ethical practice. By considering these aspects in our daily practice on and off the yoga mat, our decisions come from a more considered place and enable us to become more authentic towards ourselves & others. 

AHIMSA – Non-violence: notice where we are beating ourselves up and suffering. We are violent with others, ourselves, and the world around us. We project negativity in all these situations. To live from non-violence would mean to find more grace in our life – inner and outer world. 

SATYA – Truthfulness: being aware of the moment of who we are and being present with our voice. It teaches us to choose real over nice, to be intentional in presenting our most authentic self. Truthfulness can be a weapon if not used wisely. We must find a healthy balance between truthfulness & nonviolence. 

ASTEYA – Non-stealing: the concept of not stealing from the future or past in order to make room for the essence of our vitality to flow in the present. It also teaches us to not steal the spotlight from others by one-upping when they talk. And finally, reciprocity, to give back from ourselves as much as we take in this life.

BRAHMACHARYA – Non-excess: teaches us to find the right fit, the feeling of just enough. Be it from giving just enough time to our work, food to feel satisfied, time devoted to entertainment, time for yourself to feel rejuvenated, etc. Living in excess, whether that means overeating, overconsuming media, buying too much “stuff”, etc. usually results in feelings of guilt or shame. But finding the feeling of just enough is gratifying and helps us to fully experience the joy in life.

APARIGRAHA – Non-possessiveness: being free and attached to nothing. Liberating, but scary. We tell ourselves stories to form an identity, fulfill the ego, and feel a sense of belonging. But our beliefs & thoughts can feel like a mental prison.. which is why not being attached to them can feel free. 
Be vulnerable to the here and now, realize being in the moment is truly the best place to be.

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