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Yamas: The First Limb


Yamas are how you interact with others. They are considered social policies to aid a yogi in social interaction, as a whole. It greatly influences the yogi's worldview.

Define it

Literally translated as “Restraint” – addresses personal behavior.

The 5 Yamas are: Ahimsa (Non-Harming); Satya (Truthfulness); Asteya (Non-Stealing); Brahmacharya (Non-excess) and Aparigraha (Non-possessiveness)

What does it mean to you?

Yamas are suggestions on how to deal with people around us and our attitude towards ourselves. They are our commitments to others, behaviors aim to temper down in order to plant seeds of love and goodwill in the world. They can be viewed as a set of ethical standards, designed to encourage harmonious living with others.

How can you apply it to your daily life?

1. Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things, non-violence, non-harming, having a considerate and thoughtful attitude towards other people and things and ourselves.

2. Satya– Commitment to Truthfulness and the discernment to know when to speak the truth and when to remain silent. Being “brutally honest” is not practicing Satya. Also, being truthful to others AND ourselves.

3. Asteya – Non-stealing, not taking (1) what doesn’t belong to us and (2) what is not being freely offered. Not taking advantage of people or things.

4. Brahmacharya – Having control over impulses of excess – shopping, food, sex, drugs, tv, etc.

5. Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard things, ideas, people, the past. Taking only what is necessary, only what we have earned.

What are some benefits of applying it to your daily life?

Applying these suggestions to your daily life will inevitably create health and happiness within you and those among you. The benefit is being able to live a happier, more blissful life amongst others, despite outside (or inner) influences.


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