Foundations of Yoga, Part 1: Yama and Niyama

Pre-requisites for yoga

'Knowledge (Jnana) does not occur from practice of yoga methods alone. Efficiency in understanding is actually only for those that begin by practice of virtue (dharma). Yet, without yoga as a way, information does not happen. The practice of yogic techniques is not the means on it's own, yet it's only from that practice of yoga that the perfection in knowledge comes about. And so it's said from the teachers: 'Yoga is with the aim of knowledge of truth'' Hence wrote Shankara.

All things rest upon anything else-that is, all things are supported by another. It is because a foundation is necessary for anything to exist. Being Himself the Last Word Support of-all things, God alone is free from this necessity. Yoga, then, also requires help. As Trevor Leggett claims in his introduction to Shankara's commentary on the Yoga Sutras: 'That is yoga presented for that man of-the world, who must first clear, and then steady, his head against the fury of illusory interests, and free his living from entanglements.' Patanjali fully and cautiously outlines the components of the help needed by the aspirant, giving invaluable information about how to make sure success in yoga.

The very first Yoga Sutra says: 'Now the exposition of yoga,' implying that there should be something leading up to yoga in-the form of essential developments of mind and personality. These pre-requisites might be looked at as the Pillars of Yoga, and are generally known as Yama and Niyama.

Yama and Niyama

Yama and Niyama in many cases are termed 'the Ten Commandments of Yoga.' Each one of these Five Do nots (Yama) and Five Do's (Niyama) is a supporting, liberating Pillar of Yoga. Click here yoga in hk to learn how to see about this thing. Yama means self-restraint within the perception of self-mastery, or abstention, and consists of five components. Niyama means observances, which there are also five. Here is the complete list of these twenty Pillars as provided in Yoga Sutras 2:30,32:

1) Ahimsa: non-violence, non-injury, harmlessness

2) Satya: honesty, honesty

3) Asteya: non-stealing, credibility, non-misappropriativeness

4) Brahmacharya: sexual continence in thought, word and deed together with get a grip on of all senses

5) Aparigraha: non-possessiveness, non-greed, non-selfishness, non-acquisitiveness

6) Shaucha: purity, cleanliness

7) Santosha: satisfaction, serenity

8) Tapas: austerity, functional (i.e., result-producing) spiritual discipline

9) Swadhyaya: introspective self-study, religious research

1-0) Ishwarapranidhana: offering of your respective life to God

All of these deal with the natural powers of the human being-or rather with the observance and abstinence that'll develop and release those powers to be utilized toward our spiritual perfection, to your liberation and self-realization.

These ten restraints (yama) and observances (niyama) aren't recommended for the aspiring yogi-or for one of the most sophisticated yogi, both. Hit this webpage hk yoga to read when to allow for this enterprise. My co-worker discovered yoga hong kong by searching Google Books. Shankara states very forcefully that 'following yama and niyama will be the essential qualification to apply yoga.' Pure motivation and desire for the goal of yoga is not enough, so he continues: 'The diploma isn't only this one desires to practice yoga, for the sacred text says: 'But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not peaceful and subdued, or whose head isn't at rest, he cannot obtain the Self by understanding.' (Katha Upanishad 1.2.24) And within the Atharva text: 'It's in those people who have tapas [strong discipline] and brahmacharya [chastity] that truth is recognized.' (Prashna Upanishad 1:15 )And within the Gita: 'Firm in their vow of brahmacharya.' (Bhagavad Gita 6:14) So yama and niyama are methods of yoga' in themselves and aren't mere adjuncts or products which can be recommended.

But at the sam-e time, the practice of yoga helps the aspiring yogi to follow the required ways of yama and niyama, therefore he shouldn't be discouraged from taking up yoga right-now, convinced that he should wait till he's 'ready' or has 'cleaned up his work' to practice yoga. No. H-e should determinedly set about yama, niyama, and yoga simultaneously. Success will be his.