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Showing posts from September, 2009

Yoga ethics - yamas - restraints

Patanjali was an Indian mystic who first wrote down the ancient wisdom of the Himalayan yogis into the Yoga Sutras, concise threads of knowledge on how to live a life in union with God or Cosmic Consciousness. It amazes me how this ancient knowledge is so relevant in our world, society, families, and individuals today. Patanjali outlined an eight-fold path to living skillfully, and only one of these paths relate to asana practice - the classes I teach about the physical postures we take to strengthen and ease our bodies. Patanjali offers the physical asana practice as a tool to settle our bodies so we can sit comfortably for long meditations!

Of the eight-fold path, or Ashtang system of yoga, the first path towards a direct relationship with the Divine is Yama, or restraints. I consider the Yamas to be how we relate to the world. There are 5 Yamas, and the first is Ahimsa - or non-violence.

Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the practice by which Ghandi liberated India from British rule in the…