In the ancient yogic texts, there are guidelines to living a yogic life. These guidelines are dubbed the Yamas and Niyamas. According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are 5 Yamas and 5 Niyamas. In this “Yamas & Niyamas” series of posts, we’ll be discussing each of them. These are the moral imperatives, the ‘right living’ aspects, the ‘do’s and do nots’ if you will. Now I am not a moral elitist believing my way is the only way (because I know that to not be true), and I do not think my opinions are above all others..they are simply that, opinions..thoughts..feelings on the matter. Feel free to disagree. The Yamas comprise the ‘shall not do’ list of moral/ethical living. The Niyamas comprise the ‘shall do’ list of moral/ethical living. Whether you agree with these codes of conduct or not simply because they are of Hindu/Yogic origin, I think you’ll find similarities to all religious lists of moral codes for right and moral living. My personal feeling (and it’s half my blog, so that’s what you’ll personal feelings) is that regardless of your religious beliefs, I think we can all agree on living an ethical life for the betterment of all Earth-kind. So in this series, and because this is a yoga blog, we’ll discuss the yogic codes for ethical living – the Yamas and Niyamas. For now, I’ll just list them out with a brief description..a light introduction to the list. But as time goes on, we’ll discuss each in further detail.


*Ahimsa – non-violence; non-harming

*Satya – absence of falsehood; truthfulness

*Asteya – non-stealing

*Brahmacharya – appropriate use of vital essence

*Aparigraha – non-possessiveness


*Saucha – cleanliness of body and mind

*Santosha – satisfaction with what one has

*Tapas – austerity, traditionally in regards to yoga practice and discipline

*Svadhyaya – self-study

*Ishvarapranidana – acknowledgment that there is something greater than your Self, modesty, humility

Not only should these moral and ethical precepts be extended to all others you encounter physically, mentally, and emotionally in the world..but the world also includes you. Extending these same attitudes and actions towards yourself is the first step to extending truth, non-violence, cleanliness, austerity, humility to the world at large.

So let the wheels begin to turn, and we’ll discuss in further detail each Yama and Niyama in it’s own dedicated post.