Yoga Sutras, also referred to as representatives of yoga Yamas, are as ancient as ancient practices can get.
They are the most lucid and authoritative of all ancient texts, and serve as maps for the inner journey of life. Hence the name; Yamas: Laws of Life. These yoga sutras help create balance in the soul, and in life.
There are also rules for living called The Niyamas, but I will reserve that for another post. Today, I just want to talk about the laws of life and how they have become more relevant today, than ever before.
This can be interpreted as kind thoughts, words and actions towards yourself and towards others. And can be in the form of practicing positive self-talks through meditation, and sending out loving thoughts towards unrested individuals, both whom you like and dislike. It can also be an act of care towards the environment, abstaining from violence and unkind behaviour to find resolutions for problems.
This is about being honest not just with others, but yourself as well. Remaining authentic in all situations, and practicing honour in how you deal with others and yourself in life. Honesty can be a challenging concept for most, especially when it comes to working on your own self. If the goal of yoga is to unify with the truth and reality of life, then Satya should be about created more openness in life.
Asteya: Non-stealing and integrity
Non-stealing is not to be mistaken for the stealing of one’s possessions, but rather a reflections of not taking someone else’s concepts, ideas content or emotions for yourself. It can be difficult to not want what you see from others who you feel have more than you, but taking that happiness from someone else means you are lacking something within. Upholding integrity and identifying why it is you want what someone else has will help you discover why you feel that way so you can work towards achieving something else for yourself instead.
Brahmacharya: The right use of energy
Using the right type of energy for different aspects in life is something we can all practice daily by observing where you focus your mind’s energy and where energy is wasted. Directing energy towards positive thoughts when feeling down leaves the spirit feeling energised, and focusing the right type of energy towards stressful situations with less anger and frustration means energy is directed where it needs to be and the body won’t be left feeling exhausted after.
Aparigraha: Non-hoarding and non-attachment
This last Yama is really a true reflection of yoga and the definition of the sutras. Though it can be interpreted as a more active action in daily life, such as clearing clutter of possessions and letting go of sentiment. It also a true reflection of the mind and how we often retain cluttered thoughts towards people and situations. Hoarding such emotions in the mind burns a lot of energy and reduce the capacity of learning to let go. So, where decluttering and non-hoarding of possessions in general life certainly cleansing, releasing them from your thoughts also provides relief and emotional ease which is unobstructed by negative thoughts.