Friday, 21 August 2015

Yama and Nyama, the true values of a yoga practitioner

After so many years of yoga practice, you really start to appreciate your decision on following some moral values, because you realize they build a character and a destiny.
Traditionally , yogis follow as part of their practice, some moral values called Yama and Nyama.
Some of you might read already about them, some tried to put them in practice, but society is not always the best place for them.
The Yama  values are according to the Hindu Upanishad:
  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Nonviolence
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): not stealing
  4. Brahmacharya (ब्रह्मचर्य): continence
  5. Kṣamā (क्षमा): forgiveness
  6. Dhṛti (धृति): fortitude
  7. Dayā (दया): compassion
  8. Ārjava (आर्जव): non-hypocrisy, sincerity
  9. Mitāhāra (मितहार): measured diet
  10. Śauca (शौच): purity, cleanliness
The Nyama values according to Upanihad
  1. Tapas: persistence, perseverance in one's purpose, austerity
  2. Santoṣa: contentment, acceptance of others and of one's circumstances as they are, optimism for self
  3. Āstikya: faith in Real Self (jnana yoga, raja yoga), belief in God (bhakti yoga), conviction in Vedas/Upanishads (orthodox school)
  4. Dāna: generosity, charity, sharing with others
  5. Īśvarapūjana: worship of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality)
  6. Siddhānta vakya śrāvaṇa: listening to the ancient scriptures
  7. Hrī: remorse and acceptance of one's past, modesty, humility
  8. Mati: think and reflect to understand, reconcile conflicting ideas
  9. Japa: mantra repetition, reciting prayers or knowledge
  10. Huta: rituals, ceremonies such as yajna sacrifice

Yama is the guide for the yogi to have an attitude also in society regarding others, while Nyama focuses more into ourselves and our attitude towards our own spiritual practice.
I always focused more on some values that maybe are easier for me to cope, such as forgiveness and compassion, sincerity, also about perseverance and faith.
Trying to follow all these values might be a challenge, but in the end its our personal daily battle to improve ourselves, learn and grow as individuals.
A yogi living in this materialistic world where people lie, steal and have no dignity trying to make some money, might feel discouraged to apply these values, but don't be scared, loosing some benefits, will bring a bit of respect for yourself and that is more awarding and priceless.
You can't do a real yoga practice if you are not happy about who you are as a person, that will always make you reject yourself, that's why these values come to help you correct your attitudes and for sure you'll sleep better at night.
That's all for today, i hope i brought a little light into your life :)

source for Sanskrit translation

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