The 5 Yamas: The basics of yoga philosophy

I wanted to share with you the 5 yamas: the basics of yoga philosophy.    In the Yoga Sutra, a collection of texts written between the second and fifth century, philosophers outline an eight limbed path of purification of mind and body.  The first step on the eight limbed path is Yamas. Yamas is how we relate to other people.

Yoga is rooted in deep wisdom, philosophy, and history.  It's important to remember why we practice it.  If you aren't studying, practicing, and/or teaching the philosophy of yoga then you are merely exercising or sitting in meditation, which is still beneficial.

The practice of yoga extends way outside of any yoga class or beyond a yoga mat.  The more you live your yoga practice and weave it into your everyday life the more authentically you are practicing yoga.  Yoga is a way of life similar to that of Buddhism or Taoism.

Yoga teaches you to be a better person each day.  How can you be a better person each day?

1.  Ahimsa = compassion or non-harming or non-violence.  Compassion for yourself first, so that you can be compassionate to others.  How do you show up in the world and how do your actions affect others?  Move from a place of intention.   Make heart centered decisions.   Practice being more kind, accepting, and forgiving of yourself and others.

2. Satya = truthfulness.  When in doubt always go with compassion over truthfulness.  I like to ask these questions before speaking:  "is it true?", "is it kind?", "is it necessary?" if the answer isn't yes to all 3 questions it might not be worth saying.  Integrity is everything, so be honest with yourself and others.  Outwardly, refrain from telling lies and speak with kindness, compassion, and clarity.

3. Asteya = non-stealing.  Arrive to class on time to settle in to respect others time and energy.  Consider skipping a pose or vinyasa - what is it like to slow down and do less?  Stealing comes from a place of unhappiness or incompleteness or emptiness.   Relationships should be an equal balance of give and receive or reciprocity.  Move from a place of respect and abundance.  Practice giving any chance you get and be mindful of people's time and energy!

4. Brahmacharya = turning your senses inward.  This is the practice of turning the senses inward to help quiet the mind.  Balance the senses by freeing yourself of any cravings or dependencies.   Be faithful to your partners and friends.  Be mindful of what you put in or in front of your mind, body, and spirit.  Don't fall into temptation or addiction.   Be careful with the books you read, movies/TV you watch, and company you keep around to preserve your senses.  

5. Aparigraha = non-grasping.  Some examples of grasping behaviors are jealously towards another's success; bitterness when someone has material possessions, talents or relationships which we covet; taking more than is freely offered, and becoming attached to expectations and outcomes.  All the things of the world are there for you to "use", but not to "own".   What are you clinging onto?  Are you sharing? Can you be happy with other's successes?  

At Habit, we offer many different styles of yoga in Durango, teachers and class options; vinyasa yoga, restore yoga, pilates, yogilates, power yoga, core yoga, and hot yoga!!!

Start a practice, create a habit that sticks!

Check out Habit's rootop deck and park yoga in Durango, as well as nutrition services in Durango: or

Namaste (The light in me honors and sees the light in you) my friends!!!  


Popular posts from this blog

May is mental health awareness month so lets talk emotional protective equipment

How to enhance your deep listening skills

On Coronavirus and Cultivating Health