Yama and Niyama
Yama is the first limb of Yoga, the universal ethical and moral rules, the moral virtues which, if attended, purify human nature and contribute to health and happiness of society. The yamas are divided into five wise characteristics, they tell us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful.
- Ahiṃsā: compassion for all living beings,
- Satya: commitment to truthfulness,
- Asteya: non-stealing,
- Brahmacharya: sense control,
- Aparigraha: non-possessivenes.
Niyama are the rules for personal observance, compared with yama, niyama are more intimate and personal, they refer to the attitude we adopt toward ourselves as we create a code for living harmoniously to help the personal growth.
- Śauca: purity,
- Santoṣa: contentment,
- Tapas: disciplined use of our energy,
- Svādhyāya: study of the self,
- Īśvarapraṇidhāna: celebration of the spiritual.