Ultimate Satya and Yoga Philosophy
By Coming Soon • November 25th, 2010 • 6289 Views
Yoga teachers trained in the West may receive an introduction to the yamas and the niyamas of yoga as part of Patanjalis eight limbs of yoga. If you are a yoga teacher, you may know of their existence and importance. If you are a student of yoga, you may find yourself wanting to become a more ethical person, simply through being present in yoga classes over a period of time. If you are starting out, you may have no idea what is being referred to here, but like all energetic interactions, one must experience it through ones actual practice, philosophical discussions aside. Many western teacher training schools, while they introduce this philosophy will braise over the philosophy of yoga and delve right into asana (postures), as this is what we are mainly teaching to students, though this too, is changing. Though an appropriate approach for most people wanting to learn how to be a yoga teacher, the yamas and niyamas are not first and second in the list of limbs randomly.
Yama, the first limb of yoga or ethical discipline, is similar to that of the great commandments, transcending creed, country, age and time. These rules of conduct, or yamas are: ahimsa (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (continence), and aparigraha (non-coveting). It is the lack of attention paid to the yamas that lead to mental and emotional suffering, and it is this suffering that turns many onto a yogic path, first via asana, and then through the practice of meditation, or control of the mind.
The Niyamas, to outline the difference, are rules that govern individual conduct, while the yamas are universal. There are five niyamas called: saucha (purity), santosha (contentment), tapas (austerity), svadhyaya (study of self) and isvara (dedication to the lord). For the sake of exemplification, let us use satya to make the connection from the mat to the yamas, and how we conduct ourselves in daily existence.
Satya, or truth, is the highest rule of conduct or morality. If the mind thinks truth, if the tongue speaks truth and if one's life is based on truth, the person becomes fit for the union with the infinite, which really, is yoga's ultimate path (as opposed to increased flexibility!) Truth is...