January Newsletter – Control
This month we will take a look at the Yamas. All the classes I provide for this month will have the theme of control over form and alignment – my passion!
The word Yama means restraint or constraint, restriction or control. The Yamas consist of Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha. In the most simplistic of terms, the Yamas are instructions to move in a certain direction. The Yamas address social behaviors. These type of restraints invite us to move as an adult in relationships with our world. It urges us to see past our personal needs for the greater good of our entire world. Yamas help guide us towards positive contribution to the collective good, the highest good for our communities. The Yamas are social disciplines. The Yamas are an outward focus on how we as individuals act in a world filled with others and the recognition that we share space, time, work, play with other humans, animals , water, air, earth and spirits. What we do as an individual counts and how we choose to participate in this world affects others.
Yamas-Light on Yoga, B.K.S.Iyengar
The first of the Eight Limbs of Yoga as described by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is Yama –ethical disciplines or great commandments transcending creed, country, age and time. These commandments are the rules of morality for society and the individual. If individuals choose not to obey then chaos, violence, untruth, stealing, dissipation and covetousness is brought into society. The roots of these evils are the emotions of greed, desire, and attachment, which may be mild, medium or excessive. They only bring pain and ignorance. Practicing the Yamas strikes at the very root of these evils by changing the direction of the individual’s thinking.
Ahimsa – Translates to Non-Violence. Being compassionate towards self and others.
Satya – Truthfulness. Being truthful without causing harm to self/others.
Asteya – Non-stealing. Not taking what does not belong to you/not misusing things, people, information.
Brahmacharya – Translates to God-Sense. Being God-Like and abstaining from worldly pleasures.
Aparigraha – Translates to Non-Hoarding. Letting go and having faith that God will provide.
I am wishing all of you a very happy New Year’s!
Melanie Comegys – Yoga